Sunday, January 31, 2010


Ugandan Smores!!!


(My siblings new greatest hobbie is performing dramas and dances that they learned from sunday school when I get home from school. Of course I don't mind :)

Our weekend trip to Luweero. This is a group picture after Catholic Mass and some of the congeration. The kids were the cutest! (Look at the little guy in the brown suit posing. :)

I think three is the ultimate max that is going to load today.

I hope everything is going well for you guys in the states. :)

Also, if you have a sponsor kid...write letters! As many as you can! It means the world to them! I will write more on this later...but visiting Compassion kids this weekend and hearing and seeing how sponsor programs work, made me realize the significance of a personal letter to a child.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Uganda Update

-This last Tuesday was a holiday (Presidents Day). I spent the day watching War Dance and hearing one of the Ugandan Staff’s Testimonies. Then 8 hours of sitting on the cement watching Cats and Dogs, Cat in the Hat, part of Kung Fu Panda, and some of their soap operas (their popular tv here). The reason for this extreme measure, especially since I usually can’t watch one movie without falling asleep, was getting my hair braided. Its sooo intense. I now have twice as much hair and different reactions from people :P. Some American students say that I look like a true hippy…others say that I look like a native…and my Ugandan family says that I look very smart (meaning good looking)and my little sister says that I look very beautiful :). However, I have been getting different looks and stares from the Ugandans that I don't know how to interpret yet :S. I think I like my new style, it is taking some time to get used to though.

-Last night I taught my family how to make s’mores. They loved them! But even the kids said that they were sooo sweet. Haha what kids say things are too sweet? My papa said that now he has to drink a lot of water, because the more sugar you eat the more water you must drink..

-Since yesterday, little Docus (1 year old Ugandan sister) has only wanted me to hold her, feed her and play with her J. She is terrified of her mom because she went to the salon and got her hair cut to get ready to start her teaching job on Monday. I feel bad for my mama because I can tell that she feels such rejection from her little daughter. It reminds me of the time in Mexico when my mom woke up terrified of me :P.

-This morning after having a cup of chai, I helped the house maid wash the dishes. In the middle of them, I pointed at the water and asked her what the Ugandan word was for it. She told me Amaiza (not the right spelling.) So I repeated it, and the whole family started laughing historically. My siblings were jumping up and down and repeating the way I pronounced water. I was soo clueless as they were rambling in Lugandan. My papa came out hearing the commotion and started laughing too. Apparently the word water sounds like faeces (poop) if the ending isn’t accented right. Haha, I think I will not attempt to ask for a glass of water in Lugandan at a restaurant until I practice how to say it correctly.

-I had a Ugandan pancake yesterday. They are more like fried cookies. It consists of cassava flour (green banana flour) and menvus (yellow bananas). You roll the dough out and cut it in little circles, and cook it in hot hot oil for 5 min. So many things are cooked it oil here!! It kind of tasted like fried banana bread.

- I think I am currently learning major patience still with the pace of life, and that its not about me, and how people react to me, but Christ, and bringing Him glory in every action and word of my day. Another piece of humble pie please?
-This weekend is our trip to Lluweerow. Playing with compassion kids and eating dinner with Ugandan missionaries. :)

-P.S. I have the cutest little nephew EVER!!! :)

(Caption blogging style is from the all knowing, butterfly catcher, elephant giver, Nate Ssepuya.)

*******My pictures won't load today :( ********

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Eyes and His Truths

"God is sooo good! He takes our earthly views and emotions towards life trials and turns our focus towards his heavenly perspective. We only have to ask for eyes to see. I forget that I am blind without Him."- Yesterdays facebook status :P
-So my last blog was definately about my great feelings of homesickness. However, I praise God as I can say that he has completely heard my cry and has greatly changed my view on Ugandan life.
- That friday night as I got home exhausted, I took a bucket bath and waited til 9:30 pm when the food is usually ready. I didn't feel like talking and trying to communicate a lot that night... so I didn't. I just ate in silence..(as its pretty normal here anyways). I felt like going staight to bed but my Ugandan papa said that we were going to have a prayer meeting first.

-He shared Isaiah 44:1-5. Usually as we have prayer meetings they are half in Lugandan so that others in the family could completely understand as well. However...tonight it was different. He broke the 5 verses down all in English as he focused on me. The longer he continued on the more piercing were the words to my heart. And when he had me read it... I knew it was God truths tugging at my heart at that moment. Not to mention that the rest of the family fell asleep in the middle of his breaking down of scripture haha.

-" The Lord says, listen now, Israel, my servant, my chosen people, the desendents of Jacob. I am the Lord who created you; from the time you were born, I have helped you. Do not be afraid; You are my servant, my chosen people whom I love. "I will give water to the thirsty land and make streams flow on the dry ground. I will pour out my spirit on your children and my blessing on your desendents. They will thrive like well-watered greass, like willows by streams of running water, one by one, people will say, 'I am the Lord's'. They will come join the people of Israel. They will each mark the name of the Lord on their arms, and call themselvevs members of God's people." -Isaiah 44:1-5

-Since friday night, I have been craving rice and beans instead of having to force them down. :)

-This weekend a few of us got to go to Kampala, the big city here and visit Watato church. A good sermon on waiting for God to come back and reminder of what we are called to do as his people as we wait in hope. I also think God granted me a special treat of having a nice big green salad and a iced carmel latte after church while visiting with Jonathan Beggs. :)

- We also had a small dance party on the drive back to Mukono to the song, 'Im trading my sorrows' (if thats the name) :P So much fun with my Ugandan friend Nester as well!

From the right side of the table around the order goes, Nester (Awesome Ugandan friend), me, Jonathan Beggs, Paul, (aw man, I forgot her name), and American friend Jenna.
"God is sooo good! He takes our earthly views and emotions towards life trials and turns our focus towardss his heavenly perspective. We only have to ask for eyes to see. I forget that I am blind without Him."

*Weekend highlights...God opening my eyes...bought stuff to make smores with my Ugandan siblings danced for me. They are soo crazy!! This morning, my little one year old sister Docus let me feed her for the first time and getting to wear mashed banana this morning :P... and today I am getting my hair braided :D
-Thanks sooo much for following my blog! Miss you all :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Homesickness already?

Yes, it has come already. Today as we only had one class and the rest of the day I must admit that I miss my home life. Having rice and beans and matoke for lunch and dinner two times a day for 2 weeks has now switched from a nice change and adventure to a loss of appetite, and lots of long calls lol :( . I didn't think it would be hard to give up my normal nutrition habits. I miss having different meals. Cold salads..fresh veggies and colorful meals. My body is having a hard time adjusting and it makes me feel gross. And the heat and not being able to run as often as I would like combined makes it hard as well.

Its also difficult trying to communicate differently all the time. So much effort and soo much time! Today I feel Ugandan anit-social. My flesh is screaming to just not socialize today and to stay bound to as much American life (Facebook, communicating with people back home, and blogging...or just reading and homework.) I wish I could have been there as my mom was talking Allie through her pregnancy and watch my parents expressions as we all eagerly awaited little Henry's birth. I miss home. I miss familiarity.

I apologize for writing about homesickness soo soon but I promised God that on this trip I will try to be as honest as possible about my emotions, feelings, and reactions to Ugandan life this semester, and currently, this is my status.

I am so thankful that I am here at this time though. God has already been teaching me a lot, and even through these current feelings, I am learning more about myself and feel myself growing. Lately, my greatest challenge here is not rushing everywhere. I am American, therefore I am always on the go. Africans take the time to pace...they seem to always have the time for you. They walk so leisurely that its hard to get used to...especially when I want to still fit so much in my day here. My goal for while I am here is to let go off rushing...let go of being so progamatic, and to put people first.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Class Schedule in African Time

12:00-1:00 Faith in Action
4:00-5:00 African Literature
5:30-6:30 Lugandan Lessons

10:00-12:00 Health and Wholeness
12:00-1:00 Community Worship (Chapel)
4:00-5:00 Intercultural Missions Ministry Emphasis group

8:30-10:30 Health and W
11:00-1:00 African Traditional Religions
2:00-3:00 Intercultural Missions Ministry Emphasis group

3:00-4:00 Faith in Action
11:00-12:00 African Traditional Religions
12:00-1:00 Community Worship
2:00-4:00 African Literature

Cohort Group 2 – 11:00-1:00

*Friday to Sunday are travel days or spending time with our Ugandan families.

Luweero trip = January 29-31 (Hanging out with Compassion kids and dinners past missionaries and current missionaries)

Rural Home stay= February 19-26

March 12-13 = Jinja (Nile river and hopefully rafting!!)

March 26-27 = Rakai

April 22-March 3 = Rwanda

*Ugandan Address: Megan Hall: Uganda Study Program: Uganda Christian University : P.O. Box 4

Monday, January 18, 2010

Washing clothes and good stories

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16

Yesterday while learning how to wash my clothes from a bucket for the first time, Charls, my "Ugandan Brother" told me a true, popular parable in Uganda about always giving thanks. I am going to attempt to write it out..

There were once was two brothers. One day as they went out to chop wood, as one brother was holding the wood and the other was chopping, the one chopping accidently chopped off his brothers finger. In pain, the brother screamed and wailed. With not much thought at all, his brother imediately responded to his poor brother, "In all things give thanks." This sent the brother at rage and divided their relationship.

Some time down the road, as the brothers were sent to go out and fetch water from the well, the brother whose finger was cut off had planned to take revenge upon his brother. So as they reached the well, the brother climbed down the ladder of the well to fetch water. As soon as he got down, the brother with the cut finger pulled the ladder out and left his brother down there.

When the brother was on his way home, leaving his brother behind, some "bad soldiers" stopped him as they were called by their master to go out and bring back a head of a young boy for a ritual. As they were about to cut off his head, one of the soldiers stopped the one with the nife and said, "Wait, our master ordered us to cut off the head of a boy who had no blemishes. We should examine him." Sure enough, they found that he was missing a finger and let him go. With this the boy then remembered what his brother had told him. "Give thanks in all circumstances". The brother ran to the well and shared what just happened and were reunited within their relationship.

And the story goes both ways. If the brother did not keep his brother in the well, and they were traveling back together, then the soldiers would have taken his brother in place of him after they found out about his finger. So in this sense, the brothers revenge was worked out for the good.

God works for the good of all those who call on Him.

I liked this story a lot! So when something happens, and it seems like the worse time to give thanks...and its makes no sense as to why or how one could give thanks in a time like this (such as an injury or death) don't forget to praise our God all the same as he knows us and has us completely. Thanks God for all of the little hard times I have already faced...and the many more to come. I accept them no matter how difficult they are as I trust you. You know how much we can handle. Amen.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Camping in Africa!

Who said there is no such thing as camping in Africa ?! ...I know I did before coming here :P

This morning there was an eclipse. By looking through layered film strips we were able to see a direct ring of the sun! It looked like someone put the ring off of Lord of the Rings in the sky. Soo cool, and it only happends like once every 10 years.
My family looking at the eclipse and can you see the many little moon shadows on the building?!?

One Bubble Bath Coming Right Up!

One thing that I am missing from America right now is a good long hot shower with powerful streams of water :) Showers are like my favorite thing especially after a long sweaty run. Yet, I welcome you every night small tub and cold water :P It is all an adeventure :) (However, I must be honest. I cried a little bit the 2nd time as the reality hit that I will not have a shower for four months lol.)
The way you rinse is bend over, scoop up the water with cupped hands and throw it over yourself. Being honest again, the first night I stuck my head comletely in the bucket because I wasn't getting enough of water to rinse the soap out of my hair haha.
And I still need to post the video from the last blog. I am waiting for a slot of time that I can wait for it to download.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

not enough time!

Today is Wed. the 13th and there is a problem... I want to blog about Africa all the time! But I hardly get a chance and the time too! So there are a pile up of events and stories that I am afraid are going to get lost if I don't write them down..but literally can't! So what do I do?!?

Since I don't have a lot of time, I am thinking that from here on out I will simply pick an event or topic and share it rather then trying to summarize everything. Above is a video (sorry its dark, or electricity went out) of my Ugandans family prayer and worship time that I get to join in.

I love it. There is no awkwardness, like who is going to I praying to long...too much..not at all....what am I going to say... I didn't pray haha but just their reverance to God puts me in awe. Charles who stays at the house as he is going to school knows the most english of the family, so as papa Joseph prayed, Charles translated for me in English. He started out with repentance as we have all fallen short. Then followed, was prayers of thanksgiving. The rain. Food. Safe journey to and from school. Good health. We finished with the worship song above-- Tunamusinza Nga Yesu - Aleluaia, Amina-- Which means, I will worship you always Jesus- hallelujah, amen-- (I think). But everything was so rich. And the way they speak their words are very genuine and

Wed. is my busiest schedule.

8:30-10:30 is health and wholeness

11-1:00 African traditional religions

2-3 Intercultural missions ministry emphasis class

3-400 Faith in action

5-6 orientation.

phew!! I am pooped!.. Its hard doing school and sitting in class when you are in Africa. But at least we get to learn about Africa.

The video is uploading right now, but I have to walk home before it gets dark, so I don't know if it will upload in time. Sorry if its not there!

And yes on the short call and the long call. I have never heard it before, so when my host mom ask me which one I was going to take, I had no idea until she explained it. :P

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finally africa!

Flying over Africa!! Entebbe is the destination!!

I am finally here and I have soo much to share its crazy! I can't even write in my journal at night with out getting overwhelmed by everthing that I saw and did. I want to write in detail about every little thing so that I don't forget and can share Africa with you guys...but its hard!

But I will try with limited time. When we got off of the plane in Entebbe at 3 am it was humid and warm. It felt like the butterfly exhibit at the Seattle Science Center.

Our first night we slept at a nun's house in Entebbe. It was hard to sleep since we were sitting all day. But we got 4 hours of sleep.

Then we got on a big bus and traveled to the school. One hour drive felt like 10 min. I took so many pictures! So much to see. Shops everywhere. Coca cola signs on pink buildings everywhere. People everywhere. Groceries carried on the head. Big bill boards. Boda Bodas ( dangerous cool motor cycles that we aren't allow to ride :( but probably for the best) Busy busy crazy roads.

We stayed at the school our first night. Then on saturday we traveled to our host families houses. Exciting day saying good bye and good luck to everyone as they got out of the vans and met their families.

So meeting my family has been the best part yet! I have a African momma jennifer, papa Joseph, a brother who is 8, Isaac; a sister who is 6, named Deborah, a little sister who is one, Docus and super cute :) Also a house maid and a couple visitors who are just staying a little bit, Charles, who I have talked the most with. And Zuraim, who is 18 that I talk a lot to too. Its fun sharing the USA with them.

For example, they thought americans abused their children and disciplined in school..and it was normal. Haha I had fun explaining what spanking was..and discipline..but not abuse.

I also went to what is called an Introduction. Its is a traditional Ugandan event that all Ugandans do prior to marriage. Itroduction is BIG and lasts all day. The one I went to started at 1 and went past 8pm. An Introduction is where the to be wife introduces the to be husband to the their family and they get approval. Lots happens. Their is a section for the wife side, the friends and visitors, and the husband's side. My papa was the girls grandfather...he said if you follow the Uganda culture thats what he would be to her..not too sure what that means but yes. They read off a list of their ancestial tribes so they knew they weren't related. The sisters of the wife came out and they were all dancing while the family had to guess which one was the one that the husband was going to merry. However, even though it was fasinating and beautiful like a wedding, it was all in Lugandan so I had papa and Charles interpret constantly to me.

I also wore a gomas :) A traditional african dress. Its soo funny to me! With the puff pointy shoulder sleeves. Tons of layers of clothes. The picture is below :) To the right is my momma Jennifer and Papa Joseph.

I have so much to share..but have to wrap it up...My momma has a HUGE garden. I showed the family our house and showed our little garden on the side and thy laughed is surprise that we would have a bigger house then garden :P. They have tons of banana trees, mango, Jack fruit, a oil tree, Avacado, and other leaves for surrounds their whole house. I eat mango, and avacado, and rice, and matoke with every meal. Honestly my system has been so blocked up though..haha. I get to use squatt potties...guess what those are :P and I get to bathe from a little bucket :P Its all an adventure ! for next time, can you guys guess what a short call is and a long call is?! Haha good luck in guessing. Miss all of you!!

I have to go to my first class today. It is still weird getting used to the fact that we still have to go to class here :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Africa?

Family and I at SeaTac airport.

I am currently at the small Dulles Airport Starbucks. The time is 8:30 AM DC time and I have until 3:15 PM until I meet up with my fellow Ugandan Studies Program travelers. What do I do for 7 more hours!!!... Actually, what can I do would be the better question. If I had it my way, I would have my private body guard watch my luggage, throw on my running shoes, and take off with my other body guard runners and explore the great outdoors of DC. However, sadly, of all the things my parents helped me with, they forgot to find me body guards: P. So my options decrease to riding the baggage claim belt, walking up and down the airport with a 30 pound bag on my back, and a 50 pound suitcase trailing behind me, pick up my future husband, find some kids to play hide and seek amongst the hundreds of chairs, hop on a random flight, buy some rollerblades and skate up and down the airport, ride the little motor carts, run up the down and down the up escalators….hmm what else…


I think I might have a mild case of ADD or just addicted to running because after sitting since 6pm yesterday (11 ½ hours) minus the walking between connecting air flights, my body is screaming, run! Move! But I really can’t so I will have to persevere through this suffering :P.


Really, the reason for this blog while I am waiting to go to Africa, is to write why I am going anyways. I am actually not exactly sure to be honest. My dream to travel to Uganda, Africa specifically started in the 8th grade. At a summer camp, the speaker called up people who felt called to the world. I felt called, and I don’t know when God said Uganda, Africa, but through watching the Invisible Children Documentary, and being drawn to further research on the LRA, I began to only see Africa.


To say the least, this passion grew, but actually going was put on hold as I was finishing high school and getting through the first part of Community College. Before graduating high school, I had a plan in my head to get my transfer degree, and then do YWAM in Africa. When it came time to follow through with this plan I rigorously began searching through hundreds of different YWAM bases that specifically did their outreach to Africa. However, there was another big option to weigh as well. Further school. Honestly, I hate school. I struggle through it. So it did not look appetizing to me. I had these two decisions weighing on me for awhile during my last couple of months at Everett Community College.


I prayed and had many frustrating times of asking God what he wanted me to do. I would go back and forth from school…to YWAM. Making a long story a little less long… I stopped being torn by the two and just chose one, YWAM. (Who wouldn’t when the option was up against a big missions trip… your dream…traveling….or back to school?) I pushed away running scholarships, and even my parents influence to finish school. However, it was after I chose, and took a step in the YWAM direction, that God revealed to me where he really wanted me to go. As they say, God can’t drive a parked car. Once I chose YWAM, I don’t know how to explain how, but God stopped me in my tracks, clearly putting a red light up in my heart to where, if I continued through with YWAM, it wouldn’t be the step he had for me.


After eating a couple slices of humble pie, I can confidently say that switching to school from YWAM had to be God. I wouldn’t have chosen it on my own will. And oh geez as I am sitting in the airport upon boarding my flight to Africa, (what I intentionally wanted to do all a long) I am overwhelmed by the hand of God at work in the change of my plans. If frightens me as to how my life would be different if I didn’t listen to God’s tugging on my heart. I am sure that he would have still been with me through any decision with no doubt… but would it have worked out as well? Countless blessings have flown from switching direction from YWAM to school that I would have never dreamed of. Running xc with a fabulous new supportive team :). Great coaches. Experiencing dorm life, and Oregon and a Christian school in general. Studying Abroad in Africa for 4 months. The school basically paying for my trip. (Its cheaper to study abroad then stay a semester at NCU.) Super supportive parents :). Doing school at same time. And I am sure more then I recognize with my small human brain. And I am not even in Africa yet. :)


I learned a huge lesson this year from these events. When you can’t figure out what God wants you to do and you don’t feel like God is being clear in a specific direction, just go. Keep moving. Choose one of them. If it’s not his will he will put up a clear red light. Just be open to his redirecting. He knows us fully and loves us fully at the same time, which means he won’t leave us hanging :).

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

I give God all the glory to everything that has gotten to me to here. I am definitely not the brightest (not said in a putdown of self) and if it wasn’t for God I would be doing a whole different thing… struggling with how I was going to raise money for YWAM… and who knows what else. There is no way that I got here on my own is what I am saying.

I am also especially thankful for my parents. I wouldn’t have been here either without their encouragement to continue school and their devotion to me and each of my siblings. Mom and dad, thank you!! Just to touch base on a few of the things they have helped me with… My dad spent hours upon hours getting this laptop that I am writing this blog on working. My mom busily helped me get paperwork in on time, shopping for the dress code there, skirts and other business like dress wear :P Lots of hugs and kisses. Tears when I left. I love you mom :). I could drown out this blog with everything they have done. They love us lots, and it’s obvious not in just the things they do.


Friend support. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for all your encouragement and prayers :). And Oregon friend’s who each wrote words of encouragement in a special journal. Dan, your devotional journal you set up for me and other support will carry me through even more! Thank you guys!!


This blog is long!! I get lost in reading long blogs….so I apologize….I hope future ones aren’t so long. I am not really good at the whole blogging thing…but I have to get good, so any suggestions to writing good blogs would be much appreciated. In the mean time, prayers that I make it through my last 6 hours of waiting until a 13 hour flight would be awesome :).