Posts by sarah

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. 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. Rosette 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 Susan is quite the leader of the pack.  She’s like the mother...

Read More

Uganda Day Five

Our class today was on creating a meal plan.  So I asked each of them to draw out 3 sections for growth, protection and energy.  Then I asked them to put down on item in growth and energy and then 2 in protection. Most of these women have never done such a thing before.  I was able to provide them with another way to approach food.  Because they would typically add 2 items of energy foods on their plates because its cheaper.  But because of our lesson the previous day about the different fruits and vegetables and the benefits to each one if they eat it they have begun to see that paying a little bit more money for those foods would benefit them in the long term and not just short term. We got to go back to the Canon School and teach the children these same topics but of course catered to their needs. Leslie went on to teach the teachers of that school how to be better effective teachers.  She began with a simple yet powerful model of beginning by sharing about themselves to open up communication and not have full control of the classroom.  Allow them an opportunity to make contributions too to help in their learning environment. We all learn through stories and sharing. You can’t teach with words alone. You need to experience it. How does it increase my understanding of what it is?  She then passed out root beer barrels which is a candy.  She asked them, “What doest that taste like?  Describe it?  Are you helping your students understand how to taste root beer?” When you share a message its: 7% words 30% voice 55% body language I learned alot from that class not just those teachers.  I am in awe of the women I am here experiencing this trip with.  They all have so much to contribute and I feel so honored to work along side them. Our power went out tonight twice. It was quite the experience as well as the water stopped working. We’ve had quite the African experience....

Read More

Uganda Day Four

First thing this morning was we got to experience shopping at the market.  We shopped for fruits and vegetables to share for our first nutrition class.  It was quite the site to see fresh fish being filleted on the concrete getting their guts pulled out. The previous night Leslie received a question from one of the artisans which lead to a way to make nutrition real to them.  She asked, “how do you take care of your skin?” And Leslie replied, “I eat my fruits and vegetables”. Then she had a big aha moment to improve our class.  We decided to share the benefits of the vegetables that they use. As I sat back and observed Leslie give the first class I realized just how simple these women live and the knowledge they don’t have in regards to nutrition.  We shared the food groups pie chart and for them which I think is brilliant they understand that fruits and vegetables are for protection, proteins are for growth, and carbs are for energy. As she shared I could just see their eyes and faces and they were just in awe of the simpleness of our message.  It was super basic but yet powerful because later that night one of the artisans came by to lock up the shop and she was carrying her market bag and I asked her what she bought and she said, “Sarah, I bought my greens to improve my immune system”. It worked!  Now the test will be to stick to it.  The final class I will teach them is about habits that will help them use more vegetables. I then taught the second class and shared what I teach and how I help women move better. I talked about using the TRX straps to build muscles to make you healthier and so you don’t have any pain. We ended the day prepping the library space for...

Read More

Ugandan Easter Sunday

We began our Easter Sunday walking around to other churches in Lugazi.  We stopped by the Catholic church and listened outside their door.  Love the music and atmosphere here of these Christian churches. Then worked our way to Pastor Francis at the Cannon School. We met him the previous night and he invited us to come to his service.  He began with a song and my favorite line was “Their are mountains to climb. For us we shall see an open door” His message was about conversion that leads to a turning point that changes you to have a new appreciation for your life. Then you end up exchanging it for something better. The question he asked us is “What is the gift I can give to Christ today?”  I strive each and everyday to be a better version of myself but then I just want to become God’s version of me. He shared Luke 19:1-6 where Zachaus made a commitment to Jesus to climb the tree. He dropped his reputation and wanted to please God not man.  So he was blessed by Jesus by repenting of his corrupt life. If we fear public opinion we will miss the visitation of the Lord.  We are to risk everything we can to become the best version of ourselves and to become God.  When we get out of our comfort zone we may see God. We then walked over to our church building and their meet some wonderful saints.  It is a small branch of about 58 baptized members. Most of the primary children come on their own without anyone. These children will be the future of this branch I’m sure of it if they continue to come. The children love to come and they love primary and they love to learn about Jesus and to just feel good.  The spirit welcomes them even if they come by themselves. It was fast and testimony meeting so I felt prompted to get up and share my testimony with them.  I talked about how God loves his children no matter where they are in the world and its good for each of us to step outside ourselves and recognize that the world is a much bigger place and we have alot of give.  We are all born with many talents and gifts but we can’t hide them.  Its our duty to share and bring happiness to people. We then went to Sunday School class and this 21 year old young man gave the lesson.  It was so incredible and the spirit was so strong I didn’t want to leave after he was done.  He spoke with such ease and confidence and without any notes.  He talked about serving in the family. Especially the husbands because it creates love with your wife.  Come to find out he has only been a member of the church for 2 years.  I was even more impressed and noticed the branch president coming up to him after his lesson and giving him feedback on his lesson and then a few pointers.  This branch president is preparing him for his mission which he said he will go on in one year. In Relief Society is was just the President and Sandra and I.  Very small intimate lesson but yet another powerful lesson.  I have come to understand that the lessons we teach in church don’t have to be this glorious presentation.  The church doctrine is meant to be simple and let us each deliver it that way.  I truly felt that from these saints here.  Simplicity was key in their...

Read More

Uganda Day Two

As I woke up from the first night in Uganda in my mosquito net I just looked outside and couldn’t believe that I was actually there.  I just sat and prayed and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to get myself to this place. The day started with meeting some of the artisans at the workshop.  As I approached them for the first time I surely got a warm welcome and I felt so loved by these women.  Leslie and I were the only ones there until the other 3 would arrive the next day.  So I began to put myself to work.  I worked along side with Ruth making barkcloth bags and she taught me what to do and I quickly learned. Had a few mess ups but overall I was congratulated on my hard work each time. As we sat and worked the women asked me about my family.  I shared with them my pictures and talked about each of them.  Then they asked me how I celebrate Easter because it was the next day.  I told them about our church service and how we celebrate Jesus resurrection. I then shared how some Americans do an Easter egg hunt and fill plastic eggs with candy.  They thought that was fun because candy is such a novelty here.  The instant thing I remember seeing in these beautiful people is their smile and their teeth.   They have such white teeth and I finally put two and two together and realized that they don’t eat junk like candy and lots of sugar!  Boy do we have a problem in America. Later that afternoon we walked to the church building for a branch activity with the saints in that area of the world.  We watched the movie, “Meet the Mormon’s”  As I sat and looked around while I watched I couldn’t help but feel such a closeness to these people.  I had only been in Uganda for a couple of hours and I felt their love for me. I got to hold a baby girl and I just didn’t want to let her go!  She was just perfection to me and I just made sure she was enveloped in my love for her.  This was the first big thought of adopting from Africa.  I never considered it but now that I see their situations I felt an overwhelming love that I could give to a child not from my own blood line.  Who knows what will happen later on but adoption would be...

Read More