I just finished my seventh week in Jinja and am finally getting around to write my week six “update” (aka, a way for me to process all these random thoughts and experience on this side of the world), so I thought I would just combine weeks six and seven. Week six was crazy, and fun, and life just truly feels normal here. I love my little life here this summer, with the routines I’ve created and the different experiences the Lord blesses me to learn from.
This week (six) was my first week to teach summer/homeschool for the residential kiddos at Ekisa. They follow the Ugandan school system and calendar, so our community care program has been on break since around the second week of June. I taught along with one other intern and it was art week! I was so excited to be able to help lead school this week and learned so much from it.
Honestly I feel like there is not much to say…it’s just life. I feel like I have such a solid routine here that i’m grateful for. There are people I miss in the states but not so much the states itself. The highlight of this week was on Thursday we did a big “Ekisa Gallery” show for each of the kids to show off the artwork they made this week. All their pieces were set up and the kids got play shillings to buy and sell their art to their friends, the mamas, and us aunties! Seeing how proud the kids were of their art warmed my heart! They were so proud to sell what they made and to buy from their friends, and to make it even better we ended the gallery with a big dance party (an Ekisa favorite).
The other highlight of art week was the Friday field trip. The other interns took Friday off to do a weekend safari and I stayed back and took some of the kids on a field trip to a local artists studio! This. Was. A. Blast. Was it hectic? Totally. Was it worth it? Without a doubt. I was a little worried about how people in town would treat the kids because of the stigma associated with disabilities in this country, and of course there were a few looks but those were drowned out by the support and love we received from the artist and those who work there.
The next week my dad came! He came because this was when I was originally supposed to leave and head back to the states before I extended my time here. I still really wanted him to see where I am and why I love it here, and to see in person what Ekisa Ministries is doing and why i’m so passionate about their work. He came when it was actually his birthday, which was really special to have both of us celebrate our birthday’s here in Uganda this year.
His first day going to Ekisa was actually the day of his birthday, so we spent it at Ekisa hanging out with the kids and really enjoying and soaking in what an amazing place it is. We ended the night very chill because I was starting to feel sick and he was tired from traveling so we did take-away from a local Italian restaurant and watched a movie.
Then it was time for our main event-a sunset boat cruise on lake Victoria to the source of the river Nile
The next day was spent being really sad that he was leaving and it was truly the first time this whole summer i’ve been homesick. It was really amazing though for him to see and meet everyone i’ve been talking about for months though! Weekends always feel off to me though because there isn’t a ton to do in Jinja and i’m not a huge “weekend getaway” person, and i’m not at Ekisa doing what I love so it is easy to get in my head. So grateful for these two weeks and all i’ve learned from them.