Friday, November 25, 2011

3 months

3 months ago today i stepped off a plane bringing me back from uganda, and the best 18 weeks of my life. i have had some time to reflect on this experience. ok that just sounded good. really i began to forget about it- about the people, the love there, the beautiful landscape, etc. school just got busy. i got distracted with worries of money, the future, and having a social life.

then last sunday i took a look at my pictures and the videos from my time there. i was filled with such gratitude for the chance i had to go to Uganda, meet the people i met, and learn from their way of life. here is what i wrote about the experience in a letter to my brother on sunday:

While I was in Africa I found that there are so very many things that I take for granted that I didn’t have over there. When I first got home I would stand in the shower forever because I hadn’t had a hot shower in 4 months! Hot water is so wonderful and we take it for granted, or complain it isn’t hot enough. I also realized that I am blessed with a great knowledge of things that many people don’t even know about. As a “little” 21-year-old, I was teaching adults and even respected people in their villages about hand washing, nutrition, first aid—things that I have known pretty much my whole life. Those people were beyond grateful for everything we taught them—I can’t even tell you how many times they thanked us, wrote us notes, or brought us food.  They were so grateful and yet we had only shared something that they had never had the chance to learn! I realized there that education, and the opportunity to receive it, is a great blessing and something that I need to be more grateful for. 

at this time of year for thanksgiving and remembering christ's birth, i am so grateful for the small things- warm water, electricity, good roads, healthy food, a job, the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to help others. no, i will not forget Uganda, or the people of Mbale. that would be a travesty. but i will take what i learned and use it to make myself a better person and to make the world a better place!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

snapshots of uganda: 3

first day in Africa!
ok this isn't a post about an African, but about this amazing girl i was able to live with [in the same room] for 18 weeks.

Sarah Blackhurst.

at a clean water project in Namatala

i knew when i went to africa that i would meet many amazing people and i hoped that we would become friends. i was so blessed to live with Sarah for 18 weeks. right from the plane ride over she took me under her arm and adopted me as her "little sister" and accomplice. (disclaimer there are so very many people i could talk about and don't worry my friends, i will post about you too!)

sarah taught me so much while i was in uganda.
after the somehow sketchy boda tipped over

- how to ask good questions, and then really listen to the answers
- not to judge people by their appearances (abby taught me this too)
- how to stick with things even if its hard and people aren't helping you
- how to have fun even without money
- that it is so important to stay in tune with the spirit and read the scriptures daily
- what amazing music is played by escala, palladio, and bond
- to be patient with people who are different from you and try to see things from their perspective
- loyalty to your friends is number 1
- you can wake up at 8:45 and still look freaking hot by 9(ok only sarah could pull that off- i still can't do that)
- you can make any day special
- how to laugh when things go wrong

at Mbale Resort- don't worry about my hair. its freaky

miss sarah is getting married in january to mr. paul israelsen and i am so excited for both of them! i feel a little responsible for this love happening, but i don't really know why. ha ha. maybe its because i was of the only people who knew that they were "dating" while we were in africa! i win!

but no, Sarah is seriously amazing. she is hilarious. she can always make me laugh. she is completely honest with me. she is a good judge of character and i trust her opinion. oh did i mention she is so beautiful? she is really good at fixing things- from broken hearts, to broken beds.
fixing my broken bed
now for a picture overload.

making fried egg sandwiches for dinner

roommates for life!

sad that abby is leaving us
in the taxi going to torroro

where it all began- chicago airport
in front of Buckingham palace
sarah- you rock! love you girl!