Winston Churchill called it the Pearl of Africa. All we know is that the people of Uganda have been occupying our minds and hearts for months now, and we are beyond excited to live with them and serve them for 9 weeks this summer! If you want to be a part of what we're doing, you're in the right place.


alive and apologetic

anyone out there still checking back on our apparently abandoned blog, have no fear. we wrote a few posts before we left and we'll be putting them up very very soon. we've hardly had time to breathe since we returned to u.s. soil, but now that we're fairly settled in, we promise not to leave you hanging!

sorry for the slacking. you're the best. we miss africa.



We did that. Don’t judge. We’ve officially been living here a month, and I know we’ve mentioned how good the food is, but really a girl can only go so long on rice, beans, plantains, chapatti, and unidentifiable meats. We wanted some American food and fast. So the activities committee kindly slaved over a plan for our food tour of the capital of Uganda, the only place in the country willing to fuel our hopeless cravings. On Saturday we hopped happily out of bed, paid a visit to the bank and then caught a taxi to the big city. After my last frightening, bustling Kampala experience, I was a little nervous for our return, but we managed to stay in a wonderfully calm part of town and it was great. We first began with a stop at the grocery store in the mall, where we roamed the aisles with our jaws on the floor, in amazement at the availability of delightful treats like cereal, granola, barbeque sauce, cinnamon rolls, and so on. You’d think after only a month of being gone we wouldn’t be so shocked, but what can I say, I was weak at the sight. We then found a hamburger place. It was no In-N-Out, but a burger, fries, and soft-serve ice cream cone felt heaven-sent. We digested during a long trip to the artisan market, where we walked around admiring everything, purchased a few gifts, and Nicole and I realized that we want to decorate our entire future homes with gorgeous hand-carved African ebony bowls. Later on, for an early dinner, we hit the jackpot at a restaurant set up in the corner of a parking garage. It was called the I <3 New York Kitchen. Brilliance. Chocolate banana milkshake, pepperoni pizza, and chocolate cake. Nicole put it wonderfully when she said, “If you don’t feel like puking at the end of eat your way through Kampala day, you didn’t do it right.”

Trust me, we did it right.



Due to some conflicts in planning, Nicole and I were apart for a few days while I journeyed North to Gulu. She would have come too but she had to remain behind for a trip to Kiyindi, where her prized football tournament extravaganza will be taking place in a few weeks– the likes of which is progressing wonderfully! However, a few of us were due for a trip north to do research for TOMS shoes and to meet with contacts in that area to plan some projects for later this summer. I must admit that initially I was not a fan of up and leaving on the first week that schools were in session and our work there was finally about to start, but after two and a half days, I was madly in love with Gulu.

Brooke Z., Lexi, Ryan, Oscar, Rob and I began our adventure at noon on Friday, under the assumption that we’d be at our destination in about 3 hours. We caught a taxi to Kampala where we met up with the two young men who would be our guides, David Opiro and his friend Franco. They both grew up in Gulu, just graduated from Makerere University, the best college in Eastern Africa, and they now work in Kampala. They’ve set up a women’s group that we’ll be working with on income-generating projects, and they’re probably my new heroes. There is really no sufficient way to describe the madness that is downtown Kampala’s taxi & bus parks. I have never in my life seen that many swarming people in one place. It was stressful and terrifying and crazy and hot and made me very much nostalgic for the calm Mukono life. We walked through mobs of people, squeezing ourselves and our backpacks in between the endless masses of taxis and buses. Then we had to sit on the bus for over two hours waiting for it to fill up. Meanwhile, vendors yelled from the street below and walked up and down the narrow aisle trying to sell strange orange drinks in old water bottles, flashy plastic hair bows, gum, and awesome bags plastered with Obama’s face. I could devote an entire post to the Obama obsession here. It’s quite humorous.

Once we finally got out of the sweaty noisy city, the sales technique I mentioned became quite useful when it allowed me to buy a banana and chapatti (our staple tortilla-like snack) out the window at various stops. We stopped so much, in fact, that our three hour drive took nearly seven. Luckily I brought multiple books for entertainment. I wish I could express how beautiful that drive is. I’d do it over a hundred times again if I was ensured a window seat. Granted there was a stretch where it started pouring rain through the broken window pane and pelting me angrily in the face, but other than that, my seat was prime for a view of the setting of the sun on the rolling green bush. It was magical. Ten hours after we’d left the house, we found ourselves walking the pitch-black streets of Gulu during a late night power outage. We ended up at this awesome restaurant where we feasted on a delicious candle-lit meal before heading to our hotel. There we dead-bolted our door, snuggled up in sketchy hotel sheets, and tried to think positively about the state of our bathroom and the fact that we actually had one. It made me think back fondly on the vast extravagance of the various scary hotels and motels I’ve slept at in the United States.

The next day we got an early start, splitting ourselves between David and Franco to head even further north into the villages and Internally Displaced People’s camps that were affected by the insurgency and rebel attacks a few years ago. They acted as our guides and translators. Because Gulu is part of a different kingdom than the south and thus has a different language, even our arsenal of basic Luganda was unhelpful. I did learn a few things in Acholi, but all I remember is the basic greeting “Kop’ango?” and the response of “Kope.” It was a hot, productive day involving lots of walking and a lot of extremely helpful research findings. I wish I could describe it all in detail, but this post is getting absurdly long as it is. Life is just different there. I’d never really comprehended the various levels of extreme poverty before that trip. There’s the extreme poverty of rural Mukono that makes my heart ache for the kids and their future. And then there’s the extreme poverty of a school in rural Gulu where only 5-10% of the students have ever owned a pair of shoes and they are lucky to have a spare piece of raw cassava to bring for lunch because most of them go hungry throughout the entire eight hour school day. They have no money, no food, and little hope for changing that in the near future. I saw a boy lying in a field by a school, sick and in pain, with no one around who knew how to take care of him. I was on the verge of tears multiple times during the day, and it was hard, but it left me motivated to do what little I could to relieve even a small part of what they live through every day.

As usual, the people were friendly, inviting, and generous. I can’t say enough how much I’ve learned about being a good host from the Ugandan people. I felt more welcomed in the twelve foot diameter hut of a stranger than I have in a lot of places at home. That evening we visited David and Franco’s women’s group and within fifteen minutes were able to dive into a plan to cut their costs for making paper bead necklaces by about 80%. It was one of those times when something so simple makes you feel really useful. It’s nice to feel useful every once in a while, especially when most of the things you’re working on seem to open your eyes to all the other layers of problems you just can’t penetrate. The next morning, after a world-class pancake breakfast at our new favorite restaurant, we had a meeting and then stopped by the Invisible Children office in Gulu. It was awesome. If you don’t know much about Invisible Children, I would strongly suggest doing some research about what they’ve been up to recently.

The ride home took just as long as the ride there, although this time I had the privilege of being the sixth person squished in the middle of a backseat bench meant for five. It only got awkward the one time I nearly fell asleep on the shoulder of the man next to me. And again on the stretch when there were 45 large speed bumps in a row. We’re still not sure what the purpose is of having so many, but we were sure to count each time we were violently propelled into the air. The whole trip was probably one of the most memorable experiences of my life, but I cant tell you how good it was to get back to our friends and our cozy little house. I’m going to be terribly upset when I have to leave. I'm trying not to think about it.


We Can Combart Illitracy

(The main wall at Crane School. Maybe some problems aren't so hard to spot.)
I have never truly appreciated how difficult it is to be a teacher. This past week we began our work at different schools throughout Mukono. One of the schools we work with a few times a week is Crane Preparatory, a needy school that houses many orphans year round. There are no words to describe Crane. Oh wait. There are three words that describe it with absolute perfection: gird your loins. Our group of volunteers has taken to reciting this as we walk onto the grounds of the school, because Crane is about a handful and a half.
On our first day at Crane, we had five volunteers for around 500 students (some of our volunteers, including Jessica, were on the opposite end of the country. More on that later). Not stressful or anything, right? These 500 students are crammed into the tiniest dilapidated brick buildings with dirt floors and rickety wooden benches for desks and seats. The walls are covered in dirt, doodles from past children, and charcoal stains. The “wall” between the classrooms is more like a wooden screen with gaping holes in it where all the noises from surrounding classrooms filter in. Witnessing such a chaotic and cluttered learning environment was difficult to handle. The fee to attend Crane Preparatory is around 10 U.S. dollars, and some families cannot even afford that. All my life I have seen poverty stricken people shown on the news and depicted in movies, but until I came to Uganda I never realized how absolutely real it is. I just want to take all of these kids and give them all the opportunities that they deserve, but the best that I can do is show them that they are loved and hopefully teach them a few life skills along the way. Learning that I can’t change everything is the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn here. 
I was put into the P.7 class, which is the equivalent of 5th-6th grade in the United States. As I said before, I’ve never truly appreciated how difficult it is to be a teacher. Granted, it was never my goal to be a teacher, but due to communication barriers, the teachers at Crane assumed that we would be teaching the classes for them. Another volunteer and I ended up with chalk in hand in front of 105 students waiting for us to teach them. No big deal. After a morning of teaching English and Math to the students of Crane, we finally tracked down the teacher and explained that we are not here to take over their classrooms, but that we want to establish a tutoring program for the students that are struggling in their studies. 
Once class gets out in the afternoon, we lead the extracurricular programs with the students, hence the girding of the loins. The headmaster put us in his office while he divided up all of the children into the three groups: music/dance, sports, and reading. As we sat there we could hear the crowd of kids roar, and that’s when we knew the next two hours were going to be insane. Another girl in our group, Kaile, described the scenario with absolute brilliance when she said, “You know that part in Mulan when the Huns come riding down the snowy mountain, and you see how many soldiers there really are? That’s what Crane is like.” So true. One by one, the headmaster led us out of the office to meet our group of around a hundred excited and enthusiastic students. I was called out to help with soccer, and as I walked up with the headmaster, he said to the students, “Is that how you greet your teacher?” And then they stormed me. I was literally ambushed and body slammed by fifty rushing preteens. It was out of control. Later, I was recruited to assist in the reading groups because we were so outnumbered. After leading the kids in games and songs for the next few hours, we went home absolutely exhausted. That first day in Crane was even more tiring than building an adobe stove in the hot sun. We have now divided the school into more reasonably sized groups for the extracurricular activities, so things are going much more smoothly now. Yesterday, Jessica and I played netball with a big group of P.7 girls that supremely dominated us. It is so much fun to run around with these kids whether we are teaching them funny American games and songs or running soccer drills with them. Despite the girding of the loins and the craziness that ensues when a bunch of Muzungus enter a school, the looks of absolute happiness and delight on the children’s faces are so worth it. 


The day that changed our lives.

White water rafting the Nile was the best day of our lives. It was SO FUN. Surprisingly enough, I was much more excited than nervous even though this was my first experience with rafting. Jessica was thrilled to continue on with her vast experience in rafting, which amounts to one trip to Yellowstone when she was eight. The rafting package included our transportation so the van picked us up and took us to the source of the Nile at Jinja, which is about an hour away from Mukono. There they fed us a delightful breakfast (full of so much chapatti, our obsession, and endless supplies of pineapple) and prepped us for the rafting. There were about 75 people total on this rafting excursion. They lined us all up and handed out the life jackets and our fancy helmets. They pulled our life jackets so tight that I was afraid a few people might pass out, including myself. Jessica and I looked so classy in our helmets. We weren’t deterred from the many stories of parasites and diseases that accompany any mention of the Nile, so we boarded the bus that took us to our entry point.  Our HELP team was divided between two rafts with seven of us in each. Our raft was the only all girls raft, which prompted much teasing from the other river guides. As we were boarding our raft, the man in charge of this extravaganza said that we were privileged to have Thabani as our rafting guide, who he claimed was the “strongest raft guide in Africa.” After six hours of rafting with him, we were convinced. Thabani was from Zimbabwe and entertained us with fascinating stories about encounters with hippos, lions, and other feisty jungle creatures. When we were getting onto the raft, Thabani asked for the two strongest to take the front of the raft. Interestingly enough, my raft voted fellow teammate Brooke Zollinger and myself. I was confused as to how I suddenly became a “strong one.” But Brooke and I obliged, and took the front as the pacesetters for the paddling. We loved the front! We hit everything first and probably swallowed the most Nile water, but it was such a blast. Jessica and I impressed everyone with our ability to jump back onto the raft at quick speeds while everyone else would still be hanging on to the side of the raft, drowning in the river. It was awesome. I knew that all those years of tubing at Lake Powell would come in handy one day. The river was beautiful! I feel like we have sued the word “green” so often while describing Uganda that it is starting to lose its meaning, but really, it was so green. Our rafting experience consisted of twelve rapids, many of them class five. It was the most thrilling experience. I remember the first time we went through some rapids, which we later found out were a measly class one, we all screamed (well, not Thabani, he just laughed at us).  By the end of the day, if we weren’t barreling down life-threatening waterfalls, we were supremely disappointed. We trusted Thabani with our lives. The approach to any rapid usually included a lengthy pep talk from Thabani where he would lay out our game plan. We would usually enter a rapid by paddling at full speed, but our favorite part was when he bellowed, “Get down!” and we all got to crouch down and cling to the our paddles and the side of the raft for dear life. At one particularly intense rapid, Thabani told us that to paddle as hard as we could until the very last possible moment when he would tell us to get down. We don’t hold it against her, but we had barely entered the rapid when Jessica yelled out, “WHEN DO WE GET DOWN?”even though she was had already pulled in her paddle and was curled up in a ball on the floor of the raft. Oh, how we love the rapids. Although the sights during the calm parts were quite nice. Well, most were nice, others were scarring. At one point, we passed a group of local spectators watching from the shore, and the following conversation took place:
Nicole: “Some people watch TV. Others watch the Nile.”
Jessica: “Some people wear pants. That man doesn’t.”
After that, we averted our gaze from the shore and concentrated on dominating the river.
 We enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to change our life plans and become a river guides and travel the world rafting. Sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? Despite many close calls, we only flipped one time, and we kind of liked it. It reminded me of getting stuck in the waves at the beach when you just get pounded over and over again. It didn’t scare us, but some of our team members were a bit freaked out by the thrashing we experienced. Our teams other raft flipped twice, so we had all the bragging rights, naturally.   During our break for lunch, we were just floating along eating pineapple, and I looked around me, and thought, “I am sitting on a raft. Eating fresh pineapple. On the Nile.” It does not get much better than that. Somehow, none of us found it annoying to mention that we were “on the Nile” every five seconds. We got a disc full of the funniest pictures from the professional photographers that hung out in kayaks as we battled the rapids. We look like absolute savages. I will say no more, and let the million pictures below do the talking.


all things considered.

Life is busy and great. A lot of our projects will take a week or two to get up and running, so we aren’t out and about as much as we will be soon, but there’s still a lot of research and preparation to do. All the schools are still on holiday until Monday, but after that there are three or four schools that we will be working with in the afternoons to help with art, music/dance/drama, and sports programs. Teachers are extremely enthusiastic about improving these programs, and we are working on curriculum to work self-awareness and health trainings into these times as well. Also, we’ll be helping out with reading programs and working with students who are behind on reading. According to the head teacher of one school, that’s the vast majority of the students. We met with a school that homes 330 orphans and high-risk children and doesn’t even have a water source near their school. It’s incredibly sad to see, but we got to meet some of the kids and their smiles and enthusiasm make me so excited for what we can do. A lot of schools and groups need funds. Largely because Nicole and I were so successful with fundraising, we actually have a lot more money for projects than HELP teams in the past. However, we’re trying to make that go as far as we can with the biggest impact, and in many cases I like it better that we can say we don’t have a lot of money but we want to get involved and help out their programs as much as we can. I think that sort of involvement will be so much more beneficial than just donating supplies here and there. We also have a couple of big projects that are going to be starting up really soon that I’m really excited about. We met with the District Education Officer regarding a festival type project that we’re going to be doing with 10+ high risk primary schools. I’ll describe that in more detail when we get it planned more concretely, but it’s basically going to involve teachers and upper level students to plan a large one day festival at each of the schools with rotating stations to teach elementary level kids about health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, life skills, and environmental education, and it’ll have a reading theater booth to get kids excited about reading. We’ll also have an art/performance/writing competition in the weeks leading up to the festival to get them involved in those things as well. It has a lot of logistical issues to work out, but I’m really excited about it and that’s what I’m putting most of my effort into right now because we want to get it off the ground next week when the kids go back to school. Also I’m part of the team planning the eye and dental camps that we raised money for through tipping bucket, and we’re planning a four day trip up north sometime in the next month to do research for TOMS shoes. Nicole spent all day Tuesday in Lugazi and a village called Kiyendi evaluating the current status of the women’s groups there. She went on many taxi rides with over twenty-one people in one vehicle and a few live chickens running around under her feet. The wild rides fulfilled her rollercoaster cravings and she is looking forward to heading back up there next week. She’s leading the group that will put on a community football (soccer, for all you Americans) tournament to gather the families of the village for HIV/AIDS trainings and counseling. We are so sneaky. The village is on the shores of Lake Victoria, which Nicole says is absolutely gorgeous. Luckily, we both get to go evaluate another school near the lake this Saturday, so I will also be able to experience the sights of Lake Victoria. All of that is keeping us pretty busy. It’s hot and sweaty and the sun is insane. I think rainy season may have finally given up on us. Also, we are becoming quite talented at navigating our way around Mukono, and we take great pride in that.

On Sunday afternoon, our team was invited to the town council meeting for Nasuuti (that’s our neighborhood). It was… interesting. We were presented to town leaders and welcomed to the neighborhood, which was extremely kind of them, but then we ended up listening to an hour long speech by the head of security. Or sechurity, as it’s pronounced here. It was in Lugandan, although with the help of translators we were able to make out something about a dog from Germany who sniffs out thieves and some jokes that had the crowd in hysterics and left us a bit confused. The language barrier. Always such a mood killer. It was a beautiful evening though and we enjoyed ourselves.

Describing our team as great doesn’t quite do it justice. I’ve never been surrounded by so many brilliant, insightful, hardworking, and hilarious people. Constantly throughout the day I find myself learning something new or in pain from laughing so hard. They’re wonderful. We really lucked out.
In other news, we got a table and a book shelf made and constructed a makeshift couch out of extra mattress pads, so our house is becoming more like home by the day! We’re thinking of acquiring some chickens to house in the small chicken coop in the backyard, and at our Monday night meeting we voted to adopt a goat to live in the front yard and trim our lawn. We’re utterly thrilled! I think the two will be a welcome distraction from the sound of pigs being beheaded at the pork joint next door. Had to witness that walking home church on Sunday and it was not pleasant.

Lois has come to play twice since we last updated. Have we told you about Lois? She’s our cook Edith’s daughter and she has the energy of about ten 4 year olds her size. Sometimes this results in violent jumping onto people. Sometimes it leads to mad dancing or singing. Always it leads to chaos. Lois is our favorite.

In the past week we’ve had a birthday celebration and two mission calls in the team, which meant two nights of cake from the bakery owned by a family we are working with on a few projects. The first night was chocolate, which was delightful, but the second night we ended up with the Ugandan standard raison cake that makes me a little nervous ever since we spent an hour last Thursday sorting good raisons from bad and killing the hundreds of bugs in between. Oh well, I’m keeping optimistic with the thought that they wash the raisons before baking them into cake and that any leftover bugs would be killed in the oven regardless. Yummy. Soon I’ll start making grasshopper muffins. I mentioned last time that we each ate a grasshopper last week, right? It was fairly not bad all things considered.

Something that is fairly bad? Doing laundry. Nicole and I spent yesterday morning cleaning our filthy clothes supply with the remains of a bucket of detergent and a withering bar of soap in some water buckets. It was quite the long painful experience, though it left us with stronger arms and uncannily clean hands. The real problem was getting them to dry on the line in 80something% humidity. Oh well, another life experience to cross off the list! Life is good, all things considered.

P.S. A round of applause for Nicole, who had her first latrine experience today. There was a moment when she lost her balance and there were loud noises that made me worry for her safety, but thankfully she survived and is alive and well!


lots of more pictures coming soon! the internet situation here is far less than ideal, but we're doing our best


Muzungus on Parade.

We’re terribly sorry that we haven’t been able to update sooner, but to say we are busy would be a huge understatement. The last six days have been some of the longest of my life, and yet this week has flown by. Africa is a dream. The sky and the clouds just seem bigger here, and the thunderstorms are much more impressive. Never in my life have I been surrounded by so much green. It’s absolutely everywhere! We’re very much in love with Uganda. It’s welcoming, breathtakingly beautiful, relaxed, bustling, frustrating, challenging, and so much more incredible than we’d anticipated. I already have a list going of things I’ve experienced that I never have before and never really thought I would.

A few of these include:
-getting water from the Nile river and carrying it in a 30 lb. jug half a mile uphill
-brushing my teeth from a water bottle
-eating a fried grasshopper (not nearly as scary as you’d imagine)
-seeing cows/goats/pigs etc. roaming the front yards of small village houses
-living within a barbed wire compound
-having an ex-military & current Manchester United super-fan guard our house with a rather large gun
-waking up to a shrieking pig’s last words from the pork joint next door
-planting corn on a large plot of land smack in the middle of the jungle
-using my feet to mix adobe
-sorting out rotten raisons for a bakery

Another useful list I’ve compiled relates to birds I have heard, including:
-the bird that sounds like a monkey
-the bird that sounds like a baby crying
-the bird that sounds like an angry old woman
-the bird that sounds like a mechanical device gone wrong

I suppose it would make more sense to start at the beginning of this week, when we woke up at 6:30 to make the hour and a half drive to a village called Jugoba/Juboba/Jugobo or something to that extent. Two thirds of that drive was on an unpaved glorified bike path which gave the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland a serious run for its money. As we had 16 people packed in our taxi van, there were a few bruises to the head from bumps, but the scenery made it worth it. The morning mist rising over the greens of the hills and valleys and trees of Africa is something everyone should experience. One thing that should be well established is that wherever we go, we are Muzungus on parade. Muzungu means white person, and as we walk by houses and shop fronts in town children run alongside us and wave, yelling “bye Muzungu, bye Muzungu!” It’s adorable, and we can’t quite figure out why they only say bye. The further we got onto the village roads, the more and more smiles and waves we got from adults as well. The project we were doing was to help out a couple that has worked with HELP international for years. They run an orphanage and a women’s group as well as a village outreach program, and we had asked to help out with a health clinic they were building in the village. Once the small clinic is complete, it will be an easily accessible place in the community where sick people limited by lack of transportation can be tested and given basic treatment or medication. As soon as we got there we were put to work helping to lay floors. Nicole and I shoveled dirt and pushed about 20 wheelbarrow loads across the site, and then we had our first experience with carrying gallons of water up a steep, narrow, jungle pathway. After four hours we switched to working on a food security garden kept up by the village. And by working on a garden I mean we walked up and down nearly a hundred rows of crops planting corn. It was a wonderful, educational, exhausting, and very dirty and tiring experience. A bucket shower and an early bedtime were much needed.

Manual labor isn’t exactly where we have the advantage (in fact we looked quite foolish), so spending all of Tuesday meeting with partner organizations to discuss our capabilities and their desires for our involvement was even more productive. First we met with the director of a secondary school called Mukono Town Academy who was very excited about working with their children in various areas. Then Nicole went to a meeting with the District health officer and I went to a no-show meeting at a woman’s vocational training center. We’ve quickly learned that punctuality is not a Ugandan priority. Luckily we are quite flexible. Our next meeting was with the woman and her husband that I mentioned earlier. We’re so excited about the projects she has for us to work on. We then walked along the pathways in the valleys of Mukono town to Crane Preparatory Academy, a high risk primary school that homes over 50 orphans and 500 other poverty-stricken children. All schools are on holiday right now, but we got to meet some of the orphans that are living there right now and they we so great! They even sang a song for us and laughed generously at our attempts to speak scattered Lugandan.
Wednesday we drove out to Ginja, a town on the bank of the Nile, and helped to build an adobe stove at a school there. The cook for the school was there and despite only knowing a few words in English, she could not say thank you enough. She currently works all day in a small smoke-filled room, and as soon as the stove is complete, that smoke will be directed outdoors through a pipe chimney that will hopefully greatly improve her health. We moved 300 bricks assembly-line style and hauled even more water, this time even a longer walk uphill but getting water straight from the Nile, while children floated past yelling at us and a fairly large snake swam past at an alarming rate. Then I helped stomp around in a pile of dirt, clay, grass, and water to mix up the adobe. Meanwhile Nicole flung adobe between the bricks so well that she was granted the honor of no longer being a Muzungu. Perhaps it also had to do with how entirely covered with mud we were. When we got home exhausted and sunburned, we just had enough time to wet-wipe our legs and arms and change out of our dirt covered clothes and walk to a meeting with another man who has his own village outreach foundation.
Thursday we had another round of meetings and worked on proposals for potential projects. We also got to visit the bakery of a family we will be working with and somehow ended up sorting raisons for a very long time. It was another great day with a lot of walking. Also, I experienced my first boda boda ride! It was great until right at the end when a very large bus came inches from running us over. Don’t worry mom, we dodged it well!

We have a lot going on, and we’re trying our hardest to
get things up and running so we can get started on our projects. Nicole and I both somehow ended up on house cleaning committee, and we have made a world class chore chart. Activities committee has announced that our first Friday night movie night will be the Lion King. Only fitting. We’re thrilled! We’re also hot, sweaty, dirty, and loving life. The food is surprisingly wonderful, though we are still eating through our granola bars far too quickly. And in case we haven’t mentioned it enough, the country is gorgeous.
 working tirelessly on the chore chart.
We miss you all, but time is flying by and we’re loving our experience so far!