Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back to the Field

We took the Purdue team back to the field yesterday. We have 3 kids who lived very near each other and each of them needed some work done. We spent most of the time leveling the land to build outdoor kitchens for them. The Purdue team paid for some ironsheets to roof the kitchens with. It’s quite amazing what a group of 14 volunteers along with a group of 20 Compassion kids can get accomplished in a couple of hours. The same amount that it would take a single person more than a week to do. The Purdue team worked diligently. They used hoes to move the earth and then machetes to dig holes for the poles to build the kitchens. Along with that they built a couple of outdoor bathing areas using local, available materials as well as drying racks for dishes. We also hauled large timber to be used for construction of the kitchens. It felt like we walked a mile but I’m sure it was closer to ½ kilometer, but it was up the side of a hill/mountain. Wherever we go small crowds of locals follow us, especially kids. It makes for great picture taking. What you do is take a picture of them and then show them the picture. Inevitably when you go to take a picture of one of them, whoever is around tries to sneak slip into the picture and before you know it, what was supposed to be a picture of one turns into 5 then 10 then 20. Today we had the Compassion kids at the center for our Center Day. The Purdue team helped to teach some of the classes and then taught them some new games to play including ‘steal the bacon’, ‘Chinese tag’, and the animal/pillow game, which was always a camp favorite when I was a camp counselor. They did a drama to start out the day. One called the pool which I’ve done a dozen or so times. It’s a great illustration about how some people come to the pool, which is God in this case, and just wash up or wade around for fun, but how the main character wants to and eventually does jump in in an effort to completely surrender to God. It’s a powerful visualization. They did it in church this past Sunday too. Finally, we stopped in to tour a small lemongrass factory where they process lemongrass and make lemongrass candles, soap, foot-soak and tea. The lemongrass candles repel mosquitoes and smell quite a bit better than citronella candles. It’s altogether strange to have these guys here. I still just can’t get my head around it. It’s strange and fantastic. Strange in a good way. “This is Africa” like they say in the movie Blood Diamond, so it’s just out of the ordinary to have 2 of my good friends here along with a team of 12 missionaries from my college church to be hanging around my tiny little African village. They’re going through all the things I and my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers went through in our training. They are picking up the local language and improving their Uganglish (a way of speaking English that infuses English with an African dialect but it makes you feel like you’re talking to a retard because you’re speaking so slowly and deliberately). Also… My cat is pregnant. Should give birth in a week or two.


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