Uganda Day Six

Musana got some new tables for the workspaces so my job today was to clear out space for them and rearrange the new tables.  I will help the women to be more efficient in their work by having the tables against the walls and will also make it more personal for them.
When we go make house visits we have been taking pictures of them outside their homes with their families and will print them off a picture to have at their workspace.
Along with those workspaces we organized the supply room.  Talk about supplies.  They have so many beads!!  It was a disasterous mess.  I found a lot of really unique pieces and I’m excited to bring some jewelry home with me.  I just love organizing and each of the women came in and were in shock of how neat and clean it was.  Hopefully it says that way.
I took a break and showed a few TRX moves and that was just hilarious.  They are so funny because they don’t take exercise seriously.
After our workaday we got the privilege once again to go visit 3 of the artisans in their homes.  My partner was Janet and we went with Susan, Rosette, and Immaculate.
We started off with immaculate in her home and she has 4 children.  We walked in and her home was a big room with the curtain to divide.  Most of the homes are this way.
She shared about how her mom taught her hard work and wants that for her children and then feared that she wouldn’t have food for her children.  Which that seemed to be the same theme throughout all the women.
Once again we talked about the men and how they don’t take care of their families and just leave them to fend for themselves.  I just can’t fathom that.  But on the other end these women are just as shocked hearing about how men in America are more vigilant in their homes and families.  We shared our own personal experiences with our husbands too.
We then came to Rosettes home.  A very humble home.  No couches.  We sat on mats.  Her 18yr old son was there and joined in on our conversation.  Our conversation started heavy.  Just 3 weeks prior her husband died.
Her stepmother taught her hard work but through pain.  However she would teach her children to believe in God, be hard working and go to school because she didn’t.  She wants them to know that she is the mother and the father now and to respect others.
Then she asked us advice on how to be a single mother now.  Janet was a single mother so she talked about support men and women. Then she talked about showing love to her children and to share stories about their father and stay close to God.
I asked her 18yr old son to share to his mother how she has taught him.  His response was about her lifestyle and to believe in God.
Hard working, provided us with an education and he has a belief that his father is looking down on them now.
What makes Rosette happy is seeing her children happy and going to school, gospel music, and to see them succeed.
Rosette asked us what happens in America after the husband died.  Because in her situation she was blamed for her husbands death and in their culture the husbands family takes all the wealth.  So she is left with nothing.
Susan is quite the leader of the pack.  She’s like the mother hen.  She is a born again Christian and the first day I met her she had quite the list of questions.  And tonight didn’t change. She talked more about her husband not being around and she never knew when he was going to come home.
She asked for advice about how to support herself so that she could leave him.  Out of all the artisans she has the nicest house.  Bigger and more spacious.  So she doesn’t want to lose that security.
As I walked home my heart was heavy.  I heard and witnessed conversations while I’ve been here that have blown my mind to think that they live like this. I am in awe over and over again of the strength that these women carry.  It’s a different type of strength then what I carry.
The Ugandan strength is resilience and endurance.  The trials they face seem to carry them through and they deal with their situations longer than I do.  Especially I wouldn’t have the patience to allow a man to use me like that like they do.
How can I approach my day with such strength and resilience?
Despite their trials they are such a happy people because they sing, dance and pray.
They are also surrounded by their children and look at motherhood as a stewardship to lead, guide and train them to be something that they weren’t.
I was so emotional tonight I couldn’t contain it it just flowed freely because I didn’t want to hold it in.  Janet and I felt the spirit in each home we went to it felt like we were on a mini mission.  We got to pray, sing “I am a child of God” and share our knowledge about our loved ones who pass on with the women.  We talked about the fathers role in a family.  It was such a spiritual experience.
Physical strength when defined in America is is far different than the African’s.