Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adventures With Mark...

Greetings from Uganda!  Yes, we are still alive and doing well in the land of summer year round.  We have had some busy times and it is hard to believe that we have been back for over three months.  Adjusting back to life in Africa took some time and especially with Megan and the time change.  It felt like a good month before the entire family was running at full speed. We have enjoyed ourselves more recently though and were excited to take our first camel ride at the zoo last week. 
The school continues to do well even under challenging times as inflation continues to climb.  Our year started with the announcement of our excellent grade seven results from their exams at the end of 2011.  Once again we are thankful for the hard work of the staff and dedication of the students that placed our results in the top one percent of the country.  Our class of 29 did an amazing job and especially when you consider the situations they are in.
Later in the year we had a team from my former school, MEI come and spend a few weeks with the school.  A great time was had by all as the Canadians and Ugandans were challenged by each other.  As a family we had a great time hosting this team in our home and testing out the “hot seat” in their team time.

Throughout the term we continue to work away on the different projects that need to be completed for the first phase to be finished.  The classrooms have been painted along with the chalkboards.  They look very sharp and the students are happy for their bright new classrooms.  Currently we are pleased to announce that enough money has been raised for the fence and we are now in the process of finding a professional team that can build the fence properly on the top four acres of our property.  Most likely we will wait until the NGO, EMI that built our school has a construction manager available that can supervise the project.  Once this is completed we will be growing more food crops and putting up a chicken coop. 

We continue to be grateful for all the support the school has received from our friends and family.  It was very exciting to have my sister and her two oldest girls along with my brother, his wife and two oldest children join us for some time in Uganda.  I am very fortunate that my entire immediate family of origin has completely and whole heartedly supported our move and ministry here in Uganda.   We have also been blessed as many other friends have come and currently we have a good friend, Judy staying with us for a few months.  We are excited as other good friends are still coming in July and June.  In our nearly seven years here we have never had so many visitors in all the years combined and we have thoroughly enjoyed it! The school has been blessed with an amazing amount of donations in cash for food, fence and chickens to just name a few things. And we are thankful that there has been a little extra money in our support which has allowed us to bless the school with a few much needed goodies, like bulletin boards.  People have donated hundreds of pens, T-shirts, pencils, erasers, books, clothes, and many other things that have helped out greatly. 
God has been good as many of you have blessed us and allowed us to be the hands and feet of Christ here in Uganda.  The need is great but our aim is not just to push children through school but to train the whole child so they can lead Uganda into a more prosperous nation.  This begins with high morals, integrity, honesty and a solid academic standard as we raise future teachers, engineers, pastors, doctors and pillars of society.

Blessings on you all back in Canada, the US and other parts of the world.  We miss you and pray for you guys often.  We would love to hear from you and trust that God is looking after your needs.

Adventures With Seth...

I love Uganda! And so many people have come to see us here this year. My favorite visitors have been my cousins Ben and Danica and my other cousins Catie and Mya. It was like being in Canada except they were visiting my house! They rode boda bodas in the house with me and wrestled my dad and climbed trees with me (one of my favorite things) and we caught millipedes and frogs and bugs and one time we even rode real boda bodas down to the market at the lake. I am so glad they came to see me! Thanks guys! I can’t wait to see you in Canada.

My favorite new thing that has happened is there is a teacher who lives at our house who is helping dad at the school and guess what? She is teaching me how to read! Her name is Mrs. Heinrichs and she really is a real teacher! Every morning when it’s time for school I get dressed as quickly as I can and brush my teeth and meet her at the school table. I could do school for a long long time and I wouldn’t even know if it was lunch time I think!
Anyway… I better leave room for Jodie. Good bye everybody.

Adventures With Jodie...

I’m a big sister! And I’m almost a mama! I make sure that Meggie is always okay and I kiss and snuggle her and pinch her cheeks and talk funny talk to her and give her toys if she’s crying and I tell mom when she wakes up. But I don’t change her poopy pants! And she’s too messy for me to feed her yet. Mom says when she gets bigger I can feed her porridge and avocados. I can’t wait to do that. I help with dishes every day and help take care of our new rabbits. We have five and dad says they will have babies soon. More babies!!! I like that. And one thing I’ve noticed about Uganda; I’m always dirty. I get hot and sweaty and I play so hard and the dirt all sticks to me. It doesn’t stick to Seth as much as me. I think I’m a dirt magnet. I gotta go check on Meggie. Bye

Adventures With Megan...

I’m six months old now and I eat oatmeal! I like to eat popcorn if someone bites off the crunchy parts. I sleep really well at night… maybe from 10 o’clock until 7 o’clock. But I get a bit fussy in the evenings sometimes. Especially if mom eats stuff I don’t like. I don’t like anything dairy even eggs and especially not onions! And then it seems like there’s other stuff I don’t like but I haven’t told mom what it is yet.
I rolled over three times in one day but then I never did that again. Instead of helping me they took a video when I was doing it the third time and I got so mad I screamed and screamed and I decided I wasn’t going to do that again for a long time. Even when everybody cheered when I finally got it I was still really mad and I didn’t feel proud about it. I found my toes and I like to suck on them. Even when I’m sitting up I just fold over and suck them. I have a chubby tummy. Sometimes I’ve heard someone make a mistake on my name and call me ‘Mega’ baby. I think maybe that’s because I really am! So when I fold over to suck my toes I really don’t know where my tummy goes and even the chub on my legs! But somehow I can do it. I’m getting teeth. You can’t see them yet but they make me grumpy. I love Seth and Jodie. They make me laugh all the time. I gotta go. There’s pooping and sleeping to do.  Bye

Adventures With Sarah...

I’m a mom of three kids. Does that sum it up? They’ve filled you in on their activities. I’m very happy to be in Uganda in this busy time with kids because it is summer all the time! Lots of dirt but that’s okay. Dirty kids are happy kids I’ve found.

I often think being a mom is my main job. But I know I have two ‘main jobs’, the second of which I don’t spend as much time doing but is just as important: being a wife to Mark. Interesting topic. I’ve found, along with some of my girlfriends here it is sometimes more challenging than being a mom! Not because Mark is a monster and difficult (he’s really the best… though I seldom tell him that just to prevent pride from setting in of course) but because my flesh just gets in the way. It’s easier for me to make conscious efforts in my child rearing. Recently I posted a sticky note by my stove with a phrase that came to me in a time when I needed it. ‘When training my kids every day my behaviour is just as important as their behaviour’. Somehow I seldom think of myself as having ‘behaviour’. I have ‘reasons’ everyone else has ‘behaviour’! So I think this phrase would serve me well in my ‘wife-ing’ as well (especially the ‘while training Mark’ part J ). The thing I need the most and get the least is time with God. Please pray for me in this that I learn to MAKE THIS A PRIORITY! I know it will have a huge impact and I DO have enough time. Wives and moms, keep up the good work! If you need to apologize, do it! If you need to put yourself in a time out, do it! And after that, cut yourself some slack! Being a wife and mom can be the toughest job in the world and the rewards come in the times when you’re not asking for them. So remember that when you feel you need a pat on the back.. you probably got one recently.
I’ve loved the visitors we’ve had! They’ve all been so encouraging, helpful and just plain fun! Thank you everyone who’s come this year! You really blessed us.

I’ll sign off now. But I hope you are all doing great. God bless! Sarah