Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Adventures With Mark... Top Ten List & Trivia!

I was hoping to be able to announce to all of you what our next move will be following Uganda. But we sincerely don’t know! This season has been a stretch for Sarah and I.  Very much like a resounding period at the end of a sentence with not another thought to follow. But we are trusting God and although we’ve prayed daily together for all of our married life we pray much more fervently these days!
And I’d like to point out that our time here has been full of exclamation points! So though we’re ending a season with a complete stop as I mentioned above, we will see this ending with an exclamation point because of the spectacular experience and opportunity to give and receive that this has been.   I will add some of those reasons here.

Top Ten List of Good Things About Being In Uganda
-Summer all year long
-Great relationships
-Not having to keep up with the Joneses as it were back in North America
-People are more important than the checklist
-Seeing amazing African animals
-A constant supply of fresh fruits & vegetables
-The African Children’s Choir Primary School
-Our fantastic house-help and guard – J. & F.… they are wonderful friends!
-Very few if any restrictions about anything… we have goats in our backyard
-The constant feeling of meaningfulness…there’s no ladder to climb… no ‘kingdom’ to establish. Just love people daily and show God our love for Him through that
Top Ten things we miss about home…
-Good friends
-Watching Hockey
-Playing on the Moose Hockey Club (Mark only!)
-Nice clean parks for the kids to play
-Driving the red Jetta (even though it is 13 years old) on smooth pothole-less roads
-A juicy burger, chicken teriyaki sub, barbeque chicken pizza, and ribs… I could go on and on!
-Places to ride a bike or go on a nice walk
-Games evenings with good friends
-Constant and uninterrupted supply of water and power
It is hard to believe that we were originally coming to Africa for two years and ended up staying these seven years.  We’ve worked hard to try and communicate with our families, friends and supporters on the other side of the world.  For those of you who have read along and visited our blog take a crack at answering our trivia questions.  Be the first one to answer everything correctly and we will bring something home for you from the Pearl of Africa!
-What month and year did we arrive in Uganda?
-Where were Seth and Jodie born?
-Where was Megan born?
-The name of the deputy Headmaster  (vice principal) at the school.
         Mr. Kazungu     
         Mr. Lwazzi
         Mr. Masika
-The month we moved into the new school (from Kampala City to the shores of Lake Victoria)
         January 2010
         October 2010
         January 2012
-The animal that got under the gate at our house
         Baby gila monster
-Name of our current mother cat that the kids love…
-Names of our house girl and guard
         Francis and Judy
         Franklin and Joyce
         Francis and Joyce
         Fred and Judy
-Two medical conditions we have had over the years
         West Nile Virus
         Dengue Fever
         Bacterial infection
-Five people who have visited us over the years
         Winnie the Pooh
         Dan and Winnie Williams
         Phil and Shannon Williams
         Wilbur and Orville Wright
         Cindy, Catie, and Mya, Koleba
         President Yoweri K Museveni
         Judy Heinrichs
         The Armbruster Family
         John and Melanie
         Tiger Woods

I trust this short note finds you all well and having enjoyed a great summer.  Though we’ll  return home in the dead of winter, we are looking forward to the summer of 2013.  Until we meet in person blessings on each and everyone one of you.

African Adventures With Sarah!

Hmmm. What might be interesting to you? I’m going to bullet point this because the interesting stuff doesn’t flow together but comes in short blips.

·         We still don’t know what we will be doing after we leave Uganda. This is a little distressing. Mark is a planner and fails to see the ‘adventure’ in the unknown! Sarah manages to see the adventure but is much more likely to foolishly land her mind upon something that sounds great and say ‘Yes! Let’s do that! I’m sure God will stop us if it’s not meant to be.’ Meanwhile the planner in the family researchers every possible pitfall involved in every possible future and shoots them all down methodically. Truly, God has put us together and will eventually show us what to do. Good thing He’s patient, unwavering, and has a good sense of humor!
·         The kids are enjoying their new school. Seth was most definitely ready for school. Jodie has needed some convincing and has even gone on strike. But after a few days of sitting in a chair while her brother was at school, losing all movie and sugar privileges, and the promise of tougher penalties to come, she decided school was the better option and enjoys it when she’s there. They are the only ‘Muzungu’ kids there and do stand out a bit. But their teacher’s children are half British and similar in age (boy girl respectively) so Seth and Jodie have begun to make friends with them. Seth quoted Alex his new friend with a swear word last week. I did well… I didn’t gasp and begin to question if he’s old enough for school. I just reminded him that Alex can choose to talk how he wants but we choose not to talk like that. He glibly said, ‘Yep!’ and that was that. Funny how most of our exposure to kids their ages have been with missionaries so they haven’t heard much swearing or seen terrible behaviour. North America here we come! Why don’t they have ‘parent college’ ? Seriously! Anyone considering parenting should take at least 4 years!
·         Jodie continues to be more challenging to parent than her brother. She just loves to push the envelope. But from such spunk comes some great laughs and delight. One morning this summer the kids were eating breakfast and I was walking through the kitchen with Meg on my shoulder. Without warning she launched a large puke over my shoulder, down my back and onto my foot. Without hesitation Jodie pronounced loudly, ‘Aha! That’s why I choose not to be a mommy! I choose to be a daddy!’ That’s my girl. She’ll be 4 tomorrow! Very grown up for her age as most girls are. She loves to mother Meggie and this has shifted from being simply stressful to very helpful. I’m thankful for my girls!
·         And now for the smallest member of the crew. She is ever changing and now sports three gigantic teeth. She thinks biting is fantastic and even grinds them together to hear the sound. She can spend quite a long time with Seth and Jodie in the toy room while they play make-believe. She just watches and often pulls down any towers they build and occasionally interferes in a dinosaur game. At which point we hear Jodie’s motherly voice, ‘No Meggie, no! Here you play with this.’ And the disturbance is dealt with. Meggie loves to play peek-a-boo these days. She thinks she’s hiding her eyes when she puts both hands up on the sides of her head or over her ears and then her little twinkling eyes dance as we say, ‘Where’s Meggie?’. Then when she takes her hands off her head we must say, ‘There she is!’ Adorable. She’ll be one year old on Nov 23. I can’t believe it! I spent more nights walking the floor with this girl than I did with both of my other kids combined. I sincerely thought in those bleary eyed hours that it would never end. But thankfully that part is easing and we’re having so much fun watching her personality emerge and seeing her scurrying around to get into everything. Very fun!
·         I’m really enjoying the Reflexology course I’m taking. I have noticed that the medical field and Reflexology don’t always love each other. I’m not sure what the statistics are but I know some Reflexologists are extreme and some doctors view it as phony baloney. I’ve been able to conclude for myself that I believe it is definitely not phony baloney, but in NO WAY should it ever be considered to replace the practice of modern medicine or contradict it. I believe it can be used as a tremendous supplemental therapy to strengthen our bodies to perform in the way they’re designed to and to prevent them from becoming worn down and susceptible to sickness and disease; similar to so many habits and regimens that promote wellness and good health. Anyway… I’m really enjoying it and find the studying so easy because it is something I believe in and am intrigued by. Mark’s enjoying the fact that I have to do 30 case studies in these next several weeks. He sees himself as the sole beneficiary of those. In reality I tend to spread them out a little bit to some people I know who are having medical issues and can’t always afford medicine. I’m going to see if I can track some improvement in them and then teach their families some simple techniques to help them when money is too tight for medicine. Why not?
·         That’s all from me! If you hear a rumor that we’re going to buy a junky old boat and sail our family down to South Africa from Kenya, or leaving Uganda on this outdated over packed plane, or we’re going to manage a Bible Camp in Saskatchewan, or we’re taking language courses so we can click and cluck to a remote tribe in West Africa, or Mark’s taking a job as a dance instructor at a fine arts school in Vancouver, it would only be because Sarah was the only one who’d heard the idea and thought some aspect of it would be adventurous (or just hilarious). Don’t worry. As soon as Mark gets wind of it he’ll shoot it down and we’ll be back to the drawing board. Joking aside, thank you all so much for your prayer support and encouragement in this season. It has been the most difficult of our lives. Not only the uncertainty but even more-so the grief and loss of leaving here. Thank you for understanding and choosing to care even if you can’t relate to it. We treasure you so much.
Till next month, Sarah