Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blogging Africa Style

So I guess I'm blogging africa style now, delayed and about two weeks behind! Sorry everyone I guess I've adjusted to running on Africa time really well! So much has happened in these last two weeks, I guess I'll just hit the highlights and lowlights for you.

1)Just returned from an amazing weekend on Bushara Island at Lake Bunyoni and spent Easter in Embarara with other missionary friends. It was such a great chance to see the more of the country side (wild zebras out the bus window) and the mountains! I also even was cold one day there-I forgot what that felt like! We slept in furnished safari tents overlooking the lake, we had outdoor showers out back that you had to order hot jerry cans of water for and you had to take a boat ride to get to the private island. It was glorious. Easter holiday was spent with a family that we discovered had been 2 rows ahead of us on our flight from Amsterdam to Entebbe when we came in March (God does crazy stuff, even halfway around the world, it's still small sometimes).
2) Youth Camp starts a week from Monday! So excited, we are taking the kids to the zoo in Entebbe and staying there until Thursday-please keep praying that the final details would be worked out and that God would be glorified and that the kids would be responsive.
3) I got care packages of muzungu stuff from home! could not have come at a better time after a frustrating week...some of that chocolate didn't make it past the post office door but thats ok:) it was nice to have a little bit of Easter candy here.

1) African transportation. I had an amazing trip but the travel days were brutal and the buses are always filled until there are people standing in the aisles and they don't leave at any set time (just when they are fulll) which resulted in us spending 4 hours sitting on the bus so we could take our 4 hour bus trip home yesterday. It was tiring and frustrating at times (our boat to our island even ran out of gas in the middle of the lake-we were having one of those days).
2) Rose, of the girls in our transitional home who had been rescued since i've been here ran away about 2 weeks ago and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Me and another girl at work were pretty close to her so that makes it more difficult and just knowing that an 11 year old is back living on the streets is hard to stomach sometimes. Please pray for her safety and her return.
3)Cultural Frustrations: I have had a fairly easy adjustment but there are defiantly some ways of doing things and cultural norms here that have been frustrating me and making it hard to get the things done that I need to. I have learned so much here and it has mostly been amazing but there are small things that can rub me the wrong way. Please just pray that i'll continue to be a learner here and that I would always have a servants attitude while I'm here. The Easter trip was defiantly a well-timed break and I'm feeling much better this week.
4) On my way home from work today  my boda stopped and chatted with someone and then turned around and went home a different way. There was tear gas being sprayed on protesters on my normal route home. I am greatful for God's protection but I'm also grieving for these people. There have been small pockets of rioting and protesting for about 2 weeks about every other day. The people are protesting high food and fuel prices as well as tuition hikes at the university. Life is already difficult for most Ugandans as a majority live below poverty line and these increases just make things more trying. Please pray for peace for Uganda and for God's provision for ALL people.

I think that sums up the major points. It is hard to believe I have a little over 2 weeks left here. It went way to fast. Please pray that I finish well and that I have direction for life when I get back stateside.
Love you all.


Friday, April 15, 2011

a few pictures

some of the kids at the transitional rehabilitation home

sunrise over kampala (view from my balcony)

Joy, Bethany, Julie and Joy's daughter Hannah

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bringing the Stick

So I'm stealing this story from another missionary friend but I loved it so much I had to share it. She was telling me about the church in Ethiopia and how there is such a fire there for missions right now. She told me about one church that was holding an offering so they could send out and support more missionaries and everyone in the church gave so generously...including one women who brought a stick. This women had nothing else to bring but she desperately wanted to do something, so she brought her firewood for the day. She gave God everything she had, she brought her stick.

 There are so many things to learn from this story, and it creates a great metaphor that this stick was supposed to be the wood for fire, and yet it was used to fuel a much bigger and more impactful fire. It also raises the question of "if it came down to it, and I had nothing left, would I give God my stick and trust him to take care of me?"

Something to think about for sure. That story just makes me so happy and it also challenges me in so many ways. God is doing incredible things in Africa and that is such an encouragement.

It was a relaxing weekend. We didn't do anything terribly exciting, We visited the Zoo in Entebbe on Saturday afternoon and saw rhinos, lions, giraffes, gigantic snakes and freakishly large spiders that were not part of an exhibit they were just hanging around. I'm starting to realize that I come home in 1 month! Time is going WAY to fast here for my liking and it feels like I just stepped off the plane. I realize that I came here to volunteer and to help but I can honestly say that I have been far more blessed to be able to work with the staff and kids I do and to get to do life alongside such friendly, resilient, and incredible people like the Ugandans.

There is a lot to think about, a lot to ponder and wrestle with. I've realized from being here and yes, Uganda could learn a lot from America and western culture, but we as westerners and Americans can also learn so so much from Africa. It is a very relational culture here and they value people and friendships in a way that we often fail to do so in our culture.

Prayer Requests/Praises
1) I had an eye infection this week (ha I seem to pick up every infection here) but the nurse at DP fixed me all up and it's all better. Please pray that I stay healthy my last month here.
2) Please continue to pray for youth camp to be held the first week of May.
3) Please lift up the African church as a whole and just ask that God would continue the work that he is doing here and that He would be raising up the next generation of leaders that love Him.

Thank you for all the prayers and the encouragement that are always pouring in. It is such a blessing to me.
love you!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Things white people do

Just got done with my "muzungu" weekend. Which included many activities that only white people do here. Friday night was Julie's birthday so we all went bowling-I'm pretty sure it is the only bowling alley in Uganda and it has four lanes and the place was full of muzungus. On Saturday Bethany, Julie, and I traveled to Jinja (about a 2 hour taxi ride-only $2.00 american!) and met up with some other missionary girls from Tororo. I didn't realize until we got to Jinja that Kampala is so smoggy that you never see stars, but we were able to see all of them in Jinja! it was beautiful! We just sat outside on the edge of the Nile and talked, then Sunday we went whitewater rafting with a company called "Adrift" (google them). It was really fun, we got super wet and really sunburned! Once again that is an activity in the middle of Uganda that hardly any national do-it's all white people! The Nile is really beautiful, great for rafting...however, it doesn't taste very good and I got a few face full's of nile water on our trip.

Work at DP is really busy, I don't get out of the office as much as I would like-but when I do get to see the youth and the kids they know who I am now and I know most of their names! I taught some of the little girls how to do the electric slide the other day (another thing white ppl like to do...) and they tried to teach me some of their dances...I wasn't very good.

It just hit me the other day how fast the time has gone and how little of it I have left! Me and another girl at work who is leaving a week before me have started a list of things we are looking forward to in America (Target, being clean, ice, fast internet...) so we can focus on those instead of how sad we are to be leaving!
A lot of you write and ask me what is Africa like and that is such a hard question to answer. Everything I've written always seems to pale in comparison to the actual experience of being here. There are sounds and smells and just a completely different pulse of life here that I could never describe over text. I might be able to do a better job in person-at least that's what I'm hoping because I do want to share stories and experiences with all of you! Just wait til' I get home for most of them:)

Prayer Requests/Praises
1) Thank God for safe travels this weekend to and from Jinja.
2) I'm incredibly grateful and humbled to even be here and have the opportunity to do the work that I am. I am really blessed and I have an amazing team and friends here.
3) please continue to pray for youth camp which will be at the beginning of may.
4) Please also pray that I'd finish well..that I wouldn't start to pull away because I know I have to leave soon, but that I'd give everything in me to this experience as long as I'm here.

Sorry This is so short-at an internet cafe, got to pay by the 1/2 hour here!
love you all!