Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kapchorwa aka Awesomeness (I think I just made up a word, oh well)

So it's been awhile and a lot has happened. I wish I could fill you in on everything that's happened in the past 2-ish weeks but that would take super long and you probably wouldn't want to read it all, haha.

Well Kapchorwa was absolutely beautiful- mountains, cliffs, waterfalls, and most importantly some of the nicest people you'll meet. Ok, so Mukono isn't the Uganda they show you on TV or on National Geographic, but driving to Kapchorwa I totally felt like I was seeing those previously seen images- round huts with grass roofs, beautiful women carrying water on their heads while carrying babies on their backs, and hills with mountains in the distance.

I ended doing this home stay solo which I was both nervous and excited about, but my worries quickly faded. I got dropped off at my home stay late due to rain and stuck vehicles. So I meet my father, Patrick, and we start hiking up these giant hills in the dark in our gum boots. Not gonna lie, I was so proud of myself for not falling.

My family was wonderful. My father Patrick was a headmaster of Tuban Primary school. My mom, Joy, was a primary 2 teacher. I had 5 brothers but I only got to meet one since the rest were out of the house. Aggrey was my 13 year old brother and he was a lot of fun. I had 3 girl cousins staying with me: Esther who is a nursing student in Mbale, Immatculet who lives in our village and was in secondary school, and then Karen who is 7 years old and absolutely hilarious.

That week I stayed with my family was filled with new experiences and lessons learned. Some days seemed to drag on, especially from the time I got up until about noon. Those people make so much use of their day, getting up around 5 or 6then working until dinner which is followed by bed around 9 or 10. There were several mornings I woke up at 6:30 and when I walked out of my room my family said, “Oh, you slept in.” I was thinking, “Are you kidding me? Back home I can sleep in until 10.” Haha

As far as new experiences I got to carry water in a jerry can on my head for a couple miles (African women are extremely tough. They gave me a small can and my next was killing me by the end) and I prayed the whole way “Lord, help me not to drop this water and to not bite it and fall down this muddy hill.” I fed my family’s cows banana leaves, picked coffee, plucked a chicken and I was later made to eat it’s organs at dinner plus the chicken’s unformed eggs (almost lost that dinner at a couple points), climbed a cliff in a skirt and flip flops (kinda terrifying, haha), went to 2 farewell parties for primary 7 students and my dad made me give an impromptu speech at one of them, visited both of my parents’ schools and got asked awesome questions. Some of my favorites: Do you eat donkeys in America? How many women does Obama have? Are you going to live on the moon? What kind of lotion do you use on your skin?

People in Kapchorwa seem to get life so much better than we do. They have time for one another and a random visitor is never an inconvenience. They make their guests feel special and always feed them and give them some tea. I experienced this first hand. I’ve never eaten so much in my life and over the course of the week I think I had over 30 cups of milk tea. People there are so loving and they freely give of what they have. Some of my favorite moments with my family were spent in my family’s kitchen at night sitting around the clay oven talking about all kinds of things. Life is simple and so good.

I think this is all for now. I’ve already written a book, sorry! I can tell you more about when I get back to the U.S. (which is in 6 weeks, crazy).

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