Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Friday - March 19;

Work at the internet cafe went very6 smjoothly today. I( got done early enough that I could shop for the 6 attendance awards I still needed. I decided on some nice face soap. Thyey usually use the same harsh soap for washing themselves as they use for washing dishes and laundry.

Leah made her presentation at Smile Africa so I didn't teach today. In fact, tomorrow at usowa will be my last full class of teachingt. Sunday, I will start teaching half classes and doing "closing ceremonies", i.e. giving of attendance awards, class and individual photos and a treat.

I woke up with Peter's gift to me - a sore throat, so right nhow, I am just hoping I get through the coming week okay.

Taught Leah to play Cribbage tonight. I had fun. I hope she did as well.

Saturday - March 20:

This day has been surreal! I left the house 10 hours ago. The trip which should have taken 1 1/2 hours or so to Busowa took 4 as Peter picked up and then dropped off 2 people in a remote village quite out of the way of our destination. We were on a lot of back roads - at one point the road appeared to be a mere footpath. Anyway, we finally arrived at Busowa LATE but Peter wanted to leave promptly at 4:00 so I cut all of my classes 15 minutes short. We met outside in the church, which was cooler, but the disruption from the children was very difficult to contend with. By the time I got to my 3rd class my voice had disappeared and my sore throat had become MUCH more sore.

Then Peter announced he had a headache like no pain he had ever experienced before, so I was concerned for his driving. We barely had started our journey home when we had a flat tire (with no spare, of course). Fortunately, this happened in Bugiri, a sizeable town and right across from where it could be fixed. By this time my sore throat was paining my ears.

We finallyt got the tire back on to continue with our journey. We drove for maybe 20 minutes when the same tire went flat again. However, now we were in the middle of nowhere (but still on the main road) so Peter opted to continue driving on the flat until it was gone and he was on the rim. Now it started to rain really hard. He ended up using my phone to make several phone calls - he had no minutes on his phone. (I don't know WHAT they did before cell phones.) He finally got it worked out that the True Vine van which was going our way from Kampala would stop and pick me up. This information was obtained from George, a car hire, who was also coming from Kampala and had seen the True Vine van pass him with few people in it. Then Peter also arranged via phone, for his spare tire to be pickedd up in Tororo and driven out to him, via a piki-piki. By then, as we were waiting, the rain had stopped, the sunset was glorioius and there was a big, beautiful, full rainbow.

When I finally got home, Leah had some food waiting for me, so had a quick shower, ate and FELL into bed. Who knows what time poor Peter will finally get home tonight.

SUNDAY - March 21 HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELSEY!! This bug I picked up seems to be going around. I think I got it from Peter last week, but Pastor Ruth was also complaining about thye same thing on Friday and Peter said he ran into others who were also complaining of the same thing. Leah went to True Vine - I stayed home in bed.

Peter took me to Juba very late, to say good-bye, take photos, etc. It didn't turn out aes I planned because of the lateness and because I am feeling unwell and my voice is bad. My throat hurts again, now from using it too much.

MONDAY - March 22: Leah woke up sick this morning. I got up, cleaned up the kitchen, did a bit of cooking and waited for Peter to go to Wikus. My last classes would have been fun, had I felt better and been able to talk. We took photos, gave out treats and attendance awards. I spoke to each class in appreciation. Just when we were finishing there was a downpour with a strong wind. When it let up a bit, we moved across the road for their farewell to me. They sang songs in English, then switched to Japadohla and danced as well with drumming. It was very special. This was followed by speeches and gift giving to me: 2 mats, a bag, eggs, oranges and a huge jackfruit; it was all very generous. I tried to thank them in my croaking, half voice and to express my appreciation for my time with them.

By the time Peter arrived the rain had stopped and we got home with no further incidents.

Tuesday - March 23: I did my usual morning off routine. Cooked my last pot of beans. I waited a long time for Alex. Finallyt, in the middle of a big rain storm, I arrived an hour late at Smile Africa for a farewell to my Tuesday class. They were all gracious and waited for me. They were upset because they found it was my last day (they didn't know) so they had no gifts for me. I told them the love I felt from them and their warm smiles were my gift. I think they were okay with that. My LS student was late as usual BUT turned up. We have not done much studying together, but she was faithful in coming and got her Good News Bible which she badly wanted. It turned out to be a good day.

WEDNESDAY - March 24: I had a miserable night last night. My body did not like the fish I had eaten and I coughed a lot. I woke up feeling miserable so I called True Vine and cancelled out today. I did manage to get our final food shopping done.

It was fairly mild all day todayt - not too hot. The electricity has been off all day so it's good it was a little cooler. I worry about food spoiling in the fridge.

I did a bit of pre-packing sorting today along with setting things up for the last two good-byes.

I feel better tonight. I think it was good for my throat not be talking today. Also, I didn't cough as much and my GI tract finally settled down.

THURSDAY - March 25: This day off had previously been arranged. It rained again today with a bit of a wind, but it has kept the heat down so that is nice. The bad part - no electricity all day.

My next notes will be from home regarding my last good-byes to my classes on Friday and Saturday. I will arrive home on Maundy Thursday and leave for Minnesota on Good Friday. I will be staying with my grand-daughter while my sone, Kent and his wife, Laura, go with H4KI on the April Ugandan trip.

Please pray for safe travels for all. Many thanks and may God bless you.


Friday - March 26: Alex came an hour late to take me to the internet so it was a good thing my report was a bit short and I finished with no complications. I got to Smile Africa a few minutes late and there were all the ladies waiting for me. They greeted me with ululations and many hugs. I was able to get all the photos taken. I think they turned out okay. I gave Ruth the certificate list. I spoke to all of them to say my good-byes tearily and handed out awards. Then came their speeches and gifting. The ladies were so generous to both Leah and me. They had spent MONEY to give us things. It was really all so touching. I will miss these wonderful ladies. But as I told them, I will carry them in my heart. We have enough eggs and bananas to feed an army. They will feed our friends. We received necklaces, an African fabric outfit, dishes, glasses, a pot, yarn doilies, fabric, purses, bags made by the ladies, hankies and, of course, the eggs and bananas. Pretty incredible!!

Timothy brought an oil painting of his family compound that he did for me. Again, it was very generous of him.

Saturday - March 27: WOW!!!! What can I say about today? It was overwhelming. Pastor Peter got me to Busowa 1/2 hour late and nothing was set up, people weren't there and Pastor Charles was at the hospital with his child. So I started by taking individual photos, did class photos, handed out treats, gave awards as people started trickling in. Peter interpreted for me as I said my good-byes. THEN, they took over. I was given a place to sit, they sang and then started presenting their gifts. I couldn't believe the generosity of their gifts: 2 large bags of Irish potatoes, a half (mill size) bag of rice, a washtub full of avocados, a giant papaya, a live goose, several mats, 3 beautiful baskets, several broomws and a beautiful gomas (Ugandan dress). They had not banded together with their gifts but each one gave separately - it was incredible!! Those beautiful, wonderful, generous, loving people. What a blessing!! At one point I just couldn't deal anymore and had to take a break behind covered face and lowered head.

Peter took the food to distribute where needed. He also took mats for use in the various churches. So all of that was good. One thing I noticed - several times it was mentioned that one of the things I brought to them was excitement - unexpected, but I think, probably true, on different levels. I will need much time to process all of these experiences, etc., when I return home.

Sunday - March 28: PALM SUNDAY - my father's birthday - Alex picked me up for church at 9:00. We went to the Church of Uganda, St. Peter's Cathedral (Anglican). I was so looking forward to the music, the joyous Palm Sunday service and especially the Eucharist. I have been without our Lord's body and blood for almost 12 full weeks. I am sorry now I didn't go back to the Alex's church, Sacred Heart Catholic. There was no Eucharist, the singing was not very good except for one man and the service was hardly joyous. However, I wasw moved by Palm Sunday worship starting in this part of the globe and gradually spreading around the world. We are ALL worshipping God and celebrating his Passion, singing and saying "Hosanah to the Son of David - Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. The sermon was pretty good and the service was completed in two hours.

Leah went to Pastor Patrick's church and then was going over to teach them how to cook butternut squash. I entertained myself in a very liesurely fashion the rest of the day. The air has been mild and it feels wonderful.

Monday - March 29: Packing day!! I got all of my stuff organized in the morning so spent the afternoon relaxing. When Leah came home, we decided what should to to Andrew and Frida and I packed that up and cleaned up the kitchen. In the evening Alex helped us load everything and take it to Andrew's. Frida had made a lovely dinner for us, including chicken. The cabbage was particularly good, though a bit difficult eating with fingers. When we left it was raining and here waiting outside was Wandera Robert to say good-bye. He is such a sweet man. I like him so much. I'm sorry True Vine kept him so busy the last 3 weeks so he couldn't come to class. We were sent off on our journey with many hugs and prayers.

Tuesday - March 30: This is the 1st time I am having to write by flashlight. We have been without electricity now for 14 hours.

Leah and I met with Pastor Ruth in the morning for a closing, evaluating conference. It was a 2 hour conference in which we all were honest about our expectations, fulfillments and what to change and/or keep the same for next time.

Alex took Leah and me shopping to the markiet for fabric. Then we took Leah home nd I went to True Vine to say good-byes there and deliver a few things. In the evening, we went for an early dinner at Pastor Ruth's. It was delicious as always.

Got home early but everything is dark. Good-byes are so difficult! I don't do them well.

Wednesday & Thursday - March 31 & April 1: Peter came with George and Andrew to take us to Entebbe to the airport. We stopped in Kamlpala at a handcraft market as Leah had a few items she needed to purchase. We got to the airport about 5:00. It was a tearful leave-taking for all concerned.

After an arduous 32 hours of wakefulness: the trip from Tororo to Entebbe, 8 hours from Entebbe to Amsterdam, 5 hour..s layover in Amsterdam but with a REAL SHOWER, 8 hours from Amsterdam to Chicago, 3 hours from Chicago to McFarland and then church in the evening, my body was extremely appreciative of being in its own bed with its own pillow.

Good Friday I picked up my mail, my sweet puppy-dog, that I had missed so much, and drove for 5 hours to Minnesota to Kent's. Now comes the week-long task of getting over the jet-lag.

Thank you to all of you for your prayers and your thoughts and for sharing with me when able.

Friday, March 19, 2010

WEEK 10: Friday - March 12 (cont'd) I got through the report on the internet with only one little glitch that had to be re-typed, but finished in an hour. The energy expended today seemed enormous, because I fretted for an hour - our driver was that late. Then when I tied to pay for internet time, they didn't have change so had to trudge 2 blocks to "buy something" (re the boss a the internet) so I could get change - then I didn't have time to eat my lunch before my English class arrived raring to go - that class always takes alot of energy, but they are great. By the time I finished my SL class, I was pooped and did not feel like cooking in any way shape or form. We ate out - walked home - about a 45 minute walk, showered and fell into bed. Yeessss!!!!

Saturday - March 13: I don't know how to begin talking about today, except to say we were 1 1/2 hours late getting to Busowa, mainly because the electricity was off. Gasoline stations needed to be on generators. The price of gas has risen dramatically AND Leah came along to make her presentation on health, hygiene and nutrition. The intense part of the day stared when Leah introduce herself, and her Japadola name, Achieng, meaning sunshine. That got my students reved up o ghive me an African name. Thus Leah started her lecture with some difficulties. ll, or most of the Africans I have met, are naturally verbose. This works if you are NOT interpreting. Sometimes they don't really understand that an interpreter is merely a conduit with a special ability. They get carried away and editorialize and elaborate. When it comes to health issues this becomes a major challenge. Unfortunately, today we did not have an interpreter but a pastor who enjoyed himself immensely, by "filling in", often from what I could see of body language, erroneously. With health information this can be dangerous. Fortunately, there were enough people there who understood English, so they asked questions when they heard discrepancies, so the information could be clarified. When Leah finished I was "baptized" by prayer, with my new name, Kyakuwaire, pronounced Chakuwaire in the language of the Lusoga. It means "gift of God". WOW!!! I barely kept myself together. I ha chills and tears AND!! They danced and sang and all those beautiful women gave of themselves. Fortunately, Pastor Peter showed up so there were more formal greetings and speeches so I could be out of the spotlight. As we were getting ready to leave, Pastor Charles, his wife and oldest son presented me with a chicken, live with legs bound. I have been fearing someone gifting me with a live chicken - how to be gracious and voi tucking the future dinner under my arm.. I don't think I was very successful, nut Leah was next to me and took the chicken. It ended up in Pastor Peter's stew pot. What an emotional way. It has made me very fearful of the protracted good-byes. Hopefully, I will be able to figure something out to reduce he angst. The other outstanding this is I have 24 students with perfect attendance thus far.

Sunday - March 14: I went to church with Peter this morning in Paya. We had a flat tire on the way there and the spare had not yet been repaired. As it turned out, we were able to have long, intimate conversation re concerns here with various ministries while we waited for the buda-buda to bring back a tire. Peter preached on the golden calf story from Exodus, mainly regarding Moses' reaction to the idolatry of Aaron and the Isrealites. He related it to our responsibilities when we see flagrant wrongs being done by our fellow believers. Following church we went to Juba. My classes sraggled in but were enthusiastic, especially my Reading class. It is going to be so hard saying good-bye to all of these women. Leah cooked - how nice. What a treat for me!

Monday - March : Peter was over an hour late picking up Leah and me to go to Wikus. He ha been arrested because he had forgotten his permit at home. He is not feeling well. He has a sore throat an he seemed very tired to me. We got half way to Wikus when Peter remembered he was supposed to pick up Srah (his wife) in tororo to take her with us. He didn't have enough minutes left on his phone so he had to use mine to call he. Anyway, Leah's presentation wnet well. Peter interpreted so that worked much better than Saturday. They all leaned at least a few new things to that was good. Had an early evening.

Tuesday - March 16: Today I did my usual morning off routine of personal care, cooking, laundry and a bit of cleaning. Leah took my classes at Smile Africa for her presentation which worked well for me. I had time to give out the pillow case dresses made by women from McFarland Lutheran Church, and take photos AND it gave me time to have a nice long chat with Pastor Ruth. She is an exceptionally wise woman, a strong leader and a good delegator. Leah went to lean how to make chapati and how to butcher a chicken. I wasn't interest in the latter (chickens are not my favorite birds) so I had the evening to myself. It was VERY HOT today. We just had a bit of rain so hopefully it will cool off a bit as the fan is not working, as the electricity went off (of course) so it will be uncomfortable sleeping.

Wednesday - March 17 - St. Patrick's Day: Today makes me think of my Irish friends I met in the Netherlands. I didn't sleep well last night and it was HOT today and very little went right at True Vine. Time to go home, or get some sleep or both.

Thursday - March 18: I ha a conference with Pastor Wilber today. I told him of my observations about adult English problems, especially with writing and my observations in the classrooms. He was very receptive and particularly interest4ed in the teaching of vowel sounds "in the vernacular" as he put it, as a problem rather than the English vowel sounds. Also, he was interested in leaning more about Mwanganza and their teacher training program. He said that teaching the teachers more creative methods of teaching is something he would like to see happen. He said he doesn't want the students to be taught how to pass an exam without really understanding what the answers mean, the concepts. The rest of the day at True Vine was a bit of a bummer but that's okay. I will go back next Wednesday to say good-bye, take photos etc. Andrew (IT) sopped by for a visit so we played a game of Scrabble and he joined us for the dinner I had prepared. I think he enjoyed it - he had 3 huge helpings. Also, we had a bit of rain to cool the air. Thank Goodness. Next week will be my last full week here, so there will be just one more installment of Notes from Uganda. Thank all of you readers for your interest and your prayers. May God keep you in his care.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Field Notes Received 3/4/10

Friday, Feb. 26: I was concerned about electrical power today because it was raining when we left but I got through my internet time with no mishaps which was great.
Considering the weather, I was surprised at my good attendance at both classes at Smile Africa, especially the English class. The classes went well. We added more body parts in English, plus 2 verbs: walking and hopping which ended up with much laughter. There was a short graduation ceremony today for a young girl who cried tears of joy. There are 4 young girls Pastor Ruth has taken under her wing, who were all prostitutes supporting parents and younger siblings. With Ruth's help and assistance from the women's program of Hope 4 Kids, these 4 girls are now off the streets, living in a group home and learning new skills to be able to support themselves. One of the other girls was in tears as well by the time the graduate finished her "testimony". It is pretty wonderful work God is doing here through his willing "tools". Leah was quite upset today for several reasons. A child she has become quite attached to is ill. She is not sure what the illness is. He is running a high fever and has diarrhea. It could be malaria but TB in his stomach is also suspected. Leah is also upset because there are no meds to treat the people who need them. Scabies is common here in the children. She has gone several times and purchased scabies powder to treat the children. She now brings it home each night so that she is assured of having it when she needs it.

Saturday - Feb. 27: Today was my "brick wall". This happens to me at least once each trip. Everything, the poverty, the frustrations, the weather, the sickness, the lack of education, the poor quality of things, the language, the accent, the EVERYTHING, becomes over-whelming. I had a difficult time controlling my feelings on the ride to Busowa; why am I here, what good am I doing, is this where God wants me - all the self-doubt. Perhaps it started this morning because I got up early to cook beans I had put to soak last night, I cooked rice, hard-boiled some eggs and boiled a large pot of water to purify. Okay, the beans burned as did the rice. I could salvage some of the beans but had to dump the rice. ANYWAY, the lovely people of Busowa snapped me out of it. The pastor was thrilled because his son had gotten high enough marks on his Senior 6 exams to qualify for a government scholarship to the university. The one person who showed up for my 3rd class did a great job on her homework and was delighted with my praise. The ladies from my English class left with big smiles and I could hear them outside laughing and repeating some new phrases they had learned. Thank you my heavenly Father.

Sunday - Feb. 28: I went to church with Alex this morning at Sacred Heart. Again, I loved the music. It is something really special. I love liturgy and the liturgical forms. Today when the gospel was announced, it was said "Please stand up and welcome the gospel". I loved it!! What a beautiful thing to say, "welcome the gospel." What followed was a gospel procession from the back of the church led by a woman carrying an open Bible on her head on a "tray" decorated with ribbons and flowers. She was followed by a man carrying something, I don't remember what, and about 4 other people. They proceeded to sing and dance their way to the altar. It reminded me of David dancing before/to the temple. It was wonderful!! Peter was 3 hours late picking me up for Juba, but the ladies were waiting and seemed so enthused and glad I got there. They all want their individual attention to their homework at the end of the class. It was all very heart-warming.

Monday- March 1: Yet, my "thin-skin" and my vulnerability to the circumstances remain. These last few weeks may prove to be the most difficult. We had rain again last night. I woke up with mosquito bites this morning. I guess I will have to sleep with my mosquito net. It would help a bit. I will also respray my clothes and start applying the repellent I brought. I am so glad to be taking the Mefloquin to prevent whatever malaria gets into my system to keep it from multiplying so that it dies. On the way to Wikus this morning, Peter, the driver and Pastor David, a Ugandan, had a conversation about witch doctors and how many of them there still are in the countries of East Africa. They talked about the difficulties of the Christians trying to deal with the people's belief in witch doctors. They said (which I had head in July when I was here from a reliable source) that the witch doctors were encouraging child sacrifice (your own child) in order to gain wealth. They spoke of something I had not heard previously. The witch doctors also say that if a person has any part of a human albino stored in their home, they will gain wealth. So albinos have been killed and dismembered to "spread the wealth." Two Americans from Seaside Church in California are here right now. Leah and I had both met both of them previously. We got invited to dinner which was a real treat: to have conversation with other Americans, hear their stories and share ours, AND dinner was delicious. We ate at TLT. I had a fish curry which was very good.

Tuesday - March 2: My morning off - I cooked. I went to Smile Africa - my English ladies did really well. The day there ended with difficulty. Leah and I were waiting for Alex when one of my LS students showed up, an hour late. She had just returned from the western part of Uganda because her daughter had gotten bit by a dog. The story that followed was so awful. The daughter has a severe wound in her thigh which "smells bad" - is septic. She needs treatment. The mother had come back to Tororo seeking help, to check in with me (class) and her computer class. She was dead on her feet but wanted me to check her homework. Under the circumstances, I couldn't believe she'd even care. I am still trying to figure it all out. After she left, Leah told me she had a meeting with Pastor Ruth today who told her one of their students, a little girl, had fallen over dead there yesterday. How do you process that? What are we supposed to do here? What are we supposed to learn? What next? Leah and I are both stuck with these unanswered questions.

Wednesday - March 3: With the rains upon us, the ants have been leaving their huge ant hills. They fly out and after they are outside their hills, they lose their wings. Thus, on our verandah, we have many wings that need to be swept up each day or they get inside on the rug in the living room. The rains are also playing havoc with my class attendance. The women are all concerned about getting their gardens dug and the seeds in the ground. Leah left this morning to go to Kenya for some R&R. She will return on Sunday. I arranged with Pastor Wilbur today, to get Jaja Andera's house fixed so that it doesn't leak. I then ran into her at the clinic. She was very excited to see me. I was able to tell her thought an interpreter that her house would be fixed.

Thursday - March 4: Agnes was a half hour early to class today. It was good, as we had a long private conversation. She shared much about her life, her philosophy and her thoughts on African culture. We had a good Reading class with all in attendance. The bad news - Rita, one of the leaders who look after the widows, come to find me to tell me that Jaja Ander was admitted to the hospital. She is dehydrated, has continuing bleeding from her nose, asthma and malaria. So I had a conference with the doctor. It will be expensive to have her there. I also must give Rita money for food for the Jaja (grandmother). The hospital does not supply food. So I will need to find more money. No one showed for my English class. I think they are all "digging", as they refer to gardening; trying to get the soil tilled while it is soft from the rain and trying to get the seeds in the ground. I also had a nice conversation with Patrick. I like him. He seems to be a thoughtful, modest man. Today he said, "they call me pastor, but I am not prepared for that (role)." He wants to go to Kenya to study theology and Swahili. The problem is the care of his family, should he try to do that. His father was an Anglican clergyman, who had 12 children. Thus Patrick had to leave school after S2 to switch to trade school so he could start earning money. He is a builder. He oversees construction at True Vine, but also functions as interpreter during worship and leads worship in the villages. Patrick said he (himself) is the only one to follow his father's path. He said he thought there were "cults" developing and some ministries diminishing because the "pastors" don't have enough education and are relying only on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Discernment then becomes an important issue. He asked for my prayers. I am forwarding that request to all of you. Thank you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Field Notes Received 2/19/10


Friday, Feb. 12: I went to the Internet Cafe today instead of TLT. It was great! It only took me 1 1/2 hours and was much less expensive but best of all, everything went smoothly! So I had some extra time before class. I went to Smile Africa Women's Center and bought 15 necklaces to take home for 36,000 UGX or roughly, $18.00. These necklaces take hours to make because the ladies make the beads first from rolled paper. I had a short visit with Pastor Ruth's mother.

Afterward, I went to Smile Africa in Beeson and had a nice long chat with Janet. Actually, she shared her history around HIV with me and said she should make a testimony about it. Perhaps, when my son, Kent, comes in April, he can bring his video camera for an interview / testimony with Janet.

We made Valentines in both classes. I had four people make Valentines for me. It was so nice.

We three (Kathy, Leah and I) were invited to Pastor Ruth's for dinner along with Andrew (IT) and a friend of Ruth's from the Salvation Army from Jinja, Ezra. We had those wonderful samosas and a crispy-on-the-outside chapati, chicken and rice with eggplant and a sauce. We also had pineapple, watermelon and bananas for dessert. We took along a large pineapple as a hostess gift. We got home about 8:00.

Sat - Feb. 13: I got up early = cooked beans and rice and boiled water for purity. My ride to Busowa came early so went to town to do a bit of shopping, then a long, slow, HOT drive to Busowa. As Pastor Peter had to go to Kisimu, Kenya, he sent a driver, Peter also, to take me. This Peter was telling me how difficult it is for this small group of Christians in Busowa as they are surrounded by Muslims who do not want them there. Pastor Peter has said many times how much he wants to help the people in Busowa because they are trying so hard and are doing so many good things. Hope 4 Kids dug the village a well, which is shared by all, Muslims and Christians alike.

We made Valentines. I was given a papaya and a huge bag of sweet potatoes as thank you gifts plus I received another Valentine. There is only one sticking point: they keep making food for me that I am to eat before I leave. I told Pastor Peter this poses a problem for me re gastro-intestinal reactions and he said he would take care of it. Well - without him there today, it again was an issue. Obviously, he did not make this point clear. I feel so bad turning them down as they are just being hospitable and showing their gratitude but I have experienced too many ill effects on previous trips to risk it. I have several weeks left before I leave and I don't want to be having health issues the whole time. This is such a hard thing to try to explain.

Kathy wanted to eat out so though I had done much prep already, we walked to the Rock. Leah and I had fish which was good. Kathy had spaghetti. This time we were smart and brought flash lights so we could see to walk home in the dark -no street lights.

Sunday - Feb. 14 - St. Valentine's Day - Last night I forgot to tell you of something very important. Pastor Charles at Busowa told me of a plan his small congregation has come up with for micro-loans. They are pooling what little money they can spare. He is recording the contributions of each. They want to save until they have 30,000 UGX ($15.00). He thinks they will have this amount by the end of March. Their plan is to then take applications for business ideas from their members. They will then vote on who will receive the first loan to start a small business. When the loan has been repaid, they will then make another loan to someone else, and/or people will continue to pool their money. I understand why Peter is so excited about this group and their leadership. They are not waiting for the muzungu (whites) to step in and "save" them, they are taking steps to help themselves. They are trusting in God and each other. It is beautiful to see.

I went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Alex today. It was wonderful! The music was spectacular - lovely, harmonic singing and some drumming with minimal electronic keyboard. They sang in various languages including English, which I could understand, so I could sing along. I could also join in with many of the responses. They sang a lovely version of the Creed and they had Eucharist - what a joy! They announced Imposition of Ashes on Wednesday so Alex said he would find out what time the service would be so I will be able to observe Ash Wednesday corporately.

On arrival at home, I hurried through a quick lunch and then waited for 2 hours trying to reach Peter. He called me at 2:15 saying he would not be coming. He returned from Kisimu last night but was involved in some kind of crisis today - he had been praying all day. Either he or Peter (driver) will pick me up tomorrow for Wikus. So I had a very leisurely day - cleaned the gift papaya, did a little cooking and read Leah's cookbook. It has been stifling hot all day.

Leah and Kathy went out to Aquari's compound. Kathy went hiking to find some monkeys and Leah "mudded" the hut being built out there for H4K. They also took some food out for Wazemba. Apparently, she is in a bad way with no one to help her as both Janet and her sister are currently living in Tororo. Leah has plans for next Saturday (Kathy's farewell party out there) to bring her a clean dress, bathe her and try to do a bit of laundry. The concern is her family will come and steal her food that we are giving her. She can't walk so I don't know what she is doing for water and firewood for cooking.

Monday - Feb. 15: Started the day slowly (both Leah and I did) waiting for our rides. True Vine forgot Leah so at noon she went to Smile Africa. Peter (driver) arrived about the same time Leah left. We picked up Sarah, Pastor Peter's wife, in town to give her a ride home to Paya, near Wikus where we were going. I gave Pastor his Valentine and gave Sarah a large bag of sweet potatoes which she was happy to get. The drive to Wikus is a dirt road with bad pot-holes and vey narrow with barely a shoulder. The road has a variety of traffic: motorcycles, bicycles, cars, vans, trucks and pedestrians all trying to use the middle of the the road. So, as we are driving Peter is constantly beeping his horn to tell others to move over. This works pretty well until he has to go between motorcycles and bicycles OR meets on-coming traffic bigger than we are, as no one really slows down - they just swerve a bit to the side. I forgot to mention there are also cows and goats using the road.

One of the mothers in my last class today had 2 sick children with her. A little girl had a fever and the boy she was holding had large blisters all over 1 leg, with a few on the other leg and it looked like some were forming on his back. I had to stop for a minute so I didn't burst into tears and then told the mother I would try to bring a nurse with me next Monday. Another mother had a small boy with her who seemed very tired. I was afraid he would fall off the bench and hurt himself on the concrete floor. He would talk to himself, then his eyes would close, his head would sag and then he would jerk and talk to himself again.

On the edge of Tororo, returning home, we got a flat tire. The spare Peter put on had a 10 inch long loos piece of tread, about the width of the tire. Fortunately, he got me to my drive and I walked home from there. I don't know what happened to Peter and the car after that.

Leah talked about her experience at Smile Africa today. It was "fruit day" when the kids receive a banana - once a week. She said the reaction of the children when the van came with the bananas brought tears to her eyes. The kids were as excited about getting a banana as our children are at Christmas when they have received just what they wanted.

Tuesday - Feb. 16 - Roy's Birthday (my late husband): I have a friendly gecko sharing my room with me. I've also had 2 GIANT cockroaches in my bathroom. THEY are not welcome and have been disposed of.

We had a lovely cooling rain this morning. My English class at Smile today had requested learning body parts so they 16 new words today - 4 members of the family and 12 body parts.

Alice Joyce came for the LS class and we proceeded to new material. She is a very bright woman and is taking a computer class which she is excited about. She would like a Good News Bible. Perhaps I will give her the one I brought. We'll see.

We went to dinner at a new Indian restaurant. It is a tiny building, in back of the Shell station, that recently opened. The food was excellent. I was a bit leery at first - hopefully all will be well with my GI tract. If all turns out fine, it is a treasure. We ate under the trees and dinner only took about 2 hours so that wasn't bad. A long-term missionary, age 68, from Albany, NY, who has been working at Smile Africa took us in her car and returned us home as she lives on our road. She is a very entertaining conversationalist, so it was a great evening. It will be so nice to sleep comfortably tonight.

Wednesday - Feb. 17 - ASH WEDNESDAY: This was to be my day of contemplation and solitude ending with Imposition of Ashes at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Though I did have an easy, relaxing day, none of it turned out as planned. The big disappointment was I lost my ride to church.

Thursday - Feb. 18: I have been watching the most spectacular lightning display behind the clouds on the horizon. It was like watching the aurora borealis in winter or stage effects behind a scrim.

I went back to True Vine today and observed a P2 class. I will come up with something to bring to a lesson for them - possibly creating words like I do with my adult Reading classes.

Mary returned to my Reading class today. Pastor Godfrey said she showed up yesterday because she didn't know I wouldn't be there. He seemed surprised she returned today. I was glad she did.

Also, Samuel (LS class) was back from Kenya, but will be gone again next week. Two of my students wrote essays for me; the others promised one next week. I will also put together a "test" for next week going over what we have covered so far. We did prepositions today.

In planning for my Friday Smile classes, it has become a bit difficult. I don't know quite what direction to go and/or what material to cover so that all the students are challenged and they are all learning what they wish to. I assigned homework which was to figure out a personal weekly budget. We'll see what the results are tomorrow. Maybe I will just have to back off from that tack.

There are 2 going-away parties planned for Kathy tomorrow - one at True Vine at 1:00 and one at Smile at 3:30. It will be interesting to see what happens with such close scheduling.

Please keep all of us here in your prayers as we keep you in our prayers. God bless you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

NOTES FROM UGANDA - Week 5 Friday -

Feb. 5: What a trial to get last week's Notes sent. I was really upset because it cost me an extra 3000 UGX for an hour of which I had 53 minutes left. I kept losing what I had written and when I tried to save it, I would get kicked out. O well - such is life or as Tom Eggum (H4K Director) says TIA - this is Africa. We figured money out tonight and I went over budget again. the $25 in gas each week to go out to the villages is tough, plus what I spend on school supplies and the reading glasses I purchased for the ladies who needed them. Transport is the big item. we are doing well regarding food. It would be less if I took a piki- piki but I am concerned about safety. The roads are bad, and the driving is crazy. The ladies in my LS class today are mostly women with small businesses. Pastor Ruth wanted me to help them make improvements with record-keeping, etc. So today we talked about Rukia's business of selling charcoal. We talked about overhead, the selling price the market would bear and a weekly budget of her personal needs. A personal budget was new for all of them so I asked them to figure out their own personal budgets as art of their homework. It will be interesting to see the results. After class Rukia showed me the account book she keeps for her customers. She is very meticulous with each customer's name, dates of transactions, cash, credit and balance due. If any of the other ladies wishes to do something similar, she said she would be glad to help, which is good because it is all way beyond my expertise. I was also thinking of doing some role-play scenarios for meeting and selling to the teams (muzungus - whites) that come. We are also working on spelling and will work a bit on sentence structure. We had another major rainstorm today. It was difficult driving home with much standing water in the roadway. It made it difficult to see the pot holes and to meet oncoming traffic.

Sat - Feb. 6: Kathy and Leach went to Sipi Falls today up to MBale where the mountains are. It is beautiful up there. On other visits here I have been to two different villages in that area, on being Bhupotu. I am envious BUT I go to Busowa today to teach. My English class went well with a full complement of students. My Reading class was not so good. I don't seem to be getting through to the students regarding the sounds of letters, NOT names. I had one student most of the class period - it just wasn't working - the other came at the end of the class. I spent just a bit of time with her as I had others waiting for the next class. I am moving 3 of the LS students to the Reading class after reading their essays, so I will be left with 3 in the LS class which is fine. I think it will work. The only "iffy" thing is that one student is a man who is very verbal and 2 are very soft-spoken women. I had given Peter the T-shirts and socks I had from donors at McFarland Lutheran. He distributed these in Busowa to people who were very happy to receive thee clothes. On the way home, Peter and I had an interesting discussion about the Amish and the Mormons. He wants me to find a book about these groups when I get home to send back to him. I told him I would try. I am developing quite a long "Peter" list of things for Kent to bring when he and his wife, Laura, come with the H4K team in April.

Sun - Feb. 7: Peter picked us up about 9:30 for church in the Juba area. It was Pastor David's church but Peter preached. Peter gives a good sermon and is very comfortable dramatizing/miming the Bible stories he uses to illustrate the points of his sermon. It was so nice to be in a more intimate setting without a sound system. Both Leah and Kathy stayed to teach my classes about pure drinking water, personal hygiene, compound hygiene and nutrition. People were very interested, had comments and asked questions all through an interpreter. I was able to make announcements regarding my classes for next week. Some people were disturbed who had done their homework and I didn't look at it, but I think they were okay to bring it next week. We went to Town Lodge Tororo (TLT) for dinner. I got my protein fix which I needed badly as I was quite woozy the last couple of days which is now all gone. At the hotel we met Pastor Ruth's pastor who insisted upon introducing us to his bishop and party. I was embarrassed as I failed to recognize him, but when he had called Kathy and I forward last Sunday, I had not really looked at him. Also, we met a Canadian man who was with World Wide Church of God, first time in Africa, traveling alone, after his mission team had returned home. I admire his "chutzpah" for traveling on his own to remote locations. He was planning on visiting refugee camps in Uganda and Kenya. The wonderful thing is, once one begins a journey like this, one meets so many committed people venturing out, trying to do the work they feel God has called them to do.

Mon - Feb 8: Cautiously, I will say the rains have begun. We had rain again last night. We have sunrise about 7:00 and sunset about 7"00. As we are close to the equator, these times are quite the same all year round. Electricity is a problem. In drought, the electricity is rationed BUT there are power outages every time it rains. No one has explained why to me, but it is a sonstand occurrence when it rains. I went with Peter to Wikus. The youth at my church, McFarland Lutheran, had made small yarn and cloth dolls for me to bring along to Africa. This morning we got an early enough start that I took them out to Wikus to distribute. The kids were so cute. One little girl had her hands full with a paper pad, a pencil, her photo of the young person who had made the doll AND the doll. The doll had a shawl/scarf on, that was coming off and the poor little girl was very seriously struggling to fix the doll and hand on to everything else. She was just a wee mite of a thing. I helped her dress the doll and she went happily on her way. If you will recall, the drummer from Peter's school in Juba is sitting in jail awaiting trial for a murder he did not commit. His baby from the birth that killed his wife, died this morning. Of his remaining children, the oldest is only 10. Please remember this man and his children in your prayers.

Tues - Feb 9: This is my morning off of the week. I cleaned up the kitchen and did some pleasure reading. As this coming Sunday is Valentine's Day, I decided to teach only 1/2 classes this week and use the other 1/2 of each class period for making Valentines. At first reading, this may seem a bit absurd BUT from my first class's reaction today, it was a good idea. The ladies were very excited about making a special card to give to someone they love, telling them so in the card. It was GOOD. They left with smiling faces.

Wed - Feb. 10: I went and observed for the first time today at True Vine School. I observed in P3, P4, P5 and P6. My thinking about the teaching going on here was confirmed. There are no visual aids of any sort, no practical examples. Everything is written on the blackboard (very sophisticated information) and copied by the students into their individual notebooks. While the teacher is lecturing there are key words and/or phrases he/she wants the children to learn which he will keep repeating and and they parrot back. The P3 teacher was teaching her class how to alphabetize a word list. I thought she actually did the best job. She had over 55 students. The smallest class I was in, was 45. Not alot of individual attention is possible. Also, the teacher walks around with a switch and corporal punishment is applied at the teacher's whim for misbehaviors. I observed a P4 social studies class which was about the various roles of members of the family. The children struggled to read what they had written in their notebooks to ask and answer the questions the teacher had written on the board. In P5, they were studying longitude and latitude with very confusing information and sophisticated words I doubt they understood. There was alot of talk about the Greenwich Meridian and hemispheres. I am going back tomorrow to teach. I will report tomorrow. The Pt class was ending a geography lesson with a hand-drawn map of Africa on the blackboard with chalk with all of the countries AND a hand-drawn map of East Africa showing topographical features with a key. The work the teacher put into this lesson was prodigious BUT I'm not sure how much really reached the kids. This was followed by a science lesson on sound, again very sophisticated terms and concepts with confusing illustrations being offered. My classes went well though I missed one of my students in Literacy Skills. However, I was told there was a funeral. Kathy assisted with eye surgeries today at Smile Africa. She was very excited about her experience.

Thurs. - Feb. 11: I tramped all over True Vine compound today, going to both schools, the office, the clinic, the computer lab and back again and it was SOOOO HOT. The rains have not really begun. The teacher of the P3 class wanted me to teach music, particularly solfeggio (singing using the Italian names for the notes of the scale). So I used a basic major scale and spoke a little about pitch, dynamics and chords, illustrating all with the help of the class. I planned on using the "Do, Re, Mi" song from the Sound of Music. I explained what I wanted them to do and what I would do. As we started t sing, to my surprise, they knew the whole song. Obviously, their teacher had used the same idea. We sang a major tonic chord and did a little with piano and forte and sang patterns of using the syllables of a major scale. WE had a good time. One of the boys I sponsor was in the class. Next I went to P4 and read a story, asking questions afterward to gauge their comprehension. (This had been what the teacher had requested.) The class was good with the facts of the story but when I asked "why" (think for yourself) questions, they had difficulty. I don't think they are very often asked to reason for themselves. Please understand, what is written for them every day on the board, which they copy into their notebooks is very sophisticated BUT their understanding of the material is questionable. Also, there are children of varying ages in each grade level. They are not promoted automatically by age and there appears to be no stigma attached to this lack of promotion. Next, I did a demonstration of hemispheres with a borrowed soccer ball, signs I made and children holding the signs. After the meaning of "hemisphere" was established, we talked about the sun being static and the earth moving. I had a boy be the sun and 2 girls back-to-back being the eastern and eastern hemispheres of earth traveling around the sun, so they could visualize that when Uganda (EH) has daylight, the USA (WH) has darkness. Anyway, it was a short demo that seemed to aid some understanding. I tried very hard not to step on the teacher's toes and to constantly refer to what he had taught them during the demo. What I hope is, teaching using methods other than writing on the board, will ignite the imaginations of the teachers to try some new methods themselves. Then I taught 3 adult classes. We used part of the time in each class to make Valentines. It was a nice break and gave the students an opportunity to to make a small token of love to give to someone they care about.

More next week. God bless you all and HAPPY ST. VALENTINE'S DAY.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Field Notes, Received 2/4/10

Week 4 Friday - January 29: Classes went well - came home, cooked and prepared for tomorrow. Kathy had an exceptional day helping to prepare for the Introduction. She and Leah will both have lovely stories to tell.

Sat - Jan. 30: Kathy and Leah left this morning for True Vine to receive help in getting dressed in the gomases they had borrowed. They got home from the affair at 8:00 p.m. having had a lovely time. I cooked beans this morning while waiting for Peter. He arrived an hour late with yet another story of car woes. I met my Busowa classes today for the first lessons. It was a bit of a challenge because we were in their wall-less church so we constantly had a large audience. I managed to get the uninvolved adults to stay away but the children were something else. These ladies who are struggling to learn new words and phrases, stumbling in pronunciation, become very shy under the scrutiny of an audience. It is definitely a hindrance to learning. The best part of the day was rocking a baby to sleep while the child's mother wrote her personal story essay. The next best part was the beautiful full moon tonight.

Sun - Jan. 31: Last night I forgot to mention when I left Busowa yesterday, one of my students gave me 2 eggs as a thank you. I know it is important to allow people to show their appreciation by gifting me but it is so hard to accept when they have so little. Kathy and I went to Tororo Pentacostal Church this morning. This is Pastor Ruth's church. The whole atmosphere was a bit more sedte than True Vine. The preacher was very good - he spoke about "what God each of us worships." Kathy and Leah went out to the bush to Janet and Aquari's compound. Pastor Peter picked me up for Juba. I am seeing one woman alone. I have great hopes for her. I think she is very bright and she seems motivated. She speaks English very well which she learned working as a house girl. She has never been to school and does not know how to read and write. However, she was able to say/read the ABC's. I asked her how she learned them and she said she listened to the children. The english (ESL) class again was fun. There is so much laughing and clapping. I have determined that my LS class is not able to be an LS class after reading their essays. Some students' spoken English is really very good, but their writing is very poor and their reading skills so-so. So my plan is to start with phonics. We will work on the sounds of the letters, make words by adding letters at the beginning or ending of letter combinations, such as __at, __in, __up, etc. If they can learn to sound out the words they should be able to improve their reading and basic writing. Of course, there is at least one student who comes to me after each class and says, "I want to learn to read and write" and I explain again that this is where we start, that this will put them on the right path. I think THEY think I can wave a magic wand and make it all happen right away. I wish it were so simple. One last tidbit - I was ready to return home when Peter said he had a flat - the never-ending car problem saga. All one can do is shake one's head and laugh!

Mon - Feb 1: We had a long, hot, dusty ride to Wikus. We had first lessons today in all classes. My son, Kent, has offered to make Certificates of Completion for each of my students. He will ring them when the H4K team comes in April. I will leave a list of students with each leader. The last week of classes I will have class photos taken and then when I get home I will have copies made for all those who lasted until the end. So other than whatever knowledge and skills the students have gained, they will also have a photo and "diploma'. We have been having regular power outages. The rains have not yet begun so the Nile is low. All the power for the whole country comes from a hydro-electric plant on the Nile in Jinja. When the water gets too low, they start rationing the power. I don't know if that is what is happening now, but the power went off again first thing this morning which means no fan.

Tues. - Feb. 2: Oh, the day was hot - even the Ugandans are complaining. Everything is so dry and dusty. If there is a bit of a breeze, it blows the red dust around to cover everything and makes the air thick. Yesterday, after our long drive, Pastor Peter told me, my hair looked pink - the red dust. I was at Smile Africa today. My English class ladies are so much fun. We laugh with each other and at ourselves and at each other. They seem to be retaining (some vocabulary/phrases) and we add something new each class. Today we tried a "you are welcome" response to follow a "thank you". It took a while for the concept to sink in. By the time they left, I think about 1/2 of them understood, but we will keep working at it.

Wed. Feb3: Leah and I went to True Vine. I bought 3 pair of reading glasses for my students who need them. Leah and I have been talking about her coming to my classes as a guest lecturer on health issues. I will speak to Peter and get his reaction. A new thing happened today. On the way home from True Vine, we ran out of gas so I had to shell out money for gas and a "piki-piki" (motorcycle) ride. The driver came back with one large (1.5 liter) plastic water bottle and 2 smaller ones filled with gasoline which he set on the seat while he opened the gas cap. After emptying the bottles he took me home. This was a typical Ugandan solution to the problem. My True Vine LS class is speeding along. I didn't have enough prepared today so I had to "wing it" a bit. Hopefully, I have prepared enough for tomorrow. We will study punctuation. I don't want to bore my classes by repeating the same material. On the other hand, I don't want to move on to new material until I am sure they understand what has already been presented. I wonder just how much our (theirs and mine) accents are getting in the way of understanding.

Thurs. Feb. 4: Some good news to start the day - Kathy has given the money for the surgery for the little boy with the protruding lower intestine. The date has not yet been set for the surgery but it might happen before she leaves the end of February. Sylvester from True Vine, picked me up this morning. He initiated a discussion about Muslims, asking if we had any in the US. I said we did and their numbers appeared to be growing. He expressed his sadness that, at least here in Uganda, the Muslims are antagonistic to the Christians. However, he said that he believed God would change their hearts and he has seen many conversions. In fact, his neighbor, a local leader of the Muslims, who expressed very strong views has become a Christian. Sylvester said when he learned this he was shocked and could hardly believe it, but he gave the Holy Spirit praise and thanks. After my first class, Reading, one of my students returned to tell me she could no longer come. As she told me why, it became a familiar story. Her husband, who is an unbeliever, kicked her out. He doesn't have a job and becomes abusive when he drinks. She has 4 boys, the oldest is 12 and the youngest, 5. She had been living in a rental but can no longer afford it. She can't pay school fees and has no money coming in. She needs to take her children to her mother in the village and then look for work. She is a soft spoken, lovely, young woman who was really trying hard in my class. I was pleased with her progress so I am very sorry to see her leave. I told her I would pray for her and she was welcome back anytime. During my English class we had a huge thunderstorm. This got scary because the roof leaks and big puddles formed on the floor around the electrical equipment for the computers. If you will recall, I teach in the building that is the computer lab. What a mess! The rain sounded so loud on the tin-sheeted roof we could hardly hear each other even though we were sitting right next to each other, but the ladies struggled valiantly on, not wanting to waste the time in which they had come to learn. One of the ladies does not have much use of her legs - she crawls into class wearing her flip-flops on her hands. She has a tricycle she pedals with her hands to move herself about outside. it was heart-warming to see her classmates carry her outside to her trike so that she didn't have to crawls through a puddle on the floor from the leak in the roof. Then my last class of today - it has dwindled in size but what a joy the remaining students are. We get along quite well with our accents. They are very attentive and interested and ask questions. It is fund working with them! We are working mostly with grammar which can be pretty dry stuff, but I enjoy it and they are doing well. Again, it is such fun! The rain was very welcomed even though we had laundry on the line. It settled the dust down and cooled the air. It will be comfortable sleeping tonight. I am sending this before I lose it again!! Bye til next week.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Field Notes Received 1/29/10

Notes from Uganda - Week 3

Today I met my Smile Africa I classes. The English class was first and ladies started arriving at 1:30 for a 2:00 class. They told me proudly they were "keeping good time." When Janet arrived, she was my interpreter to begin the class to state the basic rules and though they gasped when she told them the rule "English only" in my classroom, they all stayed - they all tried, we all laughed and clapped and had a good time. I am anxious to meet them next week to see how much they have retained.

The Smile Africa I Literacy Skills class is going to be a bit more difficult. There are a couple of ladies who need the basic skills writing and others who are more advanced. They are interested in learning record-keeping for their businesses. HELP!!!! This is not my area of expertise, but I will give it some thought and see if I can help a bit.

(Back to English) There are 3 ladies who have some difficulty with pronunciation but they persisted and got lots of encouragement from their classmates. I hope they don't get discouraged and not return.

Following my second class, Janet came to me and said she thought the method I was using to each English was a good one because already the ladies are speaking some English words AND they greeted her in English.

Alex, the driver helped me shop on the way home as Kathy and I are trying to prepare a surprise birthday party for Leah Monday evening. As I will be out of town the next 3 days with Pastor Peter, I needed to get some shopping done today. Hope we can make it happen.
Saturday - I tried to make arrangements last night with Peter for pick up this morning. He was having car trouble. He had his car at the mechanic and couldn't get home. The problems continued this morning. He finally picked me up in an old, dirty vehicle which Elizabeth said was "the oldest car in Tororo" - maybe in all of Uganda. Then to town for many errands which took a very long time because every 10 steps Peter took, he met someone he knew and had to chat with. From there he went to Juba to deliver some money and pick up someone to take to town - back to town to have a tire changed, drop off Methusaleh and finally we were on our way with a jerk and a snort and a grind! We had an hour's drive ahead to Busowa at 50 k per hour. We went "pole-pole", Swahili for slowly, slowly. I had agreed to help with gas for the outreaches with Peter. However, this was 30,000UGX ($15.00) and Monday will be 20,000UGX ($10.00) which comes to $25.00 a week for those 2 days alone, roughly $250.00 for the time I am here. This my budget will not allow. I just do not have enough money. Something will have to be worked out - the money has to come from somewhere or these people will not be served.

The church at Busowa is a thatch roof full of holes set on poles with no walls. We were warmly welcomed and then began my evaluation/registration process. We will have 3 classes here as we do at True Vine. I hope it works. They fed us dinner before we left. I ate some cooked cabbage with a little carrot and a sweet potato - not very sweet and very mealy. We got back to Tororo after dark.
On the way Peter told me about his helper (the drummer at the nursery school graduation in Juba) who is wrongly in jail for murder. A man driving a motorcycle hit and killed a girl who lived in Juba. Her father sought revenge by killing the motorcyclist - cutting him in two. When the police came to investigate, people in Juba (Muslim Sudanese) who don't like Pentacostals which the drummer is, told the police the drummer had helped the father slay the motorcyclist. So he is in jail. He will have a trial soon but no one can help him as it will cost any witness for him about $1,000 to testify (bribery). The man is a widower whose wife died recently in childbirth, so he has a newborn and 4 other children. Fortunately, his fellow church members reaching out to help care for the children including buying milk for the baby.

There is a never-ending stream of tragic stories and great need.

SUNDAY - I woke in a panic this morning - feeling overwhelmed by the need to find money, come up with lessons and make our food last. We have not yet been here two full weeks. Also I woke up with "the runs" probably from eating the food in the village, which we ate with our fingers, by the way. After working on a budget and schedule, I feel more confident about personal things. Now it is only lesson preparation I need to plan for. The following is my schedule for the week:
Monday - Kingdom Preparation Center (KPC) at WikusTuesday - Smile Africa 2Wednesday & Thursday - True Vine: 9:00 nursery, 9:30 lower primary, 10:00 Adult Reading, 11:10 upper primary, 11:45 to 2:00 lunch and preparation, 2:00 adult ESL (English as a second language), 3:15 adult Literacy Skills (reading and writing).Friday - Smile Africa , ESL and Literacy Skills with different objectives than my other LS classes.Saturday - KPC at BusowaSunday - church and KPC at Juba Next time, if I do this again, I would schedule differently. I plan to write an evaluation to include input from the 3 leaders,Peter, Wilber and Ruth, at the end of my time here. Perhaps it might help Hope 4 Kids make decisions about further service here in adult education. It was a long hot day and I am exhausted - having difficulty thinking straight.
MONDAY - Today was a long day. I started by cooking a huge pot of rice and a pot of pumpkin. It is Leah's birthday so Kathy and I had a surprise party for her. We fed over 30 people. I can't believe it. We also had fried potatoes, tomatoes and avocados and Pastor Ruth brought her famous samosas - a deep fried filled dough. The filling is spices, meat, carrots and rice. They are wonderful but I am sure not too healthy. We also had some chapati and we brought sodas. Pastor Peter picked me up in the morning and we drive a "washboard" road all the way to the village of Wikus where I registered and evaluated a new group of adults. We will have 3 classes there. We got home at 5:00 picking up the soda and Pastor Ruth on the way. We fed Pastor Peter before the party began as he had a long drive home. The house was decorated with signs, balloons and streamers. We had a birthday cake and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. But there were lots of plates that came back to the kitchen filled with brown rice - what a waste! Since the Ugandans usually eat polished rice, I guess they did not like it. A big wast of really healthy food.

I finally got the dishes done and crashed into my bed. Leah was surprised and pleased, so I think it was a very special birthday for her so far from home. It also took care of all of our social obligations in one fell swoop.

TUESDAY - This day did not start well. I woke up feeling dizzy. I spent a quiet morning reading and resting while the Ugandan woman (Silvia) who lives in the compound cleaned the house. Alex came to pick me up at 1:"00. By now my stomach wasn't feeling well. We went to Smile Africa where I had 2 classes to teach. I was there about 15 minutes when I realized I would have to hurry to a bathroom for an "evacuation" emergency. Fortunately, I made it on time but wasn't sure what would happen next. I stayed for my classes and by the time I left at 4:15 I was feeling much better. Obviously, my body did not like something I ingested and when it rid itself of that something, it was happier. I cooked dinner - whole wheat pasta with pesto sauce (both brought from the States), leftover pumpkin (from the party) which had a syrup of sugar, water, butter and cinnamon (from home), fresh pineapple and guacamole with crackers. The guacamole mix also came from home. They have wonderful large avocados here. We always drink bottled water with our meals. The sauce/seasoning mixes from home are the packets one finds in our grocery store. I only brought 2 individual spices: oregano and cinnamon. There are Indian spices here as there is a rather large Indian community here in Tororo. These Indians originally came to work on the railroads in the 1800's and now claim Uganda as their native land. They have been here almost as long as the USA has been a country. I spent 4 hours in the evening correcting papers and developing lesson plans. I had a tough time getting to sleep as they kept rumbling around in my head.

WEDNESDAY - My mother had an expression she used when she felt overwhelmed. She would say "my head is so full." Well, right now, my head is full. Today I went to True Vine a 9:30. I had to return 3 borrowed items which took a lot of walking all over the compound and I had 3 classes to teach. I seem to be planning too little for my ESL classes, and too much for my Reading and Literacy Skills classes. The frustrating thing, as always in Africa, is the lack of punctuality. Also, new people keep showing up for classes. As I am sure you know, lessons are built on previous lesson, so trying to bring new people in has become too difficult. I turned away 4 students today for my LS class. On the other hand, 3 people who should have been there, were not. Obviously, continuity is a problem. I added 2 people to the Reading class which was a lot of review today so that worked. Three new people were added to ESL. Tow of them will be okay but the 3rd may struggle.. I got home at 4:15 pooped!! I did some laundry and ironing. Fortunately Kathy and Leah did the cooking tonight so I could work on tomorrow's lesson plans. We had 2 bouts of power outage today - don't know the cause, but this is another frequent occurrence here. When the fans go off the heat is stiffling. I perspire on my cheeks from under my sunglasses. Sun