torsdag 6. november 2008

Travelling to Mbale

Picture one: Facilitator and audience in action
Picture two: Nkokonjeru peak, a spur of the Mount Elgon Masif
Weekend is drawing closer again and it is hard to belive that it will soon be a week since we left Kampala and headed for Mbale. Travelling for five to six hours in in a crowded van is rather tiering wether the travel takes place in Norway, England or Uganda. Main differences are the landscape which was beautiful whenever I was awake. Which means whenever some of my fellow travellers poked me to show me something. This is an confession that I slept most of the way from Kampala to Mbale. The three main reasons for sleeping is that one I was up very early in the morning and needed slepp, two if you sleep it reduces the feeling og being bored and idle when travelling and thirdly I usually enjoy sleeping when I am not the driver of the vehicle. With help from my friends I had the opportunity to appreciate Ugandas largest forest, the source of the river Nile and seemingly endless fields of sugarcanes. As we approached Mbale I was roused again and my eyes fell on a mountain looming in the horizon. I soon learned that the mountain only was a small hill and the starting slopes of the Mount Elgon Massif. The beauty of the mountain candled a desiere in my heart to climb the slopes and have a look at the view from the top. For the time I had to content myself with viewing the waterfalls, clouds encircling the top and the intense green coloures clothing the slopes of the Nkokonjeru (2.348 m.) peak. The rest of the Mount Elgon masif were to far away to be seen and contains several high peaks. Wagagai is the highest peak and it's 4.321m makes it the eight highest on the African continent.

The conference was located at a boarding scool outside the town itself. We arrived on the first day of the conference and plunged into the program with attending a lecture about unity in ministry. There is a great many things which may disturb unity of ministry in a city like Bergen. Even more here. There is different cultures living close togehter and being mixed in a random way at all institutions of higher education. Additionally there is an abundance of different denominations which adds complexity to the issue of unity. What more there is the principle of being a born again christian. Different definitions of what it means to be a born again may cause a lot of discussion in this setting. During the speech it was also warned against creating strict standards for christian behaviour. Examples which were given were strict standards for how often people should go to church, attend meetings in the Christian Union or how to perform prayer. The things can be good in themself and it is therefore tempting to creat standards, but when the standards are created they create walls between those living up to a standard and those who doesn't. Walls leads to separation and separation does not lead to unity. Also Paul in his letters warned against crating competing denominations within the body of christ by saying things like I follow Apollo, Paul, Kefas or (for those being overspiritual) I follow only Jesus Christ. The issue is not less important today. At least not in Uganda and it was therefore interesting to follow the session and the discussiones.
Later there was more teaching on other themes, workshops on themes like time mangement and gender issues, a cultural night on saturday evening and a service on sunday. As much as possible I attended the different happenings, but I also missed some because of a brief visist to Mbale town and because I attended an Introduction. Both will be commented in later posts, but for know it should be enough to know that an Introduction is a big happening and among the major events of life here in Uganda.

2 kommentarer:

smallfish sa...


Så du har vært i Mbale ja ;-) Det er en bra plass, kanskje ikke den vakreste byen i verden, men du føler at du er i Afrika når du er der. Var sikkert en fin plass for 50-60 år siden. Hvordan reiste du mellom Kampala og Mbale, var det med buss eller taxi eller? Jeg tok taxi tur-retur Mbale - Jinja. En Toyota Hiace fra 90 med 14-15 personer ;-) Hehe, det er ikke noe du får oppleve i Norge.

Men, men. Får håpe du har det gøy :-) Btw. så syns jeg at du får den beste maten i Mbale på Oases of Life.

Snakkes, Jo Are

Ole-Johan sa...

Mbale var en noe sliten by som ser ut til aa ha vaert baade renere og penere rundt midten av forrige aarhundrede. Reisen til Mbale ble foretatt i en overfylt privatbil som holdt et saerdeles bra tempo mellom Kampala og Mbale. Slik kjoring faar man heller ikke oppleve i Norge. Maten inntok jeg stort sett paa internat skolen der vi bodde. Jeg sov i paa en sovesal der det var 10 til 15 senger samt ca 10 madrasser plassert rett paa betonggolvet. Jeg var heldig og fikk sikret meg en anstendig plassering paa en av madrassene et stykke unna utgangen. Maten spiste jeg ogsaa for det meste der ute. Dermed ble det mye ris, posho (mais pudding), matokee og saus med bonner eller noe kjott. Servert paa et fat og fingrene som eneste spiseredskap. Mye og god mat og mye moro for en nordmann aa trene paa aa spise uten bestikk.