Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Basketball, Coins, Republican Article and Christmas

It’s a good thing I’m here for a full 2 years because it took me over 18 months to even think about putting up a basketball goal! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve longed to just shoot some hoops. It’s so therapeutic. It’s so mind numbing. It’s so relaxing. It’s so Hoosier (which I hear is another way to say ‘redneck’ in Illinois). And now, Compassion has the first and only basketball goal in the district. It wasn’t difficult to make. The metal workers made the hoop and the carpenters made the backboard. Then we hung it on an electrical pole and viola! The kids have been trying their hand at it. It’s funny to watch them, or anyone for that matter, play for the first time. People don’t seem too enthusiastic about it, which is fine by me. That’s not why I put it up. I’ve seen basketball courts in other districts at secondary schools and they’re like ghost towns. There are cobwebs growing on the goals. The students would just as soon take a basketball and kick it around like a soccer ball than throw it into an iron hoop. At least I’ll get some good use out of it while I’m still here.

Human metal detector

I was walking back from the missionaries home the other day when I saw what looked like an old, weather beaten coin on the ground. It’s a little unusual to find a coin on the ground in a 3rd world country. People are definitely going to stop and pick up a coin here. Now I have to tell you that I have a great deal of experience in looking for coins. Many a summer day I would ride bikes with my dad and brother. The goal was riding the bikes, but the prize was finding money. I’d be cruising along lost in thought when dad would U-turn all of a sudden or almost break his neck trying to stop his bike to pick up a nickel or a couple of pennies he found. Dad’s like a hawk when it comes to that stuff and he trained me accordingly. But it didn’t stop there. We used to also ride by the McDonalds and Burger King drive-thrus looking for dropped change. Once we would find some change we would then bike to Dairy Queen and spend it all on a dipped ice-cream cone.

Well I picked up this coin and started to rub away the dirt. I soon discovered that it was a 1976 coin worth 1 Ugandan shilling. The smallest coins they use now are the 50 shilling coins (though you can get 20 shilling coins in Kampala but they’re worthless out here). One Ugandan shilling. I kid with the Ugandans that I want to buy something with it and they laugh and tell me that I can’t even buy a piece of candy or a nail with it, but when it was made it was worth the equivalent of 500-1,000 shillings today, which is enough to buy a bunch of bananas.

Rushville Republican Article

I wrote another article for the Rushville paper. In it I’m talking about my experience staying with the family out in the village. You can read it online here.

Community Hall Construction

The foundation has been dug and they are putting in the foundation on the Community Hall for the Compassion children. The hall will also be used by the church and 2 schools nearby. It’s exciting to stand in the center of the future hall and envision what it’ll look like when it’s finished. It is situated beautifully on the side of the hill and overlooks the soccer field in the valley below and the town just beyond it. We have fundraised almost half of our budget and in the coming weeks I’ll be beginning another fundraising project, so if you would like to help out this community and these kids… stay tuned.

12 days of Christmas

Believe it or not, Christmas is just about 12 weeks away! So, I’ve decided to write a weekly segment telling you how you can save money to use for your Christmas shopping by living like a Ugandan. I’m sure it’ll be quite interesting.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home