training for the unknown

Today has been splendid.  A group of 15 took a van taxi into Kampala which leads to unusually great things.  A mocha, shopping (for shampoo and conditioner), italian pizza for lunch, a sweet banana split to share… all grand things.  The computer here goes at lightspeed compared to the one time I used the internet in the small town we live. 

Well, I’ve been away since August 3rd and so much has already changed.  We went through the transitions from Phily/meeting everyone, to flying to Uganda and staying at a conference center for a week.  Then, we moved to our little town 45 minutes away from the big city to live with host families and complete training. 

Training/work has been an 8-5 job which has been slightly overwhelming when the whole morning can be filled with trying to memorize a new language.  We have tea time at 10:30am which includes tasty little snacks.  After that, we have sessions on HIV/AIDS, health, education, business, culture, and whatever else you can think of.  I’ve learned how to make a tippy tap which is a way to wash your hands while stepping on a board that has a rope up to a gerry can filled with water hung up by sticks… its all this information that you probably don’t understand and I think will be totally useful when going camping… or when you don’t have running water or electricity like me now.  Monday, we are learning about gardening.  I did get a bike, but about half of them are out of commision for broken off pedals or seats flipping up so I have chosen to walk the 45 minutes to training.  Up and down hills both ways… 

In the mornings, I’m learning Acholi with 7 others so we will all be in the same region after training.  I’m not exactly sure what I will be doing in my region but I have a little idea of the demographics.  When I had an interview with the Ugandan placement staff, they looked at my resume and said “you have done all this and how old are you?” with a smile.  Kinda crazy.  Being the little guy for so many years has kinda worked out.  I also learned that youth development is one of the hardest to get an invite for since you have to have a lot of experience before they will consider you.   Well, in my future region, there are currently about 4,800 orphans and displaced children.  There are many many camps for them with not very good sanitation or enviroments.  It basically puts them in survival mode.  Since young girls are unable to afford school materials, they are trading sexual favors for money.  It’s been suggested that I think of alternative ways for young girls to make money so we’ll see where that could lead.  I don’t really know much about the land other than it is gorgeous with a national park close by WITH waterfalls which makes me happy.  The temp is between 70-85 degrees daily.  I’ll probably eat more bananas these next two years then I will the rest of my life.  I think I’ve already ate more than the last 24 years of life.  For the first time, Uganda PC is doing a language immersion thing where we go to the region for 6 days so in a week and a half I’ll have a better idea.  I’m excited 🙂

K, so it is time to head back to our homestay families… gotta run!  Love and miss you all 🙂

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One thought on “training for the unknown

  1. Hi Sandi!
    Are you in Zach’s group? It sounds like you are. Yea!!! Thanks for your blog. Zach hasn’t had a chance to do anything with his yet. Have you gotten any slow mail from home yet? I’ve sent Zach a package and a padded envelope and I’m just hoping they actually make it.
    Remember to spend time in prayer and God’s word everyday. You are going to need to know you are in God’s hands all the time. You need to hold tight to Jesus to work with these children. By the way, there is a really great blog of a girl currently working with orphan children in Uganda. Check it out sometime at: kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com
    She’s from Tennessee and only 20 years old, but she has adopted 13 kids and has set-up a charitible organization to help sponsor 350 kids so they can go to school. She also has set up a feeding program for a tribe in the jungle that was starving to death. Amazing, and her blogs paint such a vivid picture of Uganda and the children that it always makes me cry. Anyway, know that I pray for you all and keep in touch!
    Mindy B.

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