Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving Feast

Marcel’s Orphanage

I visited Marcel’s Orphanage last week as I was in Kampala preparing for the marathon. The orphanage is located outside of our training site at Luweero in a village called Wobulenzi. I hadn’t been since they had purchased new beds with the money that we were able to raise from several people back home. I was so excited by what I had found. They had brand new triple-decker beds in place where before only single beds were. Each bed was neatly made with a mosquito net draped over all 3 bunks. With the money we raised (around $2,000) they were able to purchase 9 beds to sleep 27 kids as well as to increase the side of their outside sitting area and re-roof it. Along with the beds they purchased mattresses, bed sheets, pillows and mosquito nets. Many of the kids rushed up to greet me as I arrived and Marcel was very pleased to show me around. It seems that another group had donated some money and they were also building a new dining room/study hall. They also had 2 new computers and they were using a lawn mower, or at least trying to, to cut the front lawn. It seems like they’ve found some funds from somewhere and are doing quite a bit better than when we first arrived 9 months ago, so praise God for that!

Thanksgiving in Uganda

Several of us got together for Thanksgiving this past weekend and WOW!!! I was impressed!!! Those girls (and some of the guys) put together quite a feast that would shame some American Thanksgiving feasts!! Chicken, meatloaf, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes out the wazoo, fruit salad and pumpkin soup! Someone even brought a meat grinder and a portable oven!! And for dessert there was the most amazing apple crisp and some Chips Ahoy cookies that Aunt Rita sent recently. To be away from home and miss my first Thanksgiving was difficult, though the day (Thursday) seemed to pass quickly and with little fanfare due to the fact that it’s not a holiday here, but spending it with these friends was a fantastic experience. We’ve all been through so much together and have shared such similar experiences, beginning from before we even met for the first time, that ‘preparing for’ the Peace Corps, selling what we had, storing what didn’t sell, saying goodbye to friends, waiting and waiting and waiting for that invitation to arrive and then waiting some more before we get to leave, not to mention 10 weeks of intensive training where everything was new and afresh. I think it was Lonnie who said it best when he said, “It’s tough being away from family over Thanksgiving, there’s no denying that, but I honestly can’t think of a group of people I admire more that I’d rather spend it with!” We really did have a nice time topped off with a game of 4 on 4 touch football on the nearby secondary school’s soccer pitch as the students and villagers gawked to investigate this new game being played by more Muzungus than they had ever seen together in their lives called ‘football’ which is played primarily with hands instead of with the feet.

Grasshoppers invade

Over the past few weeks, THOUSANDS of grasshoppers have ‘sprung to life’ in the area! They’re everywhere! Some days worse than others. They seem to come alive at night and flock to bright lights, where the people catch them and cook them and sell them and eat them! I’ve tried them and they’re not tooooo bad. Don’t know if I’d seek them out or anything but I did have seconds if that tells you anything. It’s funny because you see kids and adults both out, wherever there is a light with a cup or a bag and they’re catching these long green grasshoppers. Akamogo (my cat) is an avid hunter of these grasshoppers. They won’t be around long, I figure. There are 2 Dutch VSOs that live in Ntungamo and they told us that they were UNBEARABLE up at their place. Like the Plague of Grasshoppers, they described it. They had to put paper over every opening of their house and STILL they said they had about 100 of them inside it was so bad…


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