Sister Schools

When a Mzungu Makes Chapati


I drove down to Florida on Sunday to visit my mom and also for two speaking engagements: the Cocoa Rotary Club and to launch our Sister School program at St. Mark’s Academy.

Both were really fun, but the one that stressed me out was St. Mark’s. I usually talk to adults, plus a lot of what we work with is “mature audience” stuff like sexual trauma, early teenage pregnancies, girls being sold off as brides when they’re 13.

I had a fun video tour of the Hopeland campus, a powerpoint presentation on getting to know Uganda and Hopeland, and a dance video. (The dance video was actually the Muganda dance from the Buganda trip in the Kampala area, but I didn’t figure anyone would know that!) I took fabric, a mosquito net, a phone charger plug (since the plugs are so different), and a bunch of handcrafts. We made beans and chapati and I burned the posho.

And yes, I made those chapati from scratch!

Derrick, our former Liaison and friend who now lives in Boston responded to my Instagram post with “Oh no you did not!” Ronald said it was pretty good “mzungu chapati.” hahahaha yes – I’m laughing even now!

Long story short, the kids had a great time, almost everyone loved the food (and the teachers snuck back in for more!), and our pilot program now has wings of its own.

Do you need to know how to make chapati to feel a connection to Uganda? No – and be thankful, because they’re pretty labor intensive! (I’ll send the recipe to you if you want to know how to make them, just hit Reply.) But do you need a connection to care about the kids at our two schools or the girls at Touch the Slum? Yes.

The point of these newsletters isn’t “news.” It’s connection. People tell me they look forward to them every week, almost like a serial story from earlier days. It’s why we’re launching the Sister Schools program and why I post real video from everyday life on Instagram.


We can’t thank you enough for being part of our family!

Mwebele nnyo!

PS Sadly, Nurse Sherry is leaving us to go back to school. Today is her last day. Sherry has been an absolute rock — and rock star! — for over 1 1/2 years and we will miss her so much! We wish her the best in her new endeavors, and welcome Nurse Brenda, who Sherry helped us choose, to Touch the Slum. We have a project for restocking the clinic up on DonorSee that’s 46% funded, if you’d like to help. Just click below!

Clinic Restock

PSS I’m going to post the St Mark’s videos up on YouTube this weekend, and we have some other great videos there, so check those out!

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I Could Talk All Day…


Since our trip to Uganda in March/April, we’ve been working to launch our Sister School program. While I do (of course) hope to raise some money for Hopeland and Wells of Hope Primary Schools over time, my main focus is just on connections. A broadening of the world for kids that are 8,000 miles away from each other.

While we’re all so “connected” all the time, I think real connections might have gotten lost. I remember my pen pal in elementary school, patiently (or not!) waiting for a letter to arrive, and trying to use my best handwriting to send one back. I honestly don’t remember much about her — not her name or age or even what country she was in. But I remember that feeling of connection and how special it was.

We need that to feel empathy, to feel curiosity, to feel that people “over there” are real.

So we’re launching our Sister School program, connecting Hopeland Primary School with St. Mark’s Academy (which is my elementary school alma mater). With the wonders of the internet, kids won’t have to wait for the postal service to bring the much anticipated letters and drawings.

They can share photos and videos, too!

Both sides can learn natural history and geography and zoology — and mostly about each other and make new friends.

Think of me next Wednesday morning! I’ll be dressed in my traditional Ugandan dress. We’ll learn how to dance a traditional dance. I’ll show them Ugandan handcrafts and a video tour of Hopeland’s campus. We’re even bringing in some simple Ugandan food to share.

It should be fun!

I’ll also be speaking to a local Rotary Club on Tuesday, which is always great! If you would like to connect your group with our work in Uganda, just let me know. I can talk all day…!



PS Teen mom Harriet, who has lived in our residential program for about a year and a half, is preparing to move back to the village with her son, her mom, and siblings. We are planning to gift her a sewing machine and enough supplies to get her started in her own small business, and the project is 64% funded. If you’d like to help Harriet and her family as they start a new life, just click the button! Mwebele nnyo!

Help Harriet!

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