Thursday, September 29, 2011
Go, to the embassy! Tomorrow morning I am off to the US embassy to get more pages in my passport. I have only heard good things about the US embassy....lets see how rave these reviews are. Please be praying for a great and productive time at the government office here in Kampala. Has anyone ever had a great time at a governmental office?
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
So I have found the best way to start any morning. It is not a cup of coffee or tea, that is just an added bounce! The way to start a day is by taking a boda boda drive!
Many of you have been asking what is a boda boda so, let me explain. A boda is a motorcycle taxi. It is my number one mode of transport out here. There are a handful of boda guys I have gotten to know. They are great at what they do and have become like big brothers to me. They ask me how my day was. Answer any question I have about language and culture. They also have the roads of Kampala and the surrounding areas memorized!
There is one diver, Q, that is just a joy to ride with. This morning he picked me up at my flat and drove me to my AM meeting (near my office). Each time he sees me he has a big smile on his face! Today he went the back way to the office. There is a main road right next to my home that takes about 15 minutes to get to the AIM CR Office. Thankfully today he went on the back roads. They take a little longer, have more pot-hole, and connect to the main road further on up. Why am I so excited about a few extra minutes on a boda in the morning? Let me explain why.....
It is all about what I get to see, smell, and soak-up! The back roads are like life lines to all the small communities tucked back in the hills by my home. Everyone is going somewhere in the morning. I see little ones all dressed in their school uniforms walking off to class. There are women setting up their shops on the side of the road. The smell of casava cooking fills sections of the road. Other boda men are picking passengers and taking them where they need to go. The most enjoyable thing I see and hear is CHILDREN!
There are some areas of the road that have open fields. Even in the early morning you can hear and see little ones (some have to be no more then 2 years old) running and playing with their friends. They are laughing, singing, shouting, and chatting away. They use the most ordinary things to create toys! A old tire, some sticks, a flat ball, rocks, anything and everything they find around them!
Really, what could be better then seeing the joy of children playing to kick off your day? In my mind NOTHING!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
So I have fallen in love with a new dish! It is not a Ugandan dish but one that is easy to cook out here. You see I am learning how important EASY meals are. I have to make everything from scratch. No more just pop it in the microwave or go get some take-out. Now it is think about what you want to eat, see what it takes to make it, see if you can get the ingredients, and how on earth you are going to cook it.
This is one dish I found I can make and have for lunches in the office, yes even here in Africa I need to pack a lunch. It is easy and fast....two thing you rarely same in the same sentence here in Africa.
Curry Veg Couscous
1 to 2 servings of couscous (all depends on how much you are making)
1/2 of a cucumber
Salt and Pepper
Cook the couscous and let cool. While it is cooling you can peel and dice you cucumber. Peel you carrot as well. You can cut it into small bite size pieces or (I prefer) to peel it right into the dish. Add curry, coriander, salt, and pepper to taste. You can make the dish and divide it into small portable containers.
Works great for a fast lunch or dinner. Also for you all in the states it would fabulous for a pot-luck you forgot about. Nothing like a fast, easy, healthy dish!Hope you all enjoy!
Today was a great day! Started off rainy but then became the most lovely Uganda day! While I was trying to heat up some water I learned we were out of gas for our stove. We really need to get more gas but it was raining. If you have not heard about life in Uganda and rain let me fill you in.....
When it rains out here life comes to a stop! Taxis don't run, bodas find a place to wait it out, and people just wait. Wait for it to stop raining. I was blessed to wait it out in my flat! While waiting it out my neighbor invited me over for coffee (if you have not caught on us missionaries drink a lot of coffee and tea!). We had a great time chatting. It was really our first opportunity to get to know each other. Yes, I have been living here for almost two months but we are both busy ladies! After enjoy morning together I decided to try to get some gas....after all I did want to be able to cook something at some point today.
So, I set of to town with my friend and boda driver Emma. He was great. Got me in and round town EVEN with Starday traffic! I got to the store (not the gas store the other store) and I got a few things and then got really inspired! lets just say my living room has a new coat of paint! Well, almost all of it does. I am a little to short to reach up top so I will have to work that our some how. But wait I am not writing about paint! Or gas for the stove! It is about the film Narnia!
You know Narnia, that is right the great movie that was first a book by C.S. Lewis! While painting my living-room I put in the movie because some how we had power! YES POWER (sorry but I get excited when we have power for more then 12 hours at a time!)!!!! Any way. As I was watching and painting I really saw the story of Christ in it. I know I know C.S. Lewis is a Christan and wrote it in a way that shows the story of Christ. Something this time really made me see it AND feel it. Maye it is living in a place that is so in slaved to darkness. Or the fact that everyone out here believes in the spiritual world but yet, still do not know the one true God.
Lets just say I had a thought...while watching and painting ( am good a doing many things at the same time). What would happen if missionaries or any Christian would start showing Narnia instead of the Jesus film? Please don't take it the wrong way...the Jesus film is powerful and has changed MANY lives. But, what if people saw the story of Christ in a way that moved them, made them want to watch, and for those who are more "closed minded" didn't even know it was the story of Christ. People today are so passive. Whatever works for you is okay as along as whatever works for me is okay with you. COME ON PEOPLE! That way of thinking and living is only more reason to start showing Narnia!
So, I am just saying Narnia or Jesus Film?
Some of you know that I have a flatmate. She is working in Kampala until Dec. It is a great joy to have someone so me the ropes of life out here. But two weeks ago we welcomed another flatmate in! Mallymkun or Mally for short is the newest resident of the Naja flats. She is full of energy. Loves to sleep often. Enjoys fish and running around the flat until she passes out. Can you guess who/what she is? Let me help you out!
Mally was gift to me form my home-stay family. They live just up the road form our flat. They are so great! While I was with them I got to learn about Ugandan culture and language. They have even adopted me. I get calls weekly form them, calling to check in on me. While they live just up the road it is like they are with me because of this CRAZY fun gift, Mally.
This past weekend (yes, I am a little slow on posting this, sorry!) I went to the Kampala Unit Retreat. Sounds so formal and big but, really it was just a time for all the missionaries (full-term and short-term) to come together and have a weekend of refreshment! Trust me, we all needed it!
The Kampala Unit is made up of many ladies and three families. One of the families was still on home assignment so I did not get to meet the, someday soon I hope. Some of the unite is new, just like me. Fresh off the plane! No joke. We had a lady join us that just flew in.
As most retreats go there was time for lessons, prayer, games, and of course FREE TIME! The three days were so enjoyable. For me it was a great time to get to know people and see what God is doing in the unit, big picture! It was also a time for me to learn more about why God has called me out here. I am sure you are all thinking "she moved out there to show the love of God to people in Africa." Yes, I did but let me explain.
AIM has missionaries all over Africa. They have MANY missionaries all over Africa. People that pour their lives out for the Africa people. Give of their time, food, money, emotional support, physical support, and so much more. 24/7 the door is open and they are loving on people. But, who is loving on them? Really I know people back home are sending care-packages and cares. Supporters send in their money monthly. But honestly, who is loving on these people each day form where they are?
Something moved in my spirit once I saw the need; just like it did when I learned of the need in Africa. But there was something different about this move. Something I really could relate with. Something I knew I was being asked to do. Something like LOVE on and minister to the missionaries who are around me. Crazy idea.....right?
No, not crazy! It is a Jesus thing. As he went from town to town, city to city people cared for him. His own disciples cared for him. As he healed people were there making sure he had food and a place to stay. It might not have been big and fancy but never the less his human needs were meet.
That is something God is calling me to do. Meet the human needs of the lovely missionaries around me. If you know me, you know I love to give gifts, write notes, sit and chat over tea and or coffee, and be with people. So while at the retreat it was clear God has called me to Uganda to help get more people out here working in the Central Region AND to love and encourage my missionary family working along side of me.
Maybe while you were reading this your heart felt moved. I want to encourage you to LOVE on those around you. It is not as hard as you think. Make a batch of cookies and pass it on. Ask someone if they would like a coffee too, as you get a Starbucks for yourself. Really just think of what you would enjoy someone doing for you....and do it for someone else.
"Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
If you would like to help with the LOVING (loving on a missionary ministry) please contact me. I would love to get some support and ideas as I get started. Just add a comment below telling me you would like more info!
Last Saturday marked one month of living in Africa. The month past so fast! It has not been a cake walk but, through faith and grace I have made it through. Along the way....I have seen some things. Here is a list of some of the things. Some of the things you can see almost everywhere and others are just a part of life in Africa.
Things I have seen...
-The president's motorcade (twice)
-Cows causing traffic jams
-Children playing with old tires and sticks (the classic African photo)
-Loads of UN and WHO cars
-Moms holding little ones as they ride Bodas
-Birds that sound like monkeys
-A Ugandan wedding
-The Nile River
- School kids in their uniforms walking to and from schools
-Dads holding the baby as mom rests
-People hand washing their clothes on a Saturday morning
-Friends laughing as they walk down the street
Today is 9/11. Living overseas means one must read the US embassy notices. Advised to stay low today. So after church I did some work around the house....giving me time to think.
9/11 is very hard for many in the US. Hearts are hurting today, remembering the ones they lost on that horrifying day. I remember where I was on when it all happened, driving to high school. As I drove I just could not stop listening to the radio. My ears could not fully process what they were hearing. Once I got to school I stayed in my car, kept listening. When I finally went to class everyone was talking about it and many were in tears. Thankfully our English teacher, Miss. Mac, had us all stop and pray for a while. Some how in the confusion, news reports, and photos for those few minutes felt peaceful. The peaceful feeling of the Lord near.
Looking back, my memories and feelings of that day made me think of my new neighbors. We all have heard stories of Africa. Stories of pain, death, war, genocide, famine and more. It is true this place has seen bloodshed and pain. Many are still graving. Hundreds are in the mist of hardship right now! We in the West tend to hold on to the moments of pain and mark the passing. Looking at it I see it because seldom the West goes through these kinds of events.For us it is not a daily struggle. We are not running into buildings praying the bombs miss us. We do not walk hundreds of miles to get water and pray we do not meet any rebels on the way. When we get a cough or fever, the first thought in our mind is not Malaria. We do not hear footsteps at night while hiding in the corner telling ourselves the LAR are not in the village.
So, when something like 9/11 happens of course it is devastating. It makes sense the world would come to a halt for us. As you take a moment and pray for everyone effected by 9/11 today...could also say a prayer for everyone in Africa? For all my friends and neighbors still living their 9/11.
Here are some photos of my new world!
After you pass through the living-room you enter the kitchen.....
After the kitchen we have my colorful bedroom (there are 2 more but they are not close to being done yet)....
As things get done and the house looks more and more like a home I will post it for you all to see. The flat may need some TLC but Uganda itself if a beautiful place!
The scenery is lovely and so are the people I am meeting!
There are the lovely ladies I have been blessed to get to know! Heather and her husband are here for a year or so. He is working as a pilot at a local airstrip. Rhona is a great lady that will be helping me in me in the office and my language! This was taken on our trip to East Uganda to see some short-term staff.
Hope you all enjoyed reading a little and seeing a glimpse into my new world!
For almost a month now I have been living in Africa. Thinking of living in Africa and living in Africa are two different thing. Here are some things I have learned while adjusting to live on this diverse continent.
(1-10 I have learned while at ABO and at my Ugandan Home-Stay)
1. Lose your watch! (time is spent on BEING out here and not doing)
2. Dirt is everywhere….and always on you.
3. Learned a few words of Luganda while making roses made out of icing. (my home-stay was at a home of a family that has a cake making business)
4. Things are different out here. VERY different.
5. People here always smile (even while walking down the street)
6. With a little paint and love ANY place can look like home.
7. No matter how prepared you are you are never really prepared to move overseas.
8. God brings friends just at the right time.
9. Everyday I do or say something wrong….and laugh at myself.
10. Grace has a whole new meaning!!!!