I have officially two weeks before I land in Cincinnati for Christmas break. I get back December 16 for those who are wondering. These past few weeks have been extremely busy with papers and preparing ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually for coming home. Its getting to the awkward in between stage where I don’t really want to be thinking about home because my time here is getting extremely short but it’s very hard not to because of writing final papers, classes ending, making everything will fit in my suitcase, and thinking about the people and food that I have missed. This coming weekend is our last weekend with my family which is ridiculously sad, for next weekend I will be in Entebbe (where the airport is) for debrief. It’s going to be hard to leave but I also know it will be hard to come home as well, for culture shock will hit me hard I have a feeling, but at the same time I really am looking forward to seeing everyone! Though it has been busy and stressful there have a few fun and exciting things that have happened. Two weekends ago we had our last missionary weekend trips, we went to Rakai which is in southern Uganda. We stayed at Kibaale Community Center that is run by five Canadians. The community center was incredible and incorporated everything that I have dreamed of if called to Africa. It was a primary and secondary school and also had a vocational training department; they had about 800 students all with Ugandan students. The center also had a medical center that is the second busiest in their region, though still small in actual size. The incredible part about the program is that it is a two year position for the Canadians and the program is sustainable with our without the missionaries there. The Ugandans are in such leading positions that they are fully able to manage the program. The Canadians are there mainly to keep up connections between the center and their supporters who are mainly located in Canada, actually they are mainly located at a private school in Canada, where they obtain most of their support. It is crazy! Apparently the private school is extremely wealthy and it is presented almost as a requirement to support the center when you join the school, though officially it isn’t a requirement. The center was amazing though plus it was our most relaxing weekend where we were able to just hang out with our group in a non-academic setting; and we ate amazing food!! Oh my word, the food was incredible, we had salad with dressing!! And pasta and chicken with curry over rice, yum, it was wonderful!
For Thanksgiving we had an American Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean, corn, rolls, and desert! It was all the ex-pats who live on campus and all of the USP students. It was wonderful! All of the students were in charge of the deserts and we formed groups of 3 or 4 and were given a kitchen in an ex-pat’s house for about an hour and a half for each group. We had a beautiful time, for my group made chocolate chip cookies and risked the raw eggs and ate plenty of cookie dough, but though it was good it wasn’t the same, so mom I am going to need supplies to make cookies when I get home. While we made the cookies we also watched Mulan which I found for $1.25, I was so excited when I found it at the little store were we bought our ingredients. It’s a pirated copy but it works wonderfully! After our dinner that night (where we all ate an abundance of food, especially desert) we watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas projected on the side of the house, it was exciting and such an amazing time! At our school we have community worship every Tuesday and Thursday that is led by different group on campus; this past Tuesday was our group's opportunity to lead community worship. It actually went much better than I expected it to, we had two girls that organized everything and did a wonderful job of bringing it all together, that and the fact that I got to stand in the back of the group while we led worship for a couple hundred people. Oh what good times:)This past week was HIV/AIDS week and last weekend I went on a fieldtrip to TASO (The AIDS support organization) which is an incredible organization supporting hundreds of thousands of people infecting with the disease. It was wonderful to hear of their program and how affective they have been in Uganda; one of their leading programs is their drama group who gave as a demonstration of what they would do when they go to villages. The experience of hearing from them sing and give testimonies was wonderful and opened up a branch of HIV/AIDS that was not very familiar to me.
My birthday was this Monday and it started off like a normal day, my roommate and I slept in, did homework in bed, and went to school a little late because hey it was my birthday! I worked on papers and then I got an amazing package that was full of birthday cards from wonderful friends at Milligan, that it actually made it to me was exciting and that it actually came on my birthday was incredible! Then in our IMME class that afternoon they all sang to me and had gotten me brownies that were shared and greatly enjoyed by all! It was a wonderful birthday! Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes that were left for me on facebook, it was wonderful to hear from so many people and it filled my heart with joyJ
I must now continue with all of my papers but I love you all and will see you crazy soon!