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Showing posts from July, 2014

Fat.

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Date: July 30, 2014
Location: Dallas, Texas

It's only been a week, and I'm already missing Uganda like crazy. Don't get me wrong, it's great to be home and see my peeps (s/o to grandma and Ellie/Kirby and all you crazy dtown kids), but there's nothing quite like Uganda. I haven't talked to Aggie in 12 full days, and as a result I'm kind of dying on the inside. Ags, I know you're in Mbale right now and you won't have internet access until you go back to the university at the end of August, but whenever you finally get to read this please know that I love you and miss you like CRAZY. You're like a sister to me now, and I know that even though we are continents apart we are always connected in heart. Okay, that was probably the cheesiest thing I've ever written, but for realz Ags I LOVE YOU and can't wait to see you again one day (I know I will).
So yes, I miss Africa a whole lot. Kinda dyin' over here in TX, to be quite honest (just ki…

Separation Anxiety

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Date: July 27, 2014 Location: Dallas, Texas
The title says it all. Missin' Uganda a lot today.










Just a Day in the Life

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Date: July 16, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda

Story time: Monday afternoon, I went on my daily walk through the village after visiting the kids at the primary school next door like I always do. With my authentic African rosary in hand, I headed for the chapel down the road. At one point I sat down in the grass to watch the beautiful Ugandan sunset and talk to Jesus for a bit, yet before I knew it out of the corner of my eye I saw a pack of 20-plus village kids sprinting towards me, screaming as loudly as they possibly could, and flailing their arms like wild animals. "MUZUNGU!" Oh great, I thought. Not again. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE these children with all my heart, but sometimes I just want to walk and pray in peace (especially after being here for two months), you know what I mean?! I just wanted to talk to God for a bit, but in that moment I realized today was not the day for silent prayers and peaceful walks. It wasn't until much later, when I was ta…

The Stroller

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Date: July 15, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda (Buwama Mpigi District)

"No baby, don't cry. I'm here. Don't cry."

I was going on my daily walk through the village, clutching my rosary, and talking to my God. "Lord, today You lead; I follow. Wherever You need me, I will go." Passing our university, the primary school next door, the supermarket with the cheapest bottled water around, and other shops/homes, I decided to turn right, down a tiny path I hadn't noticed in the previous weeks of living here.

As soon as I turned right, I heard her. Usually the moment I encounter the children in my village, my ears are filled with endless laughter, abundant joy, and the sound of, "Muzungu! Muzungu!" or something along those lines. But not this time. As soon as I turned right, the sound of a child crying - a horribly heart-wrenching cry - filled my ears.

"No baby, don't cry. I'm here. Don't cry," I said as I ran up to her and held he…

If God is real, why does evil exist?

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Date: July 11, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda (Uganda Martyrs University)

"But Haley, if there is a God, how can He allow evil to exist? And if He doesn't allow evil to exist, but cannot do anything to stop bad things from happening, then how can He be considered an all-powerful God?"

If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked this question, I'm pretty sure I'd be able to single-handedly save the entire continent of Africa.

A number of my close family members and friends are atheists (they deny the existence of God). Now, in my opinion, there's really nothing wrong with that because I love them just the same (if not even more, since they don't know the love of God), but it is always very interesting to converse with them about the reasons for their disbelief.

"It just doesn't make sense to me," they say. "How can evil and God exist simultaneously? If God actually exists, there wouldn't be evil in this world."

They began c…

Ripple of Hope

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Date: July 10, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda (Uganda Martyrs University)

"One of the most important global disparities relates to the lack of decent work available and low incomes. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), about 200 million people don't have any form of work."*

A few days ago, Aggie (my Ugandan roommate) and I were having another one of our "America vs. Uganda" conversations, a conversation which I somehow seem to have at least twice a day with anyone and everyone who lives in my village here in Nkozi, Uganda. Not that I actually want to have that conversation...because I really don't. It makes me uncomfortable. Yet every time I go for a walk in my village, visit the kids at the primary school next door, or conduct my interviews in the field, I hear, "How's America?" or "MUZUNGU you bring me to America so I can have money like you?!" ...Yeah sure buddy let's hop on a plane and go!!!

Out of all of my…

The End of Poverty

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Date: July 9, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda (Uganda Martyrs University)

"Haley, how would you describe America?" Aggie (my Ugandan roommate here at Uganda Martyrs University) asked me as we untucked our mosquito nets, made our beds, and got ready for the day ahead.

A moment of silence. A quick pause. And then, "A land of people who have too much and love too little," I responded.

Aggie's eyes widened and she giggled to herself. "Are you serious?"

"Some people may disagree, but this summer, that's what I've realized about many people in America."

It sounds like a sweeping generalization, but you have to agree that many people in America (not everyone, but many) have way too much physically and financially and love way too little emotionally and spiritually.

It's time we face the facts: we are horrible at giving ourselves away.

Saint Paul writes in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Chr…

Under the Mango Tree

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Date: July 8, 2014 Location: Nkozi, Uganda (St. Mugagga’s Primary School)
“We sit over there, under that mango tree,” Miri pointed off into the distance.
Miri (12) is one of my many little friends who study and live at St. Mugagga’s Primary School right next door to where I study and live at Uganda Martyrs University.
“The big mango tree way over there! You see it?”
She led the way, with 15 other primary students surrounding us, each of them tugging at my arms, hugging me, grabbing my hands, and playing with muzungu (white person) hair so different from theirs.
It’s our daily 5:30 PM hideaway, the big mango tree at the front left corner of St. Mugagga’s Primary School.
Under this mango tree we meet every single day of the week at 5:30 PM, myself and my little mikwano (friends) – Rose, Miri, Topista, Brenda #1, Brenda #2 (they really like the name Brenda), Christine #1, Christine #2 (they also love the name Christine), Lillian, Catherine, Clare, Kasime, Alex, Simon Peter, Maxwell, and many ot…

5:30 PM

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Date: July 3, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda (St. Mugagga's Primary School)

Last Wednesday, David and I spent most of the day travelling to Kampala (the capital city) to pick up his miraculously now-functioning computer (both of our laptops crashed within three weeks of being here in Uganda). The drive to Kampala is usually about two hours (depending on how quickly the mutatu/taxi driver drives). If you’ve been to Kampala before, you’ll understand why I am about to say (or write, I guess) what I am going to say. Kampala is one of the psycho-est (is that a word?) cities I’ve ever encountered. David, Fiona, Lily, and I go to Kampala at least once or twice every week because that’s where we catch the bus that goes to Fort Portal, Mbale, Jinja, and all the other places we’ve visited/planning on visiting on the weekends. So as hard as we try, it’s pretty impossible to avoid going to Kampala.

David said it best when he mentioned on the way back home that last Wednesday was our smoothest K…

The Hunger and Thirst

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Date: July 2, 2014 Location: Nkozi, Uganda (Nnindye, Lubanda A)
The Hunger and Thirst: I never grasped the severity of those words until I came to Africa.
Here, everyone is hungry. Everyone is thirsty.
Now, I don’t support “hand-outs” – just throwing cash at people to take away their pain. But food, food is a whole different story.
If I see someone who is so obviously hungry, and I happen to have food with me, it feels physically impossible not to give it away.
Towards the end of week three, when the hunger in their eyes really began to break me, I started bringing some of my food with me to my interviews in the village.
One day, we interviewed a few leaders from the SILC group (click "SILC group" for more info) in part of our village called Lubanda A. I brought a few snacks with me – 2 clif bars, some to-go cups of peanut butter, and trail mix. We arrived at Lubanda A around midday. The meeting was to take place in front of the SILC secretary’s home, right next to the banana garde…