This morning Amy and I set out to do some good ol’ fashioned hand-washing-in-a-tub laundry…our first experience doing that. We felt a little ridiculous having to ask (and re-ask) how exactly to do it. I mean…it’s soap, water, fabric softener, and a line with clothespins…how complicated could it be, right? Either way, we felt quite accomplished after finishing our loads.
After lunch we had a meeting with Bob and Brenda to lay out a game plan for the rest of our time here. It really is amazing how much there is to do here. They are terribly under-staffed and are just in desperate need of man-power. But we basically laid out a list of things that needed to get done and did a little dividing up of responsibilities.
One of my main responsibilities is going to be researching some ways that the school could start some income-generating activities – specifically their “knitting business” that they recently started. Another of my responsibilities is to encourage and talk to the girls about the importance of studying the Bible. I’m trying to help set the stage for what they’re wanting to start at the school next term – small group Bible studies. Exciting stuff! If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that there is a HUGE need for discipleship in this country. There are so many people who believe in and even love God, but so few actually know or study the Bible. So I’m excited to help in kicking off these Bible studies. The rest of the day was really just spent doing things around the compound.
Side note: there was a near tarantula-sized spider hanging out in my room when I got in tonight. Pretty sure I’ll never get used to those.
I love that you never know what each day is going to hold here. I ended up traveling with Bob, Matt, Madame Olivia and “Chief” (both teachers at Kibbuse) to Karagusa where they had some errands to run. Brenda wanted me to have a chance to talk to Olivia about the knitting business that they’re trying to use to generate some income. I was asked to kinda take a look at what they’re doing and offer suggestions for improvement and help determine whether or not it’s even profitable to keep it running. I got to talk to Olivia quite a bit on the ride over and then got to walk with her to a couple of the schools to whom they had sold some sweaters for the students. It’s crazy how very different businesses run in rural Uganda as opposed to the U.S. When people don’t use the internet and don’t use any sort of banking system, it really changes everything. Running a successful business is really difficult here.
On the way to Karagusa the truck started making crazy noises, so they ended up taking it to a little shop in the village where they had to work on it for 3 hoursssss….
So while we were waiting on the car, Matt, Olivia and I walked to a local school where Olivia wanted to do some advertising for their sweater business. On our walk we met up with this girl, named Mandy, from America who is in the Peace Corps and has been living here since February. She is single, in her mid-twenties, and committed to living 27 months by herself in a house with no running water or electricity in a remote Ugandan village. I honestly have no idea how she does it. But she was just awesome and I’m really hoping that Amy and I might be able to hang out with her some…give her some fellow Mizungu company, which she rarely gets.
Matt, Chief, and I also went to the market while waiting on the car to be repaired. We had bought a box of crackers as our lunch and I started handing them out to some of the village children. When I would give one of them a cracker, they would kneel in front of me and bow. I didn’t know what they were doing, but Chief said that they were showing their appreciation and respect by bowing. It was both adorable and really uncomfortable. Gah, I love the kids here.
I had a couple of encounters with what the natives call “mad-men”. They would come up to just yelling and saying things that made no sense…a little unnerving.
We went back to the car repair place and hung out in the gas station for a while then hung out in the back alley (I know…shady) and eventually they finished with the car and we headed back to Nyamarwa. On the way back, I learned the Ugandan National Anthem from Olivia and Chief which was very exciting. I had so much fun getting to know Olivia better today…she is SUCH a joy!
I immediately took a (freezing cold) shower and then we had dinner. The local food is really growing on me…I mean, I’m not gonna lie – I am already excited about having some Blue Coast Burrito when I get home, but I’m really developing a taste for the food here.
I can’t believe I have already been in Uganda for 10 days…which means 1/3 of my time here has already passed. I’m already getting sad about November 29.