Saturday, October 16, 2010

"autumn" happenings...

Despite the fact that the weeks are FLYING by (not a good thing in my book!), October in Uganda has been awesome. However, I wish I could experience some Fall loveliness right now. Ya know--pumpkins, colorful leaves, sweaters, jeans, apple cider, crisp autumn air, pumpkin bread, fall-scented candles, the usual Fall decorations on our back porch (my mom's a decorating pro!) Autumn is my favorite season, so I'm a bit jealous every time I log onto Facebook and see 20+ statuses that contain words like "drinking a pumpkin spice latte" or "getting ready to go to the corn maze."

Next month, I'll be traveling to Kenya (Nairobi and Mombasa) with my dear roommate. I'm excited to experience (and photograph!) another African country. If any of you happen to have suggestions for lodging, please let me know...(a missionary family, hotel, etc)..we're planning the trip this week hopefully. Talk about last minute ;)

God is really working here in Kampala; I can't possibly explain everything via a blog. But here are a few random photos and thoughts on my mind...thanks, everyone, for your continued prayers for this beautiful country!

The low-point of October was saying farewell to my dear friend, Carolyn, who was another AIM missionary here. Ever since day #1 of my time in Uganda, Carolyn was here too. So it's weird adjusting to life without her...but I'm thankful for our friendship. I'm blessed to have friends here from all around the world, but there's something comforting about having a fellow American around to share specific humor with, etc. Bonding over "Nice" coconut cookies, Friendship Club, heart-to-heart talks, sharing struggles/fears/dreams, laughing until we cry...yeah I'm missing her!

There's a wonderful Ugandan family who lives in the flat below mine. Each evening when I return home from work, the young kids are outside and greet me with huge smiles and genuine hugs. Love it. They often ask: "ash-uh-lee! Tusambe omupilla!!" (let's kick the ball) I found out they are Christians, which is extra exciting. Today, the mom (Mama Trudy) came up to our flat and taught Grace and I how to make Ugandan cakes (similar to muffins.) I'll let the photos do the talking...

Catching Grace in a silly mood! We get along well ;)

I failed to buy paper muffin holders, so I had to hand-make some out of foil. Wasn't as easy as it would seem!

mmm they were delicious with a bit of Nutella on top! [thank you, HOHC, for your wonderful care package!!!]

On a completely different note, Dwelling Places' newest child is absolutely adorable. He captured my heart from the moment I saw him....a few weeks ago, we rescued him at Kampiringisa (NOT a safe, happy environment.) Let me show you a before and after photo. When we first met him, he was incredibly solemn and didn't smile for at least a week or so. (He's still VERY quiet, but cracks smiles every once and a while!) I believe he was traumatized and in shock from the conditions at Kampiringisa (he lived there for a month :/ ) It's incredible to see God refining him as he comes out of his shell and interacts more and more with the other kids!

Before [day of his rescue]: at Kampiringisa with one of our staff members. Afraid, solemn, hurt-filled eyes...
After rescue: at Dwelling Places. starting to show his lovable personality. hope-filled eyes...

Here's a photo I took yesterday which shows you what my life will be consumed with over the next few weeks: Child Sponsorship letter-writing!! We have about 150+ kids on our program who need to write letters (and Christmas cards) to their about 400 letters. whew!! I somehow landed the role of co-ordinator for this project. Thankfully, I've had some help! We've been working non-stop on this, and we have lots more schools to go to (schools are the most sensible place for us to find the kids....if you want to sponsor a child, it's easy! Contact me.)


MrsMike said...

Oh I wish I had thought of contacting you for a child as Maks sponsor child... I just added another one through compassion international yesterday! We picked a little boy who is 8 years old and has Maks same birthday!!

wish you could join us here for our FREEZING 30 degree days brrr

Pam said...

Awesome stuff Ashley! Great to see the difference God is making in lives through you! Sooooo happy to see you finally there and so glad that you persevered. It was all meant to be in God's perfect plan for you and those kids.

Elizabeth said...

This is my first time to your blog and I will definately be following it. I just got back from my first trip to China. I was there 3 wks. and I loved it. I also went to Turkey last year. Our world is so amazing, or should I say, our Creator is so amazing! I can't wait to go back to China for longer. :-)

Thanks for your blog and wonderful pictures. I am a photographer too.

1 Peter 1:4