Ni glömmer väl inte min hjälte Emma Kock? Få har gjort så stort intryck på mig som Emma. Att vara ansvarig för 16 killar i Uganda, bo på plats och dessutom vara mer än 25 år yngre än mig med allt vad det innebär. Det är en bedrift. Det här är barn som bär på traumatiska upplevelser. Som blivit lämnade, bott på gatan, stulit och gjort vad som krävs för att överleva. Nu börjar en del av dem att bli tonåringar och Emma har nog en del utmaningar framför sig i huset i Kbale. Lille Isaac fyller två år i januari. Lille Isaac som Emma fann ensam på ett sjukhus efter att någon helt enkelt bara lämnat honom vid vägkanten.
Nu har han fått möjligheter till ett helt nytt liv. Med omsorg och kärlek och en framtid och en massa större syskon. Allt detta kan bara bli en möjlighet om vi kan hjälpa Emma med pengar varje månad. Utan sina bloggläsare som sätter in pengar kan hon inte få detta att gå runt. Här hemma ligger jag och oroar mig på nätterna ibland över banala saker som hur jag ska hinna städa innan gästerna kommer eller att jag inte hittar bra vinterskor till Lennox. Och jag skäms. Skäms över mina triviala bekymmer. Emma var ju hos mig på middag i somras tillsammans med Alex som hjälper henne med killarna på barnhemmet. Det var första gången han var i Sverige och kort efter att han kom tillbaka till Uganda skrev han ett inlägg på bloggen där han beskrev hur han upplevde vårt land.
Hela gänget med Emma.
Det var en mycket berörande läsning som det ofta är när andra ser på vårt sätt att leva och bo i det här fantastiska landet. Jag klistrar in det här och hoppas du tar dig tid att se hur han upplevde det.
”It is so ar a period of seven weeks that I have spent on Swedish land. It was my first time to come to Europé and Sweden in particular when I landed at Copenhagen Airport aboard Egypt Air after approximately nine hours on the flight and then moved by car to Malmoe, Åkarp with Emma’s parents.
The moment I landed on Scandinavian soil I just felt my body has been introduced into a different part of the world. The seven weeks that I have spent I have travelled and visited a number of places where I have witnessed various things regarding the social and economic setup of Sweden as a country and many differences compared to my own country Uganda. I don’t think I can narrate everything but I will just point out a few areas out of many to show my findings.
Regarding the education system here in Sweden I got an opportunity of visiting two schools, Vipan in Lund and another one in Staffanstorp before the students would break off for holidays. My first question in mind was “why are students not putting on school uniform?”. I quietly asked Emma and she told me that students in Sweden don’t put on uniform. I was surprised since in Uganda it is a law that all nursery, primary and secondary school kids are supposed to put on uniform. Any kid who happens to appear in school without uniform will automatically be sent back home to put it on.
Then as I had a conversation with one of the teachers I was told that classes commence at 8 am-3 pm Monday-Friday where as in Uganda schools start at 7 am and ends at around 5:30 pm. I just found that kids here don’t spend much time in school compared to Uganda.
I was pleased to see students freely interacting with teachers. In Ugandan schools we lack these student-teacher relationships as some teachers are a bit harsh. And to me, I think another reason could be the use of corporal punishment by teachers in schools where kids usually develop some kind of fear towards teachers.
Still on the social scene, some of you have visited Africa, the precense of a white person, either from Europe or America attracts the eyes and attention of many local people and is in Africa commonly called “Muzungo”. You might not enjoy some free movements around as many children would be constantly screaming “Muzungo!” while others will be shouting “How are you?”. Even many old people, if they get access to you, might start asking where you come from and how you find Uganda/Africa. To me, from the very first time that I came to Sweden, no stranger has ever said “How are you African?”, or ever followed me where I was heading. I just find that everyone is very busy minding his/her own business and you don’t greet strangers anyhow.
Another aspect that I have realized in the Swedish culture is time management, When you make an appointment with someone here I see that people make it exactly on time. In Uganda, people don’t respect time and in case of complaints about this, people have many excuses that they present.
For instance someone can be late for a meeting and he/she can give an excuse that there was rain and that he/she had to take shelter. During my visits to some homes around Sweden, I have discovered that almost every home has a pet, either a cat or a dog. And I can see even that there’s special care for these pets. I have seen packed food for pets in supermarkets, bins for waste along the roads and packed sand for cats which is a complete different situation compared to Uganda. In my country there are very few homes with pets and the majority of those who have it’s dogs. I our culture animals are kept for a purpose, not just as pets. For instance, dogs are mostly kept for security purposes at night while cats are being used to wipeout or hunt down mice and rats in homes.
On the infrastructural facilities, Sweden is very amazing and that is when I realized what it means being a developed country. The roads are of high standard and fantastic, the railway network is unbelievable, people are sailing on the sea on boats. The trains and buses are very efficient and always move on time. I managed to acquire a jojo-card and it has been very easy for me to reach my destinations because of the proper signs which are available on every road and street. It has been my first time to move in a tunnel in a subway and above all so incredible to move under water on the way from Copenhagen to Malmoe. I’ve experienced the most developed transport system I have ever seen. The smooth and wide roads in this country are very special and different compared to our roads in Africa. People in Uganda don’t know what a highway is. For us we think that any road moving from one town to another is a highway, provided there is tarmac or asfalt on it. The roads in Uganda are full of potholes everywhere, you can’t move ten metres without meeting a pothole and we lack highways like the ones you have here in Sweden.
There are some other aspects which I have also noticed. For instance, you have many people who smoke compared to Uganda. And contrary to here it is very strange for us in Uganda to find females smoking in public. It is only men who smoke in public. If a girl does it then there will be too much gossiping about such a person. It has also been strange for me to find many females riding bicycles and most especially old ladies. In Uganda most females do not have that skill of riding bikes and our old ladies would not have the energy.
I have also been able to attend a confirmation ceremony at the church of Arlöv and was very surprised by the quick conduction of the service. Church services in Uganda take about 3-4 hours and when there is a big function like a confirmation then the service can go for even 5-6 hours. Emma can be my witness when it comes to this situation, one time she attended a confirmation ceremony in Kabale which started at 10 am and ended around 4 pm and she was a bit stressed with it where moreover they where speaking the local language which she couldn’t understand.
The care and support that the government extends to the marginalized groups like the disabled is very amazing. I was surprised seeing reserved parking space for the disabled, seats in restaurants, special toilets and even vehicles that comes and pich a disabled person if she or he is going out for like shopping or an appointment.
My experiences in this country have been incredible and are endless, I think I could write endless booklets regarding what I have seen here in Sweden but in a nutshell I can say that Sweden is a very beautiful country with fantastic people and I have really enjoyed my period of being I a developed country with modern facilities.
I would like to thank all those people here in Sweden who have shown great love and care for the suffering kids in Africa and most especially in Kabale, Uganda. I also want to thank all those people here in Sweden who have received me with open arms. For example Rotary in Sturup and Burlöv, church of Arlöv, Aina, Emma Hannes of Vipan, Kari, Quena, Lotta, Benjamin and his mother, Dennis and many others. I also extend a lot of gratitude to Emma who has helping and guiding me throughout my whole stay and of course not forgetting Emma’s parents, Johnny and Carina Kock, who have been hosting me. They have given me a very good reception and it has been like my home away from home. Thank you everyone for the love shared and all the care you extend to our project in Kabale. May you continue with that kindness and love in your hearts.
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