"Ayai parro," I attempted to say for the fourth time. Once again my words were followed by sighs and shaking heads from the group of 15 or so children trying to teach me parts of their native language, Luo. "Ayai parro." Again I mumbled what I thought was right. It wasn't until my sixth try that I got the reaction of satisfaction from the group.
Although, I still probably wouldn't be able to pronounce this phrase correctly at this very moment, and I for sure don't know how it is exactly spelled, the group and I got plenty of laughs from my attempts.
This all started when I asked a few of the kids to teach me a few simple words I could use. The first two phrases were "How are you?" and the answer, "I'm fine." I can only assume these were the phrases they thought I would most often use. With those two quickly followed that of "Ayai parro," which means, "I'm from the garden."
The places and people I get to work with are truly incredible.
This week started with many goodbyes as the majority of our group from the previous week headed home. Our group had been made up of seven people now dwindled to three, and we ventured back down to the bigger city. We spent the next few days in Kampala seeing a peek into the Watoto ministry. From dairy goats to egg production to the fields, we saw agricultural production on a larger scale here in Uganda this week.
Days were well spent exploring and helping at the Watoto facilities.
After a long week of traveling and touring, we took a day off as we ventured out to Jinja, a town located near the Nile River, and spent half a day out on the river kayaking and enjoying some scenic views.
Great times with great people out on the water.
The view should say it all.
After a week of traveling to the city, touring new programs, exploring the Nile, and saying goodbye to our friends, it was time to head back to Lira. More importantly, it was time to head back to the garden.
Ryan Danker is a 2017 Field of Hope intern working out of Lira, Uganda, this summer where he helps manage irrigation systems for Field of Hope’s partners. Danker is a senior agribusiness major at Oklahoma State University. He is originally from Wellston, Oklahoma.