Staying with Hussein Tadesse, One School Ugandan Program Manager

Hussein, his wife Afwa, and his five children (youngest to oldest:  Oman, Marshall, Shamsa, Shiaoban, Firdaus)
Blog post by One School board member, Ken Driese, who is in Uganda working with the program staff there (Hussein and Diana). 
I leave Kampala early Sunday morning for a two-week holiday in Namibia before returning to the U.S.  It’s been a whirlwind.  After a week working from the field office in Kassanda (a couple of hours from Kampala—see previous post), we returned to Hussein’s house and have been busy with a series of meetings and activities about One School programs, planning, and philosophy.  I’ve learned a lot from Hussein, Diana, and the very strong Ugandan Board. 

One  School employee, Diana, working in the office at Hussein’s house.
I’m staying with Hussein, in a house that serves as his family home, the One School Kampala office, and guest quarters for those of us that visit from the U.S..  Hussein and his family are remarkable hosts, and I feel guilty about being waited on hand and foot with little recourse!  Even my laundry is cleaned almost daily, which is helpful, since I didn’t bring many clothes. 

Photo taken at the local market, while shopping with Hussein. 
Hussein has five children.  I will undoubtedly butcher the spelling of their names here, so forgive me, Hussein, as you read this!  The eldest (Firdaus) is in boarding school for the term, and won’t return home until late August (summer doesn’t have the same meaning here on the equator as it does in the U.S.).  The next two (Shamsha and Shiaoban) are gone most of the day at school—they leave the house not long after 7 a.m. and don’t return until close to 5.  The other two, Marshall Rosenberg (3) (named after the man who developed the Non-Violent Communication philosophy that Hussein is studying), and Oman (1) (means “peace”) are home, though Marshall would normally be at school during the week—he’s recovering this week from a burn on his wrist.  Hussein’s wife, Afwa, and their live-in helper, Monika, have their hands full with cooking and caring for the kids, not to mention dealing with a house guest.  In many ways, their quiet support on the home front allows Hussein to do all that he does for One School.
Shopping for Firdaus before dropping her at boarding school for the term.
Mornings and evenings are spent with the family or working in my room.  Shiaoban loves to play a version of Chutes and Ladders with me (called snakes and ladders!), and Marshall loves to follow me around and ask questions or push buttons on my watch, as 3-year-olds are wont to do.  He’s very precocious, and I joke with Hussein that someday he will be president.   
In the mornings I drink my coffee under the avocado tree in the backyard while Afwa makes chapati on the charcoal burner and Monika sweeps the yard.   Interesting birds come and go, and sometimes a few chickens cluck around the yard, puckish.  Hussein and Afwa hope to augment the number of chickens drastically (to 300, and it’s not a big yard!) and sell eggs for profit, but that is a future plan. 
Yesterday, while I peacefully sipped my Peet’s, there was an enormous whoosh as a giant branch from the neighbor’s papaya tree spontaneously broke lose and crashed into their yard, sending the resident dog pack into a tizzy; it’s a different environment here on the equator. 
I’ll have a lot to digest and report after I return home and have more time to write and think, and access to the internet here is inconvenient, so I’ll leave those meatier posts for later in the summer.