Saturday, July 7, 2012

Whatcha been doin', John?

John has been busy with his six-week surveying practicum at Kampala's Kyambogo University with an eMi Canada staffer. Thankfully, it seems like he's able to keep up really well. A week from Monday, he'll return for two weeks to survey a 500-acre camp called Restoration Gateway about an hour south of Gulu (he traveled there for an initial trip two weeks ago). The camp is primarily for the “forgotten children”—children who were forced into being child soldiers of the Lord's Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony.

As John gets to know the five other men in his class, the state of the education system is considerably disheartening—especially in light of what it costs people in very real ways to get a “good education” at one of the best schools in Uganda. Though the school offers a surveying degree, it owns no surveying equipment. So we're thankful that eMi brought over enough sets of equipment to train each student, and for this staffer to teach students who, though they've been in the program for two years, have only had classes on theory. It's a good chance for John and the teacher to dig in with these local young men; John's still in the training phase of construction management and currently has a lot of in-office responsibilities. The teacher/eMi staffer seems thankful for John to be there to buffer some of the odd cultural stuff and help him wade through it.

This week we hosted a couple we went to school with from John Brown University/Fellowship Bible Church in Siloam Springs. Nathan and Kendra work about four hours from here around Lake Victoria constructing a camp in a very remote village. They have a three-year-old, and 18-month-old, and she’s pregnant (this sounds eerily familiar...) only she doesn’t have a washing machine, and for 15 km outside of their home, they need a four-wheel-drive. They use a solar electricity system in their house, but no one else around them has electricity or running water. She was remarking on a real sense of God's grace as she manages motherhood in rural Uganda. After remembering my experience as a mother of three kids three and under, I was thinking, you are not kidding, sister.

We had to laugh at some of the dinner conversation around the table. You know you're with a veteran missionary in Uganda when they remark, "Well, thankfully he was only bitten by a python." Trust me, there are a lot more terrible snakes in Uganda--think black mambas and puff adders--and I learned that you don't run when bitten by a snake, because it increases your circulation. It's good to pick up some of these little tidbits here and there. Pass the lemonade, would you?

This wonderful family was in town because a work team from FBC Siloam came in yesterday. John traveled with them to the camp and is presumably (considering he doesn't have cellular service) helping put a roof on a medical clinic so the group can have a medical outreach next week. He plans to return tomorrow. Glad for him to get to swing a hammer for a few days. Maybe it's just me, but with all that's around us, sometimes it just feels good to expend your efforts on something with tangible results.

1 comment:

Soaring High said...

Yeah! They all made it safe! I so wanted to go with the team from church, but it wasn't possible. Blessings on their trip and I'm glad you got to see everyone!