To never have to start a sentence with "I wish I would have..."


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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Uganda Gone Wild

A few weeks ago I traveled out West to visit another volunteer and help put on an education workshop. It was my first experience putting on a workshop for Ugandans and it was a success. Two other volunteers and myself taught on the psychology of education, creative teaching methods, and classroom management. The Ugandans kept time pretty well and we had a decent turn out of about 20 people.

After the workshop we went on a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. We woke up at 5 in the morning for our driver to pick us up and get to the park. The early morning hours give you the best chance of seeing animals. The safari was absolutely AMAZING! We saw elephants right on the side of the road, a pride of lions, water buffalo, tons of different birds, a leopard, and warthogs. Our driver, Benjamin, was wonderful and answered all of our questions. When a friend phoned him to let him know they had spotted lions, Benjamin told us to fasten our seat belts because we would be "rushing." He sped off and a few minutes later there they were...LIONS! I can't even begin to explain how it felt to pull up next to a pride of lions. To see the dominant male. Definitely one of the coolest things I've done since being in country. Later that afternoon we went on a boat tour and saw hippos! I've never seen hippos that up close before and there were so many of them! We also saw a crocodile and more elephants. I think the elephants were by far my favorite. They're so huge! My first safari in Africa was a success! The only thing we didn't see were giraffes and zebras, which I'm hopeful to see in December when I take Mom and the girls to Murchison Falls.

A quick update on my girls' club...

The week after our reusable menstrual pads workshop, my girls went and taught the same workshop to the primary girls at our demonstration school. They did everything! They taught them in Luganda, answered their questions, and helped them sew the menstrual pads. It was a really unique experience seeing my girls teach other girls something that I had taught them...all on their own!

We had a meeting at my house 2 weeks ago and I had the girls draw self portraits and write what made them beautiful. The activity was so much fun and the girls really got into to. Some of the things that make them beautiful: Their curves, their flattened noses, their beautiful voices, the color of their skin, because that's how God made them. Of course the wanted me to share what made me beautiful and when I said my freckles, something they have never seen before, they started clapping and laughing. Anyone who has ideas of things to do with my girls' club, please let me know! Arts and crafts, team building, womens empowerment, anything is welcome!

Hope all is well stateside. Miss you guys much and think about you everyday. Until next time,



  1. Ashley- Your safari trip sounds amazing. I am so happy for you and all of the wonderful experiences you are having (well, pretty jealous too). Keep posting- we love hearing from you and living vicariously through you.

  2. Ashley,
    I did read this post last month...after we spoke, I thought I was truly slacking...but I do remember reading this one & commenting. I guess the comment didn't post! I will definitely be more aware to check that the posts are there. Again, I am always gushing about how proud I am of you and what you do....this time I am proud of the girls you teach, and what they are getting from you. You are teaching them the importance of self respect and loving themselves, how God made them! You are truly a gift of God's! I love you very much, girl....and I am counting the days until I can hold you in my arms and hug you!! I miss your hugs. Take care of yourself, my love....