We headed into Gulu town for lunch at Sankofa Café. Brad runs it as an expat and graduate of Wheaton College. He has two cafes in Uganda- one is in Lira, Gulu is his newest.
We ate a pretty decent lunch- each ordered as she liked. I got a Panera style hot chicken sandwich and a veggie plate with dip. It was so satisfying. Many ordered pizzas, milk shakes, and slushies. I tried a lot of these things- very good.
He told us about the café and how he ran it as an alternative place as a Christian. He was pretty humble and offered any of us an internship with him if this kind of thing was our passion. We thanked him for the great food and headed to the next site.
Zach was our next contact. He is starting (with a group of close friends) an outdoor ropes course for the local children. It is called “The Recreation Project”. It is designed to give children a therapeutic way to work out their emotional histories as well as have fun with their bodies as all children should be able to.
He met us at the café and we drove out together to his site. It turns out that the ropes course area is incredibly close to the hospital that famously held the night commuters of Invisible Children. He pointed to the building and told us the scene (the one where the room is packed with sleeping children) to give us a frame of reference.
Zach was a lot of fun- he worked with Campus Crusade in Colorado but didn’t love that style of ministry (here are the 4 spiritual laws- now become a Christian). Basically, we spent some time playing with him on the site.
He also asked for ideas and tips on improvement- as the project was in the beginning stages still. He also offered an internship to anyone who really had an outdoor adventure passion and wanted to work with them to see the project really take off.
After we met with Zach, we headed to our lodgings for the night- the Acholi Ber Hotel in Gulu town. I roomed with Jamie again and we soon discovered that our room was on the top floor (Penthouse!) of the hotel.
We were able to walk around Gulu until dinner, so a few of us headed out to explore. We came across a bead shop, the women outside were rolling strips of paper into colorful beads. We entered the shop and quickly made friends with the owner. We pored over bags and bags of jewelry. It was an ordeal to find matching sets and other things. Bargaining was a lot of fun too- we all were buying a lot and tried to get the best deal.
Back at the hotel, we talked for a long time around tables in the lobby. We drank sodas and waited for our food to come. Jones, an intern (Ugandan law student) helped my table understand some more of the issues surrounding the area. After a bit, we headed off to our rooms.
Jamie and I sat on the balcony of the top floor, journaling and marveling at the city. What surprised me was how quiet the town was. Sure music sounded in the distance from one of the bars or nightclubs, but otherwise, the streets were deserted and little lights shone at all. We watched the security guard make his rounds below us and talked a bit more. Bed was soon after.
In the morning we ate breakfast in the lobby. It was a combination of eggs, toast, chapatti, coffee, and fresh fruit. We loaded into the coaster with our things and headed to Watoto church for the 10 am service. (This is a pretty well-known church in Kampala; the Gulu branch is one of several branches.)
The whole service was amazing-I specifically enjoyed the worship music. It was powerful and reminded me of worship back home (the Ascent and CDV combined).
After this we headed to the Sankofa Café for our lunches to go. One of the things we were given were humongous cinnamon rolls. I sat next to Tony on the coaster so we shared it. It was so sticky, sweet, and doughy- a pretty stellar roll. The ride home went fine- back in Mukono and at my homestay by dinner.