Friday, July 20, 2007

home but not for long

i am home by myself for the first night but i am leaving tomorrow for guatemala. i guess i should be packing but my brain keeps processing things. i think its the first time i have really allowed myself some time to think about things. here are some prayer requests i have before i go.
one is that i will be able to handle and embrace the new tensions in my heart. allie said it well when she said that there will always be a tension in my heart now, i will always be far away from people and places that i love.
another is that i will be a good steward of the experiences i have had. i am not and do not wish to be seen as an expert. i know that i have been blessed to be able to have the experiences that i have and that with that blessing comes responsibility. i want to use what God has done in my heart to get people thinking. they might not come to the same conclusions with the Lord that i have and that is ok. i am learning more and more about how to express myself in ways that allows and invites others to be themselves and express themselves too. i am excited that God has changed my heart and i desire so much for Him to do that for others what ever that looks like for them.
and that my group and i experience God in a new way in guatemala, that we see His face in the faces that we go to help and that we serve Him with our whole hearts while we are gone and that we come back changed.
and lastly pray for the people and the kids that i met in uganda. there are too many to list but God knows. pray especially for my little borehole family. it makes me cry to think of them. i dont know what kind of tears you would call them. i cry for their situation and for the hard life that they live, i cry for the beautiful picture of family they are, i cry that they are in gulu where a big piece of my heart will always be, and i just cry because i dont get to see them, and mostly i cry because i dont know what else to do.
thank you those of you that have been reading and posting and praying and supporting me, it means more than you know.

Butts' wedding!

weddings are multiple day celebrations. we had the bridesmaids brunch and the rehearsal friday and then the wedding sat. it was such a beautiful time. the ceremony was absolutely perfect. the reception was so much fun and there was just a wonderful sense of rightness about the whole thing. i am so happy for my good friends lauren and jimmy. i know they will be happy for the rest of their lives together and i am so blessed to have been part of the day that they became one!
this is from the brunch

this is my pastor skip and his wife courtney dancing at the rehearsal. we are not sure but this may be the first time they have danced together. if not it has been a really long time!



long journey home

when i say long i mean 50 hours! we took the 5 or so hour flight from entebee to dubai and then the 13 hour flight to jfk. thats when the trouble started. we got in the airport around 8 and my flight was suppose to leave at 1:15. margo said goodbye and left with her friends. phil, bryan, and i had some lunch and then we said bye to bryan. phil and i played cards and waited for our flights together because we were both flying delta. well he went to the restroom and came back and said, let me buy you something chocolatey from starbucks. i said ok sure and then he said "to drown your sorrows in your flight is delayed"
that wasnt the only time my flight got delayed. i didnt board til 6. i had a connection in atlanta that i had missed but i had hope to maybe catch a different one. we were in a long line to take off and i fell asleep. later when i woke up to crackers and drinks in the air i heard someone said it was 10. i was very confused. apparently we didnt leave the ground til 8:15.
we landed around 10:30. i was a little disoriented and confused and tired. i asked about connecting flights and they told me i was confrirmed for the 7 am flight the next morning. i was a little sad but i thought i could handle it.
i called allie and i could tell she was already at home so i told her not to worry about me. i thought i would just get some food and be fine. then i called darby to tell everyone what was happening with me and i lost it. i was just exhausted and could not handle the idea of sleeping over my booksack in the airport alone. darby just said "hang up and call allie" so i did. luckily allie said she was just about to call me back and tell me she was on her way.
it was really great that i got to spend some time with allie before i went home. she was great in helping me sort of talk through some things i was feeling and she is just someone that i love and trust and was gentle with me and i needed that. plus she has a really soft bed (:
so i finally made it to charlotte at 8:15 thursday morning. my mom and chrl met me at the airport and we spent the day together. i got my hair cut and saw a lot of people that i love and it was a good day.

7-10-07 leaving Africa

and then there were 5. we got up and packed up and had our last breakfast in Africa together.
Phil had the great idea of riding to the equator before we got on the plane. we were so close and couldnt not go. so we paid a little extra and had the matatoo take us to the equator and then to the airport. it was a really neat little place. the water actually does spin in different directions on different sides of the line and on the line the water goes straight down! i have it on video on my camera but i cant put video on least i dont know how. so you can just enjoy these pics instead and take my word for the water thing.
in the airport catherine got on a different plane because she was staying in Nairobi for another 10 days.
then there were 4 (:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

7-9-07 us in the Nile

the next morning we got up early and caught a bus to adrift, the rafting site on the nile. it was not a bad ride. we went pretty fast because the roads were pretty good and the bus was nice. on our way we stopped at a roadside market to get some fruit for lunch and a little after that we got pulled over. we were all very confused because there was no way that there were driving laws because everyone drove so crazy. it was funny when our driver came back in with a ticket and pulled down this handle to open up to a little drawer full of tickets and he shoved the new one in and went on his way.
we rafted for 1/2 a day and then stopped on lunch island for lunch. it was so delicious becuase we hadnt had real bread in over a month and they had real brown bread and fresh veggies and lunch meat (i didnt have any of that) and fruit. YUM!
on our way back there was free beer and soda on the bus.
we got off of the bus and it was time to do the paperwork for bungy jumping. thats right folks i bungy jumped over the nile. 150 ft! it was awesome! me, bryan, and seth did. seth was the only one that touched the nile but we all wanted to. there were 2 guys going after me and they went naked for free beer! hilarious!
then we rode in a matatoo back to backpackers. i was a little jealous that he got to ride a boda in kampala. we were advised not to because they are pretty crazy and a lot of injuries and deaths happen because they are so nuts. i am totally riding on one when (notice i said when) i go back.
we got stuck in traffic and realized that seth wouldnt make it back in time so he and amy jumped on bodas and rode to the hostel. we decided to go ahead to the market since it was getting late. we had our driver turn around and go to the market. he tried to give us a hard time because we didnt go to backpackers but we werent having it and we finally got out and headed to the market.
we got back to backpackers and just freshened up for dinner. we were going to take showers and such but we ran out of time and we were meeting kevin and emmay. we went to this really nice indian place. apparently indian food in east africa is really good. it was good but nothing i would write home about.
that night we hung out a bit and then went to bed. we all knew we had a long day the next day and were all pretty exhausted.

exciting event

i dont know why i forgot to mention this but it was one of the highlights of the safari.
when we watching the lion he started moving a little more quickly and the guide looked at me across the top of the matatoo (i was sitting outside the window on the lion side) and he said "you get in" i slip myself as quickly as possible under that bar and inside the matatoo. it was a little scary but so cool!

Monday, July 16, 2007


we got up at 4:30 so we could leave at 5. the matatoo was pretty on time but he didnt get fuel the night before so we had to ride around and search for a gas station that was open and had fuel. once we were on the road we opened up our breakfast of pineapple and hardboiled eggs. we got to the park gate and had to wait for them to open it. they finally opened it around 7. we rode a little while longer and got to this really nice hotel inside the park. we stopped to get the story on the ferry and make sure the arrangements for the second group were all right. we found out that the ferry wasnt going at 9 so we had an extra hour so we decided to chill and have a cup of coffee. it was soo good that we did that.
when we crossed the river on the ferry we heard that the roads were very muddy. some of the matatoos were turning around. our guide said we would make it. the roads were really bad and we saw some people stuck and such. at one point we were all out of the matatoo pushing. the mud was like cement. then when we got it moving we had to run to catch up to it because it couldnt stop or it would get stuck again. once we passed the first two big hills the roads were fine, well fine for africa. my legs were covered in bruises from the bumps and such. it didnt help that i spent most of the time hanging out of the window

or on the top.

we thought we were going to have to rush so that we could leave on time but we decided not to rush and just ride to kampala in the dark. it probably wasnt the safest decision but we just couldnt rush through this experience. especially when our guide got a call that they found a lion resting under a tree.

we saw tons of antelope.

one lone elephant




and a dung beetle...seriously these things roll these huge pieces of dung to their hole in the ground home


we didnt leave the safari til 5 or so and the 6 hour ride to kampala was ahead of us. we finally got to backpackers in kampala at 1130. our matatoo driver was pretty exhausted. you never hear them say they are tired and ours said he was very tired. he had driven all day long! even though amy called 100 times they gave our beds away so for the 9 of us they had 6 beds, all top bunks, not bedding, and no mosquito nets! emmay and kevin decided, since they werent getting up to go rafting with us, that they would go somewhere else so only catherine and margo shared. we found some bedding, enough for everyone to have sheets and just bundled up to keep the mosquitos off. it worked out fine, no one got bitten up and we were all so tired we all slept all night.

Friday, July 13, 2007

7-7-07 leaving gulu

So this morning I was suppose to go on a motorcycle ride to the lake but it didn’t happen because there was something wrong with the motorcycle.
We took our polaroids to put on the wall of visitors. We got packed up and set out for the conference.
It was good to see our teachers one last time. I will miss them and this place.
After the conference we went back to the house to load up the matatoo and headed out. It was really sad to leave. I cant really process it yet I think.
We got to Macindi that evening and had dinner at the court view hotel where we stayed the night. It was really nice. Each room is a private little hut with its own bathroom and shower. The 3 girls shared a room but none of us took advantage of the shower because it was so late and we had all taken a shower recently. Being dirty here has become a non-issue.


This morning terry and I ran and I took some fiber stuff that Lindsay and Hadley gave me so I finally went to the bathroom! I cant wait for fresh broccoli and cereal with fiber again! O and yummy apples!
On the way to school margo and I walked with some little kids going to nursery school and they held my hands! What a sweet moment!
So today was sort of crazy. It is our last day in the classroom because tomorrow is the district wide athletic competition at Peche stadium. All of the schools compete and no one has school. I have heard that it is sort of crazy in that some of the kids are totally there to hook up and such high schoolish stuff. Anyway we heard that there was something special going on so even though I didn’t have class til 12:10 I was at school by 9:30. Unfortunately, I found out that the special thing was a special lunch, so I just sat around for a while. Patrick and I taught our last lesson and I said goodbye to the students.
We usually have lunch at 1:30 but apparently because of the rain and that it was a special meal it was “delayed” til 3:45ish. We were famished. It was a really nice banquet though. There was tons of great food, lime fanta!, dancing, singing, and tons of speeches.
That night Catherine did her last presentation/workshop and I invited Patrick over to have dinner and attend the workshop. He came along with peter phil’s coteacher and we all had a great time. We did a drama based on scientific ethics. I was dr. kavorkian…hilarious!

7-4-07 happy 4th of july!

It has been raining for days! It only sort of stops for a little bit and then starts up again. The road to school is super slick. So today I had early class so I left the house around 7. After class I had a lot of time so I wanted to come back to the house. It was bound to happen and it did…I fell in the mud! Flat on my butt! I wasn’t hurt but I was muddy. The worst part was walking by the old women at the bore hole getting water and them laughing at me and then people on the road saying “you fell” not asking me but reminding me. I would say yes it is ok and they would say “ so sorry”
The cookies were a hit at the round table.
We had dinner as normal but the staff were having a party at the other house. After they were done eating we went over there to hang out and dance. It was so fun! I made popcorn to take…so yummy! We danced for a long time and had a blast!

7-3-07 my cup runneth over!

Today was an incredible day. It started with saying goodbye to the HEALS volunteers, not so incredible. Then I went to the IC office to meet a mentor, Evelyn, to shadow for a bit. IC’s scholarship program is really great and each student not only has to go through an application process and maintain strict requirements but they once accepted they get school fees and financial aid and a mentor. This mentor keeps track of the student and his or her progress and makes sure everything in life is going ok. I got to walk around with Evelyn to three houses to talk with the guardians of the students. Evelyn, like most mentors, has about 30 students she is responsible for. She visits the homes at least once a month and meets with the students at least once a month. It is a lot of work but really great! The first house we visited was a woman who had 8 children but only 3 were actually her biological children, she said she takes care of “desperate children” These kids aren’t even related to her! She just finds out about them through different situations and takes them in. She was really an incredible lady. It is amazing how giving some people are even when they have nothing. She spoke about the Lord and how she just knew that is what He wanted her to do. I told her she had a beautiful heart and she smiled. The next was Florence. We spent the most time here. She is a mother of 5 or 6 and her husband recently died. She was a stay at home wife/mother but has recently had to take up farming to support her family. She was extremely hard working and proud. You could tell that she missed her husband and that things were not easy but there was just something about her that told me she would be ok. She is strong and a fighter and I know that she will make it. Every day around 10:10 we get tea at school and Florence insisted that we stay for tea and mandazi (a fried dough thing that is soo good in the super sweet African tea). So we did. I asked Evelyn if a lot of the guardians gave her stuff when she came because it is such a cultural thing. She said that some did but she tried to get them not to and they usually didn’t after the first few visits. Then we went to the last house. It was pretty far into the little area we were in. We came upon a blind man that was apparently the uncle of the student. When we walked up Evelyn told him that I was there and he was very happy to have me there. He went back to his hut and brought out chairs for everyone. Apparently he wasn’t always blind but became blind from some sickness.
As we walked from house to house I talked with Evelyn about her work with IC and her life in Gulu. She told me about how she came to work at IC and that she missed her family who lived in another part of Uganda but she seemed hopeful that they would be able to move to Gulu soon.
I left the office to go teach my one class for the day at Gulu high. Then Patrick and I went to lunch together. Here comes the good stuff. Here is what I actually wrote in my journal when I go home from lunch:
It’s 3:45 and I am sitting in the living room exploding on the inside! I had the most amazing exchange with Patrick today. We had class (I introduced foldables) and then we went to lunch. Until now, Patrick and I haven’t interacted much on a personal or emotional level. We walked together to lunch and talked a little just about how the program was ending and such. At Bora-Bora we missed the people we were going to meet so it was just us. We walked about the time we have shared and what we have learned. He shared that it wasn’t him learning new things but being reminded of what he already knew and ho to implement it. I told him that I have learned so much about how he can work with so many and with so little and the responsibility of the teacher in the lives of my students. We also shared a lot about our personal lives. He shared about his family and how he misses then and I told him I would pray for them to be able to come here (his wife and children still live in the town he came from because he was just transferred and she might be able to get a job in Gulu). He asked me about my life and I shared a little of my story. One of the best parts is when we shared our memories and we both laughed about when I fell the first day!
It was such a great conversation! It really showed that this program can be successful and that there was good that came from it and was just awesome!
I went home and amy and I made no bake chocolate-oatmeal cookies for our last round table at Gulu high. We had some good discussion about me coming back and what that would look like and how to do it to best benefit the program and the teachers involved…hmm


This morning I had some apple in my oatmeal which was a treat! The apples are not even close to as good as the states but it was nice just the same. I gave half of it to Catherine because she is my fiber buddy (: it’s the small things you know.
It was Amy’s birthday so we took her to town to shop and such and then Catherine and amy and I went to Boma to get massages and hot showers. It was glorious and so cheap. Margo came and met us after her class and we just had some girlie time.
We met 2 guys in the airport on our way here that were taking high schoolers to the southern part of Uganda to build schools. They called amy and said that they wanted to come to Gulu to see what invisible children is all about and such. So Catherine and I went to meet them and show them around a bit. It was fun to meet new munus in Gulu. We shared a hilarious 12 year old moment at hotel roma where we met them. Catherine and I had sort of built up the whole thing in our minds and by the time we were entering the place we had decided that we were about to meet prince charming, just being dumb. So as we were sitting there one of the guys was talking about seminary and she sort of kicked me under the table just to be funny. Well I just grinned a bit to let her know I “heard” her but she couldn’t handle it and just started laughing. I tried to keep it in but couldn’t. It was a horrible time to start laughing because the other guy was telling us about himself. It was just so funny…
We hung out a bit and then went back to the house for dinner. We had special cake for amy’s birthday and made sangria with not so great wine but really really great fruit. Jamie, Catherine, margo, seth, and I made a birthday song to the tune of “I blessed the rains down in Africa” it was so fun. The song turned into a small dance party on the front lawn. The dance party turned into mud sliding (for which I excused myself). The four of them got totally coated in mud. We heard them yelling and such so I thought it would be hilarious to shut off the water and act like we had no water. It was late by this time so they would have to walk to the bore hole in the pitch black night and pump water to wash with. They came around the house and when they found out it was priceless. Poor Jamie had checked to make sure we had water before he jumped in the mud and he felt so bad that he had led in the mud dancing and gotten everyone into it. He grabbed his head and said “this feels like a bad dream” it was so cute. He wasn’t distraught but he was a little upset. We had them going for a while. It was genious!


Today was a great day in Gulu. Catherine and I went to church at Gulu High. The students organize the service. It was awesome, just what Church in Africa was like in my mind. There was singing and dancing and it was great. It really felt genuine. The service is sort of a mix of Catholic and Protestant. The priest didn’t even show up but they still did the service for the most part. It was awesome! I have some great video if you are interested to hear some old gospel hymns Gulu style.
Then Margo and I went to the market to pick up some fruit to take to Grace’s. Grace is the dance teacher at Gulu High. We have been going to dance a lot since we have been here so she wanted to have us over for dinner. Margo, Jamie, and Seth went earlier in the day and killed 2 chickens that she will prepare for hours and then we will all feast!
Grace lives near Irene, another teacher, so her daughter took us to Grace’s because they couldn’t remember how to get there.
We spent a while there with Grace and her family.
Then we all went to HEALS to see the kids dance and the mural the girls (megan and chrstine did). It was a fun time.
Then amy and I went to the market to get stuff for Sunday dinner! I love that tradition because it gives Doreen the day off and it gives us a chance to bond (: plus I love to cook for people. Bryan and Josh and I tried to watch a movie but it was blood diamond and I told kylie that I wouldn’t watch it til I got home and I just couldn’t watch it yet.
I went to bed pretty early but after I had sort of fallen asleep amy came in and gave me a letter from michelle! It was so stinkin great! I loved it. It totally touched my heart. It was great to hear from home and to feel a little closer. Thanks so much michelle!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Catherine and I went to Gulu High for church. It is a sort of blend of catholic and protestant service but it was super great. It is organized and led by the students! There was singing and dancing and clapping and it felt like an African service. The priest didn't even show up and the students still did the reading and singing and such. It was soo great. I am so glad that I went. I got to see some of my students and really worship in Africa!

We came back and I went and got fruit to take to Grace's (the dance teacher). She had Catherine, Seth, Margo, Jamie, and me over for lunch because we had helped with dance. Seth, Margo, and Jamie went earlier and killed 2 chickens! It was really an experience! She let me help with the rice and pour the water to wash everyone's hands. Her husband told us stories. It is really hard to listen to acholi stories in a hot cramped house after a meal in the middle of the day. I was struggling to stay awake but it was still such a cool time.

Then we went to HEALS to see the kids dance and the mural that the girls painted. It is really a neat place. It is an organization that Jolee started for kids and moms and such.

Then we went shopping for dinner and made Mexican. I really love the Sunday dinner tradition. I love that it gives Doreen the day off and that we spend time together preparing food.

I was pretty tired early so I just went to bed early. Amy came in after I had sort of fallen asleep and gave me a letter! Michelle wrote me a letter! It was so great to get! It was just a short sweet note but I definitely cried. Some of you know that I cant take things when I first wake up and it really just touched me and was so great to feel so close to the people I love again. It was so exactly what I needed right then. It had actually come Friday but Amy forgot to give it to me.


Today was our first teaching and learning conference. One highlight was the cat walk. Amy (film intern) had the camera set up in the middle of the back of the room and the chairs were in two groups so there was a middle aisle. She was having us do catwalks and I sat with Patrick and tried to get him to do one. He said "if you do it again I will do it" I totally jumped on that. So I did it again and he did it! It was awesome! He is so great!

Our family picture.

The conference was really successful I think. The teachers were really into it and I think there was a lot of great discussion. Some of the presentations were hard to listen to but overall I would say it was very successful and most of us are looking forward to next sat. All 3 schools will present on different topics so that should be interesting.

One funny thing is that Bryan and I went to pick up some of the guests who were from Lubiri, the school we visited in Kampala. When we left everyone said that a few of the guys had a crush on me and apparently they had come with the headmaster. They had gone out the night before and Catherine and Margo met up with them and they had asked about me. It wasn't too bad though. One funny thing is that one of the guys asked me for my nametag and he said he was going to hang it in his house. Funny!

After the conference Margo and I went to town with Helen (Catherine's teacher) and Grace ( a teacher from Sir Samuel Baker). We picked up some minutes for our phone and got some fruit. After dinner Catherine, Margo, Angie, Beth, Amy, and I went to Boma for a drink and hung out for a bit. Our curfew has been moved to 9 so we only stayed for an hour.


Today was sort of an off day. I ran but it didn't do the trick. I hope I don't get constipated again. Catherine and I walked to town together and went to the internet café and then she met up with Helen her teacher and they hung out. I did some errands in the market and went home to do some grading. I was supposed to meet up with Patrick but he had to go to the bank so I just finished grading. I was a little tired and the disorganization of the dance really got to me. Sadly it made me a little short with the kids but luckily my sisters (Catherine and Margo) called me on it later and it made me think about some things and hopefully learn from it. Being a teacher is a big responsibility and your impact is huge and you have to be aware of that at all times.


I was supposed to meet Bryan at Boma for breakfast but he ended up having to stay at school so I just had breakfast by myself. It was nice. Boma is sort of a big porch place so you can sit and look outside. It is sort of outside the city of Gulu so it is not busy or loud. I had some yummy African coffee (they make it with milk) and a fruit bowl. Then I went to town to do some errands and then went to school and dance.


I felt much better today. I had 3 classes and planned some and we had our round table after school. Lessons at school have been going really well. Patrick and I are working really well together.


Amy got Catherine and I worm pills and they added to my already not ok tummy made me super sick today. I got up and went to the internet after a night of 4 latrine visits, not the best idea. It was really hot and I thought I was going to pass out. I got some water but it didn't help much. I took a boda back and it was the scariest ride yet. He was going so fast that I actually left the seat when we hit a bump. That on top of not feeling well made me tell him "you slow down" pretty harshly. O well they drive crazy and need to be told. I laid on the couch and missed my 12:10 class. I called Patrick and told him I wasn't coming and just slept on the couch. I was able to make my 2:20 class and just took it easy the rest of the night.

6-25-07 Monday

I think that weekend downtime gives us all a lot of time to reflect and think critically about why we are here and our impact. We have all been struggling with these issues: are we doing more harm than good, are we here for just us? Bryan and I had a really good discussion and I kind of came to the conclusion that we have to rely on God and the fact that He brought us here and He will take care of us and use us in whatever He has planned and whatever that is will work out to our good and the good of those here. I know that some of you have been worried for me and I hope that is an encouragement to you because it sure was to me!

Catherine and I went to Holy Rosary, a Catholic church here in Gulu. Then we had a discussion about how we felt that religion felt like a product of colonialism. The service did not feel African at all. It felt totally out of place and fake. It is scary to say but it is the way we both felt. I saw some people who really seemed into it but I just don't know. It is sad to know that a lot of people who identify themselves as Christians will go to the witch doctors and such if something really bad happens. Sometimes it just feels like the people are mimicking the white man- which is straight from colonialism and oppression.

My tummy hurts and Catherine and I think we might have worms…yikes!


Sat night Catherine and I met Rachel for a drink at the corner café, which is a little bar-ish place. We thought we were going to go dance but it didn't happen. My mom called as we walked and it was great to talk to her. Getting phone calls is the bomb! We had some really interesting conversation about colonialism and oppression here and racism in the states. It was really great to have such different perspectives come together to discuss things. Talking about culture I mentioned that I felt like I didn't have a culture. It is interesting because some things have been so "normalized" that we don't see them as cultural but they are. It is also interesting to think about culture in America because people are so different and there are so many different cultures. After that discussion I felt like I wanted to really analyze my life and find out my culture.

More processing. Not intentionally analyzing things but just sitting with down time and my brain keeps working. Who am I and what of worth to I have to offer and if anything how do I "give" it to these people, this area? I know that there is a part of being here that is for me and that is something that is hard to swallow. At the same time I know that God is teaching me and molding me using this experience and that I am going to be able to share so much and learn so much. Finding my part here in the culture is still important though. I guess my part is in the classroom. I have realized that I am here to get more critical thought into practice, methodology, and technique. It is odd that I am in that role because it seems to be a very mature role and I am still such a novice, but I am here doing what I can. I do think that there will be progress and that this program will be beneficial but I don't know if I will actually see it and it may be very slow in coming. One of the biggest obstacles in the math classroom is the syllabus and the focus on the national tests. It seems very rigid and strict. However, Patrick has made some changes and really seems to be open to trying things and doing his own thing to a certain extent. Another obstacle that seems to be across the board is that Ugandan teachers know what to do and can tell you all about it but implementation is just not there. They can spout of test answers to method and technique questions but they do not implement the theories in their practice. The absence of critical thinking is definitely a result of colonialism and it is so difficult to show someone that they are not critically thinking when they think they are and they really have no reference point as to what real critical thought is. Lastly, the absence of formative assessment means it is hard to track progress and effectiveness of lessons.

I think it is good that I am here but if I am going to do this again I would love to plan workshops and things like that along with teaching because I think that would be very beneficial.

Bryan, Catherine, Phil, and I discussed our time in the camp. I think we felt our presence was not really taken well and sort of invasive. It is tough because it is good to experience because it just isn't real on tv but it is not good because of the impact your presence can make and such. The "disguise" of doing a job felt very contrived and fake. How to make that a reality and still maintain integrity and dignity of the people in the camp is a question we wrestled with.

Later that night I was just sitting around. Being in a crowded house but feeling alone is a strange thing. Its funny because I feel like we are really close but there is still a part of me that feels far away and unknown to people here. I have really realized that learning to let people in at home and the relationships that I have there really make a difference in my life. I am so blessed to have such close friends that are my family.

We cooked Sunday dinner again and it was super fun. I love to cook!