I haven’t moved to the village but I have spent more time there than usual with…
Some trips have included visiting some of the ladies at their home or helping them weed their groundnut gardens. Some “gardens” were more like small farms with not only groundnuts growing but also maize, beans and peas. Groundnuts (peanuts) are a main staple to people’s diet here. The nut is usually grounded and you end up with groundnut butter, also called g-nut or odi and it’s also used as cooking oil. Sometimes sim sim seeds are grounded with it, which gives it a different, distinctive taste. Both are used in the making of several different dishes of fish, beans and greens and they are all very tasty.
I enjoyed working in the garden and I found this to be a relaxing and enjoyable time, even
in the hot noon sun. I question though if I could do this kind of work everyday, as it is tiring. It made it all worthwhile when, after a few hours of weeding, a delicious meal would be served and I would later be sent home with a bag of freshly picked beans. I love the beans from the vine, before they are dried.
I also had invitations to visit churches. Two of the churches in Tegot village and another in the village of Lalogi. One of the ladies in the project lives in Lalogi, which is some distance from Tegot but she is faithful to ride her bicycle to and from and is very enthusiastic about the project. She has generated a lot of interest from other ladies in her village and I have been asked to come to this village to
begin a project. In May, I was invited to their church to talk about the project, after first sharing some encouraging words from the Bible.
I was later able to provide this church with some of the bible study books, children’s bible curriculum, crafts, and bibles that came over in my shipment. Some of these items were donated for Uganda and came over in my shipment. Most are very difficult, if not impossible to get in Uganda. The pastors were very excited in receiving these items and wish to extend a big thank you to those of you who provided them with such wonderful teaching tools.
I’ve been invited back to speak to the general assembly of the church, which brings several churches together. They want me to talk about the quilt/sewing project and would like me to start one in that area. This is something that I would like to do but at this
time I don’t really have the time. I still have much work to be done on the Tegot project before I can effectively expand to other villages. I hope in the not too distant future I can start the same project in this village too.
I’m currently working with approximately 50 to 60 ladies in Tegot, maybe more, maybe less, as it’s
difficult to always take accurate attendance. Since May I’ve had over 40 new ladies begin the project. I know a lot of interest was generated when word got out that some of the quilts had sold (in America). Some ladies came for just one or two meetings and I don’t see them again but quite a few have stayed and are doing very well on the project. I still have new ladies coming and requesting to join but have made the decision to (temporarily) close the project to any new comers.
I have found it very overwhelming in trying to oversee multiple projects and train new beginners at the same time. I can not provide proper training when I have 50 or more ladies in a meeting. The young man who works for me as both a driver
and interrupter was also getting overwhelmed in trying to interpret questions and conversations. I decided to break the group into two, one group of the more trained (older) group and the other, the new (beginner) group or has the headmaster at the school likes to refer to them, P1 and P2 groups. This is making it more manageable as each group has its own training needs. I recently began teaching the older group on how to measure and cut.
We made front page news!
I don’t know if you get the Barre Gazette but if not you missed the June 28 issue that featured a write-up on the women of Tegot and their quilts. Imagine that! We were all excited about that and the women were so overjoyed to see themselves and their village mentioned in a U.S. newspaper. Thank you Ellenor Downer, Staff Writer for your wonderful write-up and pictures. We also thank the Oakham Congregational Church for volunteering to be a drop off-center for donated sewing supplies. We recently received a package with all kinds of sewing goodies that we have immediately put to use. Thank you so much!
At the end of a meeting I sometimes conduct a small first-aid clinic as I’m asked to diagnose and treat a variety of symptoms, which I’m not at all comfortable in doing as I am not a doctor or nurse. My medical training is limited to Red Cross First-aid
and CPR training and being “doctor mom” when my kids were little. However, I’m frequently asked for medicine to treat pain, ulcers and malaria and to provide first-aid to wounds.
A few days for moving
During June I also moved into a (rented) house of my own. I needed to find a house where I would have enough space to set up a work area for the project. I know I was more than manipulating and overtaking the living space in the house I was sharing with my supplies for the project and books. I was fortunate to find a reasonably priced house in the same area that I was living, as it is nice section of Gulu and relatively quiet. The house is newly built, clean and more than meets my needs. I’m very comfortable here with plenty of room for the project and supplies and I thank the Lord for providing me such a nice place for me to live.
It is hard to believe but I have been in Gulu for over a year now and I have to say I am very happy to be here and I do love the work I am doing. Sometimes though it is difficult in trying to
comprehend and deal with all the pain, hardship and trauma I see around me. It can be emotionally and physically draining. This is when I need to pray more for God’s guidance and strength.
However, there are plenty of enjoyable times and I praise God for them. I am also thankful for the continued good health. Outside of some minor stomach upsets I have experienced no major health issues….such as malaria.. and I praise the Lord for this and pray for continued good health.
Some of the most enjoyable time comes from working with the women in Tegot village. They think they are learning from me but they don’t realize how much I have learned from them. These ladies have been through so much in terms of physical and emotional pain and upheaval in their lives yet some of them are the most Godly, resilient, determined women I have met, who never miss a chance to experience joy and laughter in everyday living. We do have some fun during our meetings!
I’m very much enjoying the work God has put before me and for providing me with your wonderful support, not just for the financial support but for the emotional support and encouragement that comes from the most unexpected places and times.
I want to say thank you for all your prayers, encouraging emails, cards, letters and packages filled with needed sewing supplies and other goodies. I’m sometimes able to share these items with the women (in the project) and I know how excited and appreciative they are with these gifts too. So from the ladies let me say Apwoyo Matek (pronounced afoy-oh ma-teck, meaning thank you very much).