uganda pt 1

I just recently came back from my third trip to Uganda with SoulThirst Africa. Each of the trips I have previously been on have been extremely eye-opening and moving for me.  This trip was no different. The most shocking thing upon returning to the US is the poverty here in the States. The poverty I am talking about is spiritual poverty. While the material poverty in Uganda is shocking and often overwhelming the thing that blows me away is the amount of joy and peace the people of Uganda have. Here in the US we have everything (materialistically) we could ever  want yet there is discontentment and a lack of joy that is obvious. In Uganda the physical need is everywhere but there is still a sense of peace and joy that is palatable.

What I have decided to do is journal about my photos in groups. This first set of photos is the village of Kyriampunu and the road outside of the Kabalega Resort where we stay for the majority of the time we are in Uganda. A year and a half ago the people in the village of Kyriampunu did not have access to clean water. The water that they were previously using for hygiene, cooking and drinking was stagnant and often times dead animals could be found floating in it. They would remove the animals and continue to use the water. This village now has access to clean water from the water well constructed by SoulThirst Africa. The health of the children and the adults in this village has dramatically improved since the well was installed. 

In the mornings before or after breakfast I would often wander out onto the main road near where we were staying and just start walking. I really enjoyed this part of the day as I would often have spontaneous conversations and get to meet some of the locals. It was also a way for me to witness everyday life in Masindi. Below are some of my favorite images from my morning walks. The two boys featured first are Joshua and Patrick. They were riding this bike together across the road from me. They saw me and made a beeline across the street over to me with these huge smiles on their faces. They were waiting for me to say something. I said "hello" and their smiles got even bigger. They reached out their hands to shake. They spoke a little English but not much. They had so much joy and happiness and that is what has stuck with me ever since I met them. The two young children in the bottom photo are Asati and Ramadan. They lived in the house next to our hotel. Their mother did not want to be in the photo but asked that I send the photo to the manager of the hotel so that he could give it to her. When I showed her the photo of her children, she started to cry. These are some of the moments that I'll never forget. 


A few weeks ago my niece had her final dance for the McKinney Cotillion. I had the opportunity to fill in for my brother as her date.  I originally thought cotillion was just about manners and which side of the plate to put your fork and napkin on so I was just expecting to have a nice dinner.  A few minutes before I walked out the door my wife Emily commented that I should be prepared to dance and I was completely caught off guard.  At that point there was no turning back.  I picked Juliana up about 15 minutes early so I could take some photos of her in her dress.  I was able to grab a few quick shots of her before the dance.  We had a lot of fun and she was a great model.  Iā€™m pretty sure that I embarrassed her horribly at the dance due to my severe lack of rhythm. Luckily, there was another dad there busting out the running man and the robot during the Viennese Waltz and I bought her a chocolate milk shake on the way home to make up for any emotional scarring.