It is Sunday afternoon here. I'm hanging out in Chey-bando Kay Salo Salo (spelled phonetically) with Julie and Bethany who have so graciously let me use their internet. We just got finished with church after a weekend of orientation in Entebee about 40 minutes outside of Kampala.
Now that work has started I don't get to the internet as much, so for those of you who've written me and not received any response, I apologize. I started work at Dwelling Places (DP) on Wednesday and was quite overwhelmed with new people, new jobs, new kids. So much to try and remember. I was glad it was a short week and I got the weekend to process everything. I'll be working with the Exit Program trying to get kids who have been in the DP system moved out and able to be fully sustainable adults on their own. DP has an apprenticeship program that teaches kids 15+ computer skills, finances, cooking, craft making, tailoring, ect. and then can provide money from a revolving fund to help these kids start businesses when they turn 18. I've been doing a lot of office/administrative work this week and I'm hoping to get on more of a schedule next week where I split my time between the office/the youth center/ and the Transitional Rehabilitation Home (TRH) where the younger kids are. It looks like the first week of May we'll bring in all of our older youth and hold a camp for them so I'll spend lots of time planning that the next few months. I'm really loving DP and the staff there is fantastic-they also take time at 10am for staff devotions and then tea time-which is really a tradition we need to adopt stateside! (African tea is amazing-hot tea+milk+raw sugar=pure bliss)
I move into my flat today. There is a long-termer on home assignment kind enough to let me stay at her place-and it is just about 8 steps across the hall from the missionary couple I've been staying with so the move should be a breeze and it'll be nice to still have other muzungus around when I have questions or just to hang out with. It looks as though I will have a 3 bedroom 2 bath flat all to myself at this point. I live in an area of town called "Najjanankumbi" or "Najja" translated it means "i came with my hoe". I don't know what news has reached the states but there were protests in town Wednesday over the presidental election that involved tear gas-but it was fairly tame and I don't work anywhere near town center-so thankfully it turned out not to cause any major problems. I think tomorrow is going to be declared a public holiday in Kampala-which means no work-but it is so they can re-hold the mayoral elections that went badly last time. So everyone will probably just stay away from city center tomorrow just in case.
I found out at the grocery store the other day that they have ramen noodles here! and for only 10cents American! Ha I probably won't be eating those that much-the fruits and veggies here are AMAZING! so fresh, so much flavor. I will never be able to enjoy a mango or a pineapple stateside again!
I have also started speaking a whole new form of English-they call it Ugandan English. All the older missionaries said I would just start speaking it one day and they were right. I shorten all my words, it sounds little British and instead of saying it's or don't I say It is...or I do not know...everything is very crisp. When I'm around other westerners I lose it again but a majority of the time-especially when talking to nationals I speak in a whole new way (I think it's hilarious) and most muzungus speak like that eventually.
Ummmm, I'm trying to think. I feel like there are a million and one stories and things I could write but that would take hours and the girls probably don't want me stealing their computers all day:) Thank you for all the prayers that have come in already and please continue to pray-not just for me but for all of the missionaries at work around Uganda. I was reminded again in church this morning that God is big and powerful and He has already been working in Kampala before I arrived and that He will continue working out His purpose after we have all left.
1) Praise God that my cold or whatever bug I had is working it's way out of my system!
2) My Lugandan is improving, I'm making friends at work, I got to spend a great weekend with my girls away from the hustle/bustle and smog of the city! I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable here which is great!
3) It looks like we might get to go to Jinja either the last weekend in March or the first in April to white water raft the Nile! So excited.
4) There has been much talk of drought and the rainy season being very delayed here-which is bad for many Ugandans who depend on the rainy season...but it did rain a little bit the last few mornings so we can be thankful for that!
4) Please pray for the elections on Monday that everything would run smoothly and that there would be no violence.
5) Please pray that I feel more comfortable in my role at DP and that I'd be able to make a significant contribution there.
6) Please pray that I would be able to establish close relationships with a few of the youth girls and that I would really be able to come alongside and disciple them while I'm here.
7) Please pray for the Youth Camp that we'll be putting on in May and the hearts of the kids that will be coming!
8) And please just pray that I would be open to what God has for me here-I want to learn, and grow, and try new things and make new friends. Please just pray that I would be a humble servant while I'm here.
Love you all so much! It's hot hot hot here and I'm actually missing 60 and 70 degree days!!
if you want to listen to a great song look up "only you" by Adie. It's my Africa Anthem (besides Toto of course!)