It’s been two weeks now since I’ve arrived home from Uganda. I’ve not published anything since I got back because I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe the experience loaded with everything from laughter through to tears. Honestly, I looked through the whole English dictionary and I’ve come to a conclusion: either words in English aren’t beautiful enough or I don’t have the skill to arrange them. No matter how much I try, I won’t be able to capture Uganda’s beauty so I’ll just give you a small snippet:
The Surprising Priest of the Catholic Church
The trip started with two days in Rwanda. A beautiful country tainted with a gruesome past. I’m not about to give you a history lesson, but for those who don’t know: Rwanda went through a genocide in 1994 and an estimated 800,000 people were slaughtered. Did you see those two numbers? 1994 and 800,000. That was in my lifetime!
As you would expect, during the genocide people were afraid. They weren’t sure if they’d live, and they’d wonder if they were going to get slashed with a machete or blown up with a grenade. I bet you don’t have to worry about anything of the sort?
Anyway, Rwanda’s an extremely religious country, so during the genocide people would pray; they’d pray to live; pray for safety; pray for things to get better.
The priest had a solution! They should all take shelter under the house of the lord. He assured them they’d be safe. The lord would protect them. So quickly the church filled up with men, women and children. The church wasn’t very large but somehow they managed squeeze in 5,000 people. I guess when it’s a matter of life and death you can make anything work.
But then the priest did something surprising: The bastard called the killers. 5,000 people had trusted him with their lives, and before they knew it they were being slaughtered. These innocent men, women and children were slashed with machetes and had grenades thrown at them. They trusted the priest, and because of it they died.
The church still houses all of the skeletons and clothes of the people who died. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside, but I managed to get a snapshot from the outside looking in:
I’m not sure how to describe how I felt walking though the church. But what I saw was pain, agony and torture. 5,000 skulls laid out in rows accompanied with skirts, trousers and baby shoes…
The Awesome Orphans
The rest of the trip was spent in Uganda. What stood out most was when I taught English in an orphanage.
These children had either been dumped as babies, or their parents had passed away. They had few resources, no money and no parents. But they were incredibly happy. They worked *extremely* hard, and not one of them made an excuse for why they couldn’t learn. They just did it. I’ve never seen a group of children so eager to learn.
Teaching those less fortunate than myself was an incredible experience. I now believe stronger than ever that with passion and dedication anyone can learn anything and these children have given me even more reason to continue what I love doing: helping others learn.
Here’s a dance they performed to say thank you:
The Breathtaking Lake Bunyonyi
This lake was amazing and It’s hard to believe that I actually swam in it! It’s the second deepest lake in East Africa with the shallow end being 45m deep and in some parts it goes as deep as 900m! I tried to take fancy photos and I think they came out all right, but technology just isn’t advanced enough to capture what I saw. These photos perhaps capture 1/1000 of the beauty:
This short video captures maybe another 5% of the lakes’s beauty:
Here’s a video of teacher dancing to say thanks for our help in another school:
And there you have a snippet of my journey through Rwanda and Uganda. I’ve not tried to go into much detail because I just didn’t know where to start with such an action packed trip. Capturing it all would have meant writing a book!
Uganda was amazing and I’ll be going back for sure!