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June 23, 2010

Uganda Update!

“You are welcome!”
This phrase has been directed toward me countless times by the ladies of 31 Bits. Right after meeting someone they would almost always reply by saying, “you are welcome.”
I was somewhat thrown off by this because in the states (as you know) “you’re welcome,” is usually only followed by a “thank you.” ┬áSo the first couple times this happened I would just look confused and try to figure out if there was something I should be thanking them for. In Uganda however, this is the same as saying, “welcome!” or “we’re glad you’re here.” After figuring this out and despite my misunderstanding, I have been completely blown away by their generosity and thankful attitudes. They were so glad I had come from my home to be with them and they made it so easy for me to be comfortable here.
It is amazing to be over here joining Kallie and Brooke on this side of things and to see for myself what this organization is actually doing for these women. This is my second week here and I already feel at home at the 31 Bits compound. I feel so blessed to have to opportunity to spend the day with these ladies, roll beads with them, and learn a little bit about their lives. I have met so many cool women and am excited to slowly get to know all 56 of them.
Today I would like to introduce you to one of the ladies I have been honored to meet.
Ketty!
Ketty is 21 and full of life. She is super joyful, a complete jokester, and always finds something to laugh about. She has been working at 31 Bits for 4 months and her joyful spirit is definitely contagious among the other ladies. She is a mother to four-month-old Emmanuel, more affectionately called Emmy, and is also taking care of her sister’s five year old daughter, Joy. Prior to coming to 31 Bits, Ketty earned a living by fetching water to sell. From the money she is earning at 31 Bits, she is now able to contribute much more to her family’s needs of food, clothing, and medical treatment. Her husband is a farmer and in 5 years they hope to be selling produce and own a very large farmland. She also has dreams to undergo training as a tailor and wants to invest her money in sewing and making clothes. She enjoys rolling beads, cooking and gardening.
Ketty is a blessing to be around and always keeps us laughing.
-Ally