Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Uganda. (Chapter 3 begins)

Peter Crysdale was right. The sky in Sub-Saharan Africa during the rainy season is breathtaking.

I have learned a lot in my first week in Africa. The people are warm, like the weather, and Ugandans have a lot to teach me. Having said that, so did Honduran's...and Nepali's. The geography, vegetation and poverty here remind me more of Honduras. Nepal has one of the lowest GDP's in the world, and yet many more people are living above the poverty line, whereas country's like Honduras and Uganda may generate more wealth, and yet have more people living below the poverty line. Kampala (the capital of Uganda - where we are living), is a nice city. It has a distinct CBD, some nice malls, and quite a few suave businessmen. Nepal had little or none of the above. The lush vegetation, rolling green hills, humidity, and hot sun remind me of Honduras. Ok...comparison over.

KiBO:

See "Kibo Peak" - one of the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

See “KiBO foundation” – an organization based in Kampala, Uganda. Created and directed by Abraham and Judith Temu, with the aim of educating and empowering Ugandan/African youth, and teaching them that they can make a difference in their communities. Awesome. Not to be confused with the “Kybo”. (I’m not being insulting, Abraham said it!)

We are staying in Kampala with our Ugandan family: Abraham and Judith (our parents), and Maria and Edna (our 5 year old twin sisters).

At this moment the KiBO program is finishing its third class, and starting it’s fourth. When we arrived the third class of students was running its final project, which was a series of fundraisers to raise money for a nearby orphanage/primary school, to improve their learning environment. “Ugandan youth helping other young Ugandans, that’s what it’s all about. Not taking handouts from North Americans, but realizing they can make a difference themselves to solve the ‘Africa problem’.” (The above is a paraphrased version of something Abraham said.) One thing I noticed right away about the KiBO youth, and the teachers, is their passion. It pumps you up when you listen to them. There are 4 associates/teachers working with KiBO: Gerald, Jonathan, Michael, and Anis. They all have very distinct personalities, and they are all hilarious. Remy and I have had the chance to hang out with them a bit and learn some Ugandan slang and eat some Ugandan food (Metoke – a banana/water mix mashed up and wrapped in banana leaves…tasty!).

Anyhow, so it’s a bit of a transition period here at KiBO (between class 3 ending and class 4 starting). Remy and I were able to help out at the final fundraiser for class 3, which was a huge car wash event last Saturday. It was intense! I’ve never seen cars washed with so much vigour. It is now “KiBO week”, so there are various intro events for class 4, and people can come into the centre and get a peak at what KiBO is all about.

In the past few days (due to the hectic organization stuff going on at KiBO centre, Remy and I were given a chance to explore the city (and get out of everyone’s hair). It has been really fun to just discover all that Kampala has, figure out how to get around and where to go, and how not to get lost. We are now pretty solid at finding our way around the city and we’ve seen a lot!

So we’re in Africa, and I’m still processing everything. I can’t believe I’m here and I’m really excited about what’s to come. Also, my great Uncle Arthur arrived here last night to take part in KiBO week and see how the KiBO foundation is doing. (He is on the board for the foundation, and he is the reason I met Abraham in Toronto last fall). It’s nice to have some family here in Uganda!

I really will try to get pictures up soon. Really, I will.

Peace.

2 comments:

mo said...

believe it or not, i have been to uganda and eaten metoke. enjoy yourself, its a beautiful country.

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