Team life has begun to settle into a rhythm in Gulu. We have experienced many traditionally African things… James was the first to become familiar with the Acholi latrine, while Olivia was asked if she would be willing to sell her hair for the local people to make a wig.
Also, the amount of carbohydrates in the meals is significantly more than any of us are used to (although rice and beans are beginning to become one of our favourite things to eat!) Another “food first” is Rolex (not the watch company, as was pointed out to Joe) which are omelettes wrapped in a chapatti, and are possibly the best things on the planet – they are consumed at least once a day!
We have been caught out many a time by the unpredictable storms… you’d have thought the erratic British weather would have prepared us for this, but the Ugandan rainy season has got the better of us! This leads us on to Life Lesson #2: always carry a raincoat in rainy season or you’ll end up looking like this (and having the Ugandan army laughing at you because you are a “silly white person”)…
Although one time that this life lesson may not apply is when you’re at the swimming pool (on your day off of course), but maybe then you could follow James and Kirsty’s logic, “We are already wet, what will a little rain do?!”
Contrary to popular opinion, we have actually started working on our projects. We’ve taken part in Sunday School, teaching the children “Be Bold, Be Strong”. We have also visited Compassion where we attempted to entertain 300 children. In hindsight, British Bulldog was probably not the best game suggestion.
The main bulk of our projects are with Dan and Jody. With Dan, we helped to landscape a new school playground (Kirsty was sadly unable to help with this due to illness but she was assured that it was strenuous, which was confirmed when she saw the state they returned in!). With Jody, we are showing teachers how to make learning resources to assist with the teaching of phonics. On our first trip into schools, we split up – Joe and Olivia went to one school, while James and Kirsty went to another school. We are still perplexed as to how they ended up at the wrong school…
“We arrived at Highland Junior School, met by a crowd of keen teachers. We were getting stuck into teaching resources to the headmaster and around ten teachers when all of a sudden after about an hour we got a phone call from Jodi. She asked if we had arrived at the school, we told her of course we have. To our surprise she told us that we couldn’t have because her colleague Katie was still waiting for us to arrive. Turns out we went to the wrong school and the teachers, clueless as to why two whites had appeared at their school yet not wanting to embarrass us (honour & shame culture etc…) spent an hour listening to us teach them resources before it was revealed they had no idea who we were or why we were at their school. On the plus side thanks to our inspiration the school has decided to join the phonics training programme!” (written by James).
Prayer and Praise Points:
– Prayer for the health of the team, we have all felt uneasy recently, please pray that all health improves.
– Praise that we have started getting into our projects and are really enjoying them!
– Prayer for Gulu University Community Church as they are reaching out to their local community through different events, such as Movie Night.
– Praise for our amazing supervisors, we are so thankful for their uplifting support throughout our first weeks here.