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Reisverslag New Year
3 januari 2017
To begin with on Tuesday, John stayed back at the base that day as he had a stomach infection and was not feeling up for all the running around in the heat. The 5 remaining team members went to the field with little to no information on what to expect. They arrived there and found out that it was a decent size, decent quality (for Africa) field. There was a large number of kids (80-90 large) and the team decided to do a training for them. Unfortunately the kids didn’t get access to a real soccer ball very much and most of them were from very poor backgrounds so the trainings didn’t go very well. Because they didn’t get access to real balls very often, it also meant that children were flooding in throughout the duration of the training and it was just too many kids to handle. The team arrived back to base a little bit frustrated and didn’t feel like they had done an effective job of ministering to the kids. They revised their strategy and headed back to the same location only to find that all the kids had told their friends from surrounding villages to come out so there were an even larger number of kids there to train! They did the best they could but it wasn’t the best training they had given so far and overall it wasn’t the best experience. Once again the team evaluated and decided the best thing to do with such a large number of kids who don’t understand English well and have had minimal previous football training, is to hold a tournament for everyone. So that’s what planned and arranged to have the following morning. Sorry everyone, nothing else crazy or exciting happened that day which was actually a surprise to us as this is Africa and the past 2 weeks had been a roller coaster of hilarious experiences.
On Wednesday John re-joined the group and headed out for the last football training in the village. There were over 120 kids and we brought the loudspeaker out, had some bumpin African music playing, and the kids had a blast. We even handed out some lollies to the winning team. And because of the tournament format, not all the teams were playing on the fields at once so Josh was able to give some short messages to the teams and share more of the gospel with them. It was a really positive experience and we now have a new tool in our toolbelt for what we can use if we are surprised with a large number of kids looking to do soccer ministry. After a long morning in the sun, Sarah wasn’t feeling too great but decided to persevere and head out to a different village in the evening to do another football ministry. Thankfully we figured out the tournament format in the morning because of the “30”kids who were supposed to be at this location which was supposedly 30 min away (more like an hour) we had close to 100 again. So we brought out the tournament scheme again and had a great time giving a football ministry to so many different kids in one day, probably close to 300. Unfortunately Sarah wasn’t feeling well that evening and was developing symptoms of malaria so we were super worried about that but the next day she was feeling much better. Also, if you need a radio announcer or an announcer for any other event, John’s announcing voice is on point. He has done the announcing for all the tournament’s so far and will share his new-found talents for cheap if you ask nicely.
The next morning, on Thursday, it was just the three amigos, Steven, Josh, and John who were off to give a football ministry to a completely new set of kids on Thursday morning. Sarah was still not feeling great even though she was feeling a little bit better, and Geerte and Jonathan had the day off as leaders to do some administration disciplines and other tasks. The 3 musketeers had no idea what to expect and just rolled with it when they got there but they figured things out pretty quick and it actually ended up being the best training and the best group they had given a training to so far. It all ran smoothly and the 40-60 boys who they gave the training to, were very disciplined and performed the exercises and drills well. In the evening they repeated a similar training format to the same group of boys and again, it was a very positive experience. Jonathan and Geerte enjoyed their day off and Sarah enjoyed a much needed day of rest, and was feeling much better in the evening.
On Friday the team was reunited in their mission of brining the gospel through football trainings. Geerte, Jonathan, and Sarah joined the 3 English-speaking boys and performed another training for the same disciplined group the boys gave trainings to on Thursday. Again, it was a really good training session and it was nice to be able to connect with the boys and share messages with them and encourage them. They had the afternoon off to re-energize and fuel themselves with some food to come back for the last football training session of the week, the eighth one in 4 days! Steven and Jonathan ended up staying back since they had a teaching to prepare for some youth on Monday, but the rest of the team went to give their final training session for the week. It was a nice conclusion to the week and Geerte gave a message which really encouraged the boys. It’s amazing though, here in Africa everyone wants your contact information. If we wanted to, we could all easily have an additional 1000 African friends on Facebook and 500 new numbers for our homes back home. Everybody wants to be a friend with a Muzungu! The organizer of these boys wanted our contact information for when we go back home and dreamed of bringing this group of boys to come visit us and wanted sponsorships etc. It was a nice 20-minute, unplanned, extended conversation to conclude the week and we were all dead in the evening and eagerly looking forward to getting some more sleep.
Saturday was a nice day to sleep in and some of us were able to catch-up with our families back home and welcome in the New Year with them. The girls slept in until lunch time, and the boys discovered the joy of computer games. There was a poker game on Geerte’s computer and we spent much more time than we’re willing to admit with our eyes glued to the screen trying to become the Governor of Texas as we rose up the ranks in poker. It was quite sad to be honest haha. But 4 of us also went to a local hotel to go enjoy the sun and swim in the pool and surprise! There was a pool party going on! So the pool was packed! In true African fashion there were balloons EVERYWHERE including in the pool and we discovered the joys of popping balloons under water. What a thrill that is, sitting on the balloon when all of a sudden your flotation device explodes on your butt into a scattering of bubbles. We may have popped 20 balloons between the 4 of us, you could say it was a good time. After sunbathing we returned to the base as a team and Jonathan got to do what he had been talking about for the past week, make some oliebollen! (It’s a deep-fried Dutch treat which is very similar to a donut, it is just a ball of dough which is deep-fried with sugar on it.) Let me fix that and say that he TRIED to make oliebollen. After 3 hours of trial and error and doing his best mad-scientist impression, Jonah with the look of a child who just found out his dog died, presented us with things some that only slightly resembled oliebollen and tasted not even close to oliebollen. To his credit we didn’t have access to measuring devices, a temperature regulator for the fire, and had only a limited supply of pots and pans. Because it was still the best thing we had eaten in weeks, we all ate a few and then gave the rest to the dogs. Then we prepared for the final countdown towards New Year’s, had some deep talks amongst the team, and just enjoyed each other’s company as it was the latest we had stayed up since coming to Africa. At New Year’s we all yelled, and fireworks went off from that giant rock we climbed a week earlier and we all got a glimpse of them. New Year’s was complete as Samuel, one of the base-workers came out to celebrate with us wearing only a towel and covered in goosebumps since it was ONLY 18 degrees and he had just had a shower. It was definitely a memorable New Year’s and not anything like the ones we had back home. Geerte, Jonathan, Sarah and Steven decided to go into town to check out what night-life may be going on over there, but to their dismay, there was no excitement to be found but they still had a nice walk. And on the way back they took a boda-boda, (a kind of motor-bike taxi which you can take for transportation) and they had quite the experience travelling back on the dirt, African roads in the dark of night. They arrived to find that the big gate was locked and their only way in was to climb over. So with a team effort they all made it over the 2.5 metres gate with only mild scrapes and bruises which they made sure to show to the others to brag about the New Year’s adventure they had.
We all really missed our families back home and shared the stories of our New Year’s traditions we would do if we were back home. It’s weird to be out here in Africa for the start of the New Year and on outreach but it definitely will be a memorable experience. We only have 3 more days here in Soroti and then we will travel to our next destination, Arua where we will be there for only 2 weeks. Continue to pray for unity in the team but especially pray for health as Geerte has been sick, John was very ill for a bit, and Sarah had to miss some ministry because of illness. She also has been struggling with some infections so pray for those and that all of us can remain healthy and perform the plans God has for us here to the best of our abilities. Wij houden van jullie en we hebben jullie zoveel gemist. We love you all and missed you all so much! Happy New Year everyone! Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar iedereen!
Foto's bij verslag (9)
3 januari 2017 12:33 | Door: dienet
Hallo lieve Geerte en team uganda!
Wat weer een prachtig verhaal, het is net of ik een avonturenboek aan het lezen ben.
Goede reis naar Arua.
Gods zegen voor jullie allemaal!!
Sietze en Dienet