Thursday, August 5, 2010

So another week has almost come to a close and as I reflect back there are many thoughts in my head. Today is my last day in Jinga and it saddens me to leave this beautiful land. I have made so many wonderful friends, Ugandan and American. I was truly blessed by my roomate Kristen throughout this entire trip. I am sure we will remain friends forver. The spirit of this place is so happy and content. As I look into the eyes of the children everywhere I see a group of people that is so resiliant. Each one looks torn and tattered but still has the spirit of greatfulness.
It's hard to imagine that a place so peaceful by nature was so war torn just short 20 years ago. These people have seen and lived through atrosoties I hope I never expereince and still their vigor for life continues. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview and elderly man in his hut this week who showed me what true happiness really is. He's seen it all, and although somewhat defeated by his poverty, is still gracious and kind. His biggest concern was what he would feed me "his visitor". I feel that the Western world hasd so much to learn from these people about true happiness.
Don't get me wrong, there is still saddness and lack of hope in some places but it's amazing to me how much a short visit from a Mzungu can encourage someone. Why me? I'm just a small town insurance sales person. Why do these people feel so encouraged by my visit's? Is it because I give them a voice or simply because of the color of my skin? Or both?
I have become great friends with a young man named Nash from Kenya. He does all the booking at a nearby rafting company and backpacker hostel. Two years ago he was in Uganda and his families home was attacked and burned by the rebel forces. He awoke one morning to find his compound and pictures of his families tradgety on the cover of the Ugandan newspaper. Can we as Americans really imagine how this must have felt? Sure we have our trials, 9/11 being the most recent. But think of how it would be to live everyday without the basic human right of security. It is a way of life in this region and is reality for most people.
Of course I have enjoyed all of my adventures. Bungee jumping, rafting, an overnight weekend of misaps and laughter in Kampala. But the true meaning of life has evolved more deeply in my heart.
It's hard sometimes to understand why I am me. Why did God bless me with so many things and allow such awful situations to occur in someone else's life. Simply because they are born in a different place and have a different situation. I didn't choose who I am, he did. I know it is all part of his perfect plan but as a human I think it would wrong for me not to question these things. And wrong not to raise these questions to my friends and family. On my last day in Jinga I reflect back on this trip, good and bad, and have many many thoughts. I pray that one day I can make sense of it all.
I have 5 more days in Africa and more to do but at this point I can say I will unarguably leave a piece of my heart in Africa and anxiously await my return.
Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and support.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sorry I havent done a great job updating...its been hard with internet so in and out. All I can say is that we are all very blessed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

So its been a crazy week. As most of you know Kampala had a terroroist attack last Sunday night. Internet has been in and out and we still don't have it at the house so I havent had much time to update. The first part of the week was a little somber. Everyone was a little freaked out about the bombing. The FBI is here so I found that kinda interesting. Luckily, we are stationed in Jinga, which is a few hours away from Kampala. We had a great week at work and did alot of interviews. On Wedsneday, I interviewed a lady who had 7 childrena and struggled as a single parent. At the end I was able to pray with her and we were both at in tears by the end of it. It was very special. We had a great weekend, we had to go into Kmpala to pick up some stuff for work. It was an adventure!! So many funny things happened, one mishap after another....welcome to Africa!!! I havent laughed that much in a long time. Sunday afternoon Brad and I went to the orphanage that his NGO supports and took 5 kids to the nicest hotel in Jinga. It was great, we walked in with a bunch of dirty kids. Bought them all cokes and french fries and let them run crazy! David, was my favorite. He is about 5 years old and really shy. He wanted to hold my hand the whole time. I lost him one time and found him in this really nice English style garden peeing all over the flowers. HAHA, it was hilarious!!! I enjoyed every second with these children.
Getting ready for another long, but successful week!! Hopefully the interent is back on at the house soon so I can update more :)



Saturday, July 10, 2010

I am learning so much. The other researchers have taught me alot about how to conduct a research study. Its really cool! Ive always worked in the buisness world, and feel I have a pretty good grasp on that but this is something totally different for me. We met all the translators yesterday and went through the interview proccess. I think its going to be really fun. There's been so much to do logistically, Im thankful that hasnt been my job!!
Spiritually the journey has begun. I spent the first night on the top deck of the house looking over lake Victoria as hundreds of fishing boats were working for the night. All lit with papter lanterns, I can only imagine that is what heaven will look like. Or maybe its the way the sky looked the night Jesus was born, lit with stars. I am so thankful. I am so amazed at the beauty of this place, these people, and the general spirit here. I cant stop smiling, even when Im doing something I dont want to do, its still fun.
Bungee Jumping was incredible!!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wow...I LOVE it here. Its absolutely amazing. Yesterday I spent the morning in Kampala (quite and experience) did some shopping and just adjusting after 2 nights in the air. We had dinner at a thatch roof covered pizza place and caught a little of the world cup, so much fun. Today we made the drive to Jinga, which was very scenic and interesting. We arrived at the guesthouse to find that the guy who manages the place is from Augusta, and went to Lakeside. After comparing notes we realized we have a ton of mutual friends. Crazy! The weather is gorgous, there are jungle noises out of my window and i could not be happier..Tomorrow Ive got some studying to do and the reaserchers are going to out to lay some groundwork. Saturday, we all get started and Ive got alot to learn!