It is day 22 or something or another, and we are in the town of Iganga! It is a pleasant town, smaller than Kampala. We are staying with the delightful family of the Isangas. They are a family of 5. Noah is the dad and insists on us calling him mzee. (moo-zay)... which means the old man. We spend a lot of time with his wife, who cooks for us and their two sons. Their names are David and Sam. Their family is doing really cool things for Uganda. About 10 years ago, the wife started an organization to help the girls in the community. Girls drop out of school here for a number of reasons including lack of funds to pay for school fees, pregnancy, loss of parents due to AIDS, and lack of motivation. So Mama (Noah's wife) started this organization where girls can come here and stay with the Isangas for a year, free of charge and learn practical skills for when they live on their own. They are taught things like cooking, sewing, and growing food. The girls are rediculously awesome. Their ages range from 17 to 22 and there are 31 living at the Isangas. One of the girls wants to be a caterer and another wants to be a nurse. The organization itself is beautiful in the way that it helps the girls. There is so much support from the Isangas and the other girls there. They are in need of many things though, like running water, funds for food and their teacher's salary, soccer balls, and basic healthcare education. Anyways, they are fine with what they have.
It is like camp. Everyday.
AHHH! Its radical.
We sing, we dance, we beat drums, we play soccer (which they own at), we watch Justin Timberlake music videos, we get water together, and we laugh.
Speaking of soccer... the girls at the Isangas, Liz, and I had a soccer game against other girls in Iganga. And they insisted that I play.
First of all, I don't play soccer.
Second of all, I am terrified of large crowds. And so I entered the field as one of the two mzungus (white people) on the premises and they all yelled MZUNGU! There were 300 watching. AHH! Despite that, we played a great game and almost won. :)
As far as Liz and my work here, we travel to one or two villages a day and have about 2 hours with a group of kids. The group of kids ranges from 30 kids to 250 kids. Its been challenging to speak really loud and remain animated so all the kids can see and hear us. Our day program starts with the good ol Hokey Pokey and introduction of high fives. We then sing some songs, talk about Jesus life, death, and resurrection, sin, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and trusting each other, bring out the puppets, and recite John 3:16. At the end, we are priveleged to listen to the songs they know about Jesus. We then play lots of games and have a grand time. The kids are very excited and very attentive.
I've been learning a lot about loving people. Ugandans do it so well here. Since we've been here, we've been treated like kings. They are very humble and value our presence so much. I do not have the creativity to express their love, except that it is the most beautiful picture of Christ's love for us that I've ever seen.
We've been to about 10 villages around the town of Isanga. We'll be here until Saturday, and then we must sadly say goodbye to our new friends.
Other exciting things...
I learned to drive on the left side of the road! And now I drive the van everywhere! The main road is easy as cake, but the village roads are a bit more adventurous. Driving is like playing a video game, only real life and real people. I love it.
We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Isangas today, and they like them! Great success!
We've been learning a bit of Lusoga, their language in this part of the country. Anytime we talk in Lusoga, they freak out and think it is hilarious.
The Isangas are deeply concerned for Liz and my health because we 'eat so little.' They've pulled us aside and asked if we were feeling okay on several occasions. This is what we eat for a typical dinner: a mango each, beans, posho (starchy tasteless bread), tomatoes, green peppers, greens (leaves from the ground), chipati (kind of like tortillas), maize, potatoes, sometimes chicken or beef, and not to mention tea. Last night we had lunch at 6:30pm and dinner at 9:30. We definitely need to eat more.
God has been very generous in His timing and plans for us here. I am excited to see what is in store for the next weeks.