Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gulu: Day Three

Day Three: Saturday Club! We woke up earlier this morning as at every Hope Alive! site Saturday is Saturday Club! Things are a little different here in Gulu. The kids show up early and clean the place. Yeah, seriously, they do. There were so many times today that I thought, “kids in America would NEVER do this”. When we arrived, they were mowing the grass, Ugandan style. I need to remember the word for it but they pretty much take a machete like thing and cut the grass with it. Others were washing chairs with many more doing other various tasks. I got to know quite a few names and to my happy surprise, many knew English! It was this that made me realize how incredible Hope Alive! is. The other kids in the IDP camp don’t have their education paid for thus, they didn’t know English. The Hope Alive! kids are able to get an education through sponsorship and thus are educated and know English not to mention have knowledge in so many other subjects. Life change is an incredible thing to see. The kids were then all gathered together for a time of praise and worship. None of the songs were in English and at one point, I closed my eyes and praised God that He doesn’t just hear in English, but also Acholi, Lugandan and every other language in the world. Catharine spoke to the kids about how they have a HOPE in Christ and encouraged them to have good influences in their life that encourage them to continue their education and focus on God. Many of the kids have little encouragement from their families and friends to get their education but instead to get money by farming or doing other small tasks. The temptation to receive money instead of an education is high. The long term is given up for the short term. Heartbreaking doesn’t quite cover it. After Catharine spoke, everyone divided up in age groups and had Bible study. I joined the little kids. It was all in Acholi so I mainly played with the kids. After that, we all joined together again where the kids did different presentations. There was a play, a couple songs and a lesson. All from what they had just learned. Amazing. Their retention is stunning. Lunch was served afterwards. There was cassava, cabbage and tea. The cassava and cabbage were delicious! Oh, please, let me tell you about this tea. It was like hot sweet tea, like Southern sweet. (Nikki, I think you would have approved. Yeah, that’s how sweet it was). We left Saturday Club around 3:00pm and headed back to the hotel. We walked around the streets for a bit to get some things and stopped at a bakery Catharine had showed us earlier. I had some of the best samosas that I’ve ever had there. Mmm. We relaxed this afternoon, watched an episode of “Chuck” together, ate dinner, watched another episode of “Chuck” and here we are. It’s currently storming outside which will probably translate into the power turning off tonight. We’re actually currently running on a generator as the power went off earlier. Here’s to hoping that no matter what, my fan stays on.

Since I’m posting this later, let me add some more details. The mowing the lawn deal is called slashing. Kate and I talked about it later and she noted how crazy it is that these kids use such sharp machete like things to do this and how again we’d never do this in the States. Kate also mentioned how the genocide in Rwanda took place with these such every day materials. Insane. The storm that night was pretty intense and the power was off almost the whole night. I thought we’d be eating dinner in the dark until the generator at last kicked in. That night, little worked in the room. I know the fan stopped working at some point and I praised God for my battery powered fan and my headlamp.

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