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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Notes from a journey

By Brendah Jermaine Hansen

Growing up in Uganda Africa, everything seemed normal. As a young girl raised with

a bunch of other kids all from different cultures and clans, they were all happy and they didn't

seem to have anything bothering them. But as for me, I had that emptiness in me that was so

deep that sometimes I didn't know how I should deal with it. I had to sit back sometimes to think

and ask myself these questions am I normal? Or, do I have a problem? When I didn't come up

with an answer I cried over and over again and when I came to America, I thought maybe the

feeling of emptiness would disappear, but there it still continued to haunt me.

I hated myself and I started having thoughts that were directing me to live in the woods,

or in the mountains. I have spent years searching for something but had no idea as to what

exactly I was looking for. I was so confused and I became increasingly absent minded. As a

result of that I got so depressed. And then fast forward to my high school life. I met lots of

people that sort of eased that emptiness, but as I eventually lost most of them, the feeling again

came back to me but this time it was aggressive so I started to seriously pray and at the same

time asked God to explain what exactly was going on with me.

So one night I went to bed and I had a dream and in that dream there were two people

standing facing each other and they both saw the same things about each other it was like seeing

twins. Only they weren't twins. They both busted out in one accord saying that “You're close to

finding me just keep up with the search” and they both disappeared. That’s when I woke up from

the dream and I realized that somehow I here am searching for myself. I started telling people

about it. Some laughed, some ignored me and the rest didn't understand at all or they showed me

that they understood, yet they did the opposite.

 After my high school graduation, I had this feeling that I somehow needed to prepare

and go search for me or in other words go find myself. Surprisingly, the journey began earlier

than I had expected. A lot happened to cause this journey to happen even faster. Tough things

that I am still processing. Things that caused me to move all the way across the country to New

Jersey. Months turned into a year, and finally, I found me. The magic of it is that I met a girl

named Mary who is a bit older than me. It is, a moment and a person I have been looking for all

this time that changed my life.

Mary told me her story and I was blown away because we share almost everything in

common. I looked at her and I started crying because she is that person I have been looking for

all this long. And when I told her my side of the story, she even sobbed more than I did because

we both couldn't really believe that we lived the same life. Mary and I are from Uganda. Both

our biological moms shared the same names, back in their day, in Uganda. Both our moms loved

this one song which had their name in it the song is called, “Nkuba nkukube.” We love to do

same things. Our parents died same disease. We both from the same leopard clan and tribe. Both

our biological dads had the same behaviors like they both loved alcohol plus women. Mary has

three brothers and she’s the only girl. Mary was more favored by her dad.

As for me, I have seven brothers and four sisters. I am the youngest in the girls and I

was favored by my dad as well because he told me once that I am more mature than the rest of

my siblings. Mary and I both were half raised by same people at the same orphanage, but we

were there at different times. It will take me years to finish amassing what Mary and I have in

common. Mary keeps saying to me something was missing in her life and that something is me.

And that made me realize that it was me and Mary in that dream I had a long time ago. Once I

hugged her that emptiness that was in me was filled and to this day I don’t have it anymore it is

long way gone.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

GOD KNEW ME FROM THE START... HE STILL KNOWS ME.

THIS IS AN OLD PICTURE OF MY FAMILY.
On the left kneeling down in the white dress is my late biological mother whose name was Jane. Standing on her right-side is me[ Nakidde Brenda Lillian AKA Brendah Jermaine Hansen] at the time I was two years old. The baby I was resting my arm on, is my baby brother [Mwanje Nicholas AKA Nicholas Hansen]. The lady who is holding him is my mother's auntie I don't remember her name and the girl kneeling next to her is my older sister from my mother's side her name is Nakintu Barbara. Then next to her is my uncle in a dark brown shirt kneeling down as well and his name is Sseruwajji Kasimu. Even from being a young girl, I realize now that God for sure knew me and he still is with me.


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Chosen One

Saved from her family’s sorrow
By Brendah Hansen
Guest Writer
    Aids has affected me because my parents, friends, and relatives suffered from it, and it led to their deaths. Yet I remember when I was in the village; we lived in a small three room house with many children.
    I lived with my two aunts, Namusisi and Nanono. Aunt Namusisi took care of the kids and looked after aunt Nanono, too, because she had AIDS. She was my father’s sister.
    The kids took turns looking after aunt Nanono when aunt Namusisi wasn’t around. My job was to feed her food and drinks. That didn’t give me enough time to play with my friends and enjoy myself as a kid, but I didn’t mind because I loved her so much.    There were times when my aunt Nanono couldn’t even walk or help herself to the bathroom, but when she made some improvement, she managed to move from one place to another. She would use her elbows to pull her entire body. It was difficult to watch her skin peel off her elbows every time she used them to move around the house. She was so skinny and her eyeballs grew bigger, which scared me to death. Every time I served her a drink, I had to lift her head and then put the straw between her lips.
    There were times when the other kids and I had to carry her outside so that she could feel the fresh air and get some vitamin D from the morning sunshine.  The other main reason is so that we could clean her beddings and save her from the mess. AIDS  was the cause of my aunt Nanono’s pain, struggle, and suffering, yet she knew there was nothing anyone could do to heal her, save her or rescue her from that killer disease.
    Night came so quickly. It was a Wednesday. We all sat down for dinner in the living room, for on the other side of the room my aunt Nanono was laying on her small mattress. She started to breathe so heavily. She breathed as if she had asthma. Then my aunt Namusisi started to tell a story about how aunt Nanono’s mother died. It all happened in that same night, “Aunt Nanono’s mum had those same heavy breaths, and it was Wednesday night the night of Thursday morning, and that was when aunt Nanono’s mom died,” said aunt Namusisi. She said that because she knew aunt Nanono could die at any moment.
    I truly thought she had made up that whole story, but it was real because my aunt Nanono died the same day, and the same time. It was painful for me for a few years because I missed her so much, and I still do. I thought she should have died because she had suffered enough. AIDS invaded my family’s life. I went to a burial ceremony for my aunt Nanono. At the ceremony, I got this unforgettable flashback of how aunt Nanono struggled and cried from the excruciating pain.
    She was one of the sweetest aunts the world could ever imagine. As a result of AIDS, the biggest monster on earth, chewed on my aunt Nanono and swallowed her slowly and brutally little by little and day by day. AIDS changed her beauty; a women who had a healthy body was left a skeleton with long hair that started falling off. Instead of the glowing woman I once knew, it made her look like a vampire, for vampires never smile. She hated her own life and everything in this world.
    At a time I thought God had something against me. I realized how wrong I was, because God loved and cared for me. That’s why I didn’t have AIDS. In my entire family, I was surrounded by so many people with AIDS. That showed me that I am a survivor who was saved and rescued from the never-ending world war. I am willing to help people with AIDS and make them feel loved.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saved from her family’s sorrow


Saved from her family’s sorrow
By Brendah Hansen
Guest Writer
 
    Aids has affected me because my parents, friends, and relatives suffered from it, and it led to their deaths. Yet I remember when I was in the village; we lived in a small three room house with many children.
    I lived with my two aunts, Namusisi and Nanono. Aunt Namusisi took care of the kids and looked after aunt Nanono, too, because she had AIDS. She was my father’s sister.
    The kids took turns looking after aunt Nanono when aunt Namusisi wasn’t around. My job was to feed her food and drinks. That didn’t give me enough time to play with my friends and enjoy myself as a kid, but I didn’t mind because I loved her so much.    There were times when my aunt Nanono couldn’t even walk or help herself to the bathroom, but when she made some improvement, she managed to move from one place to another. She would use her elbows to pull her entire body. It was difficult to watch her skin peel off her elbows every time she used them to move around the house. She was so skinny and her eyeballs grew bigger, which scared me to death. Every time I served her a drink, I had to lift her head and then put the straw between her lips.
    There were times when the other kids and I had to carry her outside so that she could feel the fresh air and get some vitamin D from the morning sunshine.  The other main reason is so that we could clean herbeddings and save her from the mess. AIDS  was the cause of my aunt Nanono’s pain, struggle, and suffering, yet she knew there was nothing anyone could do to heal her, save her or rescue her from that killer disease.
    Night came so quickly. It was a Wednesday. We all sat down for dinner in the living room, for on the other side of the room my aunt Nanono was laying on her small mattress. She started to breathe so heavily. She breathed as if she had asthma. Then my aunt Namusisi started to tell a story about how aunt Nanono’s mother died. It all happened in that same night, “Aunt Nanono’s mum had those same heavy breaths, and it was Wednesday night the night of Thursday morning, and that was when aunt Nanono’s mom died,” said aunt Namusisi. She said that because she knew aunt Nanono could die at any moment.
    I truly thought she had made up that whole story, but it was real because my aunt Nanono died the same day, and the same time. It was painful for me for a few years because I missed her so much, and I still do. I thought she should have died because she had suffered enough. AIDS invaded my family’s life. I went to a burial ceremony for my aunt Nanono. At the ceremony, I got this unforgettable flashback of how aunt Nanono struggled and cried from the excruciating pain.
    She was one of the sweetest aunts the world could ever imagine. As a result of AIDS, the biggest monster on earth, chewed on my aunt Nanono and swallowed her slowly and brutally little by little and day by day. AIDS changed her beauty; a women who had a healthy body was left a skeleton with long hair that started falling off. Instead of the glowing woman I once knew, it made her look like a vampire, for vampires never smile. She hated her own life and everything in this world.
    At a time I thought God had something against me. I realized how wrong I was, because God loved and cared for me. That’s why I didn’t have AIDS. In my entire family, I was surrounded by so many people with AIDS. That showed me that I am a survivor who was saved and rescued from the never-ending world war. I am willing to help people with AIDS and make them feel loved.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Every one of these fa-nominal kids got history behind their actions"and I was and still am one of them".



Ugandan children bring songs of hope, faith to local churches
Phiona Nekesa’s story is typical of children in the Mwamba Uganda Children’s Choir. Her mother died of AIDS. “I have only my dad,” said Phiona, 14, who lives in an orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. “My young brother died. We were six but now we are four.”
The tragedies of Phiona’s life don’t show as she sings joyous, high-energy Christian songs with the 16 other children in the choir. “I like being in this choir,” she said. “I serve God in this choir.”
The children, whose ages range from 6 to 14, are scheduled to sing in several local churches in coming weeks, and are open to invitations from other congregations. Money raised through donations and sales of the choir’s CD will help support the IAM Children’s Family orphanage in Uganda, where some of the children live.
During their shows, one lively song admonishes, “Keep on dreaming/You can have your dreams/Don’t ever let you dreams die.”
Other songs are in Luganda, one of the languages spoken in Uganda, and other African languages. A song about conquering the devil has a familiar refrain, “Yahweh,” which means the same as it does in a church here.
Jemimah Nasanga, the choir’s director, alternates between English and Luganda as she drills the children in proper breathing and the precise dance moves. “If you don’t exaggerate your hands, nobody is going to see you!” she tells the children. “Learn to bend you knees!”
One dance seems like a tap dance in flip-flops. (For concerts, the children don traditional Ugandan clothes and slippers.)
The choir’s appearance here is the result of a labor of love by Laura Carter of Kalama.
Carter, who previously worked on the staffs of state Sen. Don Benton, and Linda Smith (still active politicians?) when she was a state legislator, first visited the orphanage during a 2003 trip to Uganda. With five return trips to the African country, Carter has become the U.S. director of administration for the orphanage, which she described as a full-time volunteer job.
About 30 children live in the orphanage, though others are helped by its programs. “We reach out to about 170 children,” Carter said.
“I just fell in love with them,” Carter said. They’re like my own children.”
One emphasis at the orphanage is medical care. “They don’t go to the doctor until they’re next to their death beds because they can’t afford it.”
Like Phiona, many children are at the orphanage after losing a parent or parents to AIDS. According to Uganda’s official Web site, about 6 percent of people in the population there have AIDS, and about 880,000 Ugandan children have been orphaned because of the condition.
Many of the children served live in poverty, Carter said. “Most of the homes they live in are about the size of a bathroom with no electricity or running water.”
Getting the children to the United States was “a huge, huge undertaking,” Carter said, between arranging for passports and securing permission from parents or guardians to leave Uganda.
The children left Uganda July 21 and toured Denmark before arriving here on Sept. 1. After their last concert in the Lower Columbia area they’ll go to Arizona in November before returning home in December.
It’s a long time away from home and family for the children, but Carter said homesickness isn’t a problem. “Every person’s dream in Uganda is to come to America,” she said.
Rather than spread the children out among volunteers’ houses, Carter and her relatives decided to house them all on their property in the hills above Kalama. Carter created a dormitory for the boys and three adult males in their band on the main floor of her log cabin-style house. The girls took over the family room of the house of Carter’s son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Crystal Shepherd, which is next door.
The families brought in a couple of port a-potties to avoid lines for the bathrooms, and posted labels (“screen door”, “rail”) around the houses to help teach English. The Mayger-Downing Community Church, which Carter attends, loaned a bus to get everyone to the concerts.
The kids alternate between English lessons and rehearsals in the Shepherds’ triple garage.
After rehearsals this week, the group filed into Shepherd house, where Crystal had been busy steaming rice, cooking peanut sauce and slicing watermelon. Shelves of her garage are stuffed with plastic buckets of rice and beans to feed the flock, with help from other volunteers.
Nutrition is a major concern for some of the children.
One of the girls, Brenda Nakidde, “was starving to death when she came to the orphanage,” Carter said. Both of her parents died of AIDS.
“The most fun thing is to dance,” Brenda said of being in the choir. Her future goal: “I want to be an engineer — and to be a footballer.”
Gloria Tendo, 10, who sings a solo on one song, lives with her parents but is helped by the orphanage. “They don’t have money,” Gloria said.
In between rehearsals and lessons, there’s time for some fun. The Carters set up a trampoline and gathered bicycles and scooters. They aren’t allowed to watch TV.
They took the children to a picnic at Merwin Park on a sunny afternoon. “They can’t swim,” Carter said, which made the Merwin trip challenging for the leaders. Other excursions are planned to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and to Bonneville Dam.
People who sponsor individual children take them on outings.
But the high points of the journey for children and audiences are the uplifting song-and-dance shows.
“It really catches people’s hearts,” Carter said. “They come from such difficult circumstances but they’re so full of joy.”


Read more: http://tdn.com/lifestyles/article_ae9e5f9f-98a1-549b-9424-1d87a0cf8283.html#ixzz1WxFZzgHA

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WALKS ON THE MOUNTAIN.


Last time I visited the mountain, "mount hood" I spent a night at somebody's house,it was the beautiful place ever.I went on most of the rides at mount hood. I took a walk down in the Forrest towards the river.I stopped for a while and thought about God how mighty and holly he was. I watched the water  running down the stream and then I heard God's voice telling me to look a round by the way I was alone,but when I did look a round, I immediately saw the two dead trees fall over the river and both trees made an "X" sign. The first tree was a medium size kind of a tree Fall down over from where I stood to the other side of the river, then the second small size tree fall over the first one on the opposite sides.God said to me well, "what do you think?"I ran from the side I was standing on to the opposite side then I started walking on above the river on those dead trees from one side to the other,but all I can tell you is that I felt the glory of God and his morning air fall on my forehead and on my face then he told me what the "X"sign meant "connections".However that's how people connect to other people from all over the planet and he also showed me that most of the time we use bridges,boats and other things whenever we want to cross the waters as in Seas,Oceans,Lakes and Rivers,but there is always a way to cross the waters besides the bridges and other things.That was my experience on the mountain or(at mount hood).