Hope For Me Yet

Friday, October 2, 2009

Uganda, part 1

I have been in Uganda now for 9 days, and what a challenging adventure it has been! I arrived the night of the 23rd after 3 flights and 22 hours of travel and David picked me up at the Entebbe airport and took me straight to a campsite in Kampala to stay for the night before leaving early the next morning for Murchison Falls National Park where we were to go on a photographic safari. We camped in a tent just up the road from the Nile River, and were warned not to pet the resident wart hogs and if we had to go to the bathroom at night to leave a distance between yourself and the hippos that graze on the campground at night. You see, the hippos hang out in the Nile during the day and then travel up to 10 kilometers grazing at night, and the grass around our tents at Red Chilli campground must be tasty and in their path. It took most of that first day to drive the bumpy roads between Kampala and Murchison Falls, but the powerful falls and the many animals we saw were worth it. We saw giraffes, water buffalo, water buck, 4female lions, elephants and many more. In the afternoon, we took a river tour on a boat up the Nile to the bottom of the falls and saw amazing birds and crocodile and elephants and many many hippos along the banks. We spent another night and then set off to a rhino sanctuary, where we were to see the only 7 rhinos in Uganda, brought there by other countries and donated by zoos because all of Uganda's natural rhino population has been poached out of existence. These rhinos are guarded 24/7 by rangers, so they always know where they are. We rode out to where 5 of the rhinos were hanging out and then, to my surprise, we got out of the car and walked to about 50 feet of the napping rhinos. The rangers wanted the rhinos to stand for us so we could see them above the tall grass. Well, they did stand, and then one of them got annoyed, decided to take it out on the others, and began chasing the rest of the herd. The rhinos were running around and most of our group of 20 went one way and I went up a tree, along with two other guys in the tree next to me. Remember, this is just my second full day in Africa! It was an adrenaline packed beginning for sure! Look for a video of the insanity later, on David's blog probably.
So thus was just the beginning of my trip as I said, so look for more stories from Uganda later! It is hard to post from here due to slow internet, and I'm actually writing this on an iPod, so this is all for now. I will add pics, links, other cool stuff later!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Safaris...Riots....9/11...Same Kind of Different

I will be leaving Tuesday, September 22nd to visit David in Uganda! I will leave around 2pm from Memphis and I fly to Boston, Amsterdam, and then I arrive in Uganda Wednesday night. David and others from eMi will be dropping someone off at the airport that night and picking me up. We will go from there to stay at a campground and then go on a safari the next day!

Here is the link to where I will be staying for the safari me and David and his eMi friends will be going on:


So one of David's prayer requests has to do with riots that are going on in Kampala, Uganda, the city that he is in right now. It's all complicated political stuff, but if you want to read about it, here is a brief story on it:


So I am very excited about my trip to Uganda. I just can't wait to see David and see this place he is spending time in. I will miss one of each of my grad classes, so that won't be too bad, and I will miss a week of work, which they knew I'd be missing when they hired me, so that's fine. Grad school is not hard really, but what IS hard about it is getting back into school mode and making myself sit and read lots of pages in textbooks and sit and write papers! So I am struggling through that. I really do like how all our classes are discussion based, and honestly I do like that we write papers instead of take tests. I will have a midterm in one of my classes, but the rest of the classes are presentations or papers instead.

This morning Mom and I went to the 9/11 memorial service on the Square in Oxford. It was simple, just a few speeches. A boy from Lafayette High sang the national anthem and there was a gun salute and a flower wreath and the older man that's in the Ole Miss band played Taps. It is still shocking to me how horrible that day was when I really stop to think about it. It's amazing that there is that kind of evil in the world. So it was nice to stop and honor those that lost their lives that day, the innocent victims and the service men that worked to save many.

If anyone is looking for a quality read, Same Kind of Different as Me by Denver Moore and Ron Hall is an excellent choice! I'm not even finished with it yet, but it makes me cry every time I pick it up, and I don't cry at just any story. Its a very genuine story about two mens' lives crossing in a design only God could put together. It teaches some amazing lessons about God, without being preachy at all. In other words, READ IT!!!


Well, I'd much rather keep blogging, but its really just a way to procrastinate cleaning my room and writing a paper or two, so I must go :(

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm not too scared of the Swine Flu anymore...

So, I know, its been a long time since I've posted. Much has happened!

1. David is in Uganda!
2. I've changed jobs and begun grad school
3. I've recovered from illness, missing girls weekend
4. Miss Laura recovered from Swine Flu and did not give it to me or anyone else

After getting my typhoid shot I was very sore for a day, but then got better. Well two days later the little kiddies I work with gave me "the crud." I had a terrible cold for a few days. My whole face and head hurt, and I had a temperature. The good news was that I had it over the weekend so I stayed in bed the whole time. The bad news was I had it over the weekend and missed hanging with the girls in Memphis :(
Miss Laura, the teacher I have been assisting, was sick the same week I was, but she had SWINE FLU!!! Scary, I know. But apparently, it is not any worse than a regular flu and is actually shorter in length. Laura only had a temp for 3 days. The reason its scary is that its so contagious.
Today was my last day working with the pre-schoolers. I was offered a graduate assistantship afterall and took it! I will be working with undergraduates who have been on academic suspension, helping to get them back on track. I'm very excited to actually be doing a form of counseling!
I really like my cohort and my professors and am actually excited about my classes. More on that later.
David made it to Uganda finally and is getting adjusted to life there. We are still getting used to the time difference. I just skyped with him, and I was about to eat lunch and he was headed home to go to bed! I miss him alot, but I'm so glad he is doing this. And I leave to go see him on September 22!! I can't wait to see Kampala, Uganda. I've just got my Yellow fever shot to go, and then malaria pills for the trip. Hopefully I won't get sick from this last shot.
Well, if anyone come to Oxford anytime soon, let me know so we can hang out! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for football season...



Oh, and this is random, but this is a very good video.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Day With Typhoid

Well, it has been a crazy couple of days. Yesterday I went to get immunization shots so I can go visit David in Africa. When I was a kid I was not afraid of shots at all, and as I get older I get more nervous before I go get shots. Its just the idea of the needle sliding through my muscle and then the medicine squirting into my body (ew, sorry). So, I thought I was fine, just a little nervous, but after all three shots (typhoid, tetanus, and hep A) I started getting hot all over and my vision started going out. Apparently I went white as well. I almost passed out! I had to lay on the exam table with a fan until the blood came back into my face. But eventually I was fine. Last night we had dinner at the Raney's, our good family friends. Holly and Linda are great cooks! We had black eyed peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini and squash, rolls, corn on the cob and homemade ice cream!! So it was a much better end to the day.
This morning I woke up with very sore arms and shoulders, but got ready for work as usual. When I got to work I found out Miss Laura, the teacher I assist, was not going to be there today, and I thought, I am not ready to be in charge! Thankfully there was a substitute to help and she was very good with the kids and very sweet. But as the day went on I just started to feel awful from my shots. After work I went straight to bed and stayed there all day. I was achy and tired and feverish and all I wanted to do was sleep. I feel much better now though. And it is all worth it to go visit David! Next week I have to get a Yellow Fever shot, so I will be doing it Monday so I can stay in bed on Tuesday if I feel bad again.
My next task is to book a flight to Uganda!
But tomorrow, orientation for grad school, from 8:30 to like 2:30! I hope its not too boring...

Monday, August 17, 2009

David in CO and Kiddies on the Playground

I just got off the phone with David. Sounds like he is having a good time at eMi orientation in CO. Today they played ultimate frisbee after worship and devotion, and it sounds like he's gonna need to get used to the altitude difference! If you haven't already you should check out David's blog and see his adventures in preparing for Africa and being in Colorado this week.

So my new job is Teacher's Assistant in a 3 year old pre-k class at Oxford University School, a private elementary school here in Oxford. The teachers and administration are all so nice and I like working there so far. The 3 year olds are a challange! But very cute and very fun I must say. I've never spent this much time with 3 year olds and certainly not 10 at a time. They really like play dough and today we fingepainted! They are learning about colors and they got to mix blue and yellow paint to make green. Each child was very excited when theirs worked and actually turned green!!

Here is a quote from one funny 3 year old (with names changed* haha):

"My daddy's name is Bill but I call him Dad. And, and my mommy's name is Cindy but I call her Mom."

I will be sure to post more quotes as they come.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My First Blog!

I have never blogged before but have journaled occationally and am really excited about this! The title of my blog is Hope For Me Yet, which comes from a line in a song by Brandon Heath. It's such a positive idea for me because many times I think of how much I lack as a person and how much I want to do in life and the song reminds me that God has a plan for my life and will complete the good work he has started in me...He's not finished with me yet! Such exciting news to me.
I am starting this blog at a time in my life where there are many changes and much pain and much joy all mixed together. Pain because as most people know my father passed away in May. Change because I have moved back to Oxford to live with my mom and attend grad school, and I've also started a new job. Also, my sweet boyfriend David has just left this very morning for a 4 month intership/mission in Africa. Joy because through the change and pain I can still feel God pulling me closer to Him...not all the time, but alot of the time. And that is what gives me hope.