Monday, June 30, 2008


I have found it hard to really organize my thoughts since I have been
here. In some ways I feel like my experience here has not yet started
because I haven't really gotten to my final destination. I hope that
when I get to the camp finally and unpack that I will be able to feel
more here.


Patrick never made it to the house yesterday. We were suppose to meet
at 12 and I waited til 1 but he never came.
Instead I went and met up with matt and trisha at aweri (a displaced
school near the house). Trish was going to meet up with her teacher
from last year and he was going to take the two of them to town to get
bikes. We figured he could get a better price. It was very helpful to
have him because he inspected the bikes and had the shop owners fix a
few things before the decided on a price.
While they were working on that I went to a shop and bought a little
stove. We will heat up water and such with it. We will get a jerry can
each of water a day to bath in and we can use it to eat with if we
boil it really well.
This morning we got up and went to Gulu high for church. The students
put on a service there. It is the best service I have ever been to in
Gulu. It is infused with acholi culture and it seems to be really
heart felt. Today was sort of a special day because they were doing
the handover ceremony. I guess the have student leaders and the
positions were being changed today. We didn't get to stay for the
whole thing because we needed to get back to have a discussion about
Confessions of an Economic Hitman. The conversations were really
good. I would love to have a book club read it and discuss it when I
get home.
Today after lunch we went and visited st. jude orphanage. Orphan is
not really an acholi concept. Mostly children who lose their parents
are just absorbed by other family members. The families of the
children at st. jude cant afford to take them on at this point. There
were quite a few kids there of all ages. We just played and then the
kids sang.
We got back and made dinner as Sunday tradition. Then a lot of us went
to kope café to watch a movie. We watched Charlie Wilson's War. Then
we took bodas home. Some people went to watch a soccer game.
I leave Monday at 9 to head to pabo. We will stop by our house, the
white house (:, and then go to school to meet our teachers. I have no
idea what my schedule will be but I know that trish and matt and I
will be teaching the same students so that is nice. Then we are coming
back Thursday evening so we can go to the teaching and learning
conference friday and sat.


We met our teachers last night. Mine seems to be really nice. He has
been teaching in pabo camp since last year. He lives behind a shop and
goes to gulu to his family every weekend. It is pretty expensive to do
that much traveling but hopefully he can ride with us sometimes. We
all met (21 north American teachers and 19 Ugandan teachers) for
dinner Friday night at kope café.
Kope café is a new place in gulu town. It was started by jolee and
Jamie. Jolee is the woman in the rough cut that shows the film makers
what is happening in Uganda. She is an amazing woman and she has not
only been instrumental in IC's work she has also started her own
organization to help the acholi children. It is a sort of after school
program that has traditional dances and school help and assistance for
child mothers and such. It is a great organization and all the profits
from the café go towards HEALS. The café serves western style food so
not many locals like it but it is usually pretty packed with NGO
After all of the Ugandan teachers left we had a little dance party. We
hooked up someones iPod to the speakers and danced for a little over
an hour. Then we took bodas home. It was funny because I remembered my
first boda ride at night. It is fun to see people experience things
for the first time and remember yours.
This morning I got up and went for a walk with a girl here jen. She is
really nice. We just chatted. Then the 3 pabo teachers went to kope
café to meet our teachers for breakfast at 9. Trish's and my teacher
were on time but matt's was about 45 min late (TIA) by the time we got
our orders taken and the food came it was 11. I had to leave to meet
up with Patrick (my teacher from last year) so we just decided what
trish would pick up from the store (to take to the camp for breakfast
and such) and I headed back.

Friday, June 27, 2008

one more thing

i mentioned being homesick and i thought about it today. it is a great feeling. one of the greatest things i learned last year is that i really do love my people at home and when i got home i realized that i really do love my ugandan family (ugandans and group members). i am so blessed to be surrounded by such people and because of Jesus i have the capacity to love them...really love them. so while homesickness can be not a great thing it is also the best thing (:

reunited and it feels so good!

it is so great to be back in gulu again. we arrived wed around 645. i was greated by a huge hug from margot and then i went inside to see doreen and she was so excited! she hugged me and told me she was so happy that i was back. we settled in and had dinner and i cut up some pineapple like old times.
the next morning during breakfast agness came in (the woman who helps doreen and cleans) everyone said their usual good mornings then i got up to greet her and she realized who i was and yelled and hugged me and pulled back to look at my face and brushed my hair back and said "it is so good to welcome you again!" it was music to my ears.
it was funny traveling to gulu. you dont realize how much a part of you a place becomes til you come back. it just felt good to come back.
today we went out to lunch and did a few conference type things. we had a language lesson. the funny part about that is that it was different information than last year. we have concluded that luo words have many different meanings and depending on who you talk to can be taken different ways. one of the funniest parts is we found out that a common greeting and thank you apwoyo when spoken with a flection at the end means rabbits! so he said most munus (whites) walk around yelling rabbits all day. hilarious. o well they know we are not acholi.
i am going to pabo camp monday morning. we will usually go on sundays but for our first day we will go on monday morning. i am excited to see where we will be staying. i am staying with trisha (she came last year with group 2) and matt (he is new this year from chicago) they are both pretty great and we have decided to buy bikes to ride to and from school with. i am stoked about that.
there are many differences this trip that i will blog about later.
i hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

time in kampala

we did pretty much the same things we did last year going to exchange money and lunch but we got to go to the embassy and talk to some people who worked there about education in uganda and specifically in the south. then instead of staying at backpackers for dinner (the hostel we stay at) we went to a great indian place we went on our last night last year. it was really good. this group is really laid back and a lot of them have done a lot of travel so they are not too intimidated.
we leave for gulu tomorrow. i cant wait to see doreen and margot and patrick and jamie!
one neat thing last night ben the guy who came up with the bracelet campaign was in kampala and came and hung out for a bit. i met him in atlanta at displace me so it was neat to see him again. talk is that katie bradel and maybe one of the film makers are coming to gulu soon.
the teacher conference is really soon too because the first group will be leaving soon. that will be interesting because we wont really know our teachers very well yet.
it is odd to me that i am more homesick this time than last. i think it is because i am not as overwhelmed by everything and i had an instant family last year.
God is so good in that a ton of the teachers are believers and we have already had some great conversation. trisha, who will be at pabo with me is a believer and i know we are going to have some great conversations. she reminds me a lot of huli and that makes me happy.
if you want to call (remember the time change) get an international calling card and call 011 256 0715 280 457
the address is Plot 101 PO Box 1123 Gulu Uganda
keep praying
(ps in case you are wondering...i went 3 times today!!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

first leg and such

we made it to dubai! we are waiting to board so i successfully co-lead the group through travelling from jfk (:
we stopped at the emmerites mall in dubai again. (that meant getting taxis which i helped with) and a few people actually snow skied.
i mention my success mainly because when i said that i was sort of incharge of travel bryan laughed out loud...i am not so great with direction, but i think france prepared me pretty well.
it is weird to be traveling without my gulu family. i didnt have anyone to lean on in the plane. i realized how special the bond we had was now. we were instant family and took such great care of eachother. i am so excited to see margot and catherine and amy in uganda and already miss bryan and phil and seth.
one of the best parts about being away from home is the realization of how much you love the people you left there. i have already thought about how blessed i am by the people at home.
my roommate in dubai was casey. she seems really great. she teaches math and coaches volleyball. we had a great conversation and i am going to borrow her copy of the shack (a book that was recommended to me to read)
thanks for reading my random train of thought, later posts will hopefully be more organized, and thanks for praying (:

Friday, June 20, 2008

by request

by request. my goals for this trip are much like my goals last year with a little twist. i pray that God will continue to wow me in Africa. I pray that He does whatever He needs to do in my heart to make me more like the person He has designed me and desires me to be. I pray that i can be an encouragement and help to those that i come in contact with. I pray that He helps me to use every moment while i am away to glorify Him and really see where He is working and join Him in that. I pray that He gives me opportunities to share His love with others. i pray that people back home are encouraged by the what He does in Uganda while i am there.
i am all packed up and ready to go. just have to wait 12 more hours til i leave charlotte and 24 hours til i leave jfk...
i love the questions jimmy! (hint to everyone else (: )

Monday, June 9, 2008

couting down

I know some of you have been checking this and are tired of not seeing anything new. I will be posting much more when I am in Uganda. I will be leaving the states June 21st. Right now I am just trying to finish settling into my new house and packing things up and tying up lose ends before i leave.
thanks so much for all your support and love and help with all the moving around and such i do. i am so blessed!
looking forward to going (: