Friday, December 28, 2007

Question: Who's Dwigt?

I figured it was time for a post about whats going on with us lately. We are both feeling very weird about going home. It feels like we JUST got here, how can we be going home already??

Last night Mama Lois invited us to her house for supper so me and beth went over there at 6pm for some good home cooking. We even ate matoke- the only ugandan food we dont like- and it was good! Everyone at home should be very proud at the leaps and bounds i'm making in becoming less picky. I eat a plateful of beans (they look like kidney beans) multiple times a week and have even been seen eating green beans! No more microscope mom! WE hung out with Mama Lois and her daughter steffi for a few hours and had a blast. Steffi is hilarious and was saying the cutest things in her very limited english. Mama Lois is going for her surgery hopefully the last week in January which means that we'll both be here to visit her in the hospital and take good good care of her.

Our days are spent at the babies home and our nights at home, with rachel and arielle, with seasons 2 and 3 of the office which we have become obsessed with. the babies home feels empty because so many kids have been fostered or adopted and there are only around 40 left there. We went to STAO today and got a list of all the kids there and after much confusion, we finally got a full list of the kids and their ages. We're putting together Christmas packages for each of the 60 kids which will include their own bathing basin, towel, soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, underwear and cookies. We're also bringing a bunch of food and having a big party for them. Its really hard to know what to do for some places because the temptation to keep some of the stuff for the staff is huge. We have some other ideas in mind too and will post them as soon as the plans are finalized.

Today is a very exciting day for us because its one we've been waiting for since August 10th. Tonight, our bestie Michelle comes in from San Fransisco and will be greeted at the airport by her very confused boyfriend Raoul. He thinks he's been sent to pick a package up for Katie, but really its to pick up Shelly! She thinks we are picking her up and will be surprising Raoul at his house tonight so its a double surprise! We're pretty pumped. Shes coming with a suitcase and a half of goodies for me beth rachel arielle and herself.

Tomorrow morning we are being picked up by our friend Pauline who works at a little vendor shop on main street. Its her introduction tomorrow and we are acting as her "sisters". We are going to Mama's place now (davids mom) to borrow some gomesi, which is the traditional wear for introductions. Its gonna be a good time. Phin and HOpe are also coming and as we don't see much of them lately, it'll be so much fun.

After the introduction, we've planned a party for our friends. Every so often we invite everyone over to our house and play games and listen to music and dance and hang out. They are a big hit so we thought it was high time we had another.

until next time.

p.s we are consolidating our photos onto one computer here at the cafe and then burning cd's for eachother and so far, with a 2 gb mem card and 256'er to go, we have 1300 photos and about 100 videos.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Tmistmat to remembah.

Christina (aka, mama beanie, teenie beanie, rice and beanies) and Auntie Emmy hanging out on Christmas morning eating christmas treats!

Melody rockin her new sunglasses with her christmas stocking gifts beside her! Each kid got a stocking, even the preemies, and we put the toddlers on their beds and they ran in for a christmas morning surprise. Everyone's favorite presents were the blower things, the long green thing beside mels right leg. i have no idea what they are called.

My sophie looking oh so cute with her christmas goodies. 15 mins after this was taken she threw a royal fit because she did NOT want to put her stuff away and eat lunch.

Emily talking on her new pretend cell phone! Each toddler got a cell phone, coloring book, box of crayons, sticker set, car- for boys, and rings for girls, mango, orange, and lots of candy!

This is what greeted me on Christmas morning! ADORABLE Amberly (formerly Olga!) in a super star mood with baby 2'ers Hannah in the background, and Christoper to the right.

Brian saw me (amy) and started jumping up and down saying mummy mummy mummy! (he does that to everyone though;) Christoper is behind him.

Arnold and Melody enjoying some Christmas "diarhea" breakfast as Rachel called it because this much cake and cookies in the morning is a sure fire way to have some blowouts in fine form a few hours later! Me Beth Rach and Air made cinamon pull-a-parts, renamed Jesus Bread that was a big hit!

Junior and Emily pumped that its Jesus's Birthday!

Dan, Marvin and Teenie Beanie (christina) also pumped for Jesus' Birthday and christmas breakfast treats

Christopher, Jospeh, Hunter, Katie, Amberly, Sharon, Priscilla(katy) Jeremiah, Ruthie, Holly and Brian.

Me Rach and Air took these 11 kids to town in matching Amani Baby cottage t's, and bucket hats in the "vehicles" as ppl here call stollers! 11 kids fit in 6 seats!

Besties, Amy and Bethany at Jp's brothers wedding to Maddie's cousin! It was BEAUTIFUL

Christoper and Brian hanging out in the diaper bag section of one of the vehicles nicnamed the Rav 4

This was at the mama's christmas party, all 36 amani employee's in their new tee's we made them! They LOVED them. It was an even bigger hit that we imagined.

Auntiekate, Auntie Emmy, Mama Santa, Auntie Aireo, Mama Doreen, Auntie Waycho, baby Katie, and Auntie Feffany!

Ruthie enjoying a mouth full of icing at the mama's party. She is getting very fat!

Hope was sick with a bacterial infection last week so me and Beth babysat this big guy one morning and we had a lovely reunion! Its Phin!

check out our CHURCH! with a photo of bethany and the choir on the about page!

Monday, December 24, 2007

We wish you a merry Christmas

One thing thats great about spending Christmas in Jinja Uganda is that people actually say Merry Christmas! It's great, there is no such thing as Happy Holiday's here.

Yesturday we felt the need to get into the Christmas spirit so Beth and I went with JP Andrew and Ronnie to Kampala to KPC (kampala pentecostal church) to see their christmas production. We got there about 10 mins before the show started and were able to find about a 4 feet square patch of stairs on the balcony to squish ourselves into. I know everyone thinks that the chrismtas contata at their church was the best and can't be beat but i'm here to tell everyone that we have NEVER seen or heard anything like we did yesturday. It was indescribeable. I was sobbing the whole time, completely overwhelmed at how thankful i am to be able to spend christmas here, and beth was sobbing as well. It was completely Ugandan and stunning. There was a giant choir, probably 150-200 people in it and beautiful costumes and a ridiculous house band. Traditional dancers and costumes and music was involved too. Really, i can't say enough about how amazing it was so i'm getting the dvd of it to watch whenever i miss "home" when i'm home.

Today Bethany is out at the market, FULL of people looking for last minute christmas gifts and live chickens and turkeys to kill for supper tomorrow. She's getting stuff for STAO and the christmas party we're going to have their. We bought Rachel and Arielle's christmas gifts for our gift exchange tomorrow night and Rach Air and I took 11 babies to town together. We take 3 double strollers and just pack em on in! They loved it, except hunter who's been sick this last week. We strolled down main street with many gawkers wondering what these crazy girls are 'driving'. People like to comment on our wonderful "vehicles" when we bring the doubles into town.

I'm about to go upstairs and stuff stockings with Arielle in preparation for tomorrow morning! We have a big day tomorrow! It is incredibly weird to think that tomrorow is Christmas because its blazing hot, there is no snow, and not really a whole lot of christmas decorations. Its going to be amazing still.

I've been feeling overwhelmed lately with the thought of leaving, and wanting to stay, but wanting to go at the same time, and i know beth feels the same way. WE are beyond lucky to have the opportunity to be here for these 7 months and are so greatful to everyone who's supported us along the way. We are forever changed.

We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Isaiah 9:6 " For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government will rest on his shoulders. And He shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So we just wanted to write a quick update and P.T.L. news bit about Ebola...apparently there never actually was Ebola in Jinja..or Kampala, despite being in all the local papers and on several credible internet websites. I'm not sure what happened but the bottom line is that the Ebola threat in our area is totally over. As far as I know its been contained in Bundibugyo - a town that is close to the border of Congo and far from here - and hasnt spread at all to the rest of Uganda. So PTL for that!!

The other day Amy and I were driving in Kampala with some of our ugandan besties David and Ronnie, and this wonderful little blast from the past song came on the radio. For those of you who remember the famine in Ethiopia in the 80's, you will probably also remember the band "Band Aid", and their deep and profound song "Do they know its Christmas?". I'd just like us all to take a moment to appreciate the personal favourite lines are in bold.

It's Christmastime
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer

Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging
chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Here's to you - raise a glass for everyone
Here's to them - underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmastime again

Needless to say, we were just a little mortified to be sitting there listening to such an ignorant song with our african friends. Oh and just for a little clarification:

1. They, being africans, are in fact aware of the both the christmas season, and the biblical basis for it.
2. Not that life isnt just a FABULOUS christmas present, but I do know quite a few africans who are getting something other than just "life" for christmas this year.
3. Believe it or not, despite the lack of snow, christmas still finds a way to happen here in africa!
4. If we can learn anything from this song (other than the fact that "clanging chimes of doom" is just a lovely metaphor), I hope its to never NEVER thank God that its "them" instead of "us". Even the use of the word "them" in reference to all of africa just makes me want to vomit. God has not spared North America and sent his "clanging chimes of doom" to Africa. North America is spoiled. Living in a "world of plenty" has jaded us. Please don't pity africa. Pity does no one any good. If you feel like there is injustice, find out what you can do about it.

I understand the intentions of Band Aid when they wrote this song, but I guess what I want to say is that good intentions are good, but even the best intentions can be kind of ignorant. We want to encourage you all to be educated about Africa - there is definitly christmas here, but without all of the commerical hullabaloo. Its different, but its still christmas!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Picture Post

George and Sophia hanging out on the tire swing

George, Sophia, Jason, Bryan, Arnold and Christina

Mama Lucy with Noah and Chloe minutes before they leave for America!

Josh and Elizabeth Granderson, proud parents of Chloe and Noah Granderson!

Christina (teenie beanie) and Georgie Porgie

Arnold with too big of pants!

Top L to Bottom R:
Diana, Junior Maggie, Danynene, Junior Amani, Jimmu, Sonja, Stephen K, Asherife, Emily

A goodbye hug for Vince as he leaves for America (middle). Junior Maggie, and Dan

Ruthie all fat and happy!!!!! This child is totally different now! She never smiled and we always joked that she has no personality but she's getting one now!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Just a small update...

Hi everyone,

So we have some news and we would like you to pray for us. I dont know if any of you have heard on the news, but the Ebola virus is making its way around east africa. It started somewhere in the Congo and has made its way to Uganda. About a week ago we had heard it had reached Kampala, and in the last few days its been on the news that it is now in Jinja. Its scary because people here I dont think really appreciate the seriousness of a virus like this. Me and Amy are on a full-scale Ebola Alert Campaign and are handing out gloves to all our friends and trying to be really cautious - even at the expense of other people's perception of our sanity!

Ebola is transmitted through any body fluid, so coughing, sneezing, handshakes, even computer keyboards could be a potential transmission source. Even exposed linens can transmit the virus. There isnt really a known cure, and the scariest part is that Uganda is really not equipped to handle a full scale outbreak. But dont worry, I'm emailing Steven Harper as we speak and I'm going to ask him to send aid.

Right now the threat isnt too severe, but we heard that today the bordering countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, and Congo are all screening travellers wishing to enter from uganda. Its a really bizarre situation, to read the news reports and get a little freaked out and than walk outside and everything is totally normal! There are no reports confirming that it has reached Jinja, but all of the grocery store workers are wearing gloves to be safe....and now so are we.

So please pray for us...for protection obviously, but also that God will protect us from getting any other illnesses while this is going on, because hospitals are not a place we want to have to visit. Also - even though we will most likely not be infected, a lot of people will. Please pray for Uganda, they have enough going on with all the chaos in the north, AIDS, malaria, and TB without a deadly virus causing trouble. Please encourage friends to read this and pray in your churches. Please feel free to google ebola uganda and learn more and pray for us. We are just doing our best to trust God that he will protect us as we are here doing his work.

Thanks for reading and please be dilligent in keeping us in your prayers.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Feel at Jesus!

The obligatory jumping in the air photo between bridesmaids and groomsmen

Bethany Katie, Bride- Judith, Matron- Grace , Amy and Flower girl Sandra

mama Judith chilling with Arnold!

Beautiful Mama erin Littleton and her gorgeous kids Mary Cameron and JAckson Moses, FINALLY going home!!

Auntie Amy and Auntie Fefany with Jackson and MC

Jackson and his puppy "tuckah"

Mary Cameron and her best friend Emily

Mummy Doreen and Jackson! Saying

feel At Jesus is a common greeting on our church's weekly bulletin! This week Mary cameron and Jackson went home with their mom, Erin. It was so beautiful to see them go and the whole time MC kept saying Tu Gende Tu Gende which means we go we go!

In other news, we got 2 new babies. They are twins, Nicole and Walker. They used to be triplets but the third died. The mother is postive but Praise the Lord, the babies are negative! They are severely malnourished, as you can see from the photo. That is Nicole and she is 13 months and weighs maybe 8-10 pounds.

Until Next Time...