Our little fam jam, ft. fried grasshoppers
These little critter fritters gave us the jitters...but we all tried them! Probably not a fan favourite, though.
Welcome back, fellow traveler!
I'm sniffling a bit, partly because I am just so overjoyed that you're still following this blog, and partly because I think I have a cold (mostly the latter). Where did we leave off last time? Oh yes, our rendezvous with the Michigan crew. Our Ugandan friend, Marius, had brought over some delicious mangoes and fried grasshoppers the evening prior, and we brought the little "critter fritters" over to share. I daresay the little 'hoppers weren't exactly delicious, but they were palatable enough if you didn't stare at them too hard and gross yourself out. Anywho, we didn't exactly scare the Americans off, but they have since left (ie. fled) to a week of community placements while we continue to pass the time with no fixed itinerary.
Since we had a very flexible week, we spent a couple of mornings at a nearby orphanage to help where we could and play with the kids. I am keenly aware that the orphanage model is far from a perfect solution (breathe a sigh of relief that I am not going to stand on my soapbox right now). However, I know the staff and volunteers are doing the
Warm welcomes and wedding invites
At church we received SUCH a warm welcome and even a wedding invite for next weekend! What a blessing and a treat.
best they can with the limited resources available to them, and the kids are all given the opportunity to go through school. It is tremendously heartbreaking that we can't do more for these beautiful children and we can't be the family they long for. A part of me winces at the possibility that we might be hurting these kids more than helping them when we quickly weave in and out of their lives and hearts. My prayer is for these kids to be adopted in to loving, stable homes and that many would be able to stick it through to higher education--even in the face of the staggering statistic of less than a fifth of Ugandans completing secondary school, and far fewer completing post secondary.
Speaking of prayer, the church service on Sunday was a real answer to prayer! Although I am getting used to people shouting mzungu
at me everywhere I go, it is a breath of fresh air to be welcomed authentically as family instead of as foreigner. I can confidently say that church was the first place I truly felt the sense of being at home since coming to Uganda. Anne-Sophie, Brooke, and I were moved
First home-cooked community supper!
It looks like we've leveled up from takeout, and discovered some emerging chefs on our team. Mmm-mmm.
by the musical worship, the free-flowing testimonies of God's goodness in various members' lives, and pastor Peter's message to cling to the anchoring hope that we have in Jesus Christ. It is so cool to see how the family of God can transcend the traditional demographic lines that can seem to divide us, like race/ethnicity, culture, language. We've even been honoured with an invitation to a church member's wedding this coming weekend! Honestly, I feel like we are beyond blessed by the people here--there is so much to learn from their authentic passion, warmth, and hospitality.
Brooklyn, a previous QES scholar and a bridesmaid for the lady getting married this weekend, showed us around the hospital grounds yesterday and we are getting even more pumped up to get out into the hospital and communities! However, my patience continues to be stretched even more than Victoria, our stretchy queen of the team (which is saying a lot, since she can practically sleep in the middle splits), as it looks like things will be pushed back once again for us. Now our orientation/training will begin on June 4th instead of on Monday, in lieu of June 3rd being Uganda Martyrs' Day--a
Another land of living skies
At an elevation 400m higher than SK, is it just me or does the Mbarara sky look a lot closer?
national holiday to commemorate the 20+ Christians who died for their faith between 1885-1887 under the rule of Mwanga II in the historical kingdom of Buganda (present-day Uganda).
Our team has become skilled at budgeting, shopping, and cooking as a unit; our evenings have been a mix of going out and staying in, usually consisting of a movie and maybe a boisterous game of charades. Though we haven't always had running water we've been able to enjoy running around our neighbourhood a few times, and we've managed to find a small local gym to stay active at (not to mention the "workouts" we get hand washing clothes, pumping water, playing basketball, and walking all over the place!). I'm thinking it will be hard to part ways as half of the group goes to Ruhijia and the other half to Rugazi--fingers crossed, we should be finding out our community placements soon after today's brief kerfuffle of discovering our names had been forgotten in the list and having to be slotted in last minute. So stay tuned for that...and I can't wait to share our upcoming experiences at the wedding and in orientation (and hopefully I will have beaten this cold!).
Caving in to the craving
Checking deep-fried ice cream off the frozen treat bucket list! I have a sneaking suspicion that ice cream may become a staple food for me on this trip...
Stay tuned for June, and as always, stay awesome. 😊
Lots of love,
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