Friday, September 30, 2011

snapshots of uganda: 1

we met this little Somalian girls at Lion's Children's Park while we were running the Blood Drive. there is a horrific famine in Somalia right now, not to include political unrest, which has resulted in millions from Somalia seeking refuge in neighboring countries. since it was Ramadan (a Muslim holiday where they fast from sun up to sun down every day for a month or so) there were many Somalian Muslim's living in Mbale.
these cute girls came up and started dancing to the music we had going and pretty soon we joined in! (Somalians are different from Ugandans in that they are taller, skinnier and usually lighter skinned. the men, especially have defining features.) it was so fun dancing with these girls! they didn't speak any English and we didn't speak Somali. But that's the great thing about Africa- you don't need words to speak volumes.
what i remember from this experience is that these girls were so happy! they loved life. yet, they were refugees. they had no home. i fell in love with their smiles and enthusiasm. 
since being home and reading more about the famine and hard ships in Somalia, i wish i could go back right now. go to Somalia. and in some way relieve the poverty in some way. 
someday i will go.
until then i will never forget these happy, dancing refugees. 

snapshots of uganda

since we all know my heart is still in uganda, i have decided that periodically i will write a post about someone i met there- american, ugandan, etc.  by doing this i hope to keep the flame burning in me so that i don't forget why i did what i did there and the impact it had on my life. i also hope to maybe inspire others to go out and do something good- for anyone, anywhere.

Monday, September 26, 2011

one month

I have been home for one month. weird! it really seems like just yesterday that i was here:

with these lovely people:

how time flies! when i first got home i really hated it. i cried when i left Uganda and I cried almost every day for the first week i was back in utah. i'm more used to it now. i don't cry about africa. but i do miss it. there is one thing i do NOT want to do. i don't want to forget the experience! sometimes we have amazing experiences, and then we forget about them after a year or two. i promise i will not do that. going to Uganda changed me. mostly for the better. i am more confident. more headstrong. more humble. less judgmental. a better communicator. i understand development work- somewhat. i lived in a third world country for 18 weeks! at first it was really hard. but by the time i left, it was horrible leaving. i think part of my heart will always be in Africa. where do i want to go next? Somalia!
these little somalian refugees stole my heart!

(I also want to go to India, China and Thailand. so stay posted, my adventures are not over.)