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Published: July 14th 2008
Motorbike navigates traffic
Didn't have internet anywhere this weekend and there were several power outages; very common here. Friday, we did a lot of running around meeting TKL partners and gathering equipment. The absolute coolest people here are the motorbikers. The preferred form of transportation is walking, bikes, taxi vans, and motorbikes; in that order. There are no traffic lights and very few stop signs. The country is energy efficient as well; no air conditioning anywhere-; estaurants-banks-hotels...anywhere. Meals are cooked on open fires or wood-burning stoves.
Saturday was soccer day for the children of Katanga. The families live in make shift homes with no electricity, dirt floors, and no toilet facilities. A open stream of sewage runs through the slum in front of every home and circles the soccer field. The field has stones and other debris and most of the children play in bare feet. When the ball would find it's way in to the sewage, the players would simply jump in and retrieve it. The families come out to watch and for a day, a stadium of hope is formed. It is very hard for me to understand how the world can allow any human being to live this
Mother & Child going home Friday evening
way. It is my hope to join forces with others upon my return to develop an action plan for these people.
The children only attend school for four-years. The families can not afford the fee for public education. There is no free school in Uganda, only the privileged or families able to scrape money together access education.
The food here is very tasty, but not a nourishing diet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the same: green banana, rice, potato, beans, and sometimes nakati...collard greens. Oh the green banana; boiled, mashed, fried, sliced, every way imaginable. My body was craving green vegetables and it was dramatically affecting my system. Saturday I found a grocery store and bought canned spinich and green beans for dinner. The next morning I felt like a new man. I was feeling homesick and becoming a little depressed, largely because of my small and dank hotel room that could not keep out the 24-hour noise. A few calls home and a switch to a much better room allowed me to refocus on why I am here. The vegetables certainly helped as well.
Sunday, Ben and I walked around the city and
Winston, a double amputee, shows what courage is all about.
had dinner together. Ben left for up noth this morning to work with a tribe for one week. I had my first PE/basketball class this morning at a boarding school for children from the Kisenji slum. They come from all over Africa and many have war injuries. The class was held outside, their first all year. The sky opened up and heavy rains fell, but the class went on. These students would put most of my U.S. students to shame. They were respectful, tenacious, grateful, and oh so beautiful.
I have decided to accelerate my schedule and respond to the hand at my back that keeps pushing me north. Wednesday I leave for Gulu!
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