Monday, March 28, 2011

African Parasites and African Time

So I was sitting in an internet café yesterday composing this AMAZING blog post. It was probably Pulitzer winning stuff but alas the internet crashed and all was lost! Thus I will do my best to re-create it as best I can.

It turns out I did not have worms (yay!), but instead I had Giardia (boo!) an African water parasite of sorts. The nurse at DP gave me some super powerful pills that would make me all better by Wednesday but she warned me that I’d feel worse before I felt better and she wasn’t lying. I was off work Monday and Tuesday and I spent most of Monday laying in bed working up the strength to walk the 10 steps to the bathroom to throw up and then crawling back to bed because walking required such effort! Tuesday was better and other then feeling a little tired the remainder of last week I’ve felt great ever since! 

Wednesday night we went to our friend Joy’s house for dinner. We took a taxi to Mutungo and she lead us to her home. We stayed for about four hours and learned to make Matoke (a traditional Ugandan dish made of bananas) and then Joy bought a live chicken and then killed it for us (that was a first for me). She doesn’t have power so when it got dark out we spent most of the night eating and chatting over one small lamp. It was a lot of fun though and it really helped us see the day to day lives of the people here. 

I got to spend some time up at the little kids home on Wednesday. The moment that you walk through the gate you are swarmed with kids who all want hugs and love and attention. There have been literal fist fights over who gets to hold my hands and it is so heartbreaking that these kids have been so neglected that any little bit of love that myself and the other volunteers and staff can give is soaked up so quickly!  The older girls play hopscotch in the yard and the little ones made a long row of chairs and played “train” for quite a while.  A few of the kids were playing some sort of game with a ball but on closer inspection the “ball” they were playing with was plastic bags wrapped with tape. 

I also got to go up to the youth center and see the kids there which always makes me happy. The girls there always want to talk about making babies. Ha the first question they asked me when they met me was “how many children would you like to produce?”. I told them that my mom has only “produced” two children and they were SHOCKED! It is just so counter-culture here to not make as many children as you can. 

There are so many things I love about the culture here and there are many things I miss about home. We have this saying with our boda guys called “American time” which means within 15 minutes of said time. “Africa time” generally means that a person will show up within 2 hours of said time and probably not call to mention that they are running a bit late:) So if our boda man is late we say he is just running on African Time. All in all my general conclusion is that we could all learn a lot from each other and the idea of a “perfect” culture is just a myth. One thing I love most is the worship here. It is incredible and alive and vibrant and just such a rich experience. There are drums and dancing and this is just at work at 10am during staff devotions! At our church we sign many western songs that I recognize but we also sing some in Luganda. We have a guitar and drums like any American church, but also bongos and a choir that dances. 

I have been reading through Ezekiel this week, and I especially loved chapters 34-36 where God is saying that He will come and be our shepherd and that he will find all the stray sheep and bring them back to Him and He will give them food and shelter and take care of them. Working with street kids this is such a beautiful metaphor because they are like the sheep who have wandered away, who are lost and God promises to restore them (and all of us) to Himself. 

Thank you all so much for the prayers, the e-mails, the FB messages they are such encouragements to me! Love you all!

Prayer requests/Praises
1)      Thank You Jesus that I am feeling WAY better and that my body is healing from whatever bug I had.
2)      Praise God that we were able to have dinner with Joy and build a relationship there-please pray that would continue
3)       Please pray as we are planning the youth camp for the first week of May!
4)      Also we are traveling this coming weekend to Jinja to Whitewater raft the Nile! Please ask God to bless our time with missionary friends from around Uganda and for safe travel.
5)      Please continue to pray for all the missionaries at work here, they are such incredible people who I have come to love and admire to no end!
6)      In full Ugandan tradition, lets just be thankful for the small stuff that us westerners often overlook-life, beauty, health, friends, clean water, enough food for the day…:)


  1. So glad you're feeling better. That's rough. Just got through praying for you. Looking forward to hearing the next update and "seeing" God's hand at work.
    Love ya!

  2. Way to go with a positive attitude. That is the fragrance of Jesus.