So here’s the story of how John (The other guy on my Uganda team) and I became Rugby players…
John was working in the computer cafe that was at the church we were working with. It’s not much of a cafe. More like a classroom filled with Windows computers. A man by the name of Carter had approached him and long story short asked if he and myself would like to come to a practice of the Rugby team he was a captain/coach for. Of course John said yes. He would have been crazy not to.
I can’t remember exactly how our first visit to practice came about or when but I can tell you that we got to practice touch Rugby with a bunch of Ugandans and share a bit of the word of God with them. It was awesome. So, Carter then asks us if we can attend a live match one Saturday. Again, you bet we do!
Ok. The time comes for us to go to this game. We bring a couple of our friends from the team with us for support. Ally and Somer. They brought cameras. Luckily. We get there and the match is already happening. We see them playing and struggling to play good defense against our opponent….then not even 1 full minute into us being there to WATCH this madness. Carter our coach/captain calls out to us telling us to get in the game. QUICKLY.
So John and I manage to tie our shoes, stretch a little bit and get focused on the match at hand in about 35 seconds. 5 seconds after that we are playing LIVE TACKLE RUGBY against huge, fast, tough Africans. Holy crap. Whats happening?
You may not believe it, but John and myself managed to do pretty well. John made a couple tackles and I got to show off my gazelle like speed a little bit (not really, I was tackled and scraped my knee). And, for the rest of our time in Uganda we were apart of the UTC Jeepers Rugby squad. Two white dudes.
I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life. Having the opportunity to be an example to these fellow men and develop quality relationships with them. I love being apart of a team. Especially in sports. Setting a goal and working together to get to that goal. Even if you don’t reach it. Together you were striving for something that others may have deemed impossible. It builds character in you. Whether you fail or you achieve it. It teaches you something no matter the outcome. I eat it up.
So I leave you with this. Set your goals high, and your dreams higher.
THE UTC JEEPERS
Wow. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about a single thing in a couple months. Oh, well. I’m writing now.
I’ve been in a bad mood today. Just today for some reason (so far) but, I think it kind of hit me. I realllllllly loved Africa. I knew I had developed a love for it when I first got home and nestled back into my own bed. But, as the months keep going by…I am noticing more and more…and more that I miss it so freaking much. Then, another thing hit me. How much I dislike this country. America. I swore to myself when I was in Africa that I would not get caught up in the self-centeredness and greed of this country and that I would be different now that I’ve been to Africa.
But, I fell in. Better yet, I fell back in. I’m worried about my clothes, what people think and other shallow things of this world. This is where I might get kind of long-winded/ranty. I find myself judging people on why in the world they would buy that, do that, say that and making myself feel better by saying if only they could see Africa and what’s happening there. But, all the while, I’m shopping online, going out to eat, complaining about my spotify buffering while I stream thousands of songs to my iPhone. In which I don’t use for any other reason but to keep up with Facebook as if some life altering event is going to happen from the time that I checked it at 12:15 to the time when I check it again at 12:20. I’m not blaming anyone but myself because I know I can be an exception to this mad society. It is possible. But, how did we get to this point? How is the biggest thing in the news about a group of people hating a chicken restaurant? I mean. Seriously. We have bigger chicken to fry. Pun completely intended. I don’t know any solutions or have answers on how we got to this point or how we get out of it. All I know is that it’s extremely hard to live here with all these distractions. Africa life is so simple.
Now, I know that most of you won’t have any idea of where I’m coming from. You probably never will. But, it’s a sucky feeling knowing that a major portion of your society cares more about ebay and french fries then they do about a third world country in east Africa. Or any third world country for that matter. I blame only me for letting myself be dictated by such a place. But, as a whole…I think we all need to wake up. and, unlike me. Take some action on a few matters that strike deep to your heart. Whether it be helping out a homeless person or donating some of your hard earned dough to a non profit you believe in. Don’t do it to show society your doing something. Don’t do it to make yourself happy. Do it because your helping someone else. Do it because it’s right.
And from now on I am trying to be more world-conscious instead of self-conscious. Feel free to keep me accountable.
Hey everyone. This post will mostly for the duration of this blog, kind of, sort of brag on my team that I went to Africa with. They were that cool. Our team was comprised of 11 women and 2 dudes and I was one of the 2 dudes. If you didn’t guess. A team of 13 brave souls prepared….unprepared to go into the heart of Northern Uganda and experience things we didn’t even dream of happening. No matter how much we prepared ourselves for this trip, not a single drop of it…at least for me got me ready for what and who I was going to encounter.
Our team was an awesome mixture of toughness, rawness, softness and pure bread faithful people. Each one of us had a little bit of each quality. I think those qualities got us through our four months in Uganda strictly based on sanity but what got us through to each other was our willingness to be open with one another. Not one person from my point of view ever shied away from challenging a fellow team member to be better nor did they shy away from encouraging one another in what they were already doing great.
Now, having played four years of High School basketball. I know the importance of that encouragement, not only when when your down but also when your doing well. That encouragement when your on a hot streak keeps you thinking “I got this, I can do this”. That’s exactly what my team in Uganda did. Not just on occasion but throughout the entire four months of our time in Northern Uganda. Which speaks a true testament to the kind of people they are and what God has molded them into. They were such great friends not only to me but to everyone who they came in contact with. People yelling “mzungu” (white person) on the street or our closest Ugandan friends. They were always willing to lend a hand, a ear, or a heart. They loved each other continuously and loved the people of Lira, Uganda continuously throughout the entire four months there. These people are a great group. They taught me and many others in Lira so much throughout our time in Uganda about lots of things…many things. But, most importantly they showed me what it really means to live like Christ. And, to show that love to everyone around me. Not to be ashamed of what other people think when your dancing in the middle of the street or when your talking to someone that others think should be ignored. The love of God shined through and through on the daily with this team and they will always be some of my closest friends. Love you all so much Aly, Ally, Darby, Logan, Brittany, John, Marissa, Mary, Makyla, Sarah, Carrie-Ann and Somer. You better have read this.
At the source of the Nile
Thank you all for reading and I hope that this post did a good job of describing who this team was.