Tag Archive for Uganda

Children of St. Jude

LMC Gulu

Our Lay Community has lived in St. Jude for few months. We work here, but we also live with mothers and children. In our orphanage live more than 130 children of different ages. Over 40 children are disabled to varying degrees, including deaf and blind children, children with cerebral palsy, children suffering from paraplegia and two young that have had various accidents. Also children with HIV and tuberculosis live here in St. Jude. Other children, although healthy in physically sense, they are sick in the spiritual sense- after the experience of rejection from family and experience of the war.

Despite all these diseases and difficult experiences our children are full of life, joy and smile. Every morning we hear their play, laughter and singing. Our children are simply made for inventing new games, especially for making toys out of nothing. They can find a piece of cardboard, a circle and a stick and a new “modern” racing car is rushing through our compound. The old tires are the best toys for them- turning them into racing gives them an extraordinary joy. However, girls really like to play in the imitation of mothers. They find a teddy bear, they quickly wear him on their back and pretend to have a child. It’s better when they find a piece of material to attach the bear to the back and keep their hands free, then it’s called “byelo”.

Older children help mothers in their homes. The girls learn how to take care of the house, cook typical Acoli dishes like “malakwan” or “boo”. The boys help in the store where we keep food- corn, rice and different varieties of beans. That’s all during the holiday. When the school stars most of them attend classes from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The life of children with disabilities is more monotonous. We try to enliven it. During the day we take them for a short walk in the yard, they have rehabilitation, we play with them in a special room with toys to awake their imagination and change scenery. And despite that some of them have a high degree of disability they have learnt to recognise us. We also recognise their interest, for example Gerard likes tractor coming back from the farm. Then he touches the tires, watches how the cabin looks like. While Geoffrey likes when you stroke him on the cheeks. Bridget smiles when you tell her “good morning my beautiful Bridget”. Our children are full of joy and show it through smile, some even scream and in their eyes we can see friendship and trust which put in us.

Our life here is focused on the children, the time passes very quickly, but sometimes it happens something what “freezes” us for some time. More than one month ago, Isaac died. Isaac was a little boy with disability. He loved when you carried him to exhibit his face to the wind to feel the brush. He had an unusual smile. When he was carried he clung and when you put it back to the wheelchair he clenched his small lips-like a warrior-so as not to cry. Today he is gone from us but this experience has stuck in our hearts.

Every new day begins the same way, full of energy we face new challenges. In the evening we thank God in our small house chapel for the strength and love that we received. Tired but happy, we look forward to a new day.

CLM in Gulu-Uganda

We are already in Uganda!

En UgandaThe Community in Gulu is complete, we have finally met with Ewa and Joana waiting for us with open arms in St. Jude Orphanage.
Monika and I now fulfill our second week and we are celebrating with an intensive “Acoli” language course, that will allow us to communicate and try to learn and understand those who are our brothers for these coming years.

The first days in Kampala, we had occasion to meet with the Comboni Lay Missionaries and share an interesting talk about how we are going to organize this time we will be in Uganda with them. They explained how they live the lay status, what are their plans and dreams, their limitations, and personally made us very excited to check that we are much closer than we thought.

We also share dinner and prayer in a very friendly atmosphere and with the feeling of being at home. It is a fortune for us that there are CLM in Uganda and Gulu, because we’ll just join what they are already doing and see what may occurs being together.

The next day paperwork and preparing for the long journey that leads north to Gulu. We said goodbye to the Community of Comboni Fathers in Kampala so well received and welcomed us on our arrival.

These are days of discovery, “landing” in a new land, it is time to observe and enjoy the contrasts.

We have also been fortunate to meet Dana (Polish Comboni Lay Missionary, who is completing her service time in Matany) and Marco and Maria Grazia with their sons Francesco and Samuele (Italians Comboni Lay Missionaries) who also complete their mission time in Aber. We went to visit them accompanied by F.Ramón and F.Luigi.

Just one day to share experiences, but enough to see that it was a nice life time for all of them.

It is very positive for us to meet other lay people nearby Gulu who knows realities, is positive as well listening stories and experiences of those who have preceded us, which help us to place ourselves before starting to take over our reality.

That is our time to learn Acoli, sharing Eucharist, meals and tours with Acoli people and the Comboni family and quietly enjoying what Uganda is giving us these first days.

Carmen, Monika, Asia and Ewa

Wawotowu!*

AsiayEwaGreetings from our very beautiful Gulu. Firstly we’re very sorry that we write so rarely but time goes very quickly. We (me and Ewa) have been for 3 months in Uganda! During this time we’ve got to know the place- children, mothers and also district in which we live. Now it’s really our Home. We still get to know Acoli culture, every day we discover new things, customs and rules… Of course we had an opportunity to see a richness of Acoli culture, I mean dances. Acoli tribe has more than 20 different traditional dances. Each of them very energetic and full of life. When we see dancing people we’re in owe of them, their moves and their condition. We also finished Acoli course. Acoli is not as easy as we heard, but little by little we start talking with children using their local language.

As I wrote at the beginning, time goes very quickly, probably because we’re very busy. In this moment we try do our best and help br. Elio to give a new fresh spirit to St. Jude orphanage. Now we are involved in different department-offices. Ewa works as social worker, I had to change my occupation for a moment and became an accounter. When we came here we didn’t dreamed of working in the office, but we know that sometimes mission demands changing your ideas. That’s why with humility and openness we involve in places which needs our help. We still observe and inspite of a lot of things make us angry and annoyed we humbly waiting for co-operation with local workers. Every day we discover a lot of needs of this place and in our heads there are a lot of different ideas to organize meetings for children. We are full of will and happiness and this is the most important.

We also co-operate with local CLM, on every first Friday of month we have meeting and common prayer. We’re wondering how to organise our co-operation in the future, what we can do for this place. The local community is very opened so I think we can do a lot of very good things together. We also met Marco and Maria Grazia, who’s just finishing their mission in Aber and coming back to Italy.

On Thursday Monika and Carmen have joined us, so we are very happy because finally we are together. Now girls have Acoli course so they stay in Layibi but we live in the same Town. Now we really start organizing our community live and activities. We’ll write about it soon.

Thank you very much for your support, for your prayer, which is very import ant for us. We also pray for you and think of you. We greet you again.

Asia

*in Acoli- We greet you

Greetings from Africa!!!

kampala1

Finally our dreams have come true. We are in Africa again. We’ve lived at the Provincial House in Kampala since Saturday. We’ll spend here about 2 weeks. Our time is filled mostly by visiting different places and meeting new people. Little by little we enter in the atmosphere and culture of Uganda. Everything is new, everything delights us, there are so many things to see, to get to know that sometimes it is impossible to remember everything, especially names. But slowly, slowly we’re learning everything.

We’re very happy that we can be here. At every step we feel like at home. People always surprise us with their openness, hospitality, help and kindness.

kampala3

In the first week we were able to visit several communities and see some of the projects implemented by the Comboni not only in Kampala. And we also met the CLM who live and work in Kampala. They have their own house where their meetings are held and in which some of them also live. Some have their own families, so they live in another place, but every day they come to the CLM house. At the beginning they told us about themselves, about the CLM in Uganda, in which places they work, what they do and how is their formation. Immediately we felt like at home, we feel that we are one community, which has the same goal and the same motivation. Thanks to them, we also have the opportunity to learn about the life and culture in Uganda because they offered us a series of meetings on various topics. Thanks to this we get to know the atmosphere in Kampala, in Uganda.

kampala2

We are also waiting for brother Elio, who returns from holiday and with him we’ll go to Gulu, the place where we spend the next two years. We cannot wait to see our mission…, but we have to be patient. At the moment we are trying to take advantage of the time we spend in Kampala. We are getting to know the fathers, but also the Comboni sisters who live here. Of course, everyone knows Gulu, so from them also we receive information about our new home – St. Jude orphanage. We got to know the history, but also the most important problems which we’ll meet for sure. Such meetings are very fruitful, because each person gives their advices; thanks to this we are getting more knowledgeable about St. Jude, but also a variety of initiatives in which we can get involved.

Greetings and big hugs for all the CLM

Asia and Ewa

Greetings from Franz Agreiter from Uganda

Franz

Hello!
I am very well here at Matany in Uganda only the time runs fast and soon August is coming.
Now at Easter we enjoy some days off, which is good from time to time.
One is away from work and has more time for oneself.
My passport is still at Kampala but I was promissed soon everything will be ok!
In a few days time I will meet Elena here at Matany.

I wish you all a HAPPY EASTER!!!

Many greetings from Matany,
Franz.

Alleluia, Alleluia!!!

Pascua LondresThe cheerful day has come – Christ has risen from the dead!

So rejoice and look to the future with trust. Let this special time be the time of the Faith and real meeting with the Risen Lord. May the joy of this wonderful event fill your hearts and brighten up every day of your life.

Acholi´s team