We are in the second week of Term 2 of the school year, so my days are busy preparing lessons and teaching the children, as well as the other random tasks that occur within the day at LCH.
I look forward to the children's break and lunch time because I am able to more freely talk with them to see how their day is going and what they have been learning. It is wonderful to get so many, "Good morning, Teacha." and little hugs.
INTRODUCTIONS and WEDDINGS:
I recently got to be part of a wonderful weekend for both of my friends, Sylvia and Eriyakim. Sylvia is a coworker and fellow youth leader with me. It was a wonderful wedding- the most fun I have been to yet in Uganda.
They introduced on Friday and got married on a Saturday (which is very unique). It was an extremely busy and tiresome weekend, but so much fun to get to rejoice with them.
I was asked to be one of the "fake brides" in the introduction and also to be a "sister" that accompanies her out. To be honest, I was more than excited. I have always wanted to be a fake bride in an introduction and this was the best one I could have been in because there were so many of my friends, coworkers, and fellow church members there. It was also very interesting to observe an introduction from the "insiders" perspective, instead of just an invited guest.
The first set of "fake" brides.
Escorting Sylvia (in the pink)
Seeing as can goods or packages are not readily available here, I have been trying out different recipes to find the best ones. I got a brownie recipe from a British friend that had raved reviews from her housemates. After attempting but failing the first time, I decided to go to her house and watch her make them- with the intention of eyeballing the measurements because her recipe came in grams and ounces. The result of her brownies-- delicious. So, I went home and tried again. Still a failure. Maybe I just need to make sure the measurements are correct? So, I borrowed their scale and weighed out all the ingredients and then transferred them into the cups that we use. Result: failure again. Well maybe we are at a higher altitude and I need more flour? Or maybe my baking powder is old? Or maybe the oven isn't really the temperature that the thermometer is reading? So, I checked or corrected these things and tried the brownies again. Result: failure #4. On Monday I borrow a pan that looked more the size of pan my friend used, and I tried again. This time I thought to myself, "They say that insanity is when you try the same thing over and over again- expecting a different result." But I was hopeful that maybe this time my brownies would turn out. Result: failure #5. What the heck? I would have given up long ago that this recipe was bogus, but I tasted them and they were nice. So why can't I make brownies??? Well, I tried for the last time tonight- changing one simple thing. Result: wonderful!!
Lesson of the brownie experience:
DRINKING CHOCOLATE does not equal COCOA
Praise the Lord that I have not had malaria since I have been here. It is only by His protection (literally because I stopped taking preventatives at the beginning of the year). But I was in the clinic the other day when some of the kids were getting their treatments. Derrick had come in because he was not feeling well. Nurse Gertrude gave him a seemingly peculiar malaria test. Curious as to how the test worked (and with the kids prodding, "Teacha, you should try and test," not thinking that I would- or maybe that mzungus would be tested the same way), I was tested for malaria. I asked the nurse if the test could show positive even when someone is feeling bad and she responded that it was possible.
So, we waited for my result... one line... negative! Derrick was also negative for malaria.
I took a road trip to Jinja for the weekend with some friends. My main purpose was to participate in the Source of the Nile Marathon. The race also had a 10 kilometer option, so I went for that. My second agenda was to get away from Mbale and have some good food. It is funny how food can be a motivating factor when familiar home tastes can be rare.
I finished the 10K in right under an hour. To be honest, I surprised myself. This was much faster than I expected. It was a nice race, going through the neighborhoods and downtown Jinja. I have always loved races. There is something about them that connect deeply in my spirit as I compare the physical race to the spiritual race I am in as a believer in Jesus Christ: pressing on toward the goal, sometimes running alongside others and sometimes alone, being encouraged when you feel weary and getting to return the encouragement to others, and the great cheers at the end of the race that pull you in to finish strong and well. Then as you pass through the line, there are so many there- who have gone through the same race- to celebrate your finish with you. It is just so great.
At the end of this physical race, Lissa and Glenn were there to celebrate with me.
We also stopped at this neat weaving factory. They have huge machine that they use to make beautiful wraps, hammocks, purses, bed covers, and many other things.
IN OTHER NEWS:
I am blessed to be able to have a brief holiday out of Uganda to go visit my best friend, Jacquline, who lives in Greece. Even better is that the Lord worked out the timing that our 3rd best friend, Erin, will be ending a mission trip in Mongolia and will meet us there. I can't believe I get to be there with both of them at the same time!! What a great gift from my Father in Heaven (the giver of EVERY good and perfect gift)!!
I will then continue my journey onto Austin, Texas to spend some much needed time with my family. It has been a year and a half since I last saw them and I just can't wait to be home!!
Please pray for journey mercies, safe travel, and no flight complications. Also pray for a rich and refreshing time with friends and family.
I leave Mbale on June 21 and return Aug. 1. So, my next post will likely be of the beautiful island of Lesvos, Greece and of my smiling face with my family at the lake. God is so good!!
Thank you again for your faithful prayers. I have always loved the line in the Ginny Owens song, "I'm not who I was when I took my first step. And I'm clinging to the promise Your not through with me yet." God has been teaching me, keeping me, and refining me. All glory to His name!!