Monday, November 30, 2009

15 Days left

Things I did this past week:
-Made pumpkin bread and banana chocolate chip muffins with friends-3 hours of chilling at Mark's house listening to good music with good friends
-Celebrated Thanksgiving by giving a presentation in class, playing football, and eating lots of good food, especially delicious desserts.
-Played ultimate frisbee ALL DAY on Sunday with a bunch of friends. We beat the Peace Corps and ended up 3-3 after the tournament. It was exhausting but very fun.

Things I am doing this week:
-Worship tonight!
-Writing final papers for my three classes: African Lit, African Traditional Religion and Faith & Action. Not really ready to write any of them....
-Eating dinner and spending the night at my host family's home in Mukono
-Spending Saturday in Jinja (it's our last weekend!)

Things I am looking forward to doing when I get home:
-"Jumping" (on the trampoline) with Ty
-Getting my wisdom teeth out, and then watching lots of movies with my siblings and eating ice cream and iced coffees
-Finally seeing Matt for the first time since MAY! I almost tear up when I think about seeing him again (For those of you who know how not very often I cry you know that is a big deal!)

Things I will miss about Uganda:
-Off Tu-everything about it. But especially cuddling with the girls before nap time and dance parties after dinner.
-Faith & Action class: so challenging to the way that I think and I act. I have learned so much from this class and the teachers and other students.
-Taxi rides, walking the streets of Mukono, going "rolling", watching soccer in the DH, movie nights, shopping at markets, fighting off grasshoppers, sleeping under mosquito nets...basically our Uganda university life :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love"

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of my favorite holiday, here are some things I'm thankful for:

-My families: First, of course, my family at home: Mom, Dad, Matt, Brandon, Pete, Ben, Tori & Ty. Secondly, my Ugandan families: My Mukono and Soroti host families and my Off Tu family.

-The longest summer ever! I have been able to enjoy the same warm weather from May-December.

-Amazing friendships: I am so thankful for my friends from home who have stayed in touch, encouraging me and loving me. Also, I'm thankful for the great friendships I've made here. I have had so many challenging conversations and lots of fun with friends here.

-God's amazing creation. Rwanda and Uganda are both so beautiful and I am so thankful that I have gotten to see so much of His creation; mountains, valleys, waterfalls, sunsets, flowers, and so much more.

-Thought provoking classes and reading. My opinions and views on issues have been challenged here more than any other time in my life. It is sometimes frustrating to wrestle with these issues but I am so glad I have had the opportunity to do it.

There are a lot more things I am thankful for (and those were really general categories) but I am running out of time. I am doing a presentation in my African Traditional Religions class today (Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Uganda so we still have school) so I have to go do that now. Then, I am baking desserts with my friends (from Eastern University) Angela, Redmond and Davis. Then, we are playing an American football game and eating Thanksgiving dinner with the ex-pats on campus! Hope your Thanksgiving is as good as mine!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

No one on the corner has swagger like us

We are currently suffering from a plague of grasshoppers. They are covering the ceilings of our bathrooms, especially the showers. They like to jump on us and people like to fry them up and eat them

This is me and my friend Nicole and my new boyfriend: the Chamuka keys man. He promised me a neon Rav4 if I drink the right soda and I gave him my heart. It's a happily ever after kind of story.

For realsies tho: we were on our way to Touch of Class, a very...classy restaurant on campus that we eat at several times a week. We get pretty tired of rice and beans at the DH so at Touch of Class we eat chips (fries), smoothies and occasionally chicken.

It's been raining ALOT here. Basically every day it rains for an hour or so. This is me in my poncho:

It was about as protective as wearing a ziploc bag.


This is me and my friend Meghan at a Sipi Falls. This picture is really for my mom, cuz she loves waterfalls.


In other news: I got my hair braided. They add fake hair and it takes about five hours and as a result I have 140 small braids on my head. I think it makes me look like the child of shane claiborne and one of the daughters from the cosby show (can't remember her name...) Here's some photos to explain better:

The song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. has been stuck in my head for weeks now (hence the reason for the name of this post). Partly because we recently watched Slumdog Millionare and partly because it's so dang catchy. I also have some songs from "Fiddler on the Roof" stuck in my head...("Tradition!" "Do you love me?") At night we like to watch a lot of movies and tv shows on our laptops. Me and a few others girls have been working our way through episodes of "the office". We started at season one and are just beginning season five tonight.

Right now I am sitting in the computer room trying to fend off the advances of a very agressive Ugandan guy...I should probably leave now before he asks me out again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"The more I pursue the light of Christ, the more He illumines the diseases of my heart, and the dysfunction of my soul." -Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp

Amen, Lee Camp.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Off Tu Weekend...

Caitlin and I spent the weekend at our favorite place in Uganda: Off Tu Mission.

Friday Night:

We got to Off Tu, drank tea and played with our favorite four Ugandan girls (Martha, Lovis, Anitah and Allen...if you are a regular on my blog you've seen pictures of them before) then headed to the home of Off Tu's founders Catherine and Johan. They are a German couple who started Off Tu about 17 years ago. They have a beautiful house at the mission and three great kids; Claudy (15), Friedham (13) and Caleb (11). We got to eat dinner with the family which was wonderful! First because we have not had sausage, cheese, homemade bread, and raw veggies in a very long time. Second, because we are so immersed in university life that we rarely get to enjoy family time. Also, Ugandan families typically don't talk while they eat, nor do they all sit at the same table while eating. We all told funny stories and laughed a lot and it reminded me of eating dinner with my family at home. Then the girls (Caitlin, Claudy Leez and I) headed up to Leez's room and watched movies. We also learned how to wrap a scarf like a sudanese women, where only the eyes are allowed to show. I scared Leez dressed like this! Don't worry, I will teach you all how to do it when I get home :)


In the morning Caitlin and I woke up early and cooked french toast for the staff and children who live at Off Tu. Though I ended up with several oil burns the french toast turned out great and the kids loved it. Then we went to an introduction with the staff of Off-Tu. One of the female staff members is going to be married in January so it was time for her introduction! An introduction is a ceremony in Uganda where the the families of an engaged couple formally meet. It is held at the bride's home with the family of the groom being introduced to the family of the bride. It is a really special ceremony as it is an opportunity to honor the Bride and the Groom individually as well as their families. It was really sweet to see how excited each family was to be accepting a new member. From the time we got there and sat down until the time we got to get up and eat it was about SIX hours! Caitlin and I were super hungry and very uncomfortable in our Gomesis (traditional Bugandan women's dress) but it was a great event to see and when we were bored we just joked around with our Ugandan and German friends from Off Tu.

Caitlin and I really feel like family members at Off Tu (how could we not when the kids call us Auntie!) and we know that Off Tu is going to be what we miss the most when we leave Uganda :(

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ugandan Proverbs

A few Ugandan proverbs I found while writing a paper for my African Traditional Religions class:

  • A child does not laugh at the ugliness of its mother
  • A full stomach does not last overnight
  • A stick which is far away cannot kill a snake
  • Feces is the food of flies
  • People get fed up even with honey
  • Two friends share the white ant (people here actually do eat white ants)
  • Whoever comes last drinks muddy water
  • He who has diarrhea knows the direction of the door without being told (my personal favorite)


Thursday, November 5, 2009


So we got back from Soroti on was a great week.

Things I did in Soroti that I have never done before:

*Slept in my own mud hut
*Milked a cow
*Carried water on my head, and on a bike
*Slaughtered chickens (one on my birthday and one on my last night)
*Farmed: uprooting cassava and sweet potatoes which I then peeled
*Carried a baby on my back like a real village woman
*Helped my little brother make charcoal and make mud bricks
*Shelled ten pounds of ground nuts
*Peeled and ate sugarcane
*Cut down speargrass with a scythe

I have pictures of all of these you wish you could see them :) Too bad I can't upload them now...

Anyway, I also visited the school where my papa teaches, went for walks, enjoyed gallons of milk tea, held my baby brother miracle, played in the rain, explored a fruit farm of pineapples, oranges and tangerines, had dance parties with my mama and brothers and spent time just thinking and praying and reading "Letters & Papers from Prison" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (my thoughts on that book will result in their own post later, when I finish it.) It was a wonderful week and though I really missed family and friends and all my USP friends I really enjoyed my week and could easily live in that little mud hut forever...if you all lived in neighboring huts :)


I would like to briefly offer some thoughts/shout-outs to my home life and people (homies, if you will)
1. The Phillies were in the World Series and I didn't get to see any of it. Disappointing. My friend Redmond and I attempted to get our director to let us watch a game on his satellite tv but he wasn't going for it, especially since the games started at 4am Uganda time.
2. On another sports note, OSU is playing penn state this weekend and I am really hoping for a win. Praying, actually. (Lord, please give Jim Tressel wisdom, give Terrelle Pryor skill, and give the entire defense strength, Amen.)
3. Congratulations to Adriane and Mike on getting engaged! Adriane: you are gonna be a great wife. Mike: You are a lucky guy :)

Okay, that's all. Love from the pearl of Africa!!