Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hi Mom(s)

Hi Mom(s)

I need to keep this relatively short this week, but I still want to keep up with my weekly updates. First off let me say hi to all of the Moms who are reading this. Got together with the gang from the SW part of Uganda and several of them upon seeing me said, “Hey! My mom is reading your blog and looking at the pictures.” Several meaning more than one. So I just wanted to say Hi to all of the Moms from all of us! We love you and miss you (and keep those care packages coming! It keeps us from that fine line of going insane here sometimes!)


It was great to see everyone in Mbarara. Genia was recently back from a wedding she attended back in the states. We all sat in a room and listened to Stoops for what seemed like hours quote lines from Saturday Night Live. I laughed so hard I cried! Getting together is therapeutic. Sharing problems, experiences and stories. We don’t even have to have anything big planned, just sitting around talking and eating ‘Muzungu food’.


We’re preparing to be audited at Compassion any day now. This is what keeps us doing what we’re supposed to be doing: the fear of being graded. I’ve found that they had been forging some of the home visits before I arrived only to pass the audits. The home visits, in my opinion, are one of the most important aspects of it. This gives us a chance to actually see what the kids’ homes are like. When they come to Compassion once a week, they look nice. They have clean uniforms and haircuts and shined shoes. They all look the same, but when you see their home… different story entirely. You find that they’re struggling every day, eating the small amounts of food they have, living off of poor land, renting poor accommodations, needing a kitchen, house for their goats, etc. It’s difficult and strenuous work to spend the entire day in the field, but it allows you to indentify who really is needy and can’t make it on their own.


I biked to Rwanda today. It was about 30 miles there. Didn’t really plan on it, it just happened. Usually I take my GPS when I bike but I’ve loaned it to another PCV to use at his site for a water project. The GPS would have told me how near I was to Rwanda. It was fun biking with my new iPod that Genia brought back with her from America. I couldn’t hear people whistling at me and calling me Muzungu, which I’m convinced is much, much worse here at my site than it is in other villages. When I reached I realized that I didn’t have my passport so I couldn’t cross the border (not that there’s fence around Rwanda but there was a gate at the border). I did eat lunch at the Sky Blue there at the border (we have a Sky Blue in Ntungamo that we eat at several times a week). I also took my new camera and took a lot of pictures. That was kind of my point of traveling in the first place. It’s really fun to travel around here now that I know much more Runyankore/Rukiga. I can actually have conversations with people and I understand what they’re saying. They’re simple conversations: where are you from, where are you going, where do you work, what’s your name. But I know it and just the fact that I know some makes a huge difference. I greet people as I pass and I tell the women who are digging “Webale kuhinga” (thanks for digging) and they just laugh and wave back. It’s fun.


We’re thinking of having Thanksgiving here in Ntungamo. At least for a few people in the southwest. We have good accommodations, power all the time, a nice restaurant, all of the things I’ve been talking about since I arrived, so we’ve been able to con a few of the people who live in the area to come for the feast. We’re going to try to have a turkey, mashed potatoes and whatever else we can come up with. We’re also hoping to throw the football around and maybe even watch some football if they tape delay it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

That’s about it. Health is good. Money is holding out. Running is going well. Kampala marathon is in 3 weeks and biking 60 miles today (in six hours) obviously helped training. By the way Moms, all the kids seemed to be in good spirits and looked healthy…


At 04 April, 2007, Blogger marytranthitho said...

My son just left for about 4 weeks now so we are trying to send him the first care package, have any helpful hint for us?


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