Friday, July 16, 2010

Gulu (Caution, this is not for the light hearted)

A few weekends ago some of the girls and I went up to Gulu in Northern Uganda to teach in some of the schools and to learn more about the war that had been going on there since the late 1980's and just ended a few years ago. I haven't had time to write about the whole experience because I have been so busy working on other projects. I want to write about it now though because visiting Gulu has been such an important part of my overall experience here in Uganda.

To give you some background, for the past two decades Northern Uganda has been terrorized by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which is lead by Joseph Koney. At night the LRA would attack small villages, stealing all their food, kidnapping all their children, and killing most everyone else. The children they kidnapped were forced to carry the bags of food on their bags and walk long distances in an impossible amount of time. Then they were forced to either kill or be killed. Often the soldiers would use the children to get information about other members of the village. They would then force the children to go in and attack their own neighbors, killing some and kidnapping others.

Children were so afraid of being kidnapped that every night they would walk up to 10 miles just so that they could sleep within the safety of the Gulu city limits. Children crowded the train station and anywhere else they could find a safe place to sit. These children, known as night commuters, were packed into random buildings so tightly that there wasn't even anywhere for them to lay down.

It seems everyone we spoke with in Gulu had been kidnapped by the LRA at one point or another. Their only hope of escape was to wait for an air strike by the Ugandan government and to flee in the confusion. Some were to scared to ever escape though, LRA soldiers told them that if they were to ever run the LRA would hunt down their families and kill them all. One man told us of his friends that had been brave enough to attempt an escape. LRA soldiers later found them in their village and as their punishment put them in a pot of boiling water and then forced the other children soldiers to eat them. They were used as a lesson for everyone else who had ever thought of escaping.

We heard many stories like this all weekend from people who had experienced the worst of it. I can't describe to you how it made me feel. The acts committed again these children were so horrendous and yet as you walked through the streets of Gulu you would never guess at it's horrid past. I never cease to be amazed by the resilience of the African people. It seems no matter what happens to them the pick up and carry on with life, all while sing praises to God for the blessings they do have.

This painting was hanging on the wall of a rehabilitation center for children who have escaped from the LRA. Although the LRA has not been in Uganda for a few years now (they are now believed to be hiding somewhere in The Congo) there are still people escaping from their army and coming to the rehabilitation center.
This is one of the buildings where night commuters used to come to sleep at night. It has since been remodeled but at the time it wasn't nearly this nice. This place is now used for a center for women who were once victims of the LRA.
More buildings where night commuters used to go to sleep. These building were usually protected by guards at night so that the LRA could not attack the children.
This man was kidnapped by the LRA when he was a child but wasn't able to escape until recently. When he reached the rehabilitation center he had a gunshot wound do his head and fragments of his skull were missing.
This is one of the school's we went and taught at while we were in Gulu. The school had just recently been moved to it's original location after being held in an internal displaced persons camp (IDP camp) for the past several years. People are finally starting to leave the IDP camps to go to their native villages but most of them are being forced to start their lives from scratch. These children didn't even have a proper school house (the building behind them).
This is a mass grave in the place where the LRA attacked and killed a whole village in the summer of 2004.
An IDP camp. The Ugandan government forced people to move into IDP camps against their own will. The government promised to keep people safe but IDP camps were often attacked by the LRA. The guards were often the first ones to take off running.
This man was kidnapped by the LRA when he was 6. He survived as a soldier for 10 years until he got shot in the leg at which point the LRA just left him to fend for himself. He survived in the bush for a year trying to take care of his leg. Finally he gained favor in the eyes of Joseph Koney who agreed to let him be released to one of the IDP camps. In the end he lost his leg and spent years in rehabilitation.
This is the group that went to Gulu. Denis (the man) was so kind as to be our own personal guide the whole weekend and put us in contact with the schools we were able to visit.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ok, so I can't get the pictures on this posting to go where I want them to go so they are all at the beginning in no specific order.

Waiting for our boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) to pick us up so we can go home. Saying goodbye.

Camiya was the shyest kid at the orphanage. All the kids were taking turns listening to my Ipod and when it came to Camiya's turn he started whipping out his dance moves. He totally came out of his shell. It was the cutest thing ever. Can I please just bring him home?

Before the children could watch a movie with us on our laptop they had to do their night time reading. Colin was reading Winnie the Pooh with me. His English was next to perfect. I know I don't sound that good when I read in Portuguese.
All the children celebrating right after I told them that we had gathered the funds to help build them a chicken coup.
Dance party with the orphans.

We went and had a slumber party at the St Paul and Rose orphanage last night so that we could share the good news -- we have officially raised enough funds to help build them a chicken coup! Pretty sure Rose and Paul's is my favorite place in Uganda. We couldn't leave Lugazi until we danced at the AIDS festival so we didn’t end up getting out to Rose and Paul's until about 5:00. We were greeted with the same excited banchee calls followed by an on onslaught of hugs as last time, there's nothing like the feeling of having 30 kids attack you with hugs and love every time they see you.

Lauren and Ally’s boda broke down on their way out there so as we were standing in the front yard waiting for them we decided to show the kids our dance moves from the AIDS festival. That of course started a big party with singing and dancing. The boys even got a couple of Jerry cans (big plastic containers they use to carry water from the well) and a tin can to use as drums to accompany us. It was actually really cool how legit it sounded.

Once Lauren and Ally finally got there the kids wanted to show us that they had been working on their net ball (volleyball) skills since we had last been out there. They even got a net which they tied into the branches of the trees. They played for quite a while but you know me and my short attention span, I was done after about 10 minutes. Cecilly and I grabbed the kids who weren't playing and took them back to the garden where we peeled the bark off the banana trees and started braiding it into bracelets.

A few of the girls and I came up with the bracelet idea while we were bored waiting for Kizza at the mushroom house earlier in the week. It actually makes pretty decent bracelets. I know have one for every limb. J

After dinner we taught the kids how to roast marshmallows. Such joy! They all went out and found their own sticks and everything. We tried to explain to them to hold the marshmallow just above the flame so that it would turn a crispy gold brown but they had their own ideas about how it should be done -- sticking it straight into the ashes until it caught on fire then letting it burn for a few seconds before blowing it out and smooshing it between two delicious cookies. I bet they don’t get treats like that very often, it was so fulfilling to see the looks of pure joy on their face! You would be amazed how quickly a huge bag of marshmallows can disappear. Then again we did have 30 orphans fighting for them.

After the marshmallow fiasco we asked Paul if he could get the kids to gather around so we could make an announcement. Lauren started by thanking them for letting us come and telling them how much we love them and then turned the time over to me. I got up and reminded them about the project and how we told them we would do everything we could to help them out. Then I told them we found donors. The second the words left my mouth Rose was up out of her chair followed by the children yelling their banchee cheer. It took a good couple of minutes for them to calm down enough to let me speak again. I filled them in on some of the details including the fact that they would be seeing a lot more of us (at least those who are staying). At that point the cheers erupted again and all the kids got up and jumped on me once again attacking me with hugs. It was so touching as they expressed their gratitude, I almost started crying. Everyone was very excited. Paul addressed us after that and once again promised our work and donations would not be in vain. He promised that whatever we gave he would work to make it grow into something bigger. Once again his gratitude was so sincere.

We were going to go watch a movie after that but Paul wanted to do prayers first. We all crowded into their front room (about 6 feet by 6 feet)and the kids began singing their gospel songs. It was actually really touching if not slightly irreverent. How do you respond to situations like that? I guess you just appreciate the fact that they are grateful for what they have. The singing and dancing was all fun and games and actually really thought provoking. Then they actually started praying. It was one of those prayers where one person is praying and everyone else is murmuring their own prayer. It just reminded me too much of my mission (where "black magic was highly prevenlant)for me to be comfortable. Especially when they asked those of us who are going home to America to go into the middle of the circle so they could put their hands on our heard and bless us so that we could travel safely. As uncomfortable as I felt it actually was really nice to hear them pray for us and to hear them express thanks to God for us being there. After they finished the prayer Paul officially welcomed us to the family and announced that their home is now our home and that we are welcome there whenever we want. Woohoo!! Who would have thought that I would ever have a home in the middle of nowhere Uganda?

The rest of the night was spent watching a movie on my laptop and just goofing off. The kids loved it so much! It’s weird that everything we did was something so normal for us but for those orphans it was something so extraordinary! I doubt if they’ve ever sat in their front room and watched a movie on a laptop.

After the movie they fed us yet another meal. I wonder if they eat that much when we aren’t around. I felt kinda bad that they were giving us so much food, especially when we really didn’t want to eat it.

The next morning we basically just ate breakfast and left. It was sad saying bye to the kids for the last time! I’m really going to miss them. I want to see them and know how they grow up and what is happening their lives. It’s hard when there is pretty much no way to maintain contact other than through the HELP volunteers who are only around during the summer. At least Paul has e-mail and can keep us updated.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chasing Giraffes and what not.

Last weekend we went on a safari in Murchison Falls National park on the western boarder of Uganda.

The Safari started out by waking up at 5:30 AM to catch the ferry across the Nile just as the sun was rising over the bush.
Our team divided up into the separate van's and prepared to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Once we got into the park there were animals everywhere! Especially antelope and wildebeests. We snuck up on these elephants as we were winding our way through some pretty high bush.
My favorites were the Giraffes. At one point we ran into a huge herd of them. Actually we ran into lots of herds but this one was particularly special.
I asked our driver what giraffes would do if you got too close and he responded by asking me if I wanted to get out and feed them. Heck yes I did!! It sounded a little too cool to actually work but I was going to give it a shot. I wasn't worried until our guide grabbed his rifle as we jumped out of the car. I grabbed a bush and slowly started walking towards the herd. They didn't actually let us feed them but we did get within about 15 yards. It was pretty awesome!!
P.S. Here is a random fact for you. Did you know that Giraffe's markings get darker the older they get? There was one in this herd that was practically a charcoal color.
After wandering around in the bush all morning and seeing hundreds of animals we finally headed back to camp to get ready for our trip up the Nile. Even our camp was surrounded by wildlife though. There were these warthogs just lounging around all over the place. They seemed domestic enough but a few volunteers experienced just how wild they could be when they attempted to get too close. We were also warned to watch out for the hippos who liked to come up to our camp at night to graze. CRAZINESS!
Speaking of Hippos-- we saw lots of them as we rode a boat up the Nile. At one point we got too close to a male trying to protect his herd and he almost charged our boat. I wish I had pictures of it. It was so cool!
We saw lots of Nile crocodile too.
And even more elephants.
Then we came around a bend and there were the falls. Can I just say beautiful?
The ride back to the camp was nice and relaxing after a crazy day in the bush and the jungle.
The next day we went and visited a Rhino sanctuary. Rhinos went extinct in Uganda back in the 1980's because of poaching. The sanctuary we visited was the first one to reintroduce the rhino's to Uganda. Now there are 9 of them including a little baby named Obama because his dad is Kenyan and his mom is American. People here LOVE Obama!
We also saw lots of Baboons everywhere we went. They were so cute!!

So that was pretty much our Safari. Pretty much it was one of the coolest things I've ever done! (I know I say that a lot but that's because life just keeps on getting better :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Child's Prayer

We went to Rose and Paul's orphanage again yesterday. It was the first time we have been able to make it back since our first couple of weeks here in Uganda. The children were just as excited as ever to see us and were eager to show us all that they have done since we last saw them. Like last time they sang and danced for us even adding a few new songs to the mix.

The children singing and dancing for us.

Then it was our turn, since children here love gospel music and singing about Jesus we thought it would be appropriate to sing them some primary songs, namely I Am a Child of God, and A Child's Prayer. As we stood there singing to them I was very touched as I thought of the love that Heavenly Father has for his children and how he is just as aware of these children as he is of children anywhere else in the world. I am constantly touched by the faith of these children whose lives have been torn apart by poverty and AIDS. Each of them has their own story to tell and yet they are constantly smiling and ever so pleased just to be able to associate with a mzungo (white person). It makes me so uncomfortable the way they treat us as royalty when we have done nothing to deserve it. It is they who deserve the praise and special treatment. They are the ones who have overcome so much.

Children with the dental kits we handed out after showing them
how to properly care for their teeth.

Our team has been thinking for some time now what we could do to help the St Paul and Rose orphanage so that they might better be able to take care of the 27 orphans currently in their care and maybe even be able to take in more orphans. They have acres of crops that the children themselves are responsible for nurturing and harvesting. Unfortunately they are so far removed from any sort of economic center that there really is no market for their goods. What they are able to manage to sell doesn't even begin to cover the costs of the children's school fees which can cost as much as $50 USD per semester per child ($1350 per semester for all of them).

We have been so drawn to this particular orphanage because Paul has truly taken it upon himself to make these orphans into successful members of society. Beyond sending as many of the children as possible to school (7 have had to stay home this semester because as much as he tried Paul just couldn't pull the school fees together) Paul provides them with practical skills that will be abundantly useful in the future.

One problem that many of the rising generation face in Uganda is a lack of practical skills. They all want to grow up and have white collar jobs working in an office in front of a computer. Unfortunately this isn't feasible, there just aren't enough jobs. The result is people like our taxi driver who has a doctorate but can't find a job. Turns out education doesn't solve everything unless you have a practical way to apply it.

Agriculture is something that they will never get enough of in Uganda though. Unfortunately most adolescents consider such skills below themselves. Not Paul's children though, they have been trained in the latest practices and have the opportunity to apply them on a daily basis. Team this with some basic business skills and discipline (all of which are also provided at the orphanage) and the odds are definitely in these children's favor.

Our team with the children. The foreground is filled with
the potato plants that they have planted.

Beyond the skills that these children learn from a young age they are also provided with an abundance of love and nurturing. It is for these reasons that our team has been trying to help this particular orphanage.

Paul has asked us to help him build a chicken coup so that he can sell the eggs to the endless market found in his area. "I don't want money for school fees" he explained to us, "I want a way so I can EARN the school fees." Paul understands the fact the sponsers dissapear and cannot be counted on in the long run. If he finds someone to pay his children's school fees this semester there is no guarantee that he will be able to find someone to pay them the next semester. He would much rather have an income generating project that would next to guarantee that all of his children would be able to attend school. Consequently his orphans would also be learning how to care for and rear the chickens which is another valuable practical skill.

Beyond his goal to be able to pay all his children's school fees Paul and Rose would also like to be able to expand their orphanage so that he can provide a home for more children. "We have children show up on our doorstep every week asking for a place to live and the best we can do is give them some food before turning them away." Paul and Rose want so badly to be able to help these children but there just aren't enough resources to go around.

Unfortunately as we ran through Paul's numbers for the chicken coup project we realized that such a project is financially out of the reach of our teams funds for this summer. It broke our hearts to have to tell him this as he looked to us with such hope for his children's future in his eyes. "What if we were to cut the project in half?" he asked. "We could start smaller and then with time we could reinvest the profits into the project and it would grow." Our hearts were torn, even still it would require a substantial amount of money. It's such a worthy project though we couldn't just not try. So we told Paul and Mary we would do everything in our power to help them out. I guess that's why I'm writing this blog; hoping that someone who reads this might be able to feel for these children what I feel every time I look into their hopeful faces and like me have the desire to make a difference in their lives.

I know I've been doing lots of fundraising projects these last few months and I am so grateful for the generosity that many of you have already shown. I promise that the funds donated thus far have made a difference in the lives of many people. It is with humility that I ask one more time for a helping hand. The total project cost is about $1500 not an impossible amount if we were all willing to work together. If you are at all interested in donating to this cause feel free to email me ( and I will provide you with further information.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The good stuff

I realize I am ashamidly guilty of talking more about the adventures I have had here in Africa rather than talking about the real reason I am help the people. And the truth is that helping the people has by far been the greatest adventure of all.

I love the people here in Uganda. I have never met a friendlier more humble bunch. I am always amazed at their gratitude for us being here. I try to think of how it would be to have some foreigners come to our home and tell us that they are going to try and help us fix our problems -- I don't think it would go over so well.

Helping them fix their problems isn't as easy as it sounds though. Volunteering at BYU's Center for Economic Self Reliance for the past year I thought I had gained a relatively good grasp on development work and what idea's seem to be working and which ones don't. Since I've been here in Africa I feel like I have unlearned all of it though. That's not true, I still think I have learned a lot it's just hard to apply what I have learned in a practical way within a three month time frame. There is just so much that goes into it and so much of it just depends on the people we are working with.

I think that is one of the hardest things; I want to leave here feeling like I have made a sustainable difference in these people's lives but if anything I work on becomes sustainable it is going to be because the people here choose to make it so. Some of the people here have a very good grasp on that; they know that if Africa is going to change it needs to be because of them. Others though, they want us to come in and save them without doing any of the work themselves.

Take this mushroom house I was visiting the other day for example -- This mushroom house was built last year by the HELP International team but unfortunately because of the rough weather the plastic on the top tore letting water into the growing area. Instead of fixing the mushroom house themselves they waited for us to come back and do it for them. I can't help but think what if we didn't come back? Why aren't they creating a fund from their profits that would go just towards repairs? It's hard because the group that the mushroom house was built for is and AIDS clinic that has been a huge benefit to the community so of course we want to help them but if they aren't building on top of what we have already given them then we aren't doing anyone any good.

That is one reason I am so excited to be working with my friend Paul and the Buikwe Village Care ( Paul started Buikwe village care a couple years ago with the intent to use local people and local resources to fix local problems. Perhaps his biggest undertaking has been the support of a school for orphans and children whose parent's can't afford to send them to school. Each of the teachers at the school are volunteers from the local community who only get paid on the rare occasion that the school comes across some money. On top of the school Paul also works with seven different villages who meet on a weekly basis to discuss problems in their communities and how they can can fix them.

We have spent the last week building a mushroom house for one the villages that Paul works with. We have spent almost the whole summer getting ready for this project, from training the village members how to take care of the mushroom house to teaching them general business skills including booking keeping and budgeting.

We chose to build them a mushroom house because mushroom's have become a very profitable business as of late here in eastern Africa, a market that has hardly been tapped here in Uganda. He have come in contact with several buyers in the capital of Kampala (about and hour and a half away depending on traffic) that have told us they simply can't get enough mushrooms.

Mushroom houses can provide the owner with an average of about 30 dollars a day of income, about 30 times the average income. Since our mushroom houses will be divided among groups of 15 the income will not be quite so high but collectively it will make a huge difference.

Lubanyi, the village we are working with, has agreed that 15% of their net income will be donated to building the next 6 mushroom houses in the other villages that Paul work's with. Each of the subsequent villages have agreed to these terms as well. Once each of the villages have received their own mushroom houses they will all be required to donate 10% of their income to BVC for the creation of additional sustainable income generating projects.

Working on the mushroom house with the villagers of Lubanyi was an awesome experience. Let's be honest, they did most the work which I think is how it should be. That way they own the project and really take care of it. The construction took a total of 3 days and now all we have to do is plant the mushrooms which is on the calendar for tomorrow.

Unloading the supplies to build our mushroom house
We had to chop wood with a machete
The first day we finished the frame.
The second day we had to take a break while we were waiting for one of our partners to get there. The women made us banana leaf skirts and taught us to dance.
You have to cover the inside with plastic so that it stays dark and humid
Then you cover the outside and roof with papyrus mats.
And there you have it. A mushroom house that has the potential to
start the path to overcoming poverty.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Near Death Experiences

Most of you know that I thrive on adventure. The scarier the better in my book. I'm always looking for new thrills and ways to push the limits. I know, that probably makes me sound pretty stupid but I have fun with it. I do have one fear though...Water! Crazy I know considering I can never get enough of the ocean and swimming is my favorite sport. Maybe it's because every time I've almost died doing something stupid it has always involved water. Like the time my dad though it would be a good idea to take us to the wedge off of balboa peninsula to go swimming. A huge wave crashed right on top of me and then I kept on getting sucked out to sea until another one would crash on me. I felt like I was stuck inside a washing machine. Finally my brother Larry dove in a dragged me out.

Then, when I was about 12 Larry thought it would be a good idea to take me with his friends to tube Big Cottonwood Creek at the peak of spring run off. There was this rope strung across the creek that we were supposed to grab onto to pull ourselves out. Well, I got the rope but then my tube slipped out from underneath me and the rope was caught across my neck. It took everything I had just to hang on and not strangle myself until once again Larry jumped in and pulled me out.

So water has always had my respect; I still push the limits but it just freaks me out more than anything. Last weekend I decided it was time for me to conquer my fears; everyone in our group decided to go raft the Nile and there was no way I was going to miss out on an opportunity like that. I played it cool and pretended like it didn't bother me but inside I was secretly sick.

The section of the Nile that we were rafting is supposed to be some of the best white water rafting in the world. Most of the rapids we went over were class five which is basically the highest you can do on a raft. There are technically class six rapids but those are more for kayaking.

As we got on the river our guides explained to us how to paddle through the rapids and how to stay in the raft. Just in case that was too much to ask they also showed us what to do if we were thrown out of the raft or if it tipped. I thought I had it down but then we hit our first rapid and I went flying. I managed to stay in the raft but some how me and the guy next to me got all tangled up in each other. I think I hurt his knee pretty bad while I ended up with a huge goose egg on my shin. It freakin hurt!! Still, it was like the coolest thing ever!!

After that I learned how to better handle the rapids and our raft made it through all of them without losing a single passenger (which is actually quite an accomplishment, one that no one else in our group accomplished).
Then we came to an end... a spot that the locals call "the bad place." We asked our guide how bad it really was and he said he had never actually made it through it without the whole raft tipping. "How many times have you been through it?" we asked. "Twice," was his response. Needless to say we weren't a whole lot comforted. He asked us if we would feel better if we changed it's name to fluffy bunny, the water was all white and fluffy after all. Once again, we weren't comforted.

Our team had been following behind the other rafts the whole day so we always had the chance to watch everyone else hit the rapids before us. When we saw all the other teams go through "the bad place" we decided it really didn't look that bad after all. "We so got this!" we told ourselves. Yeah, they all tipped, but they all came up eventually.

Finally it was our turn to go for it, I asked my team members one last time if any of them wanted to take front. I had been sitting in the front all day and quite honestly I was a little bit weary of it. No one stepped up though so I decided just to go for it. We paddled with everything we had until he heard our guide yell "Down, down, down" we all ducked just as a huge wave overcame us. There was no hope of hanging on, bodies and paddles were flying all over the place as the raft tipped and crashed upon us. I'm kinda scared of being under water with my eyes closed so I opened them. I was being sucked down and all I could see was the raft on top of me getting flipped over and over again. At first I saw other bodies but then it was just me, I couldn't breath and I couldn't make it to the surface. I could see it but I just couldn't kick myself free. "This isn't very fun" I remember thinking to myself. Finally the current spit me out and I was able to get one small gasp in before getting swept into another rapid. I got pushed down again and with every second I was getting more and more panicked. Finally I was able to swim underwater to the side where the current wasn't so strong. I came up gasping for air and freaking out because I couldn't see anyone from my team. Finally I saw Ally, she had gotten swept under like me. Everyone else was about 30 yards down stream, apparently instead of getting sucked under they all just got swept down. It took me a while but finally I was able to reach the safety raft and pull myself out of the water.

All in all it was hands down that was the freakiest thing I have ever done in my life. It didn't do a whole lot to help me conquer my fear either. At the same time though it was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done!! I would totally do it again in a heartbeat. What can I say? I'm a glutten for punishment!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So this weekend some of the girls and I went to this place called Sipi Falls. It was this cute little village in the mountains that is surrounded by various waterfalls. These are some pics from the weekend. I would have to say it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! It was pretty amazing!!

These are the grass huts we stayed in over the
weekend. They were pretty legit. They didn't have
electricity either which I'm not going to lie kinda
freaked me out at night. I had these images of
ravenous monkeys attacking us as we walked
to our rooms.

Alex and I were roommates for the weekend. This
was our hut :)

We rappelled down this 300 foot waterfall.
I haven't rappelled down anything near
that high before. One of the girls in our
group didn't want to rappel so she took
pictures of us across the way from the lookout
spot. I promise if you zoom in on this picture you
really can tell that that little speck is me :)

I took this picture while I was rappelling.
The girls in my group made me go first because
I was the only one not freaking out.
The scariest part though was when I got
over the ledge and looked down and
realized there was no one belaying me from
the bottom. Totally not what I expected to
see. The rope barely touched the ground too!
It was rather disconcerting!

We had to hike through all these small
villages to get to the waterfalls. The kids were so cute!!

Jumping behind the waterfall. This one is for
you Rick!!

This picture doesn't even do it justice!!

The second highest waterfall.

These are the monkeys I was afraid were
going to attack us while we were sleeping.
They were all over the place!