January 2018 – Life in Mafubira
For the first quarter of 2018 we want to focus on what life is like in Mafubira, Uganda and provide some updates for each month.
While I was in Uganda visiting Lufafa in August of 2017, I had first hand experience of what cooking, cleaning, and bathing was like. Cooking was an experience. They use charcoal stoves or rocks or brick to hold pots. If this is uneven and children are helping or near where people are cooking, accidents can happen and this is how children are burned. Most people live in small places or cook outside if its not raining. The women spend hours cooking. The average was 3-4 hours. Lunch was usually about 2 pm and dinner was 10 or 11 pm. They would cut or peel the veggies in their hand and everything was cooked using the stoves pictured. Harriet (pictured above) cooked for 10 people at a time. For the party we had for the children, she cooked for 30 people and received help from others and used bigger pots as pictured above. Cooking was a time for talking and building relationships. It was relaxing. I enjoyed the simplicity of cooking and the wonderful taste of the fresh food. The food was grown and sold by locals.
Cleaning was an everyday venture. Because of the dirt roads, everything turns orange…and dirty. Animals roam around or are tied up near the roads. Trash is thrown on the road as well. So they avoided all the dirt coming inside their home by changing shoes and using rags and a bucket to wash the floors daily. Brooms were handmade to sweep the kitchen area and front porch. They don’t think visitors should cook or clean and the fact that I wanted to help, they would tell me “no, you are the guest.” I remember Rose telling me that they will say she is a bad host for letting the guest help clean and do dishes. The hospitality and giving nature there was truly inspiring. I felt like family.
Laundry day consisted of getting two buckets of water, one with soap, to hand wash the clothes and hang them on the line to dry. I wore one outfit each day and after 6 days, It took an hour and a half to wash and hang my laundry. Of course they didn’t want me to wash my laundry, but I don’t roll like that. I wanted to be part of what life is like for my friends. I enjoyed every minute of my arms getting a workout washing my laundry.
Bathing I would say was my least favorite. Lufafa said there would be a shower, however he didn’t mention if the water would be hot or cold and I didn’t think to ask. The shower is in the same room as the toilet. This was built inside the clinic for patients to use. The water was cold! I tried to shower but it was miserable. I used a tea kettle and heated up water to rinse the soap off my body. It wasn’t a shower, but it was better than cold water! I had the ability to heat up my water, however most people do not. People (including Lufafa) will use a bucket of cold water to wash and rinse in a room compared to what Americans would call an out house. They have a little plastic caddy with soap and a handmade sponge to carry with them to the wash room. Walking through the village, I would see children bathing outside in a bucket. Some didn’t even have towels to dry off. Maybe you’re thinking well it’s Africa so it’s hot. In Mafubira, they are 4000 feet above sea level and yes some days were pretty warm, but in the evening, when most people bath, it would cool down.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to visit my dear friend Lufafa and meet his family and friends. I love their way of life. I miss them all dearly. I love their collectivist culture and can’t wait to return.
UPDATES for January:
We have 6 new champions. For those new to LCM we refer to our givers as champions. We have 4 new monthly donors. You are changing the lives of children and for that we are grateful!
Thank you to Alex (pictured below) for all his hard work and dedication to giving and serving the children. He has enrolled 37 children into school along with providing materials they need. He is also fundraising to build a children’s home. Jesus has changed his heart and is teaching him that giving is better than receiving. He was an answer to prayer.
Thank you to all our champions – Susan, Steve, Magda, Kathy, Brad, Stephen, Herbert, Mark, Andrea, Missy, David, Ray, Neil, James, Angie, Peter, Sean, Tara, Adam, Sandra, Lisa, and Francis.
LCM’s ultimate goal is continue working towards community development and sustainability, where we move away from paying school fees because the community has developed to where they can pay.
We hope that as you continue to give, you are transformed. The point of you giving is for LCM to help bring you to a place where you’re serving God with everything you have. We love you all dearly.