Friday, September 25, 2009

My Ugandan Family

So...I tried to upload more photos and it wasn't working :(

I guess my words will just have to do on their own.

I just spent the last two weeks not on campus but living with a family in town. It was a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to visiting them again throughout the semester. My family is:

Papa Frederick Kisitu: The Reverend of a church in the slums of Kampala, he is a committed to serving in the poorest areas of a poor nation. Made me laugh by acting out the news stories for me, since they were in Luganda and not English. My personal favorite was when he showed me how police beat people and rip out the eyes of prisoners! LOVES hamburgers which I made for him :)

Mama Mirica Kisitu: A special ed teacher in Kampala. An extremely smart and opinionated woman. She was so happy when I made American food that she was dancing and singing throughout the house!

Julius: My oldest brother, he is a lawyer in Kampala. I never got to meet him :(

Tabitha: My older sister, an accountant with plans to open her own microlending company. She tried to set me up with Ugandan boys and is addicted to several Brazilian soap operas (horribly dubbed over in English, of course) which she made me watch every night.

Rachel: She is a nursing student in Kampala and I only met her for about an hour.

Irene: A 17 year old girl who loves to sing and watch me cook American food. She wants me to go to her prom with her before I leave and she laughs hysterically when I imitate our mom.

Phoebe: My 9 year old sister who spent the weekend at home from boarding school and went to a wedding with us. She makes funny faces and wants to be on Project Fame (the East African version of American Idol) someday.

Emmanuel: My favorite member of the family! He is Tabitha's 8 month old son and he is the most adorable boy. He has a mohawk because he only grows hair on the top of his head and he likes to eat cell phones.

On my last night at home they gave me a Ugandan name! It's Zawedde and it means "what has happened in the past will not happen again."

I really liked living with the Kisitus for the past two weeks but I am so happy to be back on campus with the other students. We are leaving tonight for Jinja where we are spending the weekend. We are staying at a resort that is at the source of the Nile so we will be boating and swimming in the Nile all weekend!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I am finally adding some pictures! These are all stolen from my good friend Peter Morse, who is an amazing photographer!!

This is me and a child at one of the villages we visited in Rwanda. His mother works in a women's development center that is made up of women who lost their husband or father in the genocide and are supporting themselves.

This is the rope swing at Bushara Island, where we spent two days on our way back from Rwanda. This is not me on the swing, but I did go on it!!

This is the amazing view from Bushara Island, which is right in the middle of Lake Bunyoni in southern Uganda. It was the most beautiful place I have ever been!!

This is me, Jessica and Rebecca in Rwanda. Jessica is one of my closest friends here and Rebecca is like our big sister! She is a USP intern so she is basically like our RA and we have had lots of good talks with her...she gives good advice!

This is Hope Village, an orphans village in Rwanda. There are about 40 orphans who live here, all teenagers, who lost their parents in the Genocide. They live in their own homes and their is only one parents, a social worker, in the whole village. Those teens and young adults that we met were so hopeful and happy, and it was a blessing to see what God has done in their lives.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Language Barrier!

So, most of the people that I interact with speak english, but everyone also speaks at least one tribal language from their region. The local language is Luganda and we are beginning to pick it up. Here are a few of the words that are differant in Uganda:

Mazungu- means "white person" and everywhere we walk we hear people yelling this on the streets, either trying to get our attention or talking about us.

Rolex- not a watch here. It is cabbage, tomato, and eggs cooked and wrapped in chapati (kind of like a tortilla)that students often buy as a late-night snack. They are made on the side of the road across from campus.

Pants- means underwear. We have learned not to say, "I want to go put some pants on" because that will lead Ugandans to believe that we are going commando! Instead, they say trousers.

I'm sure I will learn more later, especially when I start my internship next week!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day One of Classes

We got back from Rwanda last night at 11pm after a fantastic week! Our 16 hour bus ride was four hours longer than it should have been because of a flat tire and getting stopped by the police :( But it gave me plenty of time to bond with other USPers who I am growing to love! God has blessed me with wonderful new friends and I feel like I have known some of them for years already!

We spent the whole week learning more about the Rwandan genocide and the effect that it had on the people of Rwanda. Did you know that one million people were murdered in one hundred days of violence? Did you know that the Hutu majority slaughtered their Tutsi neighbors, coworkers, and friends? Did you know that even children had their limbs hacked off and people were cut into pieces as they hid in a church? I didn't know any of that before we went to Rwanda but I learned it through memorial sites, survivor testimonies, and visiting mass graves and churches where piles of clothes are all that remains. I will never forget what I saw or the faces and words of the genocide orphans and victims that we met. I am so thankful for this learning opportunity but my heart now has a special place for the people of Rwanda.

I really wish that I could post pictures because Rwanda is incredibly beautiful! However, I am currently bumming internet time off of my generous friends with laptops so there will probably be no pictures for a long time...just imagine lots of hills and rice fields and banana trees and greenness!

I am loving it here...thanks for praying!