- Holiday Greetings from Uganda, Everyone!
Open the attachment for a neat Christmas message. Along with that, I want
to wish everyone a very happy holiday season. This year has been
life-changing for all of us, I think, so we have a lot to reflect on this
I�ve just finished up my dissertation research that I started here in
Uganda in August 2000. My project is on children and nationalism, so I have
been talking with children about their political views, taking life
histories of several children, and monitoring their activities as they
participate in activities like national music festivals, learn lessons about
citizenship in their social studies classes, and recover from horrendous
experiences with rebel insurgencies. My idea is to conceptually link
Ugandans� definitions of childhood and nationhood to understand how children
fit into national unity and development efforts. In all the rhetoric,
children are really essential to the success of the nation, but in reality,
their roles as citizens are limited by adult authority, poverty, etc.
Anyway, I have to organize all this data and make more sense of it before I
can come to any particular conclusions. So that�s what I�ll be doing for the
next year or so. By the way, many of the children I have worked with here
are very poor, usually as a result of war of being orphaned by AIDS, and I
have had a lot of requests for sponsors to help pay children's school fees.
It costs $15 - 45 to send a child to primary school for one year, depending
on the region where they live. If you are interested in sponsoring a child,
please contact me.
The year 2001 has held two main highlights for me. About this time last
year, I met my fianc� Mathew Muhumuza, a research technologist with the
Joint Clinical Research Center in Kampala. He does laboratory research on
infectious diseases, particularly HIV and tuberculosis. We started dating at
the beginning of the year and decided to get engaged. We celebrated with a
big party in October. Mathew�s family and our friends in Uganda attended,
and it was really nice. We have 150 pictures to prove it! Now we need to
have another shindig for my family in the States. We�re tentatively planning
for June, so watch your mailboxes for invitations.
The other highlight was my Southern Africa trip in April/May. I think most
of you got my blow-by-blow e-mails on that one. I started in Johannesburg
and traveled all through South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, and
Zimbabwe. My college friend Tarius hooked up with me about a week into the
trip, we traveled together, and then she came back to Uganda with me for a
while � my first visitor in Africa! It was nice to share the experience a
bit with someone I can talk to stateside later.
I am very much looking forward to coming home to Michigan to spend time with
my family and friends there, whom I haven�t seen for about a year and a
half. Mathew is coming home with me for Christmas, and we are all excited
for him to meet the family. We will enjoy the holidays with the family and
then investigate where in the States to settle for the time being.
I hope that all of you and your families are doing well and are staying
happy and healthy. Please stay in touch. I will be in Michigan at my
parents� place from 22 December through mid-January or so. Please give me a
buzz if you�re in the area: 248-693-3216.
Take care and have a great 2002!
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