Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chimp Trek

Thanksgiving morning I love to curl up on the couch under a blanket to enjoy the parade, visit with friends and family, relish the delicious food throughout the day, play games, and enjoy the crisp fall weather. This year I was uncertain of how Thanksgiving would be…being away from home, family, and even the US on an American holiday.

This Thanksgiving was one of those “I can’t believe this is my life” days. The morning began with a drive to the Kibale National Forest to go on a Chimp Trek. We met up with our guide and walked a little ways down a dirt road until we could hear the chimpanzees calling to each other. At that point we left the path and travelled deep into the jungle following the chimp sounds. For a moment our guide instructed us to wait while he wandered off for about 5 minutes, taking his gun with him. Anna and I just looked at each other hoping he would return as we were in the middle of the jungle, not on a path at all, and without a gun. Thankfully he did return. As I was running through the African jungle, pushing branches and vines out of my face, jumping over lines of Safari Ants, trying not to trip over the dense vegetation or sink in the mud, while trying to keep up with my guide heading in the direction of screaming chimps I decided this was totally worth missing the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade for. We spotted our first chimp and were shortly surrounded by about 6 or 7 more all screaming and calling to each other. I looked at Anna and said, “Do you think this is ok?” Our guide assured us it was fine and continued to encourage us throughout the day to get closer. When I was less than 10 feet away from a chimp lounging on the jungle floor I couldn’t imagine any other place I would have rather been at that moment.

After spending about 4 hours trekking through the jungle following chimpanzees we headed back to Fort Portal, where we were staying for our Thanksgiving Holiday to have an American feast (cooked by a Dutch woman and Ugandan man). Our dinner was fabulous, complete with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and the whole 9 yards. I ate until I was stuffed! We finished off the evening by watching Elf.

While I miss my family and friends, especially on Thanksgiving, I am unbelievably blessed to be in Uganda and am thankful for SO many things. I love that God has called me to this beautiful country and specifically to Bundibugyo, I love teaching Lilli and Patton every day with Anna, my teammates are wonderful, and they felt like family as we all crowded together around the table for Thanksgiving, telling each other all of the things we are thankful for, playing games, laughing and enjoying each others’ company. The weather in Fort Portal is cool and feels like fall. I am thankful that we can have a mini Thanksgiving vacation and time to rest and be refreshed. I pray that my friends and family also had a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be grateful for. I am also appreciative of the many people who support me both financially and in prayer and make it possible for me to live my life in Uganda. Thank You!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week In Review

The week started out not so great. Sunday morning I walked into the bathroom and noticed dead ants on the windowsill. I looked up to see more dead ants along with many, many, many live ants crawling all over the wall. Then I looked down to see dead ants covering the counter. I decided to brush my teeth anyway. After I brushed my teeth I felt a tingling sensation in my mouth and realized there was poison all over my toothbrush…oops. I walked back into my bedroom to see…Safari Ants…pouring through my window! Then Jess called from the office where more ants were pouring in. Fearless Anna went out into the yard to survey the situation. There were ten lines of Safari Ants poring into our house. These are the biting, ants in your pants, causing you to have to strip down kind of ants! After poring kerosene all around the house and killing the ants in the house with Doom (poison), we went to church. After church I came home and went on a cleaning spree cleaning up the ants that were plastered to the walls, counters, and floor.

That was Sunday.

Monday is my half-day at RMS. After my morning teaching I have a half-day for prayer scheduled. I came home and went back to my room to find…ants and a huge cockroach on my floor mats. More doom, poison sprayed around the house, and more cleaning… sigh…

Tuesday was a great day at RMS. I love spending the entire day there. I have fun being with Lilli and Patton and teaching alongside Anna. Tuesday night I was able to babysit for Iye, the sweet two-year-old daughter of a couple of doctors who are here for the month working at the health center. She is such a smart, fun, cheerful little girl and it was a joy to spend the evening hanging out with her.

Wednesday started out with the team coming over for prayer and another great full day at RMS.

Thursday afternoon Lilli and I ended the day by reading under the Mango Tree in the yard at RMS. Our dairy cows live in the RMS yard and I loved having them wander around munching on the grass while we enjoyed the shade on a warm sunny afternoon.

Friday night I led our team on a study of Colossians 3:12-25. It was a great passage about finding peace in Christ and our role in relationships. Travis and Lilli had saved a Rhino Beetle for us to enjoy and we finished the evening by having Nigerian food made by the Adamarolas…spicy and delicious!
Rhino Beetle!
Aidan and Iye enjoying Nigerian food :)
Saturday has been the best day yet. Jessica, Anna, and I have been doing P90X in the mornings, so we got up early to work out. Then, Anna and I cleaned out and organized our front room, I got out the Christmas Tree (the one I brought with me from America J), and Anna and I went to the market and bought our weekly groceries and fabric to have all of our furniture recovered. I went on my first (and certainly not my last) motorcycle ride ever...I never dreamed my first time on a motorcycle would be down a dirt road dodging goats, chickens, people, rocks, and potholes while carrying our groceries and sofa cushions while wearing a skirt. We ended the afternoon by buying cokes and sitting along the side of the road just chatting and greeting people as they walked by. We went home and finished decorating the tree, made shish kabobs on the grill, I got to Skype with my sister Rebecca and BFF Joanne, and we watched a couple of episodes of The Office. It was a fabulous end to a week that started out in chaos. Through everything God reminds me that I am so not in control, which is something I struggle with. But through the lessons I also see God’s faithfulness and provision and the love He has for His people.
Delicious steak and vegetables on the grill with hash browns on the side.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Today has been quite a restful Saturday so far. Only a small handful of people have knocked on the door, all asking for Anna. Chrissy sent us Christmas CDs, so Anna and I downloaded them and have been enjoying listening to Christmas music while we write emails and catch up on our to-do lists. Around 11:30 I decided margherita pizza sounded good. Usually I would put a frozen CPK pizza in the microwave or oven and have lunch in just a few minutes, but it took a bit longer here. By 1:00 Anna and I were enjoying a delicious pizza complete with an Arnold Palmer :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dress-Up Part 2

Teaching the Johnson kids alongside Anna has been such a joy! They are really fun, creative, sweet kiddos, and I'm enjoying teaching kindergarten and second grade. Here are a few more photos from our dress-up week :)
Just another day at RMS
Pajama Day! My fav :)
Cutest Tiger ever :)
Tie-Dye/ Face-Painting Day
Wacky Tacky Day (This is the view in the front yard of RMS :))
We inherited these books from a family that is no longer in Bundi. They are a wonderful addition to the RMS library!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dress-Up Part 1

This week at Rwenzori Mission School we are having a Dress-Up Week! We kicked off the dress-up week last Friday at our team meeting.

Double Rainbow and two of the cutest super heroes!

Monday- Mary Poppins and her Penguin, Sacajawea, and a Luke Skywalker
Tuesday- Queen Esther and two of her servants
Carving pumpkins with Queen Esther and King Mordecai