Tuesday, September 7, 2010

last thoughts

Well I am home now and getting adjusted to my new life in the states. I say new life because every time I come back from being away, be it a week or 2 months, I pray that the Lord will change me and change my life. I believe that He is doing this. I am immeasurably thankful that the Lord loves me enough to consider it worthy of His time to change me. There are a few thoughts I want to leave before I wrap up this round of blogging til the Lord sends me off on another adventure.
One is a story about a boda ride. I know what you are thinking, I bet she fell off, no not this time. it was one of the last nights in gulu. i was riding a boda home and i saw something, a man was doing something or said something i cant remember exactly, and it made me laugh. and i thought about how i wish i could blog about and take pictures of everything but it just isnt possible and even if i did people wouldnt get it. then i felt the Lord bring to mind that scripture in Luke 2:19 where it says that Mary treasured these things in her heart and pondered them. i felt like the Lord was telling me that some parts of my time away in different places and some things that He shows me are just for me and Him to enjoy, just ways for me to experience His love and the different parts of Him. i was overwhelmed at the idea that the Lord loves me that much that He would bless me so richly not to always share or teach from but just because He loves me. remembering that moment has made me feel less anxious about trying to share everything with everyone and less frustrated when people ask "how was Africa" and expect a one sentence answer.
There are bits and pieces of my time in Uganda that pop up in my head, some funny stories, some sad, and some incredibly random. One of my favorite memories with Catherine was on our way home from our morning workout at Peche stadium. We were walking and I was just a talkin away, as usual, about life and people. I think this time I was talking about Beulah or Evy. I noticed Catherine was walking slowly and was not talking so I look up and she is weeping. I said "o carth you are crying" and she said "you just love them so much" It was so sweet for the Lord to let His love shine through me in that way. It was also affirming that the Lord has put that love in me and I do love those little ones, and their family.
The Lord also allowed me to share tons of scripture with the people I was with. I love to give little notes of encouragement and I feel like this summer the Lord used that to speak truth to people. Especially in hard times like when Nate and Samuel passed away.
By the way the St. Jude orphanage did have the CPR training. 28 teachers, house moms, and older girls were taught first aid and CPR! We are planning to make it an annual training.
I also love living with 20 some people i have never met. It is so fun to meet new people and rediscover things about yourself. It was soo encouraging and affirming to hear people say things about how my faith was evident in the way I lived each day. It is so awesome to hear people recognize the Holy Spirit's presence in you, to point out evidences of grace. I had been thinking about that before I left. Paul talks about that when he talks about perseverance and I think it is such a crucial responsibility of members of the body of Christ.
In the end I know I can not sum up what the Lord has taught me these past two months in a blog post, I recognize I will continue to chew on these things for a while, maybe the rest of my life. But I end the summer completely humbled and increasingly blessed by the experiences I had and people I met. May the Lord continue to use this broken vessel and may the Lord bless all of you who have prayed for and walked this path with me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Heading Home

The coaster is here....and the long journey begins.....

Monday, August 2, 2010

A good day 7/29/10

Yesterday was such a good day. I don’t think it was one big thing that made it a good day but all the little pieces put together make it a good day.

I got up and went to Pece Stadium with Catherine and did our normal morning work out. Then we walked to the store to get some yogurt for a fruit salad for breakfast at the house. We took it easy getting ready and had breakfast in no hurry. We left for the office around 9. I did a few budget things, some accountability with Nancy and sent some emails. We left the office at 12:30 and went home for lunch. Catherine and Karen went to a round table at Sacred Heart and I stayed at the house for a bit more and got my clothes off the line and made my bed with clean sheets. Then I walked to town with my Bible to read some and write a few notes. On my way there was a kid on the side of the road with a bike that had lost the chain. I walked by and then turned around to see if I could help. Fortunately it wasn’t too bad and I was able to help him put the chain back on the bike. He was thankful and his sweet smile made my afternoon. As he peddled away a caught the eye of a man that had been watching us, I waved with my greasy hand and he smiled in a way that made me feel like he was genuinely appreciative of what I had just done. (side note: the bike was way too big for him. It was a man’s bike so he put his leg under the bar and held onto the seat instead of sitting on it. It is a crazy way kids around here make do with such big bikes.)

I sat at Kope Kafe (the restaurant Jolly and Jamie started as a way to fund HEALS) I wrote a few encouraging notes. The great part about writing those sorts of notes is that you get to read all the wonderful promises of the Lord that you want to remind your friends of. I was reminded that the Lord loves me and has a plan for me and will take care of me and draw near to me. Then I headed to St. Mary’s for a roundtable meeting. The meeting went well and they are planning to do an active strategies workshop that I will attend next week.

Sarah and I left St. Mary’s together and headed to St. Jude’s orphanage. I hadn’t been back since the day Samuel died. I had been wanting to go back but hadn’t found the time when I had the emotional energy to be there again. As soon as we got off of our bodas we were greeted by little ones who were ready to play. They grabbed our hands and we were off. We sang and danced around. I sort of made up this game were we would walk and say “low low low low” and crouch down and then say “high high high high” and jump up and down. We would walk the length of the house and when we got to the end we would clap. We did quiet and loud, fast and slow, and shaky and straight. It was so fun and they loved it. Of course they wanted to do that game over and over again but that was ok with me because I was just soaking up time with them. When the older kids got home from school the girls changed and we met with them in the book room. Karen and Raysa had come to teach them some American dances. We did the Macarena (we didn’t have loud enough speakers so Raysa sang) and the electric slide (we just danced around with no music). Then they showed us some of their dances. We each had a teacher or two and then we had a dance off. It was pretty funny. Then the girls sang and danced a few songs for us. Afterwards they broke up in partners, older girl and younger girl, to read together like they have been doing for the past few weeks, a program Jen and Michelle have started. They are very hopeful that the twice a week club will continue.

Karen and I left together and headed to Kope Kafe for movie night. Of course that was a bit of an ordeal. We had to switch computers, boda home to get a different movie, and wait a while for the food we had put in an advanced order for, but by the end of the night everyone had a good time and good food. After the movie Trisha and I looked at old pics from 2 summers ago and remembered some hilarious stories.

Like I wrote, it wasn’t one big awesome thing it was just a great combination of productivity, interaction in the community, encouragement, and fun.

Send off

Last weekend was the first time I went to Jinja and Kampala and did not leave. I travelled with group 1 and Catherine to Jinja sat. morning. We stopped by the craft market briefly and met with with Emmy Jolly’s husband to get some money and then headed to Jinja. We arrived shortly before dinner and enjoyed a delicious veggie burger on the deck overlooking the Nile.

Then the next morning we all got up had breakfast, some bungeed, and most headed to raft. Lisa and Lindsay and I went on the jet boat. Its like a jetski/boat. It works like a jet ski, sucking up water and spitting it out to propel, but it has 8 seats plus the driver. I thought we were going to go down the river but we just pretty much stayed around adrift doing donuts and skimming inches past rocks at 50 miles an hour! It was pretty insane. We went up a few rapids and went airborne. I think it was much scarier than rafting. It was about an hour and then we headed over to meet Catherine by the pool at the hotel next door. It was absolutely lovely.

We made the trek back to Kampala after the last group of bungee jumpers jumped. The normally 1 ½ hour drive took 4 hours because of all the traffic. There are tons of vehicles in the city now for the African Union and tons of security so traffic was insane. We took a vote and decided to go to Lotus, an amazing Mexican restaurant in Kampala and skip the hotel buffet of beans, rice, and chapatti, thank goodness! So we dropped our things at the hotel and went off to dinner. Dinner was delicious! Cindy, the mango margarita was sooo yummy! Fresh mango from Uganda cant be beat!

The hotel we stayed at seemed kind of like a haunted house mixed with the labyrinth. There are so many stair cases and it is so quiet and empty. I learned later from Jolly that her house is actually not far from there and right next door is a member of parliament that she is good friends with. We didn’t really hang out at all once we got to the hotel. The rooms were spread out and only one or two per room so we just got in, cleaned up, and went to bed.

Catherine and I got up around 4:20 to see group 1 off. They were all trudging down the stairs with tired, happy faces as they started off on the last leg of their journey in Uganda. (read Amber’s email post to know more about that). We waved good-bye to them and headed back to our room to catch a few more hours of sleep. We got up around 8, packed our things, and headed down stairs to meet James the driver for our ride to Nakumat. Nakumat is a shopping center in Kampala right beside Garden City where we always go the first day in Kampala to get money and shop. Nakumat is so much better than Uchumi (the grocery store in Garden City). Also in the same shopping center is a restaurant called Café Javas. O my goodness! I can not explain to you how delicious our cinnamon banana pancake and fruit salad for breakfast was. I actually had an awful headache so I fell asleep for an hour and a half and Catherine sat and drank coffee and made lists. She was so good to me and wanted me to feel better before we went shopping. I know you are all amazed that I could fall asleep in such a loud public place…haha.

We left and did some shopping and walking around and then went back to get lunch/dinner before we headed with Andrew (from IC) and Molly (the new intern that had just arrived) back to Gulu.

I have to share what I got. I ordered a tuna fish salad sandwich and it was AMAZING! On whole wheat toasted bread with these delicious masala fries! It was exactly what I needed to get over my headache and get amped up to start my last 2 weeks in Gulu.
Driving back in an IC truch was SO nice compared to a matatoo or (I can imagine) a bus, so that was a plus. The rest of the week was pretty normal. We have had a ton of rain but that African sun dries it up pretty quickly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Amber's story

This story is from Amber of Group 1 about their travel home starting in the Entebbe airport

So... we got to the airport at 5:30. The woman at the first door told us to go to the next the door. The woman at that door told us we could not come in until 6:00 and we had to go through the other door. As we waited in between the doors, a line started to form at one of them. Around 6:10 a women came out and told us the system was down and they would have to check us in manually soon. The people at the front of the line were kind enough to form a blockade to allow all us of to go in front of them.

Once in, they hand wrote our boarding passes and informed us that because they were offline, they could not check our bags through to New York and that the airline would do it in London. On the plane, we were told that we would have to collect our luggage at baggage claim and recheck it. Then we were told not to collect our luggage but to follow the signs to connecting flights. Either way, we only had an hour.

We booked it to the connecting flight check-in where we were informed that not all of us had seats because we had not been checked in from Entebbe and they were working on the luggage situation. The attendant collected all of our passports and baggage claim barcodes and gave us boarding passes and sent us through the layers of check-ins and security. Kristin and I were stopped because we did not have seat assignments. Amanda announced that our gate closed in 15 minutes as the woman was calling someone to see what to do. We waved the others on.

Once we were finally cleared, the woman told us to go up the escalator to gate 15, down the escalator to catch the shuttle to the other side of the airport and so on. Kristin and I began running from one side of the airport to other. We were then stopped in security. The prescription label had come off of her face wash and the officer was asking about it. She said, "We have 9 minutes to catch our flight, keep it."

We arrived at the shuttle where the sign said our gate was 15 minutes away. Luckily, it didn't take that long. We got to the other side, ran up two flights of escalators, and finally saw the rest of our group in line to board. We made it!

All of us were a sweaty mess but we had made the plane and the luggage should have made it on as well. We arrived at JFK with less incident, cleared immigration and waited at baggage claim. And waited some more at baggage claim. When everyone on our flight had cleared the area it became apparent that none of our bags had made it across the Atlantic.

We went on through customs where Pat was hassled in front of me. I stopped waiting to be questioned and the woman looked at me like I had three heads and said, "You can go through." I thanked her and we all went on to baggage claim.

There we learned that five of our bags had been randomly put into Nathan's name somehow. One of my bags had last been seen in Entebbe and was under Nathan's name. The other bag was not listed at all. Amanda shared this situation. It was a hot mess.

injury of the summer

ok so those of you who know me or have been following my journey know there is always an injury story of the summer. This summer it happened in Kampala. We stopped to use the bathroom and had to cross a really busy street with a median. The median had grass and a wire fence type thing that was about 2 1/2 feet tall or so. The wire was held by a pole that had metal claws coming off of it. the claws were like metal triangles that were bent a bit. I was walking by nathan and i almost said "be careful of these things" when i threw my leg right into one as i was trying to go over it. it ripped my jeans and made me bleed and is a pretty gross gash and bruise at the moment. ridiculous!

just something fun

How you know you are adjusting to life in Gulu:
1. it only takes you one baby wipe to “shower”
2. you start thinking in broken Brittish English
3. you automatically answer to and give your name in a way that is understandable to Ugandan’s (Daniella, Carthy)
4. you automatically copy emails before you send them in case your internet connection disconnects
5. you wave hi to shouts of “bye!!”
6. sounds of voices from home make you cry
7. you barely notice EVERYONE staring at you constantly or the children laughing at your every move
8. you are used to waving constantly while you walk to town, sort of like a parade every day
9. you are not surprised when you order something and it’s “not there”
10. you have learned to sleep without a pillow because the one you have is like a large boulder

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Tragedy 7-20-10

First I want to say that everyone here is safe. However, I am going to share with you the worst experience of my life. I am warning those with little ones this involves a child’s death so if that is too much for you just skip this post.

Most of group 1 and I went to St. Jude's, an orphanage we have been volunteering at for a while, Sunday afternoon. We got out of the vehicle and went to find someone in charge to give us a tour and tell us about what they are doing. As we were talking someone came up and said something to the woman, Vicki, we were talking to and she asked us to wait a minute because a child had fallen down. She walked away behind a building. A few minutes later everyone was screaming and crying and running around. We had no idea what was going on.

From here this is my understanding of what happened. I think we all have slightly different stories because we all had different angles on the event. I walked around and saw John laying on the ground fishing around in a hole. Samuel, 2 1/2, had fallen in what I think is a latreen hole (it didn't have a shed over it like most). Everyone from St. Jude's was crying and screaming. When John got him up they were asking if anyone knew CPR. Min and Colleen ran to help and Trisha and I sat and prayed. Samuel was unresponsive. After a few minutes, once we realized he was not coming to, I started asking if we could take him to the hospital since we had a vehicle right there. I could not get anyone from the orphanage to give me an answer or even show they were listening to me. So some of us ran to the driver and told him our idea and asked if he would just drive around the building to pick up Samuel. He was of course more than willing and jumped in the car. Once they heard the vehicle they finally realized what we wanted to do and a woman rinsed off Samuel and picked him up and ran with him to the vehicle. John, Min, Colleen, the woman from the orphanage, and Samuel left for the hospital. The rest of us stayed at the orphanage and tried to figure out what had happened. We prayed with some of the girls and asked if there was anything else we could do. The woman in charge just said we could come back another time. So we left.

On the way back home I got a call from John that Samuel had not made it. I was so sad and didn’t understand why something like that happened. Why did we need to be there for that if us being there made no difference. I have to trust that the Lord’s plans are higher than mine and my understanding is nothing compared to His wisdom. One of the first things I thought was that Samuel had never been loved as much as he is right now because he is with the Lord.

Some extra information.
When they arrived at the hospital they could not find anyone to help them. They were running around trying to find help and when they finally did it was still chaotic. I do not think Samuel was alive when we got him out of the hole. He was not moving and he did not respond at all to any CPR. John said he didn’t even know it was him when he felt him in the muck. I took Colleen and Min to the clinic to get them some treatment because they were worried about the sewage they had touched and even had in their mouth. They got some antibiotics and we went and got them some really strong antibacterial mouthwash. I sort of just went into mom-mode with them. I felt like it was my job to take care of them so I made sure they were as comfortable as possible, got them whatever they requested, which wasn’t much. They were both pretty shocked for the most part. They stayed the night in gulu and then left for Anaka the next afternoon after we all had lunch together. I put together a list of scripture references for them to use as comfort and have been and will continue to pray for them and check up on them.

So needless to say it has been a heavy time here in Gulu for me. I was not well yesterday and spent most of the day in a haze. I took a long nap and went to bed early. I feel better today, I am still taking it easy, and am so looking forward to this weekend in Jinja. I am going to be laying by the pool while group 1 rafts (:

Good Things 7-17-10

So I find the need to write about the good things that are happening here. My week has been full of adjusting plans, learning new information about the blasts, mourning, feeling emotionally drained, trying my best to be supportive and informative and calm, plus the normal business of helping take care of plans for 30 teachers at 10 different schools across Northern Uganda. I must say that I am first and foremost so thankful for the opportunity to serve here and second so thankful for Catherine because she is awesome, and third thankful for Karen and all the great teachers we have this year. With that I would like to share some stories of good things here in Northern Uganda, if you want the not good stuff read the news. (of course they will be in list form (: )
- Friday night on the way home from the conference Catherine and I decided to walk. It had been a long day it was overcast so it was nice and cool. We walked about half way home and realized it was going to start raining. We decided we would just walk in it, it was light and it felt so good. As we continued the rain got harder and harder. By the time we were on the final stretch home it was pouring and we were soaked. Of course we were a site because people here do not go out in the rain, plus we are munus. People kept calling to us to come inside but we would tell them we wanted to walk (amitta watta watta) then they would laugh so loud! We passed by a place where some of the teachers were waiting out the rain and they took these pics.

- That same night Jolly invited us (all the teacher exchange peeps) to her house to sit around a fire and talk with her dad, Norman. She lives about 20-30 minutes walking from our house but because it was so muddy from the rain and dark it took us more like 40 minutes but it was a nice adventure. When we finally arrived we all sat, women on the mat and men in chairs, around the fire. Norman talked to us about how this is the Acholi classroom and about some other traditions. He called his wife over and told us about how strong she is and how she is the reason his family is so great. She doesn’t speak English so he translated for her. It was this mystical moment. She was standing in the smoke with the stars as the background and it was breathtaking. Then Norman told us that she makes jewelry. He said she didn’t have many pieces but he wanted us to see them. He had three and we passed them around and then he gave one to Jenny (one of the teachers, he met her in the states), Catherine, and then me! It was such an honor!
- I got to go to Pabbo again! I went and did another round table and got to see all my friends there again. It was so good to see everyone and be so welcomed. We found out that Christine (one of the Pabbo teachers) named her baby after Trisha! So they took a pic together! It has been such an encouragement to go back there and actually be remembered and see that being there did make some kind of difference.
- Jenny knows sign language and the orphanage Catherine’s partner teacher runs has tons of deaf kids so she has been able to go and sign with them a lot. It is so cool because if she hadn’t been brought back from Pabbo to live in Gulu with us she would not have been able to go as many times.
- The teachers at Keyo and Catherine Sasser have started a girls empowerment group! They have met a few times and it sounds like the girls are really liking it. They have secret handshakes and I think they are going to do an activity where they write reasons why they are strong and valuable and then they are going to link them together into a chain. So cool!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Its finally Sunday! The conference was a success. We had a great turn out and things went without a hitch for the most part. The food was good and on time and the presentations were great. I think the teachers got a lot out of it. Saturday the power was not there and we couldn’t get the generator to work so we didn’t get to see one of the power point presentations. Also the printer at the office was not working so we didn’t get to give out certificates, which is a super big deal here, but we will send them to the schools this coming week.

Catherine and Karen and I feel very relieved that the conference is done. Catherine and I have a super long list of things we want to do after the conference. I started mine today with spending the day at the pool with trisha. She and I are the only ones that did not go anywhere this weekend. Right after the conference on sat group 1 and Karen went to the rhino sanctuary and group two and Catherine went to safari. Trisha and I stayed back and watched some tv on dvd and then met up with dolly for dinner. Dolly is a teacher from Pabbo we met in 2008. She is awesome. She was the most vocal about women’s rights at Pabbo, which is a big deal because it is a very conservative area. Now she is finishing her degree in developmental studies and working at Fida, a law firm composed of female lawyers doing pro-bono work for women. They try a lot of “child support” cases, they call it maintenance. She told us about how she will track down men who are not following the court orders the lawyers she works for got them and have the police arrest them. She says she will probably continue to work for the same organization when she finishes school in May. I am so proud of her and blessed to know her. We met her for dinner and had a great time. She is so fun and lively.

Then T and I went home and watched a movie, actually she fell asleep and I watched it, I know who would have thought? Then we went to bed. It was weird being in the house without it being packed with people. We slept in and then headed to acholi inn and are currently sitting in the shade waiting for our lunch, we ordered at 11:30 and are hoping it comes at 1. TIA

Some stories worth mentioning--There is a guy here with group two and his name is Tim. He is in his 50s. One of the first nights group 2 arrived in Gulu I was sitting across the room from him and asked him his story. He told me about how he was a bachelor most of his life and just recently got married. Anyway at some point either that night or another day he told me he has this issue where food will get stuck in his throat and he won’t be able to swallow anything, not even his own saliva. It has gotten so bad before that he has had to go to the emergency room, but usually he just has to wait it out. Well Friday at the conference we realized that he wasn’t around. Then someone came to me and told me he was getting sick around the side of the building. They said he was sick. I went out to see how he was, because he also told me that he had been drinking the water from the jug at the school (which is from the borehole, bad idea), so I thought that might be what his issue was. When I got to him he told me it was the throat thing and that it was ok because he could breathe but that he couldn’t swallow anything. He said he just had to wait it out. I said ok and that I would check on him in a little bit. After a bit I decided to go check on him again and Joe told me that he remembered that Tim told him sometimes carbonation helps. So I grabbed a soda and headed down stairs to Tim. On my way down the stairs I had this very clear feeling that I should pray with Tim. He had expressed his “not disbelief but lack of faith” in God. From what I understand he just doesn’t know what is there but he thinks there is something and maybe it is different for different people. Anyway I didn’t know how he would take me asking to pray for him but it was like I was on auto-pilot. I asked him how he was and offered the soda and then asked if I could pray with him. He said yes. So I took his arm and prayed. I thanked God for keeping him safe thus far and prayed for God to heal his body and for peace and rest in knowing that He had everything under control and whatever His plan was was best and for Him to receive the glory. Then I walked to the
bathroom. In the bathroom I was just reminded of all the miracles Jesus did and was asking God to do another one. I just told God that I knew He could do it it was just if it was in His plan. When I walked back upstairs to the conference there was Tim sitting with his teachers. He told me that the first sip he took went straight down and then he called me a miracle worker. I told him it wasn’t me and that I was so glad he got to experience the Lord working. I was walking on clouds. I have never been so close to such a direct answer to prayer. Don’t get me wrong I have been a witness to miracles but it doesn’t make them any less amazing. I was so excited I ran right up to Catherine and told her and have been telling anyone that will listen.

Trisha and I were sitting on the couch watching Glee and I saw a mouse run by. There were a lot more bugs and critters moving because there were less people in the house, at least that’s what we told ourselves. Anyway I told her I saw it and we were sort of just sitting thinking about what we should do. Then all of the sudden she saw it and it was close to her I guess cause she threw her feet up and her shoes went flying! It scared me so much I jumped up and ran and jumped on top of a chair. We were screaming and laughing and crying all at the same time. We tried to make a trap but we were not patient enough or our bait was not good enough because it never came near the trap. That was in the afternoon. Later that night we saw the same mouse crawl out of the cushioned chair! We were totally grossed out and scared that it would get on the couch we were on so we decided to watch the movie on the plastic chairs. One thing I miss is comfortable seating. We spend most of out time sitting on hard plastic chairs or on not so great couches.


Saturday night we had our annual 4th of July party. We started the day with a meeting about the reciprocal exchange (Ugandan teachers coming to the US). It was a good meeting, short, but it got a lot of people talking and thinking ahead for the exchange. Then we continued our talk on Pedagogy of Liberation. This time we tried to focus on more practical real-life things we can do in our practice to be more liberatory. It was a great conversation.

After lunch was party prep time. We had the dancers from Awere SS come and dance their traditional dances, and of course we joined in. When they were done we treated them to dinner at the Ethiopian place right down from our house. We had teams of volunteers to hang out with the kids, set up the food, set up the chairs and the DJ. Things went really smoothly. I mean you always have your bumps like when I got the key stuck in the back door, or broke the glass in the back door, or when the water ran out and we had to wash dishes in the back yard, but all in all smooth (:

The party was a huge success though. The snack team was awesome! They made guacamole, probably the best I have ever had, pineapple salsa, I found out Andy is a great cook! And we made some very strong jungle juice. The best part for me was of course the dancing. We danced all night long. By the end of the night we were all sweaty, dirty, and exhausted! And happy! Joe and Jennifer and I stayed up to do some dishes so that we could have some clean for breakfast and then, when everyone was asleep I took a nice shower and then went to bed.

Sunday I got up and got some coffee and sat with my Bible and read some. Then a few people came out and we read together and discussed together. Then I got ready and Trisha and I went to Watoto church (the one that sponsors the cell group I went to) It was one of the best worship experiences I have had in Uganda. The pastor said (talking about the two women who had just played the guitar “culturally we reserve some positions for men, but God transforms culture. And all the Luo men said?” “Amen!” He spoke about prayer, the importance of it in your relationship with God and the importance of praying as afamily. It was so great. I believe this church is doing a lot of great things. I am hoping to go to a new cell group tonight, the one the pastor attends.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal. There are a lot of sick peeps in the house so I have been trying to check in on them and take care of them as best I can. I felt bad because we had two not feeling well with slight fevers and the power was not there so I could not put the fan on them and we didn’t really have cold water. But they have been troopers. Hopefully the meds they take will help them feel better. Please pray for Amanda, Angela, Julie, Mandy, and Lisa.

Funny story--A bunch of people went to St. Jude (an orphanage a lot of people volunteer at). Nathan was there and they were about to leave so he was trying to take his bag from the kids, one little boy did not like that so much so he pulled down his pants and peed right on Nathan’s foot!

I am safe

I want to first assure everyone that I am safe, the teachers exchange teacher's and I are all safe here in gulu.
Sunday night there were two terrorist attacks in Kampala. From the information we have they are from Somalia and bombed a rugby field and an ethiopian restaurant. There are conflicting numbers so far but we are sure that a roadie (volunteer who travels around the states talking about IC) was killed. He came 2 weeks earlier than the group to visit some people in Kampala. We are all very sad here to have lost one of our family. I will keep you updated on any travel changes or more news but for now please just pray for all those that have been affected by this tragedy.

This is the information the embassy sent out:
On 11 July 2010 at approximately 2310 local time, a bomb exploded at The Ethiopian Village restaurant, which was filled with spectators watching the World Cup finals match. Approximately 10 minutes later, a second explosion occurred at the Rugby Club, also crowded with customers watching the soccer match. Initial reports indicate that at least 13 people were killed at the Ethiopian restaurant. At least 40 were reported by the police as killed at the rugby club site. Many others were reported injured at both locations. At least one American was reported killed in the blasts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Funny stories

So a while back I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I found Jenni and Mandy standing in the hall. They were a little shaken up and Mandy walked away, I don’t think she saw me. I asked Jenni what was up and she said there was a huge rat in the toilet and Mandy went to go get Nathan. So Mandy goes to Nathans bed and just says “Nathan I need you” Sweet Nathan without hesitation gets out of bed and follows her to the bathroom. He takes one look in the toilet and goes to get some cups. He comes back and tries to scoop it out but it moves and he loses it. He turns around and still somewhat sleepily says “I just spill pee
water on myself” Jenni, Mandy, and I were hysterical! Then he went back in and got it. He came out with the rat in one cup and the other on top of it but its tail was sticking out! We lost it! He is now the superhero of the house!

Cell Group

Wed. night I went to a cell group (like a small group) with a friend from the office, Doreen. She is the head of the logistics dept. and such a hard working woman. I think she is around my age and is from western Uganda. She is not Acholi. She had mentioned the group in passing one day and I asked her if I could join and she was super excited about the idea. We ended up going to the group another IC staffer, Patrick, goes to so I knew one other person there and I had met his wife too. We walked to the market which is in the middle of town. Right across from the market there are little shops, we walked between two through a little alley that opened up to a sort of courtyard, kind of like where we stayed in Pabbo. There was a small group of people standing around. We all introduced ourselves and then we started the time with songs. I did not know the words but they were
kind of repetitive so I caught on. Then I just found myself thanking the Lord for the opportunity to worship Him in such truth. There were no gimmics or pretenses. Just people gathered together because they saw worth in spending time worshipping and reading the Word together.

So after the singing, the host/leader of the group welcomed everyone and we all signed the guest book, so Ugandan. We went through a little more indepth introductions and then we got to the Bible study part. As usual I was very skeptical because I have had a few experiences here where things were very scripted and they did not feel natural or authentic. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The leader did have a sheet that he followed but it was just what verses to read and some application questions and the questions did not have answers. It was really great to hear the Ugandan’s perspectives. We read out of 1
Corinthians when Paul says that we are to be ambassadors of Christ. We talked about what that meant. We also talked about how we could practically carry that out. One woman said that we were to minister to the poor, poor materially and poor in spirit. I was so thrilled about the whole thing. Regardless of what you believe there were people getting together and critically analyzing things and applying what they were learning, that is huge for places like Gulu. Of course I wasn’t super surprised since Doreen and Patrick are two very intelligent people that the conversation was intellectually mature but the spiritual aspect of the conversation was what really got me excited!

After reading and discussing we sang some more and then left. I came home on cloud 9! I was so excited to have been a part of that time. I am hoping to go back again. I visited the church, Watoto Church, that sponsors the cells. They say they are a cell based church, meaning that a lot of their ministry is based on people meeting throughout the week at different parts of the city to worship and study together. They had a men of valor night on Friday that sounded pretty great. There are 2 women who play guitar on the praise band and the pastor said, you know our culture reserves certain things like playing the guitar for men but God transforms culture, and all the Luo men said. Amen! I was so amazed to hear that. What a bold statement he was making. In his message on prayer he talked about the importance of praying to maintain your relationship with God and also to pray with your wife and kids! It was beautiful to witness the transformation of the family through reading and applying the Word! And the best part is I get to see the real affects of this church in Doreen and Patrick.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30th

Its Wednesday and group two arrived last night. It was a little crazy for a little while, especially when the power went out, but things calmed down and people got settled for the most part. There is not a lot of room in the rooms and they are all to capacity so it’s a tight fit but I think its going to be fine. It is fun, at least for me, to be living in such a close community, if you know me you know I love being around people so this is great for me. There is always someone to talk to and hang out with.

So while Catherine was gone it was hard. I feel like we work really well together and are great supporters for eachother, so when she wasn’t here I felt a little alone. However, I did not feel unsupported or alone in terms of being with group 1. Them being so inclusive and loving to me has been such an answer to prayer. They are such great people and I know that there are some friendships developing that will continue regardless of the miles between us back home (:

Speaking of miles and back home, I had this crazy dream that it was time to leave and go home. I remember in my dream I was super excited to be back with my people at home, but also I was so sad that there were still things I wanted to do here that I didn’t get a chance to do, people I wanted to visit with and see and such. I woke up missing home very badly but also happy that I still have time here. Its funny how honest your dreams can be.

So Monday is a bit of a blur because I woke up with a splitting head ache and nausea. I was also constipated which didn’t help matters. I went to our weekly Monday morning meeting with Jennifer and the whole time I had my head on the desk and my eyes closed. She was very understanding and we finished the meeting and she told me to go home and rest. So that’s what I did. I took a 3 and ½ hour nap! I felt better afterwards but no where close to 100%. I took it easy the rest of the day. I went back to the office in the afternoon for just a few hours to finish up a few things and then just hung out at the house.

Tuesday was a little busier. I went to the office and then I had 2 round table discussions. The first was at Gulu High School (GHS) and then at Sir Samuel Baker (SSB). The ride to SSB is pretty long and it was a bit of an adventure because the boda I got on at GHS didn’t know where he was going, but it was muddy and he was the only one around so I got on hoping he would ask someone for directions. He ended up taking me to the IC office. It was weird because I didn’t even tell him I was from IC. So I got on a different boda and made sure he knew where he was going. It was a long ride 5,000 shillings! I talked him into waiting for free because I am pretty sure that is a little high. He took me the back way which is through some pasture land and this small forest like area with tall skinny trees. It was beautiful but the path was very small and I was riding side saddle so there were many times I thought my knees were going to catch on something and I would spin off, but I never did. When I got home I had just enough time to take a shower and then group 2 was close to getting in. A couple of the teachers made a welcome sign which was so nice. When they arrived we all started clapping and singing and it was kind of hilarious. Then we all had our first dinner together and a brief meeting with group 2.

Today Catherine and Karen and I had breakfast together to sort of catch each other up on the time Catherine had been gone. Then we headed to the office. Its funny because at the beginning we did everything together but now that we are getting more comfortable, the three of us are doing things separately and just keeping tabs on each other throughout the day. Now group 2 is in orientation meetings and we will all go to lunch together at Diana Garden, an acholi buffet. Then they will have time to do mill around time and figure things out. As for me after lunch I have a few errands to do. We are having the dancers from Awere SS (a school IC is working with, they were displaced in Gulu town and have recently moved back to their original site. Its so good for them but it makes it more difficult to work with them because they are so far out). There will be 35 kids so we are going to treat them to dinner at the Ethiopian Place (its right down the road from us). So I am going there to arrange for their dinner. I also am getting a list of teacher names for our conference invites. Then…and this is the best part…at 6 I am going to a Bible study with a friend from the office, Doreen. She works in logistics and we have hung out a few times. She mentioned it the other day and today I asked if maybe one day I could go with her. She was super excited and said “O today is Wednesday! Can you come today?” I was so happy she was excited about me coming. So she is going to meet me at the house around 6 tonight! I will definitely let you know how that goes. This weekend is super busy, please be in prayer that all the plans go smoothly and everyone has a good time. Also please pray that my stomach starts working a little better (:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

back from rhinos

Before I talk about the rhino trip I want to talk about Friday. I got to go pick up the teachers from Pabbo and see a lot of my old friends from there. I chatted with Walter the head teacher and my co-teacher Geoffry who is not the deputy head teacher, he also sat in on our round table. I saw Dennis, I don’t remember if I ever mentioned him in my blogs but he is a wonderful man who loves the Lord. We would talk about the Bible and one day we had this amazing discussion about joy in suffering. I still remember it so vividly today. To talk to someone living in an IDP camp about joy in suffering was one of the most humbling and perspective altering moments of my life. Then at the end of our stay he gave all of us bananas from him and his family whom we never got to meet. That was one of the most precious times. I remember being super tired and emotionally exhausted then but afterward looking back it was really a beautiful time.
I left gulu along with lisa, another teacher, around 10 and arrived at Pabbo to meet up with Jenni and Pablo and their co-teachers. We had a great round table discussion and then picked up their things and headed back to gulu. I had forgotten how bumpy that ride is, it kind of made my stomach turn. Once we got back I did a few things and then we had a group meeting and dinner and just hung out because it was raining super hard.
Now for the rhino trip. We successfully made it through the first trip I coordinated on my own. It’s actually not as amazing a feat as it may sound. All I had to do was collect money from everyone and pay out our bill at the sanctuary. The rhino sanctuary is one of the most relaxed places I have been to. We left gulu around 11 and drove for about 2 hours. We arrived, set our stuff down in our rooms and headed out to “trek” to the rhinos. We had a guide and drove out into the bush for a bit. Then we got out of the matatoos and walked for about 10 minutes or so to where 3 rhinos were. There was the dominant male, a mother, and a baby. It was fun but it was super sunny and hot. We took some pictures and then headed back to the sanctuary where I had a hot shower! That was so nice. Then we sat around and chatted til dinner. After dinner we played some cards and some people went to watch the world cup game down the road. Everyone else pretty much went to bed. I woke up kind of early and packed my things and had some coffee and read my Bible outside alone and it was super nice. Then Lisa and Lindsay and the Sassers joined me which was wonderful because they are great. Slowly everyone came out and we had a yummy breakfast and then loaded up to drive back. Now we are all back and everyone is doing their own thing, getting food, shopping, hanging out, etc. I am going to go to town with Lisa Lindsay and the Sassers (Katherine and Patrick) to the market and then to get some dinner. Catherine is in Kampala waiting for group two to arrive tomorrow morning. I am excited to meet them and super excited to see Trisha.
Funny stories
- We were playing cards and something, a huge lizard or mouse or something crawled up my leg and I yelled and ran. The funniest part is that the waiter was about to ask me a question and he was totally freaked out. Everyone was cracking up.
Please pray for group 2’s arrival and settling in time. There is a lot of extra work this week and next week is the conference so we can use all the prayers for smooth transitions and such we can get (: Also my digestion is not doing so hot so please pray for that as well.

Friday, June 25, 2010

So the longer I am here the more find myself talking and even thinking in the broken brittish English we use. Its funny. We actually had an interesting conversation about language, what is “correct” and who gets to decide. It is interesting that Uganda and many other colonized countries end up adopting the language of their colonizer, or at least a broken version of it. So I always thought that it was sort of this lingering oppression. But after our roundtable at gulu high my thoughts have sort of shifted a bit. The ugandan teachers commented that the country needed a unified language and that no tribe wanted to take another tribe’s language so English worked for everyone. They all noted that it is important for different tribes to keep their original languages but that using English was important too. it was an interesting conversation in light of colonization and globalization. We all agreed that no matter what the language the important part was communicating your thoughts and feelings, that also becomes complicated when you are teaching. You want your students to write “correctly” but again who decides that and why do they get to decide.

so my round table at Gulu high went well. i got to see some friends from that school that i havent seen in a long time and it was so nice that we remembered each other. since then i have been doing a lot of office work, getting things ready for group 2 to arrive and getting the extra trips squared away. also i have had a great time hanging out with group 1 teachers. seriously it is awesome how so many people from all over can come together and get along so well. I have really felt a part of the group which is so good for me. thanks for the prayers on that one.

this weekend we are going to the rhino sanctuary so i dont think i will have access to the internet. but you can email me and i will read it when i get back (: hint hint (:

also you can text me at that number as well.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Latest

Ok so I have sort of lost track of what I have posted about. It’s funny because it is not hard to get online anymore in Gulu. There are actually internet cafés with wireless! Nuts! And today Richard did something to my computer so now I think I can get wireless at the office, but days seem so long that I forget what happened instead it is sort of just a stream of events in my head. Sort of like the stream of items on the ever growing to-do list I carry around. It’s funny to see how different people organize things differently. Catherine carries around a numbered list of things and just keeps adding to it. She numbers it and just keeps adding to it. I on the other hand cross it off throughout the day and add to it and then at the end of the day rewrite the things I still need to do and start over the next day with a clearer list.

Hmm Sunday was interesting. I didn’t get to go to worship but I read a little by myself in the morning and started the day a little slower than the others. Then Catherine and I went to the internet café where we got coffee and did work online for like 3 hours. Then Catherine went to st. jude’s (orphanage) and I went with Karen to the market to buy things for the camp.

So its hard to be in the market and know that you are getting the munu price. Its hard on lots of levels because one you don’t want your presence to negatively affect the price of things and make it harder for others to get things, also you don’t want to haggle someone out of their profits. I think for me Sunday the biggest thing was I just wanted to communicate that I was there serving. I just wanted us all to be human for a minute together, not American and Acholi or first world and third world or developed and under developed just human. That’s the hard part, its hard and rare to get to the place here with locals that you are both just human. Honestly I think its hard to get there with anyone. We all look at eachother and look at ourselves with certain lenses. I was praying that I could see with the Lord’s eyes and experience with His attitude and heart. Thoughts?

Sunday night we met up with the high schoolers at the Ethiopian place right down the road from our house for dinner. It was delicious food and good times. Catherine and I ended up sitting outside with two IC staff who were chaperoning the kids. One of them was actually a roadie who stayed at the volunteer house with us the first year in Gulu. It was fun that our paths crossed again.

Today was the teachers’ first day at their schools. They all, the ones who were actually at school, had interesting stories. I am especially excited for the teachers at Keyo SS. The school is far away but it sounds like the staff at that school is great and the American teachers (lisa, Lindsay, and Amanda) are great as well. I spent most of the day at the office doing budget stuff, emails, meetings, and trying to get money from finance. We sent the teachers out to Pabbo and Catherine went with them to get them all squared away.

Tomorrow I lead my first round table and finish up some emails and such. I get to go back to my old school Gulu High (:

Sunday, June 20, 2010


So it’s the weekend. That really doesn’t mean much for me in terms of work except that the IC office is closed. Last night (Friday) we had the meet the teacher dinner. It was really beautiful. We had it at Churchill Courts, it’s a new place and seriously it is amazing. The food was delicious and everyone seemed to enjoy meeting their teachers. I am so excited about the support that the teachers exchange seems to have in Schools for Schools. 2 staff members, Patrick and Jennifer came and gave speeches about the program. It is fun to see how the program has grown, the Ugandan teachers have a better understanding of what is expect and what the program is about and the reciprocal exchange was such a huge success.
Geoffry my teacher from Pabbo actually participated in the reciprocal exchange. It has really had an impact on him. He saw me the other day and we spoke and yesterday I learned that he is the deputy head teacher and has applied for a supervisor of education for macindi district (I think that is correct). Anyway he said “we both have to grow” because he sees my new position as a promotion (: he was very kind and asked me to pray about his new job. I also heard that he started a scholarship program at his school and got money for the 4 top performing students (one from each level) and when they figured out who they were it was 4 boys and he said "no we have to find a girl child" and he is working on getting 8 scholarships so that 4 will be for boys and 4 for girls! that is like seriously amazing! that has been one thing that i have been thinking through (mainly on my 30 minute boda ride out to keyo ( one of the schools i will be working in once a week). thinking through women's roles according to scripture and how that has been messed up in the states and here just in different ways. and thinking about how to work for change and not be ok with the status quo without going to the other extreme. i think at the end it boils down the Jesus and the Holy Spirit. People have to know the love that He has given and be transformed by the Spirit to be a vessel of that love for others and then women can be free to be submissive because it will be submitting to a man who would lay his life down for her and put the Lord first and then her. thoughts?
I have been super busy running around trying to be sure to get all the paper work done and everything ready for the teachers to start school Monday and especially the teachers in Pabbo to be sure they have everything they need before they go. That is what we will be focusing on this weekend. Also tonight we get to go meet the high schoolers that got an opportunity to come to Gulu through different competitions and see some Acholi dancing. Tomorrow we will get to spend more time with the high schoolers at the ethopian place (that’s the name of it ) for dinner.
I have not gotten into a schedule yet and I have not spent a lot of time in the Word, but the encouraging cards filled with scripture have been such food for my soul, thanks so much to everyone who contributed to those. i told catherine that they are literally a life line for me. being here and so busy with so much to think about and do and see i can sort of feel a little lost and not grounded, then i read a note from my people and remember what is important, what i am here for, who i am in Christ, and who He is making me into. its so good for my heart!
Last night I rode a boda (dirt bike taxi) who had one bad eye and he was so fast and drove so close to things I thought I was going to fall off a few times! I had to tell him that I was not in a hurry and he did not have to go so quickly.
by the way i am just bruised from the bed (:

Friday, June 18, 2010

back in gulu!

Back in gulu and feelin fine! Our trip to gulu went well. The road has improved a lot. My time here has been so so busy. I never realized how much work happened behind the scenes til I was the one doing that work. I still feel a bit detached from the group but I am finding my nitch. It is humbling to be serving constantly and having to work within a system that does not always make sense to you, but it is good. God is continuing to use me and stretch me and I can’t ask for anything more.
Since arriving in gulu on Tuesday I have spent a lot of time in the office learning about the procedures to get money and items we need to live here. I am so grateful to have amy and Catherine and Karen to work with and be able to all put our heads together to think a few steps ahead.
I have been so thankful for all the items that were purchased for me to use here. Seriously, every time I use a babywipe or hand sanitizer or my clip board I am reminded that I am not here alone and that I am loved back home! Even more I am reminded that the Lord will provide and I am a part of an amazing body of believers.
It is Thursday night and we just got back from BJ’s (used to be Bomma), it’s a restaurant/bar that plays music some nights and on Thursdays when there is not the world cup they have trivia. So we went and danced for a bit tonight.
Tomorrow the teachers meet their partner teachers and the exchange begins! I am super excited for them.
Please pray for continued health (I think the colace and probiotics are really working well) and that I would be able to do all this job and do it well.
Catherine of course is back here in gulu with me. She is the teacher exchange coordinator this year. I am so happy to be back here with her. We have great prayer time together and just seem to work well together.
Lisa is from my state and was here last summer. She has a great sense of humor and ability to be brutally honest with people.
Pablo is going to Pabbo, I know funny huh? He is from California and hilarious. He entertained us with hilarious facts he learned from the san diego zoo’s feburary 14th love night on the way to gulu. He is always ready with some hilarious comment.
Funny stories
-For some reason the bottom part of the bunk beds were not put together so well. So wed. night everyone was going to bed and I heard some girls laughing and I went back to see that one of their beds had fallen apart. Well one of the parts of my job is to manage the house so I went back to check the rest of the beds, especially the top bunks. I somehow totally forgot that the bed had fallen apart and went to sit on it and completely fell to the floor. I laughed so hard along with everyone else in the room!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

same but different

so first i am here in kampala (central uganda) safe and sound. i left charlotte at 1 pm on sat. and just so happened that i was sitting right across the aisle from lisa, one of the teachers. so we got off together and met up with lindsay, another teacher, they knew eachother from last summer, and had dinner and checked in. the flight to london was not too bad but there was a lot of turbulance, i thought of amy, she would not have enjoyed that (: but i was able to sleep. then we landed in london on sunday morning and catherine, amy, and karen (staff intern for the summer) had lunch and our first staff meeting. i am super excited about my new roles this summer. then we boarded the plane for uganda. unfortunately the flight was really rough and i did not sleep so i was super tired today when we landed (monday) we had a full day of shopping, school visit and dinner, but luckily we found time to squeeze in a much needed nap. after dinner (which was the first of my duties, to get the reservations and money situated) we headed back to the hostel, where i am now.
its been a different kind of transition than i was anticipating. i mean i knew i would miss my people but there is also learning what it means to be in this different role with the teachers as well. i am looking forward to being able to serve them and show them love, but that takes a constant dependance on God and a laying down of self. i was praying earlier praising God for the opportunit to die to self and work here solely for Him and His glory, to be a vessel of love and grace and generousity because of how He fills me (:
also!! i have had tons of opportunities to talk about the Lord! there is a sweet married couple (only one year, she is 25 and i think he is around that same age) that love the Lord and she and i got to talk along with nathan about what we believe about mission work, i got to pray with allison who's luggage is still in transit, and talk with karen about what she believes about truth.
- i am already falling and hurting myself (surprise)! everyone has picked up on it already and they arent suprised when it happens
-we went to a little cafe in london that didnt have half of the items on the menu. we laughed and said "are we in london or gulu?"
-lindsay is HILARIOUS! she can make me laugh like ben from chicago! i love being around her!
-my official title is legistics officer (i think (: )
-my ankle is hurting but it is ok
-i have gone poo twice (praise God!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

leavin on jet plane (:

i think i have had a post titled this before. it is a song, i dont know who sings it, but i remember my dad singing it when i was young.
anyway, i am about to leave on a jet plane, a big one (: i have been talking with catherine and packing and getting ready to go and i am getting super excited. it is funny because in a way i feel like i am going home and leaving home at the same time. i am blessed to have family to travel with, new family to meet, and family to miss.
God is so good and His love is poured lavishly on this undeserving and broken girl.
we had an awesome time of prayer and fellowship last night. moments like that i like to take a minute to think about the amazing people in my life. God's character is so apparent in their lives and they are all different. i just want to sit and sing the praises of the God who allows me to be a part of His body the church!
so today after a delicious roomy breakfast there will be packing packing packing, last minute purchases (thanks heather (: ), music at the ice cream shop, and cary ann hearst in charlotte.
tomorrow will be yoga with diana and off to the airport where i start my jouney to Africa. I am not sure how often i will be able to post til i get there but we have a 12 hour lay over in london where amy and catherine and i plan to gallivant around together and chat about plans for the summer. i cant wait!

Monday, May 3, 2010

update on me

so here is the short of it. i could give you a long list about why i should go to peru in august, and i could give you just as long of a list about why i should wait. in the end i have to trust that the Holy Spirit will lead me down the path that most glorifies the Lord and that is my desire. i have decided to wait to go. i will be leaving for uganda on june 12th and get back august 10th and will teach another year in the states. who knows what the Lord has in store for that time or for next summer. my prayer is that i will continue to walk faithfully on the path that He directs and be open to every opportunity He gives me to serve and love and minister wherever i am for His glory! He is good and His plan is best and i am thankful that He loves me!
thanks for all the prayer and support. (:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

counting down

i am so excited about going back to uganda and trying to get things together so that i will be ready in 45 days! as you know my travel (minus the flight to and from nyc), room, and board (minus lunches and a few dinners) is being paid for by invisible children which is awesome. however, i know what an awesome thing and blessing it is to have people partner with you and help support you while you are away. so i have been working on a list of items that i will need (meds, protein bars, etc). if you are interested in helping out please contact michelle. if you dont know who that is post a comment and i will contact you and get you the info (:
otherwise i ask that you pray that the preparation and such for this summer goes smoothly and that the Lord uses the time to be glorified (:

Thursday, April 8, 2010


so i know LA is not another country, but lets face it its no rock hill (:
the trip over here was really nice. after sunday lunch at the namo's cindy and jeremy dropped me off at the airport and i slept most of the way.
the LA airport was huge and i saw people who had drivers pick them up and open their doors and this one very able-bodied man who had another guy get his luggage and follow him around like a puppy, in my mind they were very famous for reasons unknown to me, but they may have just been rich.
anyway my aunt and cousins and i went to hearst castle http://www.hearstcastle.com/content/hearst-castle-tours
which was awesome and beautiful. we spent a night on the beach.
then wed evening allie came and picked me up and i spent the night with her and then this morning we went to the beach and did the barefoot walk with toms.
this company is pretty sweet and i cant wait to do more things with them. hopefully we can do a style your sole party (:
and while i was at the walk, i saw an old friend who i actually met in uganda but had done a mission trip with in new orleans! (there were lie 300 of us so we didnt meet there) small world! (i love that kind of stuff)
jimmy you met norman! thats awesome. such an interesting man.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

bits and pieces

so i wont go into extreme detail (the only person who would be interested in that would be Leah and maybe Rolla, and i already spoke with them (: ) but here are some highlights:
-travelling with amy was full of laughter (: and i loved it!
-when we arrived at the airport in lima and no one was there to pick us up amy and i stood in front of about 100 people or maybe more and waited for our names to be called out and she said "i prepared myself for this, this is the worst case scenerio, if no one is here by 3am i am busting out my guitar and you are going to preach and we are going to have a revival right here."
-when we were learning about God's love and reef (4 year old) learned that God loves you even when you lie, he was shocked and it was awesome (:
-anytime a baby fell asleep in your arms or a little one wanted a hug (:
-anytime a parent thanked me for being there
-the way the kids LOVED the crafts and remembered the lessons
-hiking up a desert mountain
-trying ceveche and cow heart for the first time
-realizing that i am a fan of committment, i often believe the lie that i dont committ or i shy away from committment, thats not true, the opposite is true. i am kind of like "hi my name is danielle, want to be best friends forever?" and then i stick to it. i was sad to leave those families and still miss them. i am thankful for a heart like that.
-read Psalm 16:5-6 and Psalm 119:111 i was overwhelmed by the fact that i have a new inheritance in the Lord and that my earthly inheritance is beautiful because it is what the Lord has used to bring me to Himself.
thanks for reading (:
my next trip is to LA and then back to uganda (:

Monday, March 1, 2010

peru peru

so thus far we have totally been on vacation. amy and i arrived in the airport around 12am sunday morning. we went through immigration and customs very smoothly. we walked through security for the last time and waited for someone to call out our name. and we waited, and waited, and waited. we watched people reunited with their loved ones, people meet taxi drivers, people look a little shell shocked and find taxis. and we waited and waited. finally at 1 we called the guest house and found out that the listro´s flight was late and that they would be landing in about 30 minutes and we were going to hook up with them and get a ride to our hotel. so we waited some more.
we hooked up with the listro gang (mom dad and 5 kids). we completely loaded down a van and rode the 15 or so minutes to the guest house where we dropped off everyone but christian (dad) and then rode the 3 minutes to our hotel.
it was pretty hilarious to see amy´s reaction to the room. it was really nice, in peruvian standards.
we are currently waiting for the bus to come get everyone and take us to the hotel where the conference will be.
more to come!

Friday, February 26, 2010


ugh packing...a necessary evil. getting ready to leave tomorrow! cross another continent off my list (:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

gearing up

wow it seems like a million years since i have posted anything! God is so good and has already begun to fill 2010 with new adventures.
i am currently preparing to leave feb. 27th to volunteer at the South America Mission Conference in peru. my pastor, skip macmillan, was asked to teach at the 5 day conference and he asked me and a team of people to come help with worship and childcare, obviously i am helping with childcare (: we are putting together a vbs-ish program for the kids.
i used skip's notes and made lessons that correlate with what he is teaching
day 1 the 4 kinds of love (greek words)
day 2 receiving God's love
day 3 loving God
day 4 loving others
we also need to come up with crafts if anyone has any ideas.