Visiting Alenga in June 2010
by Alexis Interrante
Over the three weeks we spent in Uganda, Krista and I (Alexis) had many different experiences. Some we never would have ever dreamt of in a million years. All of them, we wouldn’t trade for anything. Being able to spend time with the people of Uganda has made us realize how amazing and special Africa is as a continent. Never had we seen a place so beautiful. Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, well we have over a thousand pictures from our trip (the girls, the animals, landscape, and our traveling companions) and they still do not do Uganda the justice it deserves. To be able to experience not only the splendor of the sights but to actually get to speak, eat, and spend time playing net ball (best sport ever?) with some of the nicest people we have ever met. To adequately put into words the time we had in Alenga is impossible.
While in Alenga, Pat and Christie (our new aunts) accompanied us to tutor the tailoring school girls. We were supposed to be helping them practice their English but we both agree that we learned not only more Lango (the local language) but more about life as girls our age in Uganda. To see people our age so happy to be going to school made us realize how much we had in life and how happy they were with how little they had. I personally have dreams of going to travel the world, experience and see beautiful things all over the world, while they just want to see Kampala once. When I asked them if they could go anywhere in the world where would they go? Almost all of them said they want to visit Kampala to see the city. A couple wanted to go to the United States to see snow.
My sister saw how similar she was to the tailoring school girls. How one little mess up of a sentence could set them all off into fits of laughter. The girls taught Krista and I how to play netball. Krista excelled at this challenging sport and soon was laughing and racing up and down the “court” (a grassy field with lines drawn in the dirt) with the rest of the girls. They instantly became sisters. On the final night in Alenga, the tailoring school and dispensary staffs threw our travel companions and us a going -away party. Everyone was very emotional (especially me), none of us wanted to leave. Yet it was probably a highlight of Krista’s trip. She brings up the dance party we had with the girls almost every day. She misses the girls probably as much as she will miss me when I leave for college.
We went to Uganda just the two of us and came back with 15 new sisters, a brother, a father, and 2 aunts. We miss Alenga every day and cannot wait to return one day and play a pick-up game of netball. Without Notè Karacel, we would not have a new family or these memories that we will keep for the rest of our lives.