First full weekend at my homestay! It was interesting, and it seemed really long at times, but I survived! We were sent home around 3 on Friday just so we’d be home in case any more riots happened that evening, since it was still up in the air as to whether the Kabaka would travel or not. (Nothing did happen, by the way). Friday evening was just spent reading my books for class and watching TV. It was similar to any other evening, but I was nervous for the rest of the weekend. I had a routine down for the weekdays, but the weekends were a new experience, and I was not sure what to expect. Saturday I woke up and my sister Daisy came in the room and asked if I had any laundry to do, so I spent an hour and a half doing my laundry, with a bucket of soapy water and a bucket of clean water. It was not difficult, and it gave Daisy and I some time to talk. Mostly she asked questions about how we wash our clothes in America.
I read a lot for homework Saturday, watched a Spanish movie with my brother Martin (who is quite a character…he likes to ask questions about America, and make jokes about the Ugandan professors I have), and helped paint the windows at the house.
Sunday was hard for me. Saturday night I was feeling really lonely and uncomfortable, I think partly because there was an aunt at the house who doesn’t speak English, so she always talks about the mzungu (white person) and then starts laughing. My family gave me a clan name, Nocheewalla (phonetically spelled…it means beautiful girl, and it’s also my sister’s clan name), and so the aunt started calling me that also, so I would just hear her say something about the mzungu or Nocheewalla, and have no idea what she was saying about me. It was the longest I’d been away from other Americans since I’ve been here, and I just felt very alone. Sunday I was hoping I would feel better. My brother Peter and I went to an English service, and there were 8 other USP students there also, so it was nice to see them for a bit—to realize they were in the same situation as me that weekend.
I was just really overwhelmed on Sunday, from feeling uncomfortable at my house and not being sure what to do with myself and how to act, and I cried a lot that day. The worst of it was during church, so I did a lot of “praying”, but was actually crying. Now it’s kind of funny to think about…how some members of the church must have been wondering about this mzungu who was so holy. :)
But God is good. And it seems like scripture suddenly has new meaning, and it is so helpful. I read James 1:2-4 Saturday night, which says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I know that this semester will change me, and so I can persevere through these “trials”, and it will be worth it.
Then at church, the scripture that was read was 2 Peter 1:4-7: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” I had been wondering how I would come to relate to and love the family I am with, but with perseverance, and focusing on following God’s leading, then the respect and love will come when I view the people I meet as children of God. Also at church, they read Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” So I did :) And Sunday night was perfectly fine. I sat with my family, and they asked me more questions about home, and I explained to them the process of how we freeze corn. They were amazed that we could eat the corn right off the cob. I am thankful to be past the little time of darkness this weekend. I am sure it will not be the last I have, but I know that I can do this, and when I feel this way again, I know that God is with me.
Sunday evening we had a HUGE storm, which also helped my mood, because I love thunderstorms. We were watching TV, and suddenly the temperature dropped, and I figured it would start raining, because it rains for about 5 minutes everyday, but then it just let loose. We have a tin roof, and it was so loud in the house that we couldn’t hear each other talk. High up on the walls there are mini permanent windows (that are essentially just decorative holes in the walls), and hail started coming in through them and making the floor all wet. It stormed like this for about 15 minutes. There was just so much rain. It was awesome.
So after the storm (literally and figuratively)….I am feeling better, more comfortable, able to make it, more at peace. I really enjoy the other USP people, and I am starting to feel more at home at my homestay. Life is good.
Thanks all for reading, and for your prayers! Have a happy day!