Explaining Hurricanes to Ugandans


Well, it’s Friday, and Hurricane Idalia has wobbled off to sea. We had the “perfect storm” of king tides (full moon) and storm surge, but thankfully the water didn’t get too high. Eighteen hours of 50mph wind gusts was exhausting, but we now have sunshine, a morning temperature in the sixties, and no damage. We’re thankful!

So yesterday, I was trying to explain a hurricane to friends in Uganda. As a lifelong resident of hurricane alley, I’d never really had to explain one before.

It’s a big storm going around in a circle with an eye.

Well, the eye is hole.

Okay, not a HOLE hole, but a… hole.

I’m sure I cleared it right up!

There are a lot of things like this that come up when you work in a vastly different culture that’s on the Equator. Etiquette and witch doctors and fried ant balls and seasons and why our sunset is at 5:00pm sometimes and 9:00pm others. How people here actually drive in their own lane and stop for stop lights.

But some things are universal, like the wide grin of a girl whose family are refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is learning English and having fun and changing the trajectory of her life.

Skills for Life and all of our programs at Touch the Slum are deep dives. Girls are with us for a year or more, learning skills and healing from past trauma. We believe that changing lives in ways that will trickle down to the culture is vastly more important than being able to say that we “served” a very large number. Changing lives, changing culture is slow and hard and sometimes frustrating.

But it’s lasting, and that’s what we’re doing, every single day.

Thank you for being part of this work with us — we couldn’t do it without you!

Mwebele nnyo!


PS We have three projects that are over 70% funded on Donorsee: the water tank at the farm, the food budget gap at Hopeland Primary School, and 14 year old Neema’s project for food and supplies. $15 will go a long way for any of these projects, and we have more to choose from, too! Check them out here


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