Monday, December 11, 2017

Settling In

Margie standing with her friend Rhina at the back
of True Vine's Sanctuary

 We have officially been in Uganda for 2 months.  It has been a bit of a whirl wind up to this point, but we are beginning to feel adjusted to our "new normal".  We still have new things to experience most days, but those are becoming fewer and fewer.  The kids are getting used to the homeschooling routine.  We are all getting used to our roles in the community and at the church.  We still have people that stare and call out to us when we pass, but when we go to the school, or the church we don't attract near as much attention as when we first arrived.  If feels good.  We are feeling more and more "at home" every day.

Millie and Ivan doing some dishes.
Mommy is teaching them to do chores.
Ivan lost another tooth!

We've had some fun/exciting happenings over the past month to share with everyone:

  • Soon after the team from ND went back home Heidi and Andrew were both diagnosed with Kidney infections, and Ivan with a UTI.  Not sure how we all got infected around the same time, but Andrew had enough pain one night that he took his first ride in an ambulance through crazy traffic into Kampala at about 10pm.  All of us were prescribed some antibiotics and within a few days everyone was back to normal.

Ivan when he was getting his UTI checked out.

  • We got our first official pets in Uganda.  We got a nice cat that will help to control the mouse population in our compound, and we got a dog that will one day help our night guard to keep watch over the property.  We got them both on the same day.  The cat we named Azreal, after the cat from the Smurfs of course.  The dog we named Bella.  We had Bella for 4 days, and then one morning she didn't seem to be acting right.  By noon that day, she died.  It was disappointing, but just a couple of days later our night guard brought in a new puppy that was from a litter that was born at a neighbor's house.  This one we named Rhodie, and thankfully she is still alive.

The kids with Azreal and Bella (before she died).
Millie with Rhodie (She is still alive
at the moment)

  • We are starting to explore the area on our own more.  We went on a day adventure with just our family to a waterfall that is only about 12 miles away from where we live, and then after that went to have dinner in Jinja, which is a city located on Lake Victoria, and at the source of the Nile River.

Our trip to Sezzebwa Falls

  • We were able to attend our first two wedding celebrations here in Uganda.  Both of the weddings were at True Vine Church.  The first one was a mass wedding that involved 6 couples.  We only lasted through the first 2 hours of the service with the kids, then we took them home for naps, and went back for the reception at the school.  It was huge!  They had such a big celebration with so many people.  It was amazing.  The second wedding was smaller, but still huge compared to what we are used to.  It was for one of the assistant pastors at the church.  After the ceremony, the whole wedding party came to our house to take pictures.  Then we all went to attend their reception.  It was great, at least it was big.  We couldn't understand most of what was going on.  The food was all local and really tasty.

The Mass Wedding.  There are 6 couples at the table,
there just wasn't a time when people weren't in the way to see them.

Us with Pastor Abraham and his bride!

  • Andrew is getting back into coaching soccer.  There is a large soccer tournament that is happening on the west side of Kampala just after Christmas.  We have met with the leaders of the organization that puts on the tournament.  Andrew asked them if he could enter a team of boys from Victor's Junior Christian School in Mukono, and they agreed.  For the last several weeks Andrew has been working with a group of 14 boys to enter the U15 division of the tournament.  The boys and the staff at the school have been very appreciative of the training, and everyone is excited to see how the boys do.  This past Friday the boys left the school and went to their homes to spend the holidays.  They will be back on the 27th of December.  The tournament is Dec. 28-Jan. 3.

Andrew with the U15 boys team he will be taking
to the Christmas Camp in Kampala

  • We celebrated our 9th Anniversary on Nov. 29th.  Some young ladies from the church babysat the kids and we were able to go into Kampala and have some valuable time with just the two of us.  We hung out, had some coffee, and ate at a wonderful Korean/Japanese Restaurant in Kampala called Miso.  They had really good sushi that we enjoyed very much.

Us enjoying a wonderful dinner at Miso.

  • The next project for the PUR International/True Vine partnership has started.  We are building a Chicken House on the property of the school in order to provide eggs to supplement the diet of the children.  The house will hold 2,000 to 3,000 chickens.  The school provides meals for the children, but they don't get much protein in their diet.  They also have the need for more vegetables.  In January we have 2 interns and a farmer coming to help us build a large garden of raised beds next to the school so that we can raise veggies for the children as well.

Ivan helping to level out the dirt for the floor of the chicken house.

Putting up the poles to start the frame of the chicken house.

  • We are excited for January!  We will be finishing the Chicken House and getting our first batch of chicks.  We will be receiving our first two official interns, Tanner from ND and Shelby from NC.  We will be attending a local training for "Farming God's Way", and starting the garden for the school.  Then in February we will be helping with planting season, and hosting another team from ND.

As you can see, we are staying busy.  We have a lot going on, but we are enjoying every minute of it.  We will keep everyone updated as things continue to progress.  We thank God for the way that he continues to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together.  We are learning as we go.  Thank you to all of you who support us financially, and for everyone that is keeping up with us on Facebook and the like.  We Love you guys!  We are so thankful for this season of our life.  We are experiencing so many wonderful things as a result of being a part of what the Lord is doing through this partnership.  We are so grateful for the new friends and many memories we are making during our time here.  We know that it is only a season, and we hope to make the most of it each day we are here.  Once again, if you would like to help support us financially, you can do so online by Clicking Here.

Merry Christmas from Uganda!  Stay warm everybody.
I know we are!