Thursday, September 27, 2007

my favorite day of my life.

day #2 in pader
last night was quite an experience. big loud thunderstorms and the african sky lighting up in spasms. the generator went out and in the middle of the black night i scrambled to use the bathroom hole. i almost stepped in it at one point! the thunder was louder than i've ever heard. the rain burst down from the sky all at once when it finally came down. i lay frozen in bed under a big mosquito net imagining myself deep in the bush of northern uganda.

so this day might have been my favorite day of my life. we woke up and met for a quick breakfast of egg and chiapati (i'm certain i'm screwing up this word) - a tortilla like bread. i think it's indian. the team i'm traveling with is amazing. diana, our leader, betty and james. betty and james are from villages in northwest and eastern uganda. so as we gather information and connecting with the people in these camps, they are paving the way for that connection constantly. they are so much fun to travel with and i'm constantly laughing with them. betty is soulful in every sense of the word. she's warm and wise, strong and soulful. and watching the elders, them mothers and the children open up to her is awesome.

our first stop was at ccf (christian counciling something-that-begins-with-F). a woman named alice runs this amazing program for child mothers who were abducted by the LRA. this means they were children when they were taken from their villages and many were given to the LRA commanders as sex slaves. so now they are back in their communities as mothers of 1 or 2 or more children. they are learning different trades for themselves and have sewing machines to make clothing to sell. i got to interview a young girl named monica. absolutely stunning girl. she was breastfeeding one of her babies the whole interview. we have to be careful not to ask specific questions about their experience when they were abducted because it's too sensitive of a topic. monica, like all the other youth we've spoken with had to quit school to take of her children. she spoke about how she just wanted to figure out a way to get back to school. all the youth wish for the same thing. education is the single most important thing in these communities. they value it over everything.

i sang amazing grace and then they sang a song of theirs for us. we all stood up and danced together, our team and the large group of young women, most of them with a child in their arms.

there's SO much more about this day. we went to 2 other sites and did a "cultural exchange" of music and dance. i danced my butt off. it was so much fun. i have to sign off for now... so i'll finish more on the next blog!!

No comments: