When I arrived into Kampala late Sunday night, October 8th, I was picked up and taken to a hotel to stay the night. The next morning, the regional contact, Carol, two of her friends, the driver and I set out for the seven hour drive from Kampala to Kabale (we were lucky to be in a car- the bus ride is 10 hours!) On the way through the luscious green land, we stopped in a small town to pick up gonga, which is a delicious grilled plantain that is soft and chewy on the inside and a favorite snack for locals. My new friends told me all about the Ugandan culture in all of its uniqueness. For example, the country has been influenced by many different cultures and as a result, Uganda is home to 43 different languages. In Kabale, a derivative of the Bantu language, called Rukiga, is the chief spoken language.
When we arrived in Kabale Monday evening, we pulled up to a famous hotel called the White Horse Inn. The inn had previously hosted the meeting of leaders from Uganda and Rwanda and two former US presidents and is known for its fantastic views of the terraced mountains of the city. Our small team stayed there for the week and enjoyed great food and service. On Tuesday, I attended a leadership training on Family Planning and surveying that a public health speaker from Nairobi, Kenya led. About 50 people from 3 different regions of southern Uganda attended to be trained in how to conduct accurate surveys of women in their villages to collect data for family planning statistics. Over lunch, I met the supervisor of the agriculture and sustainable farming program, Gordon, whom I will be primarily shadowing for the next few weeks. Tuesday evening, we had a welcoming dinner at the hotel with the leaders and pastors of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) Church.
|Sarah and I at World Food Day festival|
The English service of the PAG church started at 8am on Sunday and the pastor introduced me to their family in both the English service and Rukiga service. Many of Sarah's friends welcomed me into their church family and community, including a doctor named Ivan who works as a clinical physician at a Christian hospital nearby. We spent the afternoon touring the different wings of the hospital and then headed to the end part of a women's conference being held at the church that evening.
Monday of this week was my first glimpse of being in the field with the Agriculture department, although it was a unique opportunity. October 16th was World Food Day and in the Kisoro district of Kabale, hundreds of people set up tents on the top of a mountain to tell people the different ways they've used the earth's resources to provide income, health and a sustainable future to their families or communities. Hundreds of people, including the second Prime Minister, came to see displays and buy products. Our group of the agriculture and farming department had a booth selling and telling about Amaranth and its benefits for famers.
|View over Kabale city|
The first few days have been packed, but as I get to know the town, the people and the work being done in World Renew's partner, I am filled with excitement for every day ahead and all that God wants to do and teach Sarah and I!