I’ve really been hammering the boys on their math skills. We are working on their mental math and multiplication tables. It is pretty standard here to use a calculator for just about everything. I always remember my teachers hounding me to “show your work.” It is kind of fun being the teacher. I’m having the boys do lots of addition and multiplication in their head. They are not allowed to write anything down except their final answer. We are also working on our measuring skills. I came up with an activity where I lay a bunch of boards and stumps all over the ground and then give them graph paper and have them draw it all out to scale. Things are still going well with them, but I’m ready to get started building.
This leads me to my next topic. Katie is back in Uganda. She got back midweek and I have had a bit of interaction with her, but not a bunch. She is a sweetheart and I look forward to getting to know her better. She is also very animated and Tyler has described her as a “firecracker.” I think we will get along real well.
I was also able to go to the food program and women’s circle in Messese. Messese is a village on the outskirts of Jinja and is known as one of the poorest areas. Amazima provides food for about 900 or so kids there. The pictures above are of the pots and stove that they use to make a huge amount of beens and posho. It makes American school lunches look like gourmet dinners. These kids are so thankful and excited to eat despite the fact that it is the same meal every single day of the year.
The women’s circle was awesome to see. It is a group of 20 women that meet together, pray, encourage each other, and make necklaces. (In the pictures there is also a pretty redhead. Her name is Shana and she is a friend of Katie that comes here and stays with Katie’s girls while Katie is back in the States.) They have set up a great program to teach these women some financial planning and give them a sustainable income. They make bead necklaces from old magazines. The necklaces are absolutely amazingly beautiful. If you are interested here is the website to order one http://147millionorphans.com/uganda-necklaces. Most of them come from very tragic circumstances and it is great to see the Lord renew their hope. Katie does a much better job explaining this great program so I encourage you all to go to her blog at http://amazima.org/blog.html. Specifically, look at the April 20th, 2010 post. The people of these villages can easily be disregarded and forgotten, but we know that our Lord will never forget any of his children.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing? Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
It is amazing to see the relationship that these women have developed as sisters in Christ. They love each other dearly and have a bond made strong by the union they have in Him. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and they shared a song with us that one of the women had made up. It was about making necklaces and the lyrics in English, to be honest, were kind of corny, but when sung in Karamajong it was beautiful.
Yesterday I was also blessed to be able to help push start the “Yucky Truck.” My nephew Elisha affectionately calls garbage trucks “Yucky Trucks.” Here they are more like small dump trucks. I was walking down the road in front of my place and as I walked by, the garbage men said something to me that I didn’t quite catch. By their gestures and the situation at hand it seemed as though they wanted me to help push the truck. This was surprising because generally speaking here in Uganda the blacks tend to treat whites as if they are superior. It was pretty bold of them to ask a white guy to help push this giant filth covered truck. I obviously don’t mind getting my hands dirty so I jumped right in and we had that thing rolling right along in no time. Once they had it started they all quickly piled in and laughed about me helping until they were out of sight. It seems as though they were equally surprised by my willingness to help as I was by their boldness in asking. Interestingly enough this was actually the forth vehicle I’ve helped push start since arriving here. In one way or another we all could use a bit of a push to get going :)