Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Days

Well, it has been quite a couple of days here in Uganda. For those of you wondering, I have not received my luggage yet. From what I hear, one bag has arrived, but since the airport is an hour and a half away, we will wait until both pieces arrive to go pick it up. Please pray it comes tomorrow and that it has not been tampered with!

There have been many adjustments and I cannot say I am used to them yet. First, power goes out ALL the time here. We are lucky to have a back-up generator. There are certain hours where the generator runs but even that can be unreliable. Thank goodness we even have power though! Ugandans do not talk during meals - it is just part of their way of life. So lunches and dinners (even with a room full of children) are so quiet. Teachers in the states wouldn't believe it! School is different too. We have some students coming here from outside the Rafiki village. This is their first year here and they seem very intimated. In a typical Ugandan elementary school, there are 100+ students per classroom. The "teacher" writes what the students are supposed to learn on the board and goes back to the rear of the room while the students are supposed to memorize it. In addition, a passing grade in most schools is considered a 39%. Rafiki is attempting a whole different kind of school system. I only have ten students in one class and twenty in the other. Their grading standards are the same as the U.S. Also, the girls have shaved heads, which makes it extremely difficult to tell a girl from a boy. Supposedly, this is a Ugandan school requirement. I am told I will soon learn to differentiate them - I sure hope so!

I know you all are anxious to see pictures and get a feel for my new "home." Please be patient with me as the staff have asked me to wait until I have been here at least a week. It is understandable, seeing that many Americans visit this Rafiki village, and these children have their picture taken all the time. In an effort for me to build a relationship with them first, they have asked me to wait. I will post pictures as soon as I can! Thanks for reading my blog. You all mean SO much to me!

6 comments:

Alison said...

Andrea- We are all praying for you and that your luggage will arrive on time and in tact. Wow, reading about how they "teach" is quite interesting. These children will be so blessed by your presence. I am sure these first few weeks will be challenging but the rewards will be so great!
In Him, Alison and the boys

lois said...

It may seem like a challenge, but not for the God who lives in you!! Draw on His expertise!

miss matz said...

Andrea - You are in my prayers and I am sure the people who have met you can sense God's love in you already. I know even moving back here I felt like I was floating for the first month or so and that was with family around so I can't imagine the mixed emotions you must be having. I've been meaning to send you this one song that I love, reminding me how close God always is--part of it goes "Though nothing seems to stay the same You give us Your eternal name, I am forever who I am, above you beneath you around you and within you, be still and know that I am God." Praying you feel his presence as you continue to make Him your home in your new surroundings. Take care of yourself! Love, Robin

miss matz said...

Andrea - You are in my prayers and I am sure the people who have met you can sense God's love in you already. I know even moving back here I felt like I was floating for the first month or so and that was with family around so I can't imagine the mixed emotions you must be having. I've been meaning to send you this one song that I love, reminding me how close God always is--part of it goes "Though nothing seems to stay the same You give us Your eternal name, I am forever who I am, above you beneath you around you and within you, be still and know that I am God." Praying you feel his presence as you continue to make Him your home in your new surroundings. Take care of yourself! Love, Robin

Stephanie said...

Drea---Thank you for blogging. It is so great to know whats going on!! You are such an amazing person and you are going to shine a light of God's love on those children's lives this year! I hope you have a good day tomorrow and teaching starts to get easier! I love you :)

Brandi said...

Yeah! Can't wait to hear even more and especially see pics!

We are going to see Watoto, a Ugandan Children's Choir tonight! I'll be thinking of you! Hug those kiddos for the rest of us who have to live here!

Love,
Brandi