Friday, 28 October 2016

Rural Homestays: SERERE!!!

Road Trip...

Friday, October 14, 2016, USP rolled out of the parking lot fully loaded with energetic students ready to embrace the unknown of their week with their rural homestay families. Every semester USP students go for a 10-day rural immersion experience, which is aimed at giving them a more encompassing view of Ugandan culture. The Mabira forest and the spectacular Nile inspired us along the way. We were on our way to Serere!

When the road becomes a place and the place becomes a community which in turn becomes a home. 
-- Wendell Berry

Drop offs…

Students were dropped off with eager families, who would be their mother, father, brothers and sisters for the next week. 

Some of our students spend their week living in grass thatched huts at their homestays

Danielle Awabdeh is embraced by her host mom

Program Assistant, Talitha Witt, introduces current student Caleb Strom to his host family

Homestays...

Growing into the norms and lifestyles of their families is what the students embark on as soon as possible with openness and willingness to learn from the richness of the Ateso people. The students soon learn the routines of the home from sunrise to sunset which include digging with "no. 7" (the best hoe for this region), shelling ground nuts, milking cows, tying goats and sweeping the compound without forgetting long walks to visit ‘neighbors’. Working together with their families, their bodies earn callouses and sunburns; testament of their labors and cross cultural immersion. The students learn of the stories and histories of their families as they are lovingly knit into them.


Elle Arnold's host mom teaches her to peel matooke, a common local food

Audrey Anderson pounds ground nuts to make ground nut butter
Jamie Whitcher meets one of her neighbors

Joanna Saufley washes dishes after lunch

Debrief…

Sipi Falls is synonymous with beauty, with a view of Mt. Elgon and Lake Kyoga -- the perfect place to debrief the week together. Meditations and reflections emerge on faith, culture, love, community, family, education and poverty. We hike to the waterfalls as we weave through the communities similar to those in Serere, enjoying each other’s presence and that of the Sabiny people.

USP students hiking in Sipi 
The beautiful, Sipi Falls
Thank you to all our host families who welcomed us into their homes and families. 

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