Wednesday, May 14, 2008


May 13th, 2008

Hello everyone!!!! We can’t believe we are saying this, but we are finally here in Lugazi, Uganda!! It is so exciting and this past week has been a great experience so far. We arrived late Wednesday night, drove to our house, and crashed into our beds. Our house is very cute. It has a common room with a couple couches, a small kitchen, then two bedrooms that hold about 6 people each, and 2 bedrooms that hold 2 each. Thursday morning we went around town and saw where everything was, like the town council, hospital, mayor’s house, and supermarket. The town is great!! It is so tiny but very fun to go to. The market is a huge place where everyone has their little fruit, vegetable, or chicken stands set up. And yes, the chickens are alive. Hahaha. But it’s fun to go shopping because everything is so cheap. A pineapple is less than one US dollar, so we’ve definitely all taken advantage of that. Later that night we had a team meeting about everything, then our initiation. Ah, the initiation. Ashley and Jackie kept telling us to be prepared for it mentally, physically, and emotionally. So we were all confused as to what it was. Well, we were sitting outside on lawn chairs in the little courtyard of our house with lit candlesticks. Edith, a cute 18 year old girl down the street who’s been helping us immensely, got up and told us that to be a member of the Muzungi Tribe we needed to do something. All of a sudden, two live chickens were brought out and we were supposed to chop their heads off, pluck the feathers, pull the insides out then cook it over a stove. All the girls started screaming and freaking out, while the boys stepped up to the plate…especially the Canadians, Dan and Jeff. The knife was one of the dullest knives in the world, but they got the job done and cut those heads right off. It’s true what they say…chickens really do keep moving after their heads are cut off. Well, once that was cooked we enjoyed a nice meal and then hung out as a team, bonding. J

Friday afternoon was a very rewarding one. We got up at about 8 am and took a ride out through the sugarcane fields to the Hope Children’s Home—an orphanage for young kids. Our projects for that day were to build a chicken coop and an adobe stove. The girls got there first, and were instructed to take a big pile of bricks to the place where the coupe would be built. They made an assembly line involving all of the little kids and had the best time. They taught them songs like “If you’re happy and you know It” and “the Macarena”. The kids absolutely loved it and were laughing the entire time the bricks were being passed. The girls and kids also hauled mud up a road to put together a big enough pile to make the stove. Meanwhile, the guys were working with the chicken coop and ripping out the old stove. After a great lunch of rice, beans, cabbage, and soda, we headed home. Later that night, some of the group went to African Paradise, the hippest dance club in town. It was a lot of fun and the Ugandans loved dancing with Americans. Everyone was sweating up a storm!!

Saturday afternoon we all went into town to get groceries and e-mail our families. Afterwards, the whole group took a taxi to the Nile River. It was so beautiful!! We sat under a cabana type restaurant and drank Fantas and Mirandas and looked at the site in front of us. Some of us took a boat out onto the river to see more of the white water rapids and see where they are putting up the dam. In four years they will be damming the Nile because they need more power, so we were very lucky to go see it. On Saturday we are actually going to river raft the Nile, so that’s going to be history in the making because it will no longer be allowed!! We’ll keep you updated on it next week for sure!!

Sunday we went to Pastor Bill’s church. It was definitely an awesome experience because we got to jump up and down, dance around, and wave hallelujah to music for 25 minutes straight. We were sweating by the time we were finished, so during the sermon we were all pretty uncomfortable and tired. But it was worth it because it was so much fun to go to. It lasted about two hours, and then we walked back to the house, hung out and watched a movie on our projector, and had another meeting about our projects and what we needed to do this upcoming week to get them started. The meetings are very helpful and informative, and it’s fun to see how much more prepared we are after going to one. Also, people talked on the phone to their families since it was mothers’ day. So here’s a big shout out to all the families!! We miss you, but not that much because we’re here in Uganda!!!!!!! J

Monday we went back to Hope to finish our projects but it rained most of the time, so we only got to do about 2 hours of manual labor. It was still a lot of fun though, because it was really muddy and the kids just loved helping us out again. After lunch, we went back to town to meet with the town council about the projects we want to start. At the beginning of the meeting there was a lot of confusion, but we were assigned to different town councilors to talk more about what we wanted to do, and a lot was accomplished. We planned to have meetings Tuesday afternoon, so that’s the plan for Tuesday.

It’s been such a great week and we are more than excited to be here!! We can definitely see many needs here as we’ve talked in all of our meetings and been in contact with all the wonderful people, and everyone is so different in such a good way and has great ideas that we know things will really take off. Thanks again for reading our first blog in-country….we’ll keep posting once or twice a week so keep checking it out!! Cheers!

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