Pamela Haines Essays

The following essays and poems are journal entries by Pamela Haines, penned during her first trip to Uganda and UNIFAT in 2006, shortly after the end of the 2-decades of violent conflicts. She and her husband, Chuck Esser, and their family had been friends of Abitimo Odongkara and her family for many years during the years Abitimo was living in exile in Philadelphia. They were instrumental in establishing Friends of UNIFAT and continue to serve on the FOU Board.

Pamela’s insights into the causes, effects, and strategies for coping with the ravages of war remain germane to addressing the many challenges Ugandan – and many global – societies face today.  The essays provide perspectives that are especially useful in helping us understand the many cultural differences both among Ugandans and between them and non-Africans, as well as recognize many similar fundamental human characteristics.

Visiting Murchison Game Park

After all the starts and stops that I've come to expect as we prepare to set off on a journey, we are ready to leave the gas station, fortified with a full tank, money, air time for the cell phones, juice, the newspaper, a case of bottled water and a picnic lunch...

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Perspectives on Colonialism in Uganda

We drive north to Fort Baker. Abitimo is anxious to show us the sights—and there aren't that many to show in this war ravaged land. We bump over dirt roads for an hour then pull up in the little yard of one of the brick storefronts that are so common here: one story,...

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Teaching and Learning with Young Adult Ugandans

We went to Uganda to support Abitimo Odongkara in her work in education and peace-building in civil-war ravaged northern Uganda, where 20,000 children have been abducted by the rebels, and over a million people forced into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. I...

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Our First Visit to UNIFAT Primary School

Facing the Impossible? Before coming to Gulu I spent time making developmentally appropriate materials—bright colored card-stock circles, squares and triangles with holed to thread shoelaces through—good for small motor development, color and shape identification and...

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Meeting Abitimo and Planning Our Visit to Uganda

Setting the Stage: Being Friends with Abitimo Odongkara This is the story of being faithful in following the threads of friendship. 25 years ago my husband Chuck made a new friend. Her name was Abitimo Odongkara, and they met at an early childhood workshop. She was...

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Listenings from the heart

Pamela Haines, 2008 To the Bone; The Journey to GuluBone weary after two night flightswe step off the plane in equatorial Africarefresh ourselves in the cool of a colonial hotel(I fret, impatient for reality)then set off in our ragged little bus piled high with...

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