Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday, May 07, 2009

School Visit

Where were they coming from??

I watched them pour out of the tiny classrooms like ants. Out of each itty-bitty space came the rushing wave of about one hundred children. (Did you get that? One hundred children per classroom...insanity.)

They gather together and the "program" starts. There are prayers, singing, and a collection is taken; then it's Andrew's turn.

It's kind of hard to teach in the wide open outdoors to 800 kids with no microphone. As Andrew talks, I notice that the children on the ends of the semi-circle continue to move closer and closer to where we are sitting...they are so intrigued by Anaiah and Evan. I continue to remind myself that even though not all of them can hear Andrew's teaching, just our example to them is worth a lot. They watch EVERY single move we make with our children. (No pressure, right?!)

Andrew teaches about the Good Samaritan, then as the time comes for the children to resume school activities, it seems as though the walls are closing in on us....I keep an eye out for Anaiah, as her white skin soon disappears. Frank rescues her, although she did not seem as overwhelmed as I would have been.

After sharing in some snacks and fellowship, our goodbyes are said. We head out for the day with two very tired children, assuring everyone that we WILL come back to visit soon. We feel blessed and pray that they feel that way too.

Friday, November 07, 2008

To Kampala We Will Go?

We recently took a family trip to Kampala to do Doctor appointments, lab work for Aimee Jo, vaccinations for Anaiah, shopping and for the NTCC Quarterly Meeting.

I want you to understand that it takes nothing short of a miracle to get everything packed up and loose ends tied together in Fort Portal to actually get on the road for a Kampala trip. First of all, we make a master list of everything that we need to do while in Kampala and hope that we are not forgetting anything, because it will be 4-6 weeks before we go back again. Then, there is packing for Anaiah, and ourselves, which includes, but is not limited to: sippy cups, bottles, Anaiah's high chair, pack-n-play, a mosquito net, medication, snacks, milk, water, diapers, wipes, stroller and the coolers for our meat.

Andrew works the day before to get the van into working condition for a long trip and if he has time, cleans the inside, so that we can at least travel to Kampala in a clean vehicle, before the dirt overtakes us. :)

Then, there is the morning that we are leaving: Aimee cleans out all vegetables and fruit that could go bad, pays our guard (if needed), leaves meat for our dog and money for dog food with our guard, cleans up any major messes in the kitchen/dining room, finishes all dishes, unplugs gas tanks, checks all doors, then locks the back door upon leaving. WHEW!

Finally, we get into the car (usually an hour past the time that we planned on leaving) and are happy to be sitting down and taking a breath.

Last thing on the list for this trip was to fill up our fuel tank before leaving town. Easy, right? Well, it should be. But, here in Fort Portal, there is not always a steady supply of diesel, so upon driving into three different gas stations, we heard the words, "The diesel is finished."
Finished. It's a word used here quite often, simply meaning that there is none available at the moment and not knowing exactly when there will be more available.

I (Aimee Jo) started panicking after the second station, thinking about all of the hard work that we had just done to simply get into the van, and the thought of having to go back to the house and un-do it all made me a little crazy.

Thankfully, the fourth station that we tried did indeed have diesel. We filled up and were on our way within a couple of minutes. (I won't mention the fact that we had to turn around about 10 minutes into the trip due to someone [we'll refer her as "mommy"] forgetting the high chair. OOPS!)

Friday, August 15, 2008


Those are the words that I was repeating--quite loudly-- when a strange man jumped into the passenger seat of our van as I was pulling away from the market.

Thankfully, the Lord was guiding me through the situation, and I slowly moved my purse from within his reach, and got my phone out to call Andrew. I turned off the car and was attempting to get out and get Anaiah out, when finally, the man hopped out of the vehicle and ran. Someone started chasing him, but he disappeared into the market.

I thought that he might want money or food, but all he said to me was, "You give me a ride." That's when the yelling started and I continued to say, "No, No! What are you doing? You cannot just hop into someone's car! Get Out! Get Out!"

When he realized that I was going no where with him present, and that I was on the phone making a call, he decided to head on out.

All I could think as I pulled away was "Thank you, God, for your protection."

Anaiah was in the back the entire time and I don't recall her even making a sound. She was probably just wondering why her mom was all of a sudden yelling and making a scene!

That was definitely enough excitement for one day. After going to the store for a few things, we made our way home and tried to relax.

I'll definitely be driving with doors locked from now on and windows only rolled down slightly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Culture Stress

It's a lot like what everyone said it would be.

I became extremely homesick and overwhelmed by even the smallest of tasks. I did not want to leave our house. I cried-A LOT. And the tears helped me to heal. I prayed-both for my family & friends back in America and for myself. I needed God's comfort more than any other time in my life.

Missionary friends were my saving grace, as they would listen to me tell stories of home, vent about frustrations of living in a new place, ask questions, and vent some more. They all reassured me that they had been there at one point or another and that it was normal for me to be experiencing those thoughts and feelings.

On top of that, it hit me when I was in the middle of my 1st trimester of my second pregnancy. I was so sick that I could hardly will myself out of bed to care for my 9 month old daughter. It was bad. I was sick, depressed, and so exhausted. I slept many hours on the couch. I can't even tell you what we ate for those 6 weeks, because I didn't cook and we didn't have much to snack on, but somehow we made it through.

Thankfully, I'm coming out of "it". I am feeling happier these days and seem to be able to accomplish tasks on my "to do" list. I feel confident to drive around Fort Portal to do shopping and errands and am slowly getting things done around the house before baby #2 makes his/her entrance!

As far as pregnancy goes, I'm in my 14th week and am feeling MUCH better than before. I have energy and my appetite back. Even so, energy only lasts so long...and it is a very late 10:00 pm. :)

So, I'm off to bed on this Thursday night, feeling good about waking up to the sunlight and finding what tomorrow has to offer.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Feels Like "Home"

Tonight it is cool outside after a good, long rain. I am sitting on the couch in sweats, socks, a tee-shirt and a blanket. Andrew and I love the weather of Fort Portal, especially on rainy, gloomy days. It reminds us so much of the Northwest!

I know that it is hard for some of you to believe because, well, we live in Africa! Isn't it suppose to be hot here? Well, it is--and in some places, unbearably hot. I'm glad that we don't live in those parts of Africa. I'm happy to actually use blankets at night, wear sweaters in the house, drink hot tea and put my daughter in cute sleeper outfits for bed.

It's nice to have similar weather to where we come from. It's at least one thing that is not completely different to what we are used to.

Now all we need is a Starbucks to come into town and then my rainy days would be COMPLETE!!! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yes, I am like my father at times...I began writing "thank you" notes to all of you who made my first birthday in Uganda SO special sometime in April, with the hope to finish them by May. Well, now it is mid-June, and I only have two more to go!!

I put all of the mail that I received in a Rubbermaid tub just a few weeks ago, and thought of all of you that took the time to send me cards or packages in the mail. IT MADE MY B-DAY FABULOUS!!! And it was even more wonderful because my birthday seemed to last for a month--the cards continued to stream in and I loved reading each and everyone of them!

So, here's an official, public THANK YOU and your more personal cards will be on the way sometime this week. :) (Nothing like taking my time, huh?!)

I want you to know that your continued encouragement and love to us (on b-days or normal days) keeps us going. You are our support system and we appreciate your partnership in our ministry in Fort Portal.