I like to teach interpersonal relationships/life skills-
Each week, I teach 5 classes, roughly 50 young women ages 13-33 in each class, and its a challenge that I like. Probably 75% of the students have young children from reasons such as defilement, abduction, vulnerability in their communities… Pader Girls Academy is the only school in the country which caters to child mothers and those most vulnerable in the IDP camps.
I like teaching them week because I like to see them smile, I like to see the eagerness on their faces to learn about how to have a good life, I like the “aha” moments when they discover they are worth so much more than what has happened to them, because they get to laugh at my attempt at an Ugandan accent.
I like to have Tea Time with Sandi-
I had almost given up when the clock said 5:15pm. When the girls knocked on my door at 5:30pm, I was reminded of Ugandan time and how they said “after lunch,” and well 5:30pm is still “after lunch”. These girls have hearts of gold. When I see the students in town from time to time, I hear about a husband who takes on a second wife because she isn’t the “working type”, I see the child who is laying limp from illness, told about the family that isn’t supportive, and I respond with whatever life giving words I can. These girls need someone who will be supportive and help them see the worth in who they are.
I may not be able to be involved with the daily lives of these young ladies as I was before, but I’ve started a Tea Time with Sandi on Saturdays when I’m in town. First, we have tea and whatever fruits I can find in the market. While sitting on a mat, we talk about the week, school, what is going on in life, and so forth. At FRO, they loved being taught nursery songs, any song for that matter, and so I’m teaching them a new worship song a week. I first sang with the guitar, then without, then again and by the end of it, the girls were sounding pretty good.
I like having Tea Time with Sandi because I like to mentor girls and live life with others.
I like to play football-
Playing football with these kiddos began after I moved from the hut to where I am now. I’ve written about them before and every time I see them it makes me smile. I’ll direct on how to play a certain game, play for about 5 minutes, and then hand it over to one of the boys who is maybe 12 years old. When I sit with the little ones, there are two that fight for my attention. The really energetic one (who ran away right before this photo was taken) and the calm cuddler (who asked if I loved him and is next to me in the pic).
I like to play football with the kids because otherwise they would be playing with a ball made out of plastic tied together, because I am showing them that not all white people are here to give hand outs, because I like hanging out with them, because they call me “Sandi” or “Cindy” rather than “Munu.” I like to play football with the kids because it makes me feel like part of the community.