Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"You Are Most Welcome"

Hello! I landed safely in Uganda and have been settling in and orienting myself with my context in Uganda. The flight was about sixteen hours but was one of the easiest flights on which I have ever been. I still cannot believe I am in Africa!

Upon arrival, Jesse Kroeze, the country head of TTW Uganda, picked me up and brought me back to the comfortable and beautiful TTW guest house. There I met with Jesse, Andrea, and the some other members of the TTWU staff and began an informal orientation. After settling in at the guest house, which will be my home until Sunday, Jesse and I went to St. Mary Kevin's Orphanage to work on the house in which I will be staying and meet some of the children. At the moment, my house does not have running water so I will bathe with a basin filled with water from a nearby well. On Sunday, I will move into the orphanage and begin teaching.

After our short visit to the orphanage, Jesse and I went back to the TTW headquarters for lunch and a little orientation session. We worked out my schedule, discussed housing and food issues, and examined some clear cultural differences of which I should be aware.

It indeed looks like I will be adding a few classes to my teaching repertoire. Jesse and I will be leading kids in science experiments during a period where some of their classsmates will be taking a photography class. Also, I will teach a fifth-sixth grade math class (shocking, I know) as they are lacking a teacher for that position. From what I can tell, the kids are soo eager to learn and to receive attention from someone. Many of their teachers simply write information on the board and then leave for home expecting them to memorize formulas and facts in order to pass a national test. I simply cannot wait to begin on Monday. All of them keep on telling me how excited they are that I am moving in and will be teaching them.

After orientation, we all went back to SMK for formal welcome to the orphanage. Many of the children organized a number of dances to drums which lasted for a good thirty minutes welcoming us to Africa and their country. At the end the girls pulled me into the middle of the dance and I was told by the time I leave, I will be able to "move." One common saying I have picked up is, "You are most welcome." Even the children hold my hands and look at me in the eyes and say, "You are most welcome."


Cathy said...

Hi Ben,

We have been praying for your safe arrival and was glad to hear through the BLC prayer chain that you have arrived safely.

The children of Uganda are so lucky to have you for a teacher. You are truly a special person.

Enjoy the experience. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Cathy and Michael Eng

AnneDoris said...

Dear Benj, think of you all day and hope and pray for your safety- AD