Catch up time!

Wow. I am so excited right now to type loads of information and update all readers as well as my own mind as to what’s been going down in my life!

To begin with, last week was a pure mixture of great and terrible. It involved pursuit-happy gentlemen (terrible), deep thinking and amazing discussions in Faith and Action class (great), two consecutive nights of not getting rest due to barking dogs, the heat and critters playing around in my cosmetics (terrible), two good days of running after school (great), and the rest is history.

So there’s that. Wednesday afternoon and beyond consisted of difficult internet which has, somehow, managed to spill into this week as well. Friday was supposed to be a skype date with my bestie, but due to the lack of internet in IMME building and weak signal in the library, it utterly failed, which made me quite sad.

On Friday’s I only have one class that lasts from 9-10:30…the last round of Faith and Action class for the week. After that, the girls and I typically go for tea in the dining hall. Morgan, Becca, and I stayed put for quite a while since we were without anything else to do. While discussing what we were missing most about home that we did not have here and what we were appreciating most from here that doesn’t exist back at home, a very slim, tall gentleman approached us rather abruptly. Sitting down next to us (and completely disregarding the conversation we had been having… a social norm for Ugandans), he began to more or less prophesy over us and preach. Naturally, I am not going to repeat this entire speech right here, right now. He went on and on about African culture and the church and even addressed some debatable issues such as homosexual Christians and the like. But the main catch of his entire 30+ minutes of speaking was that we, as Americans, should be praying for our nation…praying that God turns his face back toward us and helps us to regain prosperity.  I have to admit, for most of his speech, I was a bit peeved. It gets a little annoying being the choice audience of the attention of many Ugandans… pertaining both to preaching and flirting. I also didn’t like the fact that my white skin automatically associated myself, Emily Cortese, with America in this gentleman’s mind. True, I am an American. Can I be proud of

ya know

that? Not all the time, to be honest. I would much rather be known as Emily Cortese, the tall girl with brown hair, the Christian, the independent personality, the whatever…just not known as Emily Cortese, the American. This may or may not be making any sense to those of you at home, on American soil. I may, in fact, be sounding like a traitor to my own country. I have the right not to be proud of everything my country is to the rest of the world right now. HOWEVER, as a Christian, I should not feel it okay to regard prayer for my country as an option, simply because I feel annoyed at holding an American identity in an African country. In short, this gentleman knows and realizes, perhaps better than myself, what exactly America is going through economically, financially, but most importantly, spiritually. And he believes that if America is prayed for, God will look back upon us and lead us in the right direction. Whether or not that is true, I do not know. He related America back to Israel. I simply could not help but think back to a book that was recently given to me by a well-respected man. The book is called The Harbinger. I have not read it yet, but I know that it goes hand in hand with what this gentleman in the dining hall was saying about America. As a God-founded nation, we are paralleled to Israel, the only other nation ever founded on God. And when Israel called out in repentance, God granted them grace and restored His hand of blessing upon them. That is now what America must do, according to this gentleman (who claimed to be a prophet of God, by the way) and the author of The Harbinger. Some food for thought? More like a massive meal. Don’t get indigestion.

Friday moved into the weekend and things got good. Saturday morning was a trip to town for some groceries and to drop off some mail and the afternoon consisted of a wonderful shower and proceeding to accompany my Mama to a wedding reception. It was nice to be able to dress up, although I was sweating up a storm. It was also so nice to attend this wedding with Mama. It was just her and I and the car ride provided time to talk. I received some family background that I did not know (including where everyone came from. Ha! It’s not always easily defined how each “family member” living in the house is actually related to the parents.  Once at the reception, Mama treated me to a soda while we awaited the bride and groom’s arrival. I was the only Mzungu present, which is always awkward. I just love sticking out like a sore thumb. I brought my DSLR camera with me, of course, and later during the reception, while there were photogenic activities occurring, Mama encouraged me to get up and move to a spot where I could get some good shots. I did so, and I’m pretty sure that I saw the bride looking at me for a period of time. She was probably wondering who invited me or at least who I came with. I guess that’s not as bad as my friend Shanae’s wedding experience. She also attended a wedding with her Mama and the host made several comments about the Mzungu… “Whoever brought and dressed the Mzungu did a good job!”… “You know it’s a successful wedding when a Mzungu shows up!” She told me this and I was grateful for my limited attention in comparison. The wedding had several rituals similar to American weddings. I wish I could have understood more of what everyone was saying though, almost all speaking and singing was done in Luganda. Lame. While we got to enjoy some native dancers and drums, there was not any dancing for the guests! I was so bummed. If I already stick out among the crowd, I might as well shake my body too. Psshh, I miss dancing it up. At least it’s somewhat more acceptable wherever you are…even in church.

Mama and I at home

Speaking of church, such was avoided the next day. I got to spend 2 hours in my room, listening to worship music, singing and then enjoying a podcast of Mark’s preaching from back home. I have to admit, this was very refreshing for me.  There are some things from back home that I feel okay about not forsaking while I am here. Western worship and preaching styles is one of them.  Sunday consisted mostly of reading, writing papers, and laundry, but the end of the day was a hit. My sister Lilly had been home for the entire week because she was unable to meet her school fees. She is in the equivalent of her senior year here…. Hannah’s age! She lives in a hostel on campus, though, and is normally not at home. Lilly and I enjoy each other’s company. She’s cute. We were going to watch Ella Enchanted, but my computer wouldn’t allow it, so Lilly popped out a bunch of random discs she had. One ended up being Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell. Oh Will Ferrell. His movies are excruciating sometimes. But Lilly loved it, so we finished this sci-fi weirdo movie over dinner.

Mmmm, there is so much more I could write about, but I am going to close the gateway to my mind and life for now and resume later on.
Tomorrow is market day and I’m enthralled. I am in desperate need of some non-duct-taped sandals.

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