Our team arrived in Kampala, Uganda a few days ago. While here, our check list and schedule stays very fluid, as you never REALLY know how the day will unfold. This is an important exercise in patience and flexibility for our very fast-paced western minds. Wonderfully, when we are able to let go of our own expectations and allow moments to bubble up around us, special things happen. As well as many lessons that can be very life changing. Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 10.40.19 AM

One of the goals for this trip is come away with video-footage that will eventually become a new KUZA "mini-film"...which is an artsy way of describing our next promo-video. For this small feature, we wanted to give a more intimate glimpse into the personal lives of our students...as well as study the growth and positive changes being apart of KUZA has had on their family life. With that in mind, home-visits have become an important part of this trip, allowing us to better understand our students and honor their families.

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The photos you see in this article are photo-stills taken while filming home tours and interviewing our students regarding their life story. What these photos can't show you is the hospitality you experience when you visit a Ugandan home. You are greeted with warmth, smiles, and a pure desire to honor you personally during the stay. Generally a meal or a soda is offered and beautiful formal greetings for your family and travels spoken with grace.

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It is quite amazing to see the student's family albums as you sip your soda, talking with the parents about their children. The same sort of events are showcased in Ugandan photo-albums as in the states...graduations, weddings, work-related travel, birthday parties and classic "first-day of school" shots with backpacks and all. Some things are universal, afterall. However, to see the parents speak with passion about how proud they are that their child is called a "KUZA student", is a truly humbling experience.

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Many of the KUZA parents speak only Luganda, the language of the Kampala area...and just a bit of english in order to communicate with people outside of their tribe (areas farther outside Kampala). Yet they are eager to be interviewed, looking on with pride as their children translate for them on camera.

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To visit a Ugandan home is a very special thing. To be welcomed with such grace and formality, a breath of fresh air when held in comparison to our casual Oregon-style communication and interactions socially. Perhaps most of all, the students and parents allowing the KUZA cameras into their personal world seems like a sacred gift, and one we are excited to share with you in the future.

You can look forward to seeing KUZA mini-films coming this fall. Be sure to stay in touch with our Facebook and Twitter pages for sneak-peeks and edits along the way...as well as upcoming events where you can watch the film in the coming months.

Jenni Kupelian | KUZA Media Team