Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 1. Our plane touches down in Kampala, Uganda.

It has been almost a year since I was last in Uganda, yet from the moment that I stepped off the plane it has felt like I never left... the air is hot and thick with smoke and dust, daring boda boda (motorcycle) drivers weave between the brightly painted taxis that fill the street, lined on either side by small run down buildings, hardworking mamas, and throngs of screaming children.

This is Africa.

It is both me and my co-leaders second time traveling to the incredible country of Uganda, so it has been absolutely hilarious watching our 11 wide-eyed students take in Africa for the first time. For weeks we have been trying to describe this to our students, but there are some things that you just have to experience yourself! Things like African grasshoppers for lunch, bartering in the markets, your first freezing bucket shower, and best of all--the amazing people that have drawn Jamie and I back to this place.

For a brief moment I look out the window of our hostel and stare at the street below me, trying to comprehend that I am here again. But there isn't much time to contemplate as the duties of an outreach leader never end. Garbed in skirts and looking oddly pregnant from the lumpy money belts we are wearing, Jamie and I let our students sleep off their jet lag while we charge into the flurry of preparations that must be done--buying everything from mosquito nets to pineapples to malaria medication, and then back to the hostel to greet our sleepy students that just woke up in Africa for the first time!

(P.S. I am now safely back in Salem, Oregon--these are the stories of my last trip to Africa that I never got to publish because of the lack of internet. In other words, this is a re-inactment for your reading pleasure!)


  1. Amanda - girl, woah, I miss you so much. to picture you walking through the streets of kampalla without me makes me think "i should be with her!" who is entertaining her during this long walks from one place to another - if i'm not there with her? who is pointing out funny things and trying to get her smile? who is hanging out the big sister and is challening her to be not only the strong girl? And the most important part: who is spoiling her with big german hugs? ;) Amanda you are amazing. and there is no doubt that you are an amazing co-leader. Trust our good God inside of you and go for it. I know how amazing you are. And together with our God you will overjump mountains.
    I'm praying for you, and i'm angry about myself, that i never got a skypedate with you organised. so i'm counting the days for you return... but now first of all: rock africa.
    big german hug to jamie. and tell your outreach-team, that they have the most amazing + handsome leaders ever. go god. yours, Hanna

  2. you are such a good writer, amanda! I felt like I was in Kampala with you! Praying for you and so excited to hear the encouraging stories already emerging! Hug Jamie and the kids for me!
    Merry christmas!

  3. Amanda,
    Thanks for the update. I am so glad that you will all be together in Entebbe; an answer to prayer indeed! God Bless you and keep you all. God is for you, We love you, big Oregon hugs to you all until I can do so myself :)