I don't have any profound thoughts or insights, but I wanted to put a few pictures on our blog. Life has been full...and good.
Two weeks ago a group from our home church came to Lira. We set one day aside for a "solidarity day". Upon our arrival at an IDP camp about 2 hours out of town, men and women were divided and assigned everyday life tasks. Women went to go shopping and prepared food, while men dug in a rice field and tried to thatch a roof. It was probably a first for many of the women to get beef from a recently butchered cow placed on banana leaves on the side of a dirt road. They simply pointed to the part they wanted and someone hacked it off.
(This is Zach, Kimuli, Patrick and a guy from the camp digging in the rice swamp)
(This is Zach sitting on a grass roof after separating the grass, thinking, "So, I'm suppose to jump down like that too?" This is a hut for two boys who lost both of their parents in an LRA attack)
(This is a picture of a baboon after stealing our cookies out of the truck. Ask Zach for an impersonation.)
We also went on a game drive.
(The raw beauty of Uganda never ceases to amaze me)
On a different note, I was in Gulu last week, for the first of a four-week training in Narrative Exposure Therapy (for my trainers and other local staff from rehabilitation centers across N. Uganda). I am very excited about this training. It is being facilitated by researchers and professors from Germany. The therapy model is adapted for children in Northern Uganda and research has proven its effectiveness. Until recently any empirical data on prevelance or effective treatment of mental health disorders has been almost completely absent. I am grateful to be a part of this training and really sense people's committement to raising standards of psychosocial care in N. Uganda. I also co-chaired the first meeting of a new group called "Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Technical Team for Northern Uganda" with Quaker Peace and Social Witness last Friday. There seems to be increasing mommentum for this kind of work and I'm excited to see where this group takes us.