Last week was very much a week of work and planning. School is wrapping up here. I've got a gajillion papers due in the next couple weeks. Over 30 pages of writing. The way grades work here, those papers pretty much decide my grade in the class. Wasn't to worried though. I worked semi-diligently (I mean lets be honest, there was plenty of talking, facebook checking, and listening to Switchfoot's new album Hello Hurricane in the midst of it). I also planned out days to work and finish the papers. For those who know me, you can push your jaws back into place now. I was also super excited to go to the Rakai District this last weekend. Friday, we were to leave for Rakai at 2pm, so my mom was really excited to take Drew and I to our brother's boarding school in Leweero in the morning to pick them up for their holiday (this is like summer break for them). To avoid traffic we took the side roads for like 2 hours. Talk about a roller-coaster. I thought I was going to throw-up. Their school was pretty cool though, and it was good to see them again since we haven't seen them since August. (I don't remember if I have posted their names before, so here we go: Joshua and Jonathan. Jonathan follows Joshua in age. This is a fact my mama loves. She cracks up everytime she thinks about how ironic it is that in my family back home Jonathan follows Joshua.) Right after we got home, we left for Rakai on a bus crammed full of IMME students (21 in all) and rode for 7 hours!
We ended up spending the weekend in the Kibaale Community Center (Chi-ball-ee) in Rakai. It was probably one of the best, most encouraging weekends here. Mostly because it was incredibly relaxing. We got there and found an incredible pasta dinner awaiting us, served by an all-Canadian crew. The Kibaale Community Center was founded by a Canadian church and then sponsored and eventually taken over by a private school in Canada. After taking a tour the next day, I was amazed to see how through the financial support the community was actually developing and taking ownership. Through most of our learning and experiences here that hasn't always been the case. More often than not, financial support has led to more oppression and dependence than development. The key I think is something that one of the missionaries (the director), Jeff, said to a table of us during dinner Saturday night. He said that he was slowly working himself out of a job. How incredible/ridiculously humble is that? Slowly working yourself out of a job. Not only does that take such trust in God to provide you with work later, but a servant-like attitude to allow others to take over your work. Anyways, this place was pretty incredible. It had 2 primary schools, a secondary school, a health clinic (which was by far the best we have seen in Uganda, even though it was so incredibly simple), and a football (soccer) field. Another great aspect of the trip was that it was so very relaxing. We weren't consumed with trying to learn all about the place, but rather just enjoyed the weekend. Many games were played, including cards (I taught some people Spades), which I have missed oh so much. On Saturday afternoon, some of us hiked up this awesome hillish thing, where you could see Tanzania! Sunday morning we went to one of my favorite church services here (if not my absolute favorite). It was a blast and full of excitement. Village services are always so much more fun, and seemingly more real. Then Drew, I, and the guys played the story game with the girls on the 7 hour drive back home. For those who don't know what the story game is, basically, Drew and I (along with the other guys) wrote stories for all of the girls, and they have to guess them asking yes or no questions to find out who they are, their location, the conflict, and the resolution. It's a lot of fun, and tells a lot about the person. We are finishing up today, and then will explain their stories on Tuesday during IMME class. For those who want to know more, ask Brian.
So we've made it up another hill. This morning, I did what every person shouldn't. I looked down.
First, a few things are just in the back of my mind and kind of worrisome. I haven't been able to find my wallet. Don't worry too much yet mom and dad. I haven't completely scourged my room yet. But it has some things in there that I kind of need. So be praying that I find it. Also, I still have to write those papers, as well as fit in the remaining things on my list to do here. Such as play in an Ultimate Tournament next Sunday. And if there is any part of my body which I hate having wounds, it's in my mouth. Currently, I have 3 cold sores (apparently they are a side effect of the Malerone), and they hurt really bad. Then I read the Palmers' blog. For those not staying updated with them, they have been living in Jinja for quite some time now adopting a young boy, Sterling, from the Amani Baby Cottage. If you haven't read their last post, you probably should. They aren't going to be able to bring Sterling home with them. No, I don't know any more specific details, and they have requested not to ask Why? or What happened? I'm sure they'll explain in due time. But be praying for them. Only spending a weekend with them, it was obvious how much love has filled that family. I can't imagine the pain they are feeling, though I certainly feel pain for them. Pain for the struggles of this world we live in. Pain for the orphans of this country. Pain for the goals set and the goals unachieved. I don't really know how to describe it, but the hope I saw this weekend seems like such a small sliver amidst a fallen world.
As of yesterday, Drew and I have a month left out of the U.S. Thank you all for your continual prayers. Please keep praying that we seek out that sliver of hope Christ brings wherever we are. I love you guys, and my heart burns to see you all.