ugandawhere?

God's story in Africa

B-B-B-Back From Burundi March 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 3:08 pm

Hey y’all. It’s good to be back in Uganda. I’ve got a lot to talk about and not really any direction on where to start so bear with me.

First of all I think it’s important to know Burundi’s past. You can read about it in detail here. Basically, it’s the same dilemma that Rwanda went through. A Belgian priest split the people of Burundi into 2 separate peoples when previously there was no real separation except that one group looked more like white people than the other. When the Belgians left they left the white looking group in power and then the ethnic cleansing began. (It seems as if the only good things the Belgians left behind were bread and cheese, which is wonderful in Burundi.) The fighting took place between 1960 and 2006. Fortunately, Burundi has been blessed with a president that will not claim either group. He is a Burundian and so is everyone else in the country. He will not visit any monuments that are dedicated to one group and he has several monuments under construction that mourn the loss of life of the people as a whole. They are headed in the right direction. What a blessing for Burundi.

Second, I need to introduce to you the ministry we were serving. An American woman named Denise and a Burundian woman named Joy started Sister Connection. Denise spent 5 years of her childhood in Burundi with her missionary

Denise with one of her hens

parents. When their 5-year term was over they kept visiting Burundi until the major fighting began. As an adult Denise started finding out about Burundian women that she had known becoming widowed and having no means to provide for themselves or their children. She knew God was calling her to do something for them. Joy and her husband had been in Kenya running a ministry when they felt called back home to Burundi to serve those who had been affected by the war. Eventually Denise’s parents were able to get the two together and thus Sister Connection was created. More information about the ministry and sponsoring a widow can be found at sisterconnection.org. (You’re really encouraged to click on the link. You’re extremely encouraged to sponsor a widow and her children. It’s only $30 a month.) eMi was asked to come in and develop a master plan and infrastructure on 20 acres of land the government had given them. The property is known as Mt. Hope. Sister Connection wants to make this a vocational center as well as a place to host summer camps for the widows and their children. (James 1:27) Our job was to design the vocational classrooms, housing, an auditorium, a potential hotel, and the water and sewer layouts.

We departed from Entebbe Intl Airport during the early morning of the 6th. All during our travel I was wondering what Bujumbura (capital city of Burundi) would look like being that it is only 5 years removed from war. I saw a picture on the

A view from Mt. Hope

Internet that had a little boy walking down a dirt road lined with shacks. It looked like a place nobody wanted to be. So we landed later that afternoon at the Buju airport, which consists of 3 or 5 steel reinforced domes that resembled huts. I can’t say it was the sharpest looking airport. I had a guard snap his fingers at me and I didn’t really appreciate that so with all those factors combined I got a feeling that I wasn’t going to like Burundi very much. However, after we got on the bus to head to the place we would be staying in Buju for the night my mind was changed. The scenery was amazing and they actually had sidewalks and no potholes. That’s a step up compared to Kampala where you can lose a car in some potholes. From here on out I was amazed by Burundi, especially on the beautiful 2-hour ride through the mountains and farmland to Gitega the next day.

Tea bushes on the ride to Gitega

When we arrived in Gitega we went straight to the place where we were staying, a Catholic convent. I believe this was my first encounter with nuns and it was quite underwhelming. There were no Mother Teresas here. I’ll get to that in a bit. After we ate lunch we went out for an afternoon site visit. While its steep sides may provide spectacular views it can be quite difficult to place buildings there (remember we’re in a developing country in the earthquake prone Rift Valley). Once the group of 11 had finished looking things over we went to the House of Joy on the site. This building is relatively new

House of Joy

and provides a place for some of the widows to learn and sharpen their sewing skills. So throughout the week the group went back and forth between the site and the convent until Thursday.

Since we had arrived in Gitega the widows of Sister Connection had been at the same convent having a trauma seminar. Dancing and singing for God (amazing, I have videos) usually preceded the speakers. The head nun did not like this and did not treat our group very well for the majority of the time we were there. When the seminar was over on Thursday we left the convent and went into town to stay at a really nice guesthouse. The staff was very accommodating, the rooms were much nicer, we had a big room with a view to do our work, and we could get omelets in the morning with cheese. It was a great place to finish up the work especially since we didn’t have to worry about further offending the angry nun. Also on Thursday we were given the privilege of

Widows worshipping God

participating in the closing ceremony for the seminar. The widows did a lot of singing and had some choreographed dances prepared. They also did a skit and 3 of them gave their testimonies about God blessing them with Sister Connection. It was amazing to see all of the joy on their faces when you realize what they’ve been through. Many of us find it difficult to be truly joyful when we’ve got all that we have in America. It was very humbling. The biggest treat of the week was visiting some of the widows’ house all of which had been funded through Sister Connection on Friday. We went to Jacqueline’s, Adele’s, and Anita’s houses all of whom are currently unsponsored. These houses aren’t much, just 3 or 4 rooms, but the widows are so grateful for them. These widows either had their houses burned by accident or somebody came by and took it. When we were at their houses the widow normally couldn’t stop talking about how blessed they were by the house and then we would say a prayer for her and her family. The big group of muzungus attracted attention so we got to visit with the other folks in the community. It’s good to let them know that we care about these widows so maybe they’ll keep an eye

With Jacquline in front of her house

on her and protect her. The first 2 widows gave gifts, chickens, to Denise as a symbol of thanks. The last widow we visited, Anita, was so poor she couldn’t give anything, but she was still joyful and excited when we came. It really puts things in perspective. It helps me to remember to put an emphasis on people and not on material possession. These widows had next to nothing, just a house, but they were willing to give Denise something they could have ate. When we left the children in the mobs that came to see the muzungus would chase us as far as they could run.

As I mentioned before, our biggest concern about with this project was the slopes. Another and probably most important detail was where to get water. (This seems to be a concern for the whole region surrounding Gitega. The water in the city is unreliable. It might have run for a total of 2 days.

The kids getting water at the spring box

Therefore, I learned how to take a bucket bath and didn’t shower for 9 or 10 days.) The site is about 20 acres and there is no water source on the property. The nearest water source is about a mile or mile and a half away down in a steep valley, which we visited one day. Once we made it down to the valley bottom without slipping and tumbling to a broken neck we found a spring box where 3 small children were filling 1 or 2 gallon buckets each. Somebody made the comment that these kids will probably be descending into this valley and climbing back up every single day for the rest of their lives. Wow! I feel like a loser for complaining about low flow through the faucet. Sometimes I wonder what it would look like if that happened in developing countries, probably total and complete anarchy. Some women get really upset when they can’t do their hair. This was the main cause of the American Revolution when the red coats wouldn’t let the women bathe (joke). The civil engineering team is still a little uncertain about where the water

We're here to see the muzungus.

will come from. We designed for rainwater collection and a pump to possibly run the water up to the site when and if Sister Connection gets to tap into city water. There is also the possibility of drilling for water, but that is uncertain as well because no one has drilled yet in the area. We are praying that a solution comes about so Sister Connection can continue to impact the widows and orphans of Burundi.

Sunday, we went out to Muyebe for church. This part of Burundi was hit extremely hard during the fighting. When the fighting started the president at the time was from Muyebe, so when he was killed many others from his home were too. This was to prevent any retaliation from friends or family. The educated in this area were heavily targeted, leaving a void for a while. The church service was great along with the singing. 4 people from the group spoke for 10 or 15 minutes each. None of them discussed what they planned to speak about, but it all tied in well together. It was all about forgiveness, how God will not leave them and about going through trials. It was evident that God had a hand in bringing these messages together. When the service was over I got to meet several of the

The church at Muyebe

members of the church. It was easy to see the impact the war had on this area, because there were not very many older folks there. Afterwards, the church fixed the group lunch and the preacher of the church did a lot of talking. Denise was given a goat and Sister Connection was promised the wooden trusses that support the roofs in the houses they fund for the widows. It was great to be blessed by these people.

The next day, Monday we made our way back to Bujumbura to present our work to all who are part of Sister Connection. We spent most of the day at a restaurant getting things prepared and unfortunately, they were playing Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and acoustic French music so I completely mellowed out. Things went great at the presentation. We were able to meet and get contact information from the local engineer. We hope he might be able to provide information about water later on. All of the people there were pleased with our layout and are ready to get at it.

Tuesday we went to a resort on the scenic Lake Tanganyika. The resort had running water and it was great to get a hot shower. It also had A/C, something I hadn’t had in 2 months. You really gain an appreciation for showers and hot water when you go over a week with neither. The resort was a great place to unwind, relax, and think about things. I liked the place so much that I think we should move the eMi East Africa office there. Our relaxation was short though, we boarded planes the next day to back to where we came from.

The resort from the pier.

Overall, this was a great trip and I see myself going on more of these short eMi trips. I learned a lot and was humbled many times by the widows’ attitudes. I can’t wait to finish my work on this project so Sister Connection can get the ball rolling and serve many more widows and their children. Have a great week. God Bless!

 

Chasing the van. Yippe ki yay!

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Spending big bucks, big bucks, big bucks. February 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 1:13 pm

Cutting up sugar cane

Hey y’all. Welcome back to another weekly installment of Uganda Where. Besides the occasional rioting that occurred this week I’d have to say it was quite uneventful. As y’all know Museveni was re-elected president last Sunday. We thought we were going to be in trouble when the runner-up switched his tactics of not accepting the results to protests on the streets instead of taking it to an international court. We have not seen or heard about any riots over this. The ones I mentioned earlier were over local mayoral elections. So it looks like we may be in the clear unlike many other African nations.

About the only things that went on this week were visits to some markets. Friday we went to the Friday Craft Market. They have some pretty good stuff there. I was able to get some things for my donors so if you’re one of them be looking forward to something cool. It was good to spend money on things not associated with food for the first time. Then yesterday we went to Owino which is about the size of a community college campus. There are not enough words to describe this place. Goods are organized according to what it is: food, clothing, electronics, etc. Most of it is covered and some people have their own stalls, while others just occupy space. Two people can barely fit in many of the walkways. I think you have to get lost to find what you need even though we still didn’t find exactly what we were looking for: Ugandan jersey for 25,000 shillings or roughly $12. We found some for 45,000 or $22 and I was able to get a Barcelona jersey for 25,000. The Liverpool (You’ll never walk alone) jersey that I wanted so bad was either too small or too big. Not bad though. I’ll wear Barca. 

I finished Francis Chan’s “Forgotten God.” I will definitely read it again and I encourage you if you haven’t gotten it yet to go get it. It’s a short book, but there’s so much content in it. If there is one thing I took out of it is to get out of the Holy Spirit’s way and let him do his work. That applies to myself and especially others. Chan told a story about a girl in high school that sponsors 14 children and how she works 3 jobs in the summer to pay for that. He said how it would not be right of somebody to tell her she needs to quit and concentrate on herself and her future. There are other applications to this as well. That one’s just really short.

Well next week my project group will be headed to Burundi. I ask that y’all pray that we all gel really well together and that we keep in mind why we are there. I also ask that we are able to bring joy to Sister Connection. On a personal note I have a rash on my arms and legs. I ask that y’all pray that this go away before we leave next Sunday. Have a great week. Look for a new update in about two weeks. God bless!

 

 

Is Lockdown 2011: Uganda over? February 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 8:24 am

Well it’s official. It’s just been announced that Museveni, the president for the past 30 years will retain his leadership over Uganda. Hopefully no protests will occur and we will be able to leave the compound. We’ve been here for the past 4 days! So please Ugandans don’t protest even though you have every right to question the outcome of this victory. You’ll make all EMI staff, their families, and interns very happy. For more info on the elections and the possible corruption that could have occurred read this.

Not much has gone on this week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were fairly loud days as the vehicles carrying supporters of presidential candidates kicked it up a notch. Those vehicles were up and down the main street in our neighborhood blaring music and words. It’s like Mardi Gras one truck at a time.

Since Thursday the interns have been confined to the compound in order to prevent any unnecessary accidents in case things were to get out of control. I took advantage of this free time to finish up a book on Magellan’s circumnavigation around the world and start on Francis Chan’s “Forgotten God.” This book is about the Holy Spirit and how Christians should take advantage of what a great and powerful force we have with Him. I have been a Christian since my sophomore year in high school and truthfully I must say the Holy Spirt is rather new to me. I never really knew or understood what He was until a couple of years ago. While growing up I can’t really remember much mention of him. Jesus and God ruled all of the devos, sermons, songs, and conversations. I knew of the Trinity, but I acted like the Spirit wasn’t there even after the experience I had with Him the day I got baptized. I didn’t want to weird people out so I never really started discussing that until recently. Chan talks about how we’re afraid of Him and I couldn’t agree more. In my very first post I mentioned how I ignored God when He was telling me to go with EMI when I graduated. In reality I was actually afraid to do that, to leave the comforts of America. I believe the Spirit is why I am in Uganda now. There’s no other explanation. Who else could get you to quit your job and go to Africa?  You’ve got to let go of the comfort and ask the Holy Spirit to work inside you. What could be better than living a life serving God with the Holy Spirit working through you to further the kingdom? Sure he might take the t.v. or a/c away from you, but you’ll adapt. It’s a lot more fun to build community with your brothers and sisters in other countries or across the street. I challenge you to either ask Him to fill you with the fruit of the Spirit or help you to speak when your words won’t do or guide you or witness to the lost or put to death any sins you might be struggling with or lead you into intimacy with the Father or to bring life and freedom in your spiritual life or that you might abound with hope or that He leads you to contribute to the Kingdom or just read “Forgotten God” and then you’ll be challenged. I’m telling you don’t be afraid to ask for any of that. Only good can come of it.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the compound. Remember how great God is and to love your neighbors as Jesus would.

Lake Victoria from the compound

Banana tree about to produce its fruit.

 

 

Preping for Election-Pocalypse. February 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 10:05 am

Here we go. It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for since late October when I got an email from Phil and he mentioned something about elections. Some people have been asking who’s going to win over here and of course I relay those questions to the local staff here. This is done 50% of the time out of anxiety and the other 50% out of curiosity. I think the curiosity comes from political discussions I had with my Pop at the ages of 4 and 5. (I was proud to be an American at an early age. I got a signed picture of George H. and Barbara Bush from my Memaw and Pepaw. You would have thought the sky was falling when I got it. Norman Schwarzkopf was a hero of mine.) I’m at the point now that I could care less about American politics because the country’s not going to be run the right way, which is my way. (Joke Haha.) However, I do find other countries’ political processes and their citizens’ feelings quite interesting. I’ve learned that 6 parties have candidates in the presidential election. Last year they thought it might be tough for the incumbent to repeat, because those 6 parties used to be part of bigger parties. We’ve asked the locals if they think the democratic revolution that’s sweeping northern Africa might make its way here. The answer we get is that Uganda’s a dog that’s afraid to bite. They are more concerned with stability than change and change usually doesn’t occur in this region of Africa without blood shed. Uganda has had the same president since 1986. This guy’s presidency has included the civil war against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army which violates human rights in the name of God. This president is tough and many folks here believe that he has redistributed votes in the past. In other words they hold elections here in order to make the democratic west happy. It’s good to hear the Ugandans say that they would rather keep things the same, but it also makes you feel sympathetic for them since it seems as if in the past 3 decades they really haven’t had a voice. Remind me the next time I complain about the Electoral College to think about the Ugandans and how they’ve had the same man since I was age one. Imagine having Martin Van Buren as president for that long and the boisterous Van Buren Boys (8) running the streets at night (Seinfeld). Here’s the current president’s campaign rap. You’ll enjoy it. I did. Since the election is Thursday, the campaigns have uped the ante. There are a lot of trucks running up and down the roads with load speakers blaring whatever it is their candidate is saying. When coming back to our neighborhood from church today there was a man dressed like a movie star speaking for the current president. He had quite a crowd surrounding him. It was enough to cause a traffic jam on a Sunday, which is a rare occurrence. The president likes to have planes flying around town with his rap playing. A lot of times I’ll be in the office and all of a sudden you’ll hear “Do you want another rap?” and I’ll say “No, no I don’t want another rap.” If you have any other questions about the current atmosphere let me know!

Now that I’m off the soap box I can tell you about making chapatis and a rolex and what I think is Kampala’s way of making Valentine’s Day a romantic day or rather ten days. Yesterday, I went to the rolex stand and bought a rolex for 1400 shillings or the equivalent of 60 cents. That’s crazy, right? I bought a quality product for that cheap, but Jessica’s had eggshells in it. Now before you start thinking “How in the world did eggshells get into a watch?” I’ll go ahead and say it’s street food. It’s basically an omelet sandwich with chapatis acting as the bread. A chapati is like a tortilla. They’re made the same way: flour, butter, some oil, and occasionally onions are thrown in for a crunch. We went to the Greene’s (staff member’s family) house and helped make some and let me tell you what, they were good. They tasted like pie crust, muy bueno. There are pictures of both a rolex and chapati making.

Rolex, M-M-M good

Chapati

Chapati in the making. They might make their way back to the U.S.

Jumping with the Greene kids.

A gourd with a luffa inside.

I bet y’all are wondering about the Valentine’s Day reference. Well, we found out Monday or Tuesday that we won’t have power from 6 am to 6 pm from the 14th to the 25th. T.I.A. (This is Africa) though and who knows if the power will be back on at night. So, there is a chance that some of the couples here will have the chance to have dinner by candle light on the 14th and possibly other nights of the week. We have no idea if this something to do with elections or if they’re trying to prevent unpredicted blackouts or if repairs are being made. The only thing we really need electricity for is the refrigerator, but that’s only if you have meat in there. We’ll just do without meat for the week. Maybe they want the people of Kampala to try out vegetarianism for a bit. We’ll have inverters and generators running the power in the office so we won’t go completely out during the day. It’ll be good though.

Parting thoughts: Last week I forgot to comment on some thoughts I’ve had on communion since taking it. It was a lot easier focusing on the community we have through out the entire world when I was surrounded by my fellow brothers and sisters who were of African descent. I know there have been many times when I had a hard time thinking of that while back home. I usually try to think of the folks I met in Honduras and how they’re doing. Last Sunday I sat in a room of Africans and thought about them and home. It was pretty easy to get a glimpse of the Kingdom and see how much bigger it is than our communities back in America. God is big! God is good! Have a blessed week and please pray that the elections go smoothly here in Uganda.

 

Hello muzungu. How are you? February 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 12:25 pm

Well things have slowed down, which is great. I don’t think I could handle many more weeks like last week while recovering from jetlag. For the majority of this week we’ve been working in the office doing a lot of small in-house stuff. Monday and Tuesday were uneventful with the exception of the power going out Monday morning. It was all good though, because if you have a headlamp you really don’t need it. Sure everything in the refrigerator almost goes to ruin, but you have no a/c so what’s the point? I’ve worked on sewer lines, moved a water line, and other miscellaneous things. It’s been great to get into a routine. Wednesday after work we cooked a really good meal, Monterrey Rice and Beans. Then we hopped on bodas and headed over to Phil and Emily’s apartment for an intro to the staff’s wives. We did our testimonies for like the 100th time. Haha. That’s a joke. It never gets old to see how God has worked in others lives. It’s been good to hang out with the staff and their families outside of work. It was also great to get to ride on a boda for the first time. Thrill of my life, not really but it’s fun.

Highlight of the week: Thursday we got to go surveying. That’s been my favorite thing so far. I love doing it back home so of course I loved doing it here. It was a little different from what I’m used to in that there were kids hanging off of me while doing it. It made it a little difficult. I can’t guarantee that my data points were too accurate, because you couldn’t get the rod level or someone wanted to press a button on the rover. You can see me in the background of the picture above where I’ve got a kid pressing buttons for me. It was good to go to this part of Kampala. It looked like the neighborhood was pretty poor and the woman we were surveying for, Peace has big plans for a school there. I’ll be praying that God gives her the financial support and financial wisdom to make this dream of hers a reality. I don’t think these kids see many whites a.k.a. muzungus. I think every kid in the neighborhood was out there with us. I’ve been trying to figure out why they love it when we come around. Is it because we’re something different or is it because we give them attention? Hopefully that question will be answered while I’m here along with some others. In summary it was good to get out of the office and go play with some kids while doing something I really like to do.

Friday we finished work and walked about 3 miles to this place called Palm Cafe. They had pizza and stuff there. It was good to get some cheese in my diet since the calcium intake has been nil. Cheese is pretty expensive here and it’s not what I’m used to back home. It was great and we noticed that the only people eating there when we left were muzungus. It was kind of weird to be surrounded by whites and I kind of didn’t like it. White people just aren’t as interesting as the Ugandans are, which reminds me that I need to get some of the local staff to tell me their testimonies again. They’re amazing and y’all need to hear them. Saturday we went to a few kids soccer games and I have a feeling that I might have gotten roped into coaching. I’ll find out tomorrow. Then later in the afternoon Phil and Alex, some interns from Colorado  came and visited us. We got them to ride on bodas (in picture below). It was great to see them again. Finally today we went to church downtown and it was awesome. It’s good to see a really healthy church here. Well thanks for reading this update and have a great week! God bless.

Alex on a Boda Boda!

 

Hola! Oh, I mean Ki Kati! January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 1:37 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve just about got 1 week down in Uganda, but since it’s Sunday I’ll go ahead and say it’s been one week. Don’t confuse this with that Bearnaked Ladies song “One Week” like I did. As soon as I thought about how long I’ve been here I was like it’s been one week and then it was followed by “since you looked at me”. There was an occasional “chinese chicken, you have a drumstick and your brain starts ticking, watching X-files with the lights on.” Whatever, I need to get back on track.

It’s been pretty good so far. I know I will definitely not starve for those of you who thought I would starve. They pile it on the plates and the food is delicious. Also a cold shower is king here. Without it you can’t sleep, unless you like all of your extremities to stick to one another from all of the sweating you’ve done throughout the day. Wednesday we got up and did some East African orientation. In the afternoon we took a tour of our neighborhood in Kansanga. Kansanga is a really good transition area for people who are from the country and tend to experience anxiety around rather large crowds (I’m talking about large crowds, high density. I’ll touch on that later.) There are a few missionaries and upper class citizens who reside in this neighborhood. It’s extremely laid back and every now and then you have to jump to the side of the road to not clipped by a car or boda (motorcycle). It’s pretty dusty and it feels pretty rural for it to be in the city. Every morning so far I’ve heard a rooster crow when dawn breaks. You’ll see cows and goats every now and then. I feel comfortable so far here. I’ll have pics of the neighborhood as well as the office on here later. On Thursday we did more orientation. There was a really interesting point made by one of  the staff about giving. It is that EMI EA discourages direct contribution to the poor unless they are disabled. Unfortunately, many folks around here have found ways to capitalize on generous hearts and abuse the money given to them. They encourage contribution to ministries and churches who serve the poor in order to guarantee that the money is not used in ways that lead to exploitation of children, women, etc. and that welfare is not encouraged as the only way out of poverty. It was a great point. I had really never thought of that before. Giving is a little more complicated here in Africa. You must be very careful.

Friday we headed to downtown Kampala. We got on a matatu (taxi that holds 14 per regulation, but you can always get more in there.) We got stuck in a traffic jam outside of downtown. I think I could have gotten out and made it downtown before the bus did. While we were waiting for the bus to move there were several different children who walked up to the bus and begged for money. It was pretty tough not giving them anything even though I had nothing that would immediately solve their problems (food). All I had was 3 one hundred dollar bills in my pocket and I don’t think that would have been a wise decision to flash that on the taxi nor give that to a child, especially who was more than likely hustling. It’s probably similar to the movie “August Rush.” There are children who play music in different parts of the city for money and they have a guy (Robin Williams) who takes their money. Robin Williams’ character then supplies them with bad housing and food every now and then. The only difference is that it’s the Africa version and it’s much more harsh. So I found myself talking to the next one after the first child figured out I wasn’t going to give him anything. I have a little brown mole/freckle on the center of my right hand and so while I was talking with this kid through the open window she reached in and started trying to scratch it off. I thought that was really interesting. I guess she had never noticed brown on a white person or maybe she thought I was black underneath. At least I have a good number of starting points for scratching the white off. Traffic started moving again and we eventually headed towards K-Town. As we got further into the city I thought to myself about how glad I was that we weren’t stopping here and then there because of the amount of people in the small spaces. Finally one of those spots that I was glad we weren’t getting off at became our stop. I stumbled out of the taxi onto a broken side walk while trying not to violate others personal bubble. That soon became an unattainable goal. I think personal space in Uganda is defined as nobody in your face. After having an anxiety attack for 10 seconds I took a deep breath and mentally joined my group on a scavenger hunt which was pretty tricky since there are very few street signs throughout the city. We did get to see a good portion of the city and I came to the realization that I probably want to minimize my trips to K-Town. I’ll probably only go back for the craft market on Fridays. It’s definitely the densest city I’ve been to. It beats out Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice, Tegucigalpa, and Lima.

Now for Saturday. We went to Jinja, which is 2 hours via car from the Kansanga neighborhood in Kampala for a tour of the projects EMI is managing the construction for. We visited an auditorium, an orphanage located on the banks of the Nile, and a large orphanage on a large portion of land where a house for missionaries is being built. The missionaries will help with the kids. All of these projects were designed by EMI and the love of the Lord is shared throughout the construction phase. The construction manager, Steve Hoyt told us that he concentrates on treating the construction workers like family. He tries to teach them to take value in their work and how they can be Christian men and provide for their families. He said that he can recognize better work from the men as the project progresses. It was pretty interesting to see that. I have a number of pictures on Facebook. I’ll leave the link below.  The trip to Jinja was a very enjoyable day.

Today we went to church. It was pretty great. The singing was inspiring and you could tell none of the members were doing it for show. The preacher also had a great message which I wasn’t expecting. It was about as complex as many I went to growing up. He was telling us that when you’re a Christian you need to act like one. Act like you actually love the Lord. We were greeted by several members after the service and then we met the preacher. Just like all of the preachers in America he tended to talk a lot <—- Joke. It was great getting to talk to him. He was very knowledgeable. We walked about 1.5 miles to go eat and shop for groceries. After we were done we got some gelato. Very good. Then we came back and cooked a little later.

The title comes from me wanting to speak Spanish to the locals here. Hola means hello in Spanish. Ki Kati means what’s up in Luganda. So far this has been a great experience and I cannot wait to get involved with a ministry around here. Oh yeah and I’m ready to start engineering stuff. Please look at my pictures on Facebook. Click this. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2557941&id=27403990&fbid=930506715195

 

T-Minus 1 days until the plane takes off for Uganda! January 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hanbeatty @ 5:55 pm

Alright. Well as you can see we’ve got 1 more day until we get on our plane to fly to Heathrow then to Entebbe, Uganda. Oh and by “we” I mean the group of interns that were at orientation in Colorado. “We” is comprised of Jessica (our Canadian), K2, Tim, and me. There are 2 other interns, the Dans. We’ll see them when we get there. They were in Uganda last semester and are getting some well deserved family time in before they come back.

On the 15th of January I left for Colorado Springs to participate in the week long orientation they had prepared for us. I didn’t really want to go to it, because I was so ready to get to Uganda. However, this turned out to be one of the best weeks for me in a long time. There were 26 interns. Some of them are architects, landscape architects, interior designers, civil engineers, and other random engineering disciplines. We were from all over the U.S., there were a handful of Canadians, and two from the U.K. It might seem like we were all different and have very little in common, but I can say I’ve never bonded this deep with so many people in such a short amount of time like this before. It was quite a blessing to come together with all of these people who have the same desire to serve the Lord with the abilities He gave them. It was encouraging to meet others who had quit their jobs, struggled similarly, and were willing to follow the Lord’s call to the ends of the earth. We got to hear everyones’ testimonies and dang a lot of them were so inspiring. So after a week of bonding the first group departed this morning at 5 to get to India. They’ll eventually get there after a 17 hour flight, a 6 hour train ride, and an hour on a bus. The 5 guys going to Costa Rica left at 9am and the final group for today headed to the Middle East at 1 pm. It was so sad to see them all go. We’ll be the next and last group to leave for our destination tomorrow in the late afternoon and naturally the Colorado Springs interns will stay here. So I mentioned earlier that I was ready to go. I don’t think there are any words in my vocab that describe how excited I am. I guess maybe ecstatic? I’m ready for this adventure!

Also here’s a link to a video of my new friends.