Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shopping Extravaganza

Today was the day that we had been waiting for! Going shopping! Us Americans and our addictions... we were itching to get out look at the shops! Jimmy and Christopher drove us to the back of some buildings where the Women's Fashion Centre was...

Whoops - the Ladies Fashions Centre..

There were a couple shops where you could pick out fabric for a skirt, or outfit to be made for you. Since I didn't even own a skirt before this trip - I opted not to get a skirt made and instead decided to get a bag made. Because I don't have many opportunities to wear skirts.. I don't even really carry a purse half the time but it was nice to be able to pick out fabric that I liked and have something made and support the women of Uganda. 

The wall of fabric..

After we went to town and picked out our fabric we headed to Otino Waa. This is an organziation much like COTN, but they have been in Uganda since the early 2000's and have had more time to establish themselves. COTN is modeled after Otino Waa. They have a sponsorship program as well, and children that live on site and go to school there. Their school is in the top 3% of Uganda. They had a computer lab as well as vocational training for their students. You can read more about it and what they're doing by clicking on the link. I hope to see COTN reach this point of self sufficiency one day. I know they're close! 

They had a medical and dental clinic that was in place for not only their children and staff but also open to the town. And a full time staff that was available. 

They had a really cute cafe where you could get homemade goodies and ice cream. They also had a little shop.. You know we were more than happy to support! They also had a little gift shop where almost everything for sale is made by the students or the Mama's at Otino Waa and the money goes back into the organization to support them. 

They had these little signs all over the property. Just a little motivation.. They had one - I can't find the picture but it said "don't harass girls" we all kind of laughed but I suppose it was a very serious reminder. A cultural difference I suppose. 

The computer lab... 

Getting the tour from Bob - he and his wife Carol, are the founders.

Meg and I getting our "romantic" pic in the trees... Making fun of the "newlyweds" Brian and Michelle

$1 USD = 2580 schillings today... you do the math.. I need a calculator... and math just really isn't my strong suit. Just know that in American dollars - everything is really cheap. One of the few countries where our dollar still means something... 

After Otino Waa we had our host dinner at Auntie Jane's house. She pulled out all the stops for us and had prepared a huge meal of chicken, sausage, potatoes, greens, pineapple and avocado. I think that this is where my love of avocados went over board. I recently realized how much I love guacamole and even more recently liking plain avocados but now I LOVE them... I need them with everything. Eggs, on salads, or just plain... they're just delicious. So anyway, I love avocados.. if you take anything away from all this I hope you understand how good the avocados are because I could just go on and on. There was a huge storm coming in just as we were getting there so we all piled in to her two room house where she had set everything out for us to eat while the rain came down. Their rain really is beautiful and makes everything so much greener and brings in a wonderful much needed breeze. After Dinner we did what we do best (next to shopping) - we had a photo shoot!

The avocado that I love so much! (okay I'll stop now.. I realize it's getting a little weird)

"friendship in unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival" C.S. Lewis

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 
 John 15:12-15

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