This has been quite the exciting week, and I feel like I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday! First, I got to have 2, count that 2 Thanksgiving meals in Uganda! Both complete with a turkey that was bought at a market and killed within the premises. The first one was at the Empower a Child house and I was in charge of the turkey and stuffing. This was my first turkey and especially my first one that had been killed that morning! Oh Africa!! I actually turned out great! Not quite your classic butterball..but good none the less. While it was cooking you could smell the onions and the garlic cooking in the stuffing and the butter melting that was slathered all over the crust! For many of the Ugandans who came it was their first time ever tasting turkey. Can you imagine!! The second meal was at the Morris's house last night. They are the missionary family that my church in Raleigh, Vintage 21 is partnering with. It was a PERFECT night. The menu included Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin soup, pumpkin puree, mac and cheese with onions and bacon (made by the southern girls of course), rolls, matokee (made by the Ugandans of course!), apple cranberry gillet, pumpkin cake with brown butter icing, chocolate chip cookies, and coffee! Basically it was magic! There were 22 people there, some from the states, some from Uganda and about half were children under the age of 10. After dinner we all read bible verses that talked about thankfulness and discussed that every good thing we have or do is only from the Lord. His presence in our lives is enough to be thankful for. While I missed my family (who I got to video skype with!) I knew that there in that house with those people was exactly where I was supposed to be. ThankFULL.
things I am thankful for:
-Catherine's humor in ALL situations!
-Muzungu boys with American humor
-GREAT food this week
-families that always make you smile
This week the Lord blessed us with two unexpected muzungu guys. Daniel and Charlie. Daniel was in Uganda with Empower a Child this summer and he and Charlie are back in Africa with an organization called Mocha Club. If you want a great and easy way to help people in Africa this is for you! The organization asks you to give up 2 mochas a month and donate $7 a month to this organization instead! These guys are traveling to 7 African countries to document the different projects that Mocha Club supports. If you want to follow their journey and watch their amazing videos just click HERE! I also joined Mocha Club and if you want to join my team to support orphans and vulnerable children please go to the site!
Charlie and Daniel have definitely offered some comic relief for the events of this week. The most needed time was on Wednesday when we went Jungle trekking. Yep. Meredith Strickland trekked through an Ugandan jungle. Empower a Child purchased 34 acres of land in the Luwero district to build a training center, school, clinic, etc. It is a big dream with great possibilities. So, we drove to the new land to pray over it. We begin our adventure and there is definitely NO path! I was supposed to be praying but I was more worried about a snake, spider, wild jungle animal or child jumping out at me. We got to some huts about the time the rains started. When the rains subsided a bit we headed to a grove of trees that is thought to be possessed by demons and ruled by witch craft. [this is not a joke] As soon as we arrived at the grove the rains began again. And I mean RAIN. Torrential, African, down pouring rain. While some were casting the demons out of the forest the muzungus stood around a) in shock [i mean, this was my first forest demon casting out event] and b) laughing hysterically again because we were beyond wet. The entire time the guys were just cracking us up with their sarcastic jungle comments. We also had a 2 hour van ride back to the house soaking wet and freezing cold! Oh the adventures in Africa. There really aren't enough words to describe that day.
Next week we will be throwing Christmas parties at many of our outreaches! It will be so wonderful to watch theses children's faces light up as we present them with MUCH deserved gifts!
Highlight of my week. Carrying baby Vicky at Sanyu Babies Home on my back like a true Ugandan!!!