Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Heart Check

She is the outcast of an outcasted group. Unable to speak the local language, she is mostly silent.  She waits patiently for food and care, not demanding a thing.  Her tomorrow is unknown, only focusing on today.  But.  (Oh...the but!) Her bright eyes glow after receiving a smile or, in my case, wind from a fan I made out of the cover of a coloring book. Her smile is large. Her patience is a virtue. She is not broken.

I love 60 Feet for the fact that this organization will pursue her interest. She will receive care, medical  help, weekly love, and eventually...hopefully....a future as bright as her eyes.

This is why, after nearly 2 months of being here, I had a heart check.  I made a mental thank you to God for His answered prayers. I needed community, He provided. I wanted my girls to feel at home, He provided. I asked to feel comfortable here, He provided.  But now that we are settled, it's time to refocus my heart.

This girl above, these pictures's just a glimpse into the beauty of being here.  I'm growing to love the faces of not just the children, but the stoic faces (or sometimes huge, broad smiles) of the Ugandans on the streets, on their bodas, or in the market.  I love to hear their stories....the way this Mama has 9 children with a full-time job caring for 25 orphans...or that friend who couldn't officially marry his wife in the end because he couldn't provide the this single father of two daughters works diligently everyday and uses his $150/month salary to send his girls to the best private school he can afford, only allowing himself to say, "It is hard."

They are everywhere, these stories.  Inspiring me to check my "self" at the door, complain a little less, and focus on the work that is to do here.  My job is a little less stressful .... my weeks usually consist of homeschooling my girls, helping at a baby's home,and the Bwerenga village school.  But my husband and the 60 Feet staff work tirelessly each day to get one step closer towards a positive future for the girl above and so many others.

 Where's Waldo? Sophie learning about the bible from a friend.

Sweet Worship of a Child

Homeschoolin' with my Homey

Sophie at Homeschool Co-op with soccer Coach Davis (Head bumper!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'll Take Friends, With a Side of Friends

When you are in a foreign country, sometimes you get desperate.  Desperate for home, desperate for creature comforts, desperate for solitude or my case, after 3 weeks of being here, I became desperate - for friendship.

It's not actual "living" that has been tough on me. I can handle the daily life here and my girls are champs at adjusting.  But it's been the lack of friends....people who understand. People who "get it".  I was in need of companionship from other women who can look at me and say, "I've been there." or "Come hang at my place!"  You know.....girlfriends.  Always being the "foreigner" everywhere you go takes its toll, and for me, I needed people who understood that.  I couldn't shake the feeling that finding this community was vital to us living here and being whole.

Enter the internet.  I couldn't just stay in this lonely frame of mind. I had to do something about it. So, a few google searches for "ex-pat" families in Uganda, a couple emails to & from super friendly folks, and voila!  It's amazing what a little desperosity and clever internet searching can get you!

An amazing lady from a solid organization offered to meet with me to discuss surviving here. That meeting led to coffee with a sweet family living here from California. That meeting turned into an invite into a home school co-op. That co-op turned into an invite to a bible study. Then a recipe exchange....  Can you hear the rejoicing!!  Community!!

Sophie in the "Cheetah" class in our first co-op meeting
 This all sounds so - highschoolish....this friend thing. But I guess you don't realize the need for social connection until you don't have it.  And my girls.....the ability for them to connect with kids from ALL over the world! It's such an amazing opportunity. In our co-op, we have kids from Northern Ireland, South Africa, California....I love hearing all the different accents, yet we all have the ability to identify with the hardships ( and blessings) of living abroad with our families.

So....I'm feeling a bit better about things. Everyday I am learning something new here. Whether it's perfecting the art of homemade bread (I've got this recipe memorized already!).
 Or improving my driving skills.....I'm already pretty comfortable driving and am slowly learning more about the good roads/shortcuts/etc.    I DO get thrown off a bit when seeing matatus (bus taxis) with signs such as this on the back - "EXEPECT NO MERCY".  Hmmm.....
And I'm still waiting until September 16th, when the Bwerenga School starts back up and I can go love on and bless my little friends and teachers. I do love that place!

Boog, as always, is 100% in love with this life and the mission of Sixty Feet.  You can read more about his experiences on his blog   

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