Mount Sabyinyo…

IMG_3251Two days ago, I climbed my first mountain. The mountain is called Mount Sabyinyo. The challenging/unique part about Mount Sabyinyo is that you have to hike two peaks before reaching the summit at the third peak. Little did I know that this climb would become an allusion to my personal journey that I have been struggling with the last two years. Two years ago I hit an all time low due to a number of personal circumstances that caused me to question my self confidence and self worth in a major way.

Back to the hike:

We hiked on relatively flatland for about two miles to get to the base of the mountain and I was surrounded by people who were excited and determined to start this climb, as was I. The excitement and determination masked my uncertainty about what this journey would actually entail. This phase of the climb was much like the beginning of my personal journey of rebuilding myself. Instead of taking two miles, it took me a year and a half to get the base of my personal mountain. I masked my insecurities, lack of confidence and self worth through relying on others and building a persona of personal happiness in my mind. But don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of memories the last two years where I was genuinely happy, but something inside was holding me back.

Uncertainty within myself.

Journey to the first peak:

Once we got to the base, I decided to roll with the first group. I wanted to challenge myself and be the first person to the top. But to my surprise, about halfway through the first peak, I felt myself falling behind. As I fell behind, I realized that the only way I could benefit from this is if I get through this using my own personal strength (no more relying on others). Come to find out, the first peak of Mount Sabyinyo is the hardest to reach, similar to challenges in life and the season of life I am going through at the moment. I wanted to quit halfway up the first peak, I wanted to quit many times. But I knew if I quit and went back down the mountain, all the work I have done to get here, all the things I have sacrificed would have been for nothing. I love my family, friends, and now, myself, too much to quit. So I kept climbing. I keep climbing.

With that thought in mind, I reached the first peak. It was beautifully misleading because I knew I had two more peaks to face to get to the top. Life is similar, there’s often a peak point that you strive for, yet when you get to that peak, realization sets in that there are higher peaks on the horizon, it just depends if you want to take the risk to keep climbing.
I made up my mind once I reached that first peak that I had no choice but to keep climbing to reach that third peak.


Journey to the second peak:
My legs were already shaking in weakness, and one false step and I am tumbling down 3,000 feet. Climbing ladders that have been there for decades, some of them broken, some of them hanging on by a splint. But through all the adversity, the only thing on my mind was making it to the top. So I kept climbing. I keep climbing.

Step by step, I made it to the second peak. This peak gave me more life, more confidence. As I looked ahead, the clouds cleared and I saw three steep sets of ladders leading to the third and final peak, and then the doubts started to creep in again. Luckily, the mind is so much more capable of what the body feels it can do. So I kept climbing. I keep climbing.


Journey to the summit:

Focusing my pain, hurt, and sacrifice into each step I took, I slowly made my way to the top. And I had a revelation as I was climbing. The only way I was able to make it to the top is if I LET myself feel the pain, the hurt, and the sacrifice. I could no longer avoid it and I know in my personal life, I was running from those things. I had to face each step which helped me realize that it’s okay to feel pain, hurt, and sacrifice, as long as I keep moving in the right direction, cause in the end, all those things will help lead me to the top. So I kept climbing. I keep climbing.

The Summit:

Reality set in when I made it to the top. I was in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the same time (AT THE SAME DAMN TIME *Future voice*). At the top, I began reflecting on three different places in three different places, at once…yes, reflecting on three different places IN three different places at once. But it was still cloudy below. There was no clear picture of what was ahead, nor what my journey looked like in the past. But the beauty between the clouds was breathtaking, the present.


The Descent:

Making it to the top was liberating, even though I knew I had two more peaks to face on the way down. It was liberating because I knew the only thing that could stop me from making it down this gorgeous mountain was myself (or a Silverback Gorilla/Elephant, but even then still like my odds haha). My goal was to get to the bottom, so I could take what I learned through this physical and mental journey and apply it to my personal journey I am going through now. So I kept climbing. And I will keep climbing.


And shouts outs to the rest of the crew that made the trek, proud of you and you are all all-stars.

A long time ago in a continent far, far away….

Last night, a group of extremely thoughtful, caring, and loving group of friends threw me a surprise birthday party. Yes, a surprise birthday party…


My birthday was February 20th, so roughly (precisely haha) 36 days ago. I remember having beef jerky and water for my birthday dinner in my room here thinking to myself, “I don’t think this is going to crack the top ten list for best birthdays of all time, but I am in Africa, so it might haha!”

But little did I know…

They threw me a Star Wars themed party! We had “Yoda Soda”, “Vader-ade”, “Wookiee Cookies”, “Luke SkyWater”, a Chewbacca piñata. And to top it off, a Darth Vader cake, I didn’t even know that was possible in Gulu…


It was unbelievable. We had some fly Jedi Masters and surprisingly friendly Sith Lords show up. An adorable Ewok decided to bless us with her presence. A few beautiful Princess Leias’ made lovely appearances. And come to my surprise, if you get the rare chance to see Storm Troopers with their helmets off, I highly suggest taking a second gander cause they are pretty beautiful as well! Haha


It really was an amazing night though. The people of this community, actually nah, I’m not going to say community, I’m going to say the people of this family we have here in Gulu (shouts out to Kitgum too haha) are the best. They set aside time from their personal lives and other important work to put together something so sweet, kind, and special. That’s what families do, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the people I have here. I wish I knew a better way to display my appreciation, but I really have no words or actions for how happy you all have made me feel. Thank you to everyone involved and May the Force Be With You!

Also great work on the group photo haha





One month in and it has been a whirlwind. Immersing yourself in a new world is such a challenge. Dealing with emotions you’ve never had, seeing things you’ve never imagined, learning things about yourself you never thought of. Things that were too deep inside to present themselves in a comfortable environment. Even though these things are so beneficial for growing, they can be really hard to embrace at times. Like really really hard, but when those times are hard, I realize that I’m in a beautiful place. I wake up every day and am greeted with smiles and hugs by women who have been through the unimaginable, yet they go out of their way to make sure I am cared for and feeling okay. It’s like I have 70 moms looking out for me and they have only known me for one month.

How fortunate am I?

They gave me the Acholi name “Omara”. Omara means “You are very loved and very loving”, which I was so excited to receive. However, that name feels conflicted these days because of some things going on in my life and some of the decisions I’ve had to make. But the trials and adversity are needed, because that’s the only way I will become the man that I need to be. The man I want to be.

With that being said, I thank all of you for the support. I miss and love you all, and it’s because of you and the wonderful Ugandans I have met that I don’t have to worry about where I end up or who I am because I have the best people in the world in my corner.



We Made It.

After a solid 19 hours of being on a plane and a one night stay at the Park Inn in Amsterdam, I can finally say that I’ve made it. I have to say I am a little tired, well actually a lot tired and sleep hasn’t been coming easy. Jet lag, 85 degree nights(with no AC obviously), and a mind that won’t stop thinking is a deadly combo when trying to catch some ZzZ’s. Subtract those things from the equation and you have a Patrick who is very optimistic and very excited for what’s in store. In fact, I have only been here for 4 days and I have a grasp on why people love it so much here.

The People.

I can’t count how many times I’ve been greeted with a “How are you?”, a “Good morning”, a “Nice to see you” all in 4 short days. I’ve come to find that greeting is extremely important here, which is a thing I sort of take for granted in the US. There have been multiple times when I have seen someone off in the distance that I may or may not say hi to, but just to avoid a potentially awkward exchange, I pull out my phone and look my home screen, as if it’s an urgent message, right as I walk by them, conveniently avoiding any social interaction. But I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one who has pulled that MacGyver-esque move.

But in all reality it’s those simple greetings that have really been helping me adjust here. I feel a warm welcome in a world that’s so new. The Ugandans want me to feel valued, appreciated, and most importantly, they want me to feel like I am home.
Which is more than I could ever ask for.

And this is my new home!


Last Night in the US

Well…this is my last night in the US for quite awhile. Thanks for all the love and support, especially from this crew below who threw the best surprise going away party a dude could ask for, along with everyone that has reached out with kind words, gestures, and expressions of excitement for this adventure I am about to embark on.


It really does seem like blessings keep falling in my lap.

Blessings- Chance the Rapper

Schuganda officially begins…YOU READY BIG FELLA?!

10 Day

Well Hello South Dakota, it’s great to be home again. I am in the final phase of my timeline before I go to Gulu, in fact, only 10 days until I head out! The hype is definitely getting to me and I can’t wait to be there. The build up of getting packed(which I have barely started), getting shots, moving my stuff back from California, combined with all the little things involved in moving to a completely different country has been getting the best of me this last month and I am ready to just be there.
However, through all of the thoughts and stress running through my mind, I am unbelievably thankful that I have the chance to enjoy some time at home with my family and friends. Because I will really miss you guys a lot.
But no time for sappiness though, at least not yet… 😉
Anyways, after reading my first post, I realized that I didn’t even mention what I would be doing in Uganda…ahhhh my bad haha…
I thought I would use this second post as an opportunity to redeem myself and inform you on my duties as a Production Fellow for Krochet Kids Uganda.
In my new position, I will be tasked with the responsibilities of understanding how our physical production flow wraps up into clean and clear tracking reports. The focus of the position will be on compiling the information, and compiling the information will be a team effort. I will have to build and keep a positive working relationship with all of the staff involved, while still getting the desired results on deadlines. I will be overseeing this process and making sure everyone involved is playing their part. The cross-cultural dynamic will bring a unique challenge to get even the simplest parts done on time, so I will definitely have my work cut out the first couple weeks!
Although I will be dealing with a lot of information, I am most looking forward to building relationships with the wonderful staff along with the beautiful women in our program who are responsible for making such inspiring products.
And that’s about as much as I can tell you about the position right now, considering I haven’t even started yet, so I’m going to stamp a “To Be Continued…” on the end of that cause I know you are on the edge of your seats waiting for more! Haha just kidding, well at least I kind of hope you’re looking forward to more…
Wow, 10 days before I leave, how crazy is that??? Well, Chance the Rapper made his debut mixtape in 10 days and called it “10 Day” and it seemed to pan out pretty well for him, maybe I’ll do the same in these next 10 days…
-Juke Juke
Chance the Rapper
– Patrick

! -_- !

I am writing this on my flight home from California and I just finished my Krochet Kids intl. internship and it was unbelievably refreshing. I feel like I have a direction along with a purpose in this life and I owe it all to my experiences with KKintl. I will be training all of January back in California to prepare myself for my next journey

And could you guess where that might be???

Think really hard about it, I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Booganda….

Still have no clue yet? Wow Uganda be kidding me….

Haha now that was a terrible joke but should have made it pretty obvious, but if you haven’t caught on yet, I’ll be moving to Uganda, which is located in East Africa. To be honest I am so excited, so honored, so happy, so baffled, and slightly fearful. Not fear for my safety in Uganda, but fear of losing relationships I have in the States due to my absence. I’ve always taken pride in being present in my families’ and friends’ lives which is a challenge in itself…but living in AFRICA and trying to maintain those relationships is a whole different animal! I’m writing this now to hold myself accountable in doing my best to keep everyone updated, and I feel like this blog is the way to maintain interaction and relation with the people I care for and for the incredible people that have cared for me. So without further ado,

Welcome to Schuganda…


And bare with me as I get this whole blog thing figured out haha