Fun family adventures resume!

                It’s been two months since either Muigai or I have traveled outside of Kampala, a record since we arrived in Uganda!  It’s been nice having a small break from our “fun family adventures,” but this month we are hitting the road again.  We spent the day in Masaka yesterday (about 3 hours south of Kampala) and will be headed to Jinja (less than 2 hours) in the upcoming weeks.  In addition, Muigai will travel to Soroti (about 6 hours north) and also Hoima (3 hours west).  Then, in mid July we head to the US for three weeks!
                This was our second time traveling to Masaka, and there is something about this region of Uganda that I love, so I was looking forward to the visit.  We have a strong partnership with the Catholic Diocese, and one of the Fathers, Father Peter Paul, is a good friend and advisor of MCC.
                The reason we were traveling to Masaka is to meet the host family of one of our volunteers who will be arriving in August.  We have a one year volunteer program for young single adults where they volunteer with one of our partners in Uganda and live with a local host family.  One goal of the program is to enable our volunteers to really immerse in the culture and understand what life is like in that context.
So early yesterday morning we strapped the kids into their seats and headed off to Masaka.

We stopped for a quick breakfast of katogo along the way…katogo is cooked banana stew with beef and rice, a common breakfast in the central region of Uganda.

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Nathan waiting for his breakfast
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Masaka town

We passed through the main town of Masaka and drove about 20 minutes into rural Masaka where we met Rose, a retired schoolteacher who will be hosting our volunteer.  Hospitality is extremely important, especially in the rural areas, and we quickly realized we shouldn’t have stopped for breakfast along the way.  Rose gave us each two bananas, a bread roll, a large queen cake (like a muffin), two hard boiled eggs, and a large mug of tea!  This was meant to be a mid morning snack, not a meal.

Rose has several agricultural projects on her land, including fruit and vegetable drying (with a solar dehydrator), rain water harvesting, chicken rearing, and pig rearing.  Natalie, who loves being outside, was in her element and happily entertained seeing the animals and playing outside while the adults talked.

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Rose’s compound
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Piglets – Natalie and Nathan had a great time chasing them and trying to catch them but the piglets were too fast
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Playing with a “ball” made from plastic bags and string

After visiting with Rose, we went to the Diocese for lunch and then visited the school where our volunteer will be working.  St Jude’s Secondary School is only two years old and struggles with a lack of resources, but the staff are committed to building and improving the school regardless of the challenges.

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St Jude’s Secondary School

After that we packed everyone back in the car and headed back home to Kampala, passing through the equator on the way back.

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I don’t know what I was thinking wearing a white shirt to the village!  We were all covered in dust by the end of the day
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