Sunday, August 19, 2007

curt's journal from Uganda-Aug. 15

I don’t have much time to write today. I’ve got to get things prepared for filming the choir tomorrow and get some much-needed sleep.

Today, we went back into the bush to Kamasenene. Hopkins wasn’t very happy with the reception we got there, but I absolutely loved it. She said it didn’t even look like the teaching staff knew we were coming. She really likes, and expects, a well-organized presentation when we get to the schools. You can tell these schools are her pride and joy and she runs a very tight ship.

One of her frustrations was that not very many kids were at the school. It was kind of a holiday, I think. I think once the official exams are over, they have holiday, or vacation. I haven’t really figured it out yet, because they still have school in some situations. She said something like, “The kids at Lusaka will be on holiday next week, but they’ll still come to school...just a half day.” I don’t think I’d be a happy camper if they made us go half days during spring break or summer vacation!

Anyway, Kamasenene was beautiful. The school was located in a thriving, green valley. The scenery was breathtaking. I think I could’ve stayed here for our whole trip. Next to the school, there was a tree filled with spherical nests. One of the teachers who came with us from Lusaka school told me they were Weaver Birds. There were maybe sixty of these bright yellow birds nesting in this one tree and they sang beautifully and constantly. It was really a relaxing setting. The fact that there were a smaller number of children was nice too. Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming when there are so many kids vying for our attention. We were able to take a lot of pictures without gathering a crowd too, which was nice. I’d love to take a SLOW journey through the countryside of Uganda and take pictures. I don’t think I’ll get the opportunity as long as Moses is driving. He’ll stop anytime I ask him to, but we’re usually trying to get somewhere. I’d feel weird stopping the van full of passengers to take a photo of a cool rock!

Almost everyone fell asleep on the way home, but Hopkins kept answering my millions of questions. I learned a lot about her past, growing up without the love of parents. Fortunately, she had a loving grandma that she lived with until seventh grade. In high school, she moved in with her aunt in Kampala to go to high school. She had some questions for me too. She wondered about the United States, how we live, how we get educated, and why I keep saying “bless you” when she sneezes. I explained that it’s just become a habit for us in the States. I happened to recall that the origin had to do with the superstition that evil spirits would enter whenever you sneeze (or was that when you yawn?) so you need a blessing. She thought that was pretty funny.

I got to try my first sugarcane on the way home in the van. I think I’ve found my new favorite vegetable. It was another great day and our group is very tired. Everyone just came home and I’ll do the same.

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the latest on the sells

As of May 27, 2009...

Wow, it's been almost a year since we've updated this. Our family had a wonderful experience traveling to Uganda two summers ago, which prompted us to keep a journal on this blog. You can read our daily journal from our month long trip

This year brings new adventures. Our eldest daughter, Courtney, after graduating from George Fox University with honors, left for her third trip to India to spend nearly a YEAR to work at Happy Home for the Handicapped in Shimoga, India. You can read about her first trip to India and the impact it had on her life here. She'll also give us new updates from her current trip on this site (here). As of this writing, she is just starting to settle in and is very excited to be there. She has been looking forward to this for a long time!

Meanwhile, Hillary spent all of last year
touring the western U.S. with Matsiko, the choir of children we grew to love as our own in Uganda. She journalled about her experiences in Uganda if you'd like to see what that was like. At some point during this tour, she felt led to join the U.S. Army. Quite a big decision, and one she didn't take lightly. After moving through Basic Training with flying colors, she is now at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio training to become a combat medic. It's a very intense training, but we're sure she'll do well. Our whole family was able to travel to South Carolina to watch her graduate from Basic Training. What an awe inspiring experience!

Leslie is having a great year of teaching 5th graders. She's also in a Master's program, which takes a good chunk of her time. She's still finds time to read a TON of books. Literally, a ton!

Curt was overwhelmed by his experience as a first time overseas traveler and kept up his journal here (you can also read his random posts on everyday life here). The busyness of life and keeping track of his traveling kids has slowed down his writing, but he hopes to begin writing on a regular basis again soon.