Friday, June 30, 2017

The Great Divide


Today was an interesting day. First things first, we decided that Julie is now Dory. Second, we only had half our team today as four of us went with New Life and three of us were with/at Musana. Laura and Hannah were going to talk with some people in a nearby village about trauma, while Tamara was feeling under the weather, so she stayed and got some good rest! Julie, Sue, Emma, and I (Sam) went with Andrew Wambi and New Life clinic to the village of Nambala to do another medical clinic like we did on Wednesday. This time we got to have Umar join us, which is always fun. Things were a bit more organized today, so that there wasn't as much crowding inside the clinic room. Throughout the day the four of us swapped around managing the malaria testing station, which meant that Julie did most of the pricking since she was so much better than I was. After making a few babies cry, I demoted myself to test prep and results. After lunch Emma got to play with tons of kids and had a blast showing them our version of jump rope! Unfortunately we weren't able to see all of the people today, but were able to get home on time to the smiling faces of the rest our team as we drove in. Over dinner we got to share about both days, and it turns out theirs was pretty eventful too! While Laura and Hannah thought they were meeting with people at Musana, it turned out that they were driven (by boda boda-lucky dogs!) to the village so they could speak with some parents about trauma. With the help of a translator, they were able to talk with the people about trauma, breathing exercises, night terrors, and other things that were asked. Hannah and Laura had a really sweet example and visual of a mustard seed in a small jar, to remind them how Jesus uses our small "yes" to create big life, like a big tree from a small seed. I'm sure there is so much more to share from their day, but I wasn't there unfortunately and can't retell it as well. We had Rolex again for dinner, which we've had for lunch and dinner about three days in a row now-I'm still not tired of it though ;p Now we are just enjoying the evening and getting things in order from today and for the rest of the trip. Time is going by so fast here, and I can't believe Friday's already over. It'll be so hard to leave when the time comes, so I'm choosing denial until the last minute! 

Signing off,

Sam

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Kyemba in trunk

We started today on time! Sue and Tamara dropped off Laura at health clinic, went to the pharmacy, stopped by a grocery store and were back to pick the rest of us up at 11:20. Our scheduled time to leave was 11:30. At 11:31 Kyemba's van was rolling along the red dirt streets toward Kokombo. He decided to take the scenic route; I'm not sure if that was to avoid washed out roads or to thoroughly confuse us. I don't think I'll ever learn directions here! 

The scenery is breathtaking! We discovered the Hill Country in Uganda. It was as if cruising with the windows down on a crisp spring morning along Spring Branch Road. Seriously! With the exception of the lush vegetation, red dirt and children running behind the van. 

We toured the Kokombo clinic with Juma and Wilson first. Just after the tour a mother holding her one year old baby walked toward us. This baby was struggling to breathe and was unable to sit up on her own. We loaded up the van and headed to the Musana health clinic. She was quickly assessed and diagnosed with cerebral palsy and pneumonia. They took them to the Iganga District Hospital to get an appointment scheduled to start therapy. After driving them back to Kokombo, they started their journey home to Musana.  

Tonight was pizza night in the kitchen! So good!!! After debriefing, we celebrated, a little early, Fourth of July with S'mores Ugandan style!!! It was a memorable day!!! 

 

Love, Julie

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Did Julia Roberts marry Willy Nelson

Today was a good, hard, long day. We all spent most of the day at Bogamo village in Kugili district doing a medical outreach with New Life health clinic. Once we arrived, Andrew Wambi introduced us and the ones we worked with to the community, followed by a good and very sweet message from Pastor Wilson. He encouraged the people to take care of both their spiritual health and physical health today. Then it was off to work! Tamara helped doctors Joel and Juma perform check ups; Hannah and Emma did the malaria testing; I (Sam) helped Beatriz give out medicine as prescribed; and Sue and Julie helped sort vitamins into the many empty pill bottles we brought, as well as documenting the patients' information cards, help around all over as needed, remind everyone to eat, and work with Pastor Wilson to determine which children should be on PlumpyNut. Overall it was estimated that we saw around 500 people today, so it was a good day. We've just finished dinner, which is always good, but tasted even better after the long day. Most (if not all) of us are relatively out of it by this point, so if you're wondering about the title, it's connected to that! 

Off to sleep all night till my alarm attempts to wake me,

Sam

Did Julia Roberts marry Willie Nelson?


Today was a good, hard, long day. We all spent most of the day at Bogamo village in Kugili district doing a medical outreach with New Life health clinic. Once we arrived, Andrew Wambi introduced us and the ones we worked with to the community, followed by a good and very sweet message from Pastor Wilson. He encouraged the people to take care of both their spiritual health and physical health today. Then it was off to work! Tamara helped doctors Joel and Juma perform check ups; Hannah and Emma did the malaria testing; I (Sam) helped Beatriz give out medicine as prescribed; and Sue and Julie helped sort vitamins into the many empty pill bottles we brought, as well as documenting the patients' information cards, help around all over as needed, remind everyone to eat, and work with Pastor Wilson to determine which children should be on PlumpyNut. Overall it was estimated that we saw around 500 people today, so it was a good day. We've just finished dinner, which is always good, but tasted even better after the long day. Most (if not all) of us are relatively out of it by this point, so if you're wondering about the title, it's connected to that! 

Off to sleep all night till my alarm attempts to wake me,

Sam


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday in Uganda

It has been a busy week here in Iganga! Sunday the streets were packed with the community celebrating EDD Day and today was African Child Day. I'm pretty sure our hosts have gone days without sleep. Don't worry Kyemba informed us that Ugandans only require 3 hours of sleep a night. 😜


We started our Tuesday by heading in two different directions. Sam, Emma and Hannah (our art team) headed to the Musana primary school to continue painting the cafeteria. As expected it is amazing. (Pictures to come) Meanwhile Sue, Julie, Laura and I ran around town in preparation for tomorrow's clinic. We now have a full pharmacy in Sue's room. 


(Uganda Team Tip..... always join the errand team since they get lunch at Sol View. )


Then in the afternoon we all gathered, packed ourselves in the van and headed to the African Child Day celebration for Iganda district. We arrived pretty late but we were able to catch a glimpse of the First Lady giving a speech to the children. It was a packed house and filled with children from all the local schools, community advocacy groups and international organizations such as UNICEF, USAID and many more. Musana ran their outreach program and provided medical assessments and dental care. 


Tomorrow will be a full day at a medical clinic. We expect to see 350-400 people. 


❤️

Tamara 

For the sleepy 7



Prayer requests


- Kyemba's sister-in-law who after teaching us how to make Chipati last night, suffered a heart attack. She was taken to a local hospital then transferred to Kampala for further care. 


- Tomorrow's clinic in Idudi. 







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chipate chefs

Today we became Ugandan chefs..

The day started with painting for me, Sam, Hannah, and Julie, and dentist assisting for Tamara, Laura, and Sue. The sun decided to show no mercy this morning, as we had sweat our body weight while painting. 

Then Kimba, our driver and good friend, invited us over to his house for dinner with his big family, which turned into a cooking show and Sue winning the award for best chef. We learned how to make chipate, the most delicious, doughy, magic bread sent from heaven. We ate lots of interesting foods and learned that when in Uganda, you need to pack your second stomach so you can finish the mountain of food that they serve you. We shared lots of laughs with his sweet family, although the little ones were scared of us, mzungus, so they just watched us from a distance.. they were cute though! Today was a fun day for the saucy seven...  



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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Church, Beans, Baboons and Clubbing

Today we actually had a chance to sleep in until 8:30. It was much needed sleep and no one on the team complained. We gathered our snack food (Dorkas is off on Sundays so we are on our own) and headed down to the church. The church was packed with children singing and dancing. It was so sweet. One boy was playing the keyboard and another the drum. The rhythm always amazes me, mostly because I got none!! The sermon, given by one of the staff, was on patience; something I know way too little about! It was short and to the point and geared for the children's level of understanding. She even had them join in song. I spent the service holding a sweet little girl who fell asleep in my arms. There is nothing better!!! When church was over we moved to the cafeteria where the beans were dumped on the floor for sorting. And I mean dumped. There were three huge bags! The first thing they do is put them in huge sifters where four children move them back and forth getting rid of the small non-edible stuff. Then the kids collect buckets of beans and pour them on the table where they remove the bad beans, straw, and any other non-edible products. They are rather quick at the process unlike us Mzungus who  slowly separated the good from the bad. We spent about 1-1/2 hours doing this in relationship with the kids. It really is a sweet moment; although it makes you appreciate beans in a can. The children know they have to do a good job in the sorting because beans are their main staple throughout the week. The rest of the day they have to themselves to get ready for school on Monday and to be kids! Every child participates. There are two without arms and they somehow manage to sort the beans as well. No one treated special or different and I love that about Musana.

 

Now we are back in the gazebo resting to get ready to go see the baboons. The rest is great as tomorrow begins another busy and crazy week. I have so enjoyed seeing everyone I know and reconnecting. I just love this place and though I miss home terribly I am so thankful to be here!

 

So we all gathered and drove about an hour away to see the baboons. It is the end of Ramadan (a Muslim holiday) and the streets are full of people celebrating. The baboons are waiting on the side of the roads for people like us to feed them bananas and maze (which we had purchased on the way). We actually all got out of the van and were about 5 feet from the animals as they grabbed up the bananas and maze and ate away. It was interesting watching them eat the maze, because like us, they actually took the husk off before eating. The scenery along the way was beautiful and I was in heaven. Afterwards we went to Sol View with just about everyone else in the Iganga area. The festivities were still going on and the music was loud. Our favorite music video of the night was a love song and lyrics were "you are my detergent!". Very romantic!!

 

We are now home and getting ready to go to sleep. Uganda is changing. In some ways the changes are very good but in some ways the changes make me very sad. Kyemba showed up today in shorts and tennis shoes; something he never would have done a few years ago. Susan wore jeans to the restaurant. I may have to loosen the dress code a little for next year!!

 

I love you all.

 

Sue

Shabbat in Uganda

TGIS! Today was graduation for the recent Skills Development Class. This was the fourth class to graduate with skills from tailoring, knitting, pastry baking and business learning in order to be self sustaining. After this class there have been about 160 women to have gained skills through Musana. These women are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn their skill, as well as being empowered to go out into the world to start a business. I was so inspired to see community members and families rally around the women in order to encourage them to hold their heads high and to be proud of their accomplishments! 


Before the ceremonies began there was some time to visit with the secondary students. I was able to reconnect with Hannah, a sweet girl I met two years ago. We bonded over our favorite scripture, Psalms 23. She reminded me of that today in our conversation. A sweet reunion!!!


The official schedule noted the start time for graduation at 8:00, however we were highly encouraged to arrive by 9:30. I think the start time was close to 10:30. We snuck away around 1:00 to meet up with Kyemba. We planned a day in Jinja to eat at The Source Cafe and shop for Ugandan souvenirs. It was a beautiful day!!! Unfortunately, Laura stayed behind but she'll have a chance to shop in Jinja next Saturday. 


Some highlights of today... 

  1. Every speaker at graduation      spoke Lusoga and English or their language was translated for us. 
  2. Reuniting with old friends. 
  3. Eating at The Source Cafe.
  4. A few teammates didn't realized they couldn't be found while shopping!!! (Don't worry, we returned with everyone!) 
  5. Kyemba knows where to buy the BEST chipati!!! He hooked us up tonight!!! 
Julie

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sabbath in Uganda

TGIS! Today was graduation for the recent Skills Development Class. This was the fourth class to graduate with skills from tailoring, knitting, pastry baking and business learning in order to be self sustaining. After this class there have been about 160 women to have gained skills through Musana. These women are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn their skill, as well as being empowered to go out into the world to start a business. I was so inspired to see community members and families rally around the women in order to encourage them to hold their heads high and to be proud of their accomplishments! 


Before the ceremonies began there was some time to visit with the secondary students. I was able to reconnect with Hannah, a sweet girl I met two years ago. We bonded over our favorite scripture, Psalms 23. She reminded me of that today in our conversation. A sweet reunion!!!


The official schedule noted the start time for graduation at 8:00, however we were highly encouraged to arrive by 9:30. I think the start time was close to 10:30. We snuck away around 1:00 to meet up with Kyemba. We planned a day in Jinja to eat at The Source Cafe and shop for Ugandan souvenirs. It was a beautiful day!!! Unfortunately, Laura stayed behind but she'll have a chance to shop in Jinja next Saturday. 


Some highlights of today... 

  1. Every speaker at graduation      spoke Lusoga and English or their language was translated for us. 
  2. Reuniting with old friends. 
  3. Eating at The Source Cafe.
  4. A few teammates didn't realized they couldn't be found while shopping!!! (Don't worry, we returned with everyone!) 
  5. Kyemba knows where to buy the BEST chipati!!! He hooked us up tonight!!! 

Sabbath in Uganda

TGIS! Today was graduation for the recent Skills Development Class. This was the fourth class to graduate with skills from tailoring, knitting, pastry baking and business learning in order to be self sustaining. After this class there have been about 160 women to have gained skills through Musana. These women are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn their skill, as well as being empowered to go out into the world to start a business. I was so inspired to see community members and families rally around the women in order to encourage them to hold their heads high and to be proud of their accomplishments! 


Before the ceremonies began there was some time to visit with the secondary students. I was able to reconnect with Hannah, a sweet girl I met two years ago. We bonded over our favorite scripture, Psalms 23. She reminded me of that today in our conversation. A sweet reunion!!!


The official schedule noted the start time for graduation at 8:00, however we were highly encouraged to arrive by 9:30. I think the start time was close to 10:30. We snuck away around 1:00 to meet up with Kyemba. We planned a day in Jinja to eat at The Source Cafe and shop for Ugandan souvenirs. It was a beautiful day!!! Unfortunately, Laura stayed behind but she'll have a chance to shop in Jinja next Saturday. 


Some highlights of today... 

  1. Every speaker at graduation      spoke Lusoga and English or their language was translated for us. 
  2. Reuniting with old friends. 
  3. Eating at The Source Cafe.
  4. A few teammates didn't realized they couldn't be found while shopping!!! (Don't worry, we returned with everyone!) 
  5. Kyemba knows where to buy the BEST chipati!!! He hooked us up tonight!!! 

Love from Uganda!
Julie






Friday, June 23, 2017

Mzungu on Boda Bodas

Shabbat shalom! Tonight's blogger is Sam and I t's Friday evening here in Uganda. We are currently hanging out in the pavilion while Hannah, Emma, and little Dezi paint with watercolors on the floor. Today was overall a slower day than previous ones for our team. We got to sleep in a bit before breakfast. Then Laura, Tamara, and Sue went back to Musana's health center to help while Julie, Hannah, Emma, and I stayed and worked at the school. Hannah, Emma, and I spent the morning painting Bible verses and murals on some more of Musana's wall while Julie helped in Top Class in the Nursery school. Laura had a meeting back at the school with Florence in the early afternoon, so our three "medics" came back a little before lunch and worked on various things here. Once we'd finished lunch, we had a bit of down time before leaving for the Buwongo Women's Group. Hannah, Emma, and I stayed at the pavilion reading and resting while Sue, Julie, Laura, and Tamara went down to the dining hall to watch some of the teachers debate the topic of the influence of technology in Uganda. At 3 pm we left on boda bodas for Buwongo to meet up with Denis, Muza, and the women. They welcomed us with some songs and dance, which we all got to participate in with Sue's camera flash in the background for a time (she was soon picked to dance as well, don't worry). Muza translated while we introduced ourselves to the women, and Denis translated while they introduced themselves to us. After they took us on a tour through some of the village, getting to learn about some of the plants and trees in Uganda and see a "piggery" (kinda like a pig farm). It took all I had to not pet the pigs, but I managed. We returned home for a good debriefing, dinner, and now some quality time with Andrea, Haril, and of course Dezi. It's been a really good week with Musana, the people, and of course our team. G-d's really been present in our lives and our team this week, and it'll be interesting and good to see what more He has for us as the trip continues. Until then, we get to watch Dezi for a bit for Haril and Andrea tonight, and she's been eating peanut butter m&m's and drinking coke, so this blogger is over and out. 



Fwd: Mzungus on boda bodas


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Samantha Dickey <samdickey19@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 8:06 PM
Subject: Mzungus on boda bodas
To: SUE HENDERSON <sshenderson7@gmail.com>, riversideblogs.ratw@blogger.com <riversideblogs.ratw@blogger.com>


Shabbat shalom! Tonight's blogger is Sam and I t's Friday evening here in Uganda. We are currently hanging out in the pavilion while Hannah, Emma, and little Dezi paint with watercolors on the floor. Today was overall a slower day than previous ones for our team. We got to sleep in a bit before breakfast. Then Laura, Tamara, and Sue went back to Musana's health center to help while Julie, Hannah, Emma, and I stayed and worked at the school. Hannah, Emma, and I spent the morning painting Bible verses and murals on some more of Musana's wall while Julie helped in Top Class in the Nursery school. Laura had a meeting back at the school with Florence in the early afternoon, so our three "medics" came back a little before lunch and worked on various things here. Once we'd finished lunch, we had a bit of down time before leaving for the Buwongo Women's Group. Hannah, Emma, and I stayed at the pavilion reading and resting while Sue, Julie, Laura, and Tamara went down to the dining hall to watch some of the teachers debate the topic of the influence of technology in Uganda. At 3 pm we left on boda bodas for Buwongo to meet up with Denis, Muza, and the women. They welcomed us with some songs and dance, which we all got to participate in with Sue's camera flash in the background for a time (she was soon picked to dance as well, don't worry). Muza translated while we introduced ourselves to the women, and Denis translated while they introduced themselves to us. After they took us on a tour through some of the village, getting to learn about some of the plants and trees in Uganda and see a "piggery" (kinda like a pig farm). It took all I had to not pet the pigs, but I managed. We returned home for a good debriefing, dinner, and now some quality time with Andrea, Haril, and of course Dezi. It's been a really good week with Musana, the people, and of course our team. G-d's really been present in our lives and our team this week, and it'll be interesting and good to see what more He has for us as the trip continues. Until then, we get to watch Dezi for a bit for Haril and Andrea tonight, and she's been eating peanut butter m&m's and drinking coke, so this blogger is over and out. 

Mzungus on boda bodas

Shabbat shalom! Tonight's blogger is Sam and I t's Friday evening here in Uganda. We are currently hanging out in the pavilion while Hannah, Emma, and little Dezi paint with watercolors on the floor. Today was overall a slower day than previous ones for our team. We got to sleep in a bit before breakfast. Then Laura, Tamara, and Sue went back to Musana's health center to help while Julie, Hannah, Emma, and I stayed and worked at the school. Hannah, Emma, and I spent the morning painting Bible verses and murals on some more of Musana's wall while Julie helped in Top Class in the Nursery school. Laura had a meeting back at the school with Florence in the early afternoon, so our three "medics" came back a little before lunch and worked on various things here. Once we'd finished lunch, we had a bit of down time before leaving for the Buwongo Women's Group. Hannah, Emma, and I stayed at the pavilion reading and resting while Sue, Julie, Laura, and Tamara went down to the dining hall to watch some of the teachers debate the topic of the influence of technology in Uganda. At 3 pm we left on boda bodas for Buwongo to meet up with Denis, Muza, and the women. They welcomed us with some songs and dance, which we all got to participate in with Sue's camera flash in the background for a time (she was soon picked to dance as well, don't worry). Muza translated while we introduced ourselves to the women, and Denis translated while they introduced themselves to us. After they took us on a tour through some of the village, getting to learn about some of the plants and trees in Uganda and see a "piggery" (kinda like a pig farm). It took all I had to not pet the pigs, but I managed. We returned home for a good debriefing, dinner, and now some quality time with Andrea, Haril, and of course Dezi. It's been a really good week with Musana, the people, and of course our team. G-d's really been present in our lives and our team this week, and it'll be interesting and good to see what more He has for us as the trip continues. Until then, we get to watch Dezi for a bit for Haril and Andrea tonight, and she's been eating peanut butter m&m's and drinking coke, so this blogger is over and out. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brothers and Sisters

Oh where to begin...so much to share and share and share. First off, my heart felt thanks to my loving husband and children for your encouragement and support in my following a long cherished dream to meet and build relationships with our African brothers and sisters. 

I am blessed to share this experience with 6 wonderfully kind and strong women!  Love, love, love "all ya all" as I think they say in Texas. 


So, what I have read about the Ugandan people is true; they are a warm hearted people, and quite welcoming, and this is despite the many challenges and hardships they face each day. We Americans and Europeans could learn a lot from the Ugandan people. 


Today we spent the day with the Musana community outreach program in a rural community with focus upon health. I am in awe of this community of young adults who are devoting themselves to the health and growth of their people. They work long hours without complaint and are quick to embrace each other and us with genuine warmth  and humor. 


Grandma laura in



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hungary Final Thoughts

We watched the sun rise in Poland and exactly 24 hours later watched the sun set in San Antonio. Time change is weird. After 10 days abroad, we were finally home. I had 24 hours of sleepless travel to begin to process all God did over the last week and a half. And I'm finding myself unable to use words that will do it any kind of justice. 
God moved in ways I cant fully describe in words, but in ways that moved my heart to beat closer to the rhythm of God's. In Hungary we got to work alongside our missionary John Wilson. We got to watch our two churches (Riverside and Kegy) come together to encourage and equip one another. I watched John lead his community well. He's walking into uncharted territories but is handling it with such grace and strength. I kept thinking all week "Im so glad he belongs to us, and that he's our extension of Riverside here in Hungary." This is my third trip into Hungary, and I've gotten to watch john lead in many different areas but this week was different. 
This week I got to watch him step into a place that is unfamiliar and cling to the Lord fully for wisdom and direction. I knew he was capable of it, but this week it was fun to watch him see that in himself. That God has led him to this place, and that he is the right person for this task. I loved getting to engage in the local church while we were here AND attend an actual alpha class (we've always just taught leaders how to lead one). It gave a full picture of what life really looks like for John and Zsofi and their kids. 
After a week with them, we sent Scott back to the states and Michele and I hopped on a bus to Poland to visit some friends. The bus ride was beautiful as we drove through the rolling hills of Slovakia and ended up in beautiful Poland. I had met a family a couple years ago at a class in Pittsburgh that moved to Opole, Poland for ministry. So since we were so close, and Michele has strong polish roots we made a little side trip. It was such a refreshment and encouragement to spend time with them. It only added to our time and experiences in Hungary. 
We got to engage a little with the church they're a part of and I came away from both places feeling so full of God's presence. It was a week and a half of watching what God was doing around the world. From the crowded streets of Budapest to the small quaint town of Opole, God is clearly on the move. I feel so grateful to get so many opportunities to see how the local church is proclaiming the name of Christ. Whether it's here in the states or international, one thing remains the same— people are connected and united by the love of Christ. It was so sweet to see a full picture of that. My heart is forever changed by those we met in Hungary and Poland. Im inspired by them to live a life worthy of the calling God has placed on my life. But more importantly I'm inspired to engage in my local church even more, because that is where true transformation and life happens. In our cities, in our neighborhood, in our homes. God is on the move….and we get to be a part of it….. wherever we find ourselves! 

Much love, Liz




John and his leadership for the church. These guys were such an inspiration to us! Many of them have been with the church through the change and some hardships. It's the place they knew God was calling them to so they never felt like they were supposed to leave. Instead they continued to press forward and hope for the good of their church and community!! 


Small little church in Opole, Poland. 

Hi everyone,

Hi everyone,

I am currently sitting in the medical lab at Musana on the day of their free clinic. They do free services every Wednesday and it is safe to say it's been nuts. I am working alongside Tamara and the technician, Christine. Christine is without a doubt the most patient woman in the world. Originally they thought Tamara would be drawing blood but since she works with hospice and delegates that work she is now putting blood on slides and determining results. I think she wants to go home well liked and not as the one who pokes people all day long!!! I have the pleasure of using my "awesome" (no laughing) computer skills and am inputting the data. Sam started in the dental clinic and I'm not sure if she has been affected by the heat (she was in the sun most of yesterday) or the blood from the pulled teeth! Either way sweet Edward took both her and Julie back to Musana to rest. I think no heat and no blood helped as they are both back. Or... they just wanted to ride a boda boda (a motorcycle).
Update... Tamara has pricked a finger or two since we started. I'm not sure if it's the prick or her pale skin that scare them the most.
Meanwhile Laura has been outside in the shade rolling cotton into balls. She spent some time talking with Edward (one of Musana's social workers) about a teaching he will be doing next week on anxiety. I am so glad she is getting to use her skill set to help. She will be meeting with Edward and Florence on Friday so it will give her a chance to share her wisdom. In the meantime she is getting a good taste of Uganda cuisine!!

Emma and Hannah have been doing triage taking weight, height, blood pressure etc. They've been VERY busy!!! Although they too got a break and a nice cup of tea. Seeing Musana in action and the heart behind the operation is wonderful. They really do care about their community and the surrounding area. They are now adding an in patient wing which is currently in its foundation stage.

Tamara and I have seen mostly tests for HIV, malaria and typhoid with a few other things mixed in. The last patient was four and now we have a pregnant mother who appears to have some form of liver disease. Fortunately the scan shows a healthy baby. I can't get over the goodness that is happening in this clinic and we are blessed to be a small part of it. On top of which we've made a new friend in Christine!!!

But it's amazing!! They have no typhoid vaccine though typhoid is prevalent. Tamara and I have learned so much.

Later in the day we all saddled up on boda boda's and headed for a women's ministry. The women dye fabrics that Musana then use in their craft programs. About 3 miles down the road the rain started; slowly at first and then it let loose. The drivers pulled out of the rain and Kyemba came and saved us. We proceeded to the village and got to see some of the sweet women we've met before. The new leader of the women's ministry is a woman named Annette. She is wonderful and so good with the women.

The team is doing great. We've all had some ups and downs but we are thankful for being here!! We love you all and are appreciative of your prayers.

Steve, Cody, Sam, Kari, John, Owen and Nora I love you guys mucho! Cheta I miss our daily talks!!!





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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Uganda from the Heart of Hannah

We had an early breakfast this morning of eggs, fruit, coffee, and coke. Well, Sue had a coke. But she can do what she wants as our fearless leader. During breakfast, Tamara led a wonderful devotion that calmed and refreshed my heart and, I am sure, the hearts of everyone else. After breakfast we grabbed our snacks and water bottles and walked the 3 minutes down to Musana's main campus. We got to help two visiting dentists, Peter and Liliani from the States as the continued checking each students' teeth. My job was to hold a flashlight into mouths for Peter as he checked the kid's teeth for cavities. Tamara and her mother Laura, thought of a great system of writing down the students' names and documenting cavities and other needs they had. Samantha and Emma helped organize the students before they came to our dentist tent. (Sue and Julie were retrieving supplies from town). Now that the students with cavities have been identified, they can receive the care they need. Musana will cover the cost of the dental work needing to be done. I had a really great time working with Peter as he shared little dentistry tid-bits with me and then quizzed me on what I remembered. I learned words like Fronem and Mandible and Maxilla (I have no idea if I spelled those correctly). I really enjoyed seeing Peter and Liliani work with the kids today. They saw 200 students APIECE today and did it with grace and good humor. After lunch Emma and I began painting the dining hall and Samantha joined us after an hour or so. I was so thankful for them both. They each chose a wonderful quote to paint on the wall and I added a pretty border around their beautiful hand-lettering. We finished the day with dinner outside in the pavilion. A cool breeze was blowing and our rice, pineapple, stew, and salad was delicious. It was another day filled with sweat, teeth, good coffee, hands to hold, smiles, long skirts, and mosquitos. I will end today's blog with Emma's quote she painted on the wall: "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched but just felt in the heart."

 

Love to everyone,

Hannah

Day 1 Musana

We are BACK!

 

I am so excited to be back at Musana. This morning we took a tour or the campus. I was struck by all the amazing changes that have taken place in the last two years and the wonderful team that works tirelessly to make it all happen. The campus has grown so much. They added 3 nursery classrooms, the high school and expanded the women's vocational training program. The high school is three stories of beautiful classrooms which includes full science and computer labs, a large pavilion and sports fields. The women's program is set to graduate it's next class on Saturday so we were able to see some of their beautiful projects. For those of you looking for the perfect gift, we plan to put in a pretty big order of goods to sell at the Loft when we get home.

 

The second half of the day we had the opportunity to assist a husband and wife team of dentists in doing a dental screening. We saw about 200 kids and were amazed at their beautiful teeth. They did 1 extraction and referred about 30 kids to the Musana dentist. Hannah, Sam, and Emma were right at home playing with the kids. Julie and I enjoyed spending most of our time in the clinic while Sue and Laura (mom) hopped back and forth. Sue of course had her camera in hand and Laura made up a catchy dental care song. We will be doing two more days in the dental clinic this week. I am excited because this team will be involved in a ton of health care which I love!

 

Tomorrow those with some artistic skill (not me) will begin murals while the rest cheer kids on as they "face the dentist". Only 700 more to go.

 

More to come from Hannah tomorrow… If we get internet…

-Tamara

For the 7 Dwarfs (good news I am not so sneezy anymore)

 


Day 1 Musana


We are BACK!

 

I am so excited to be back at Musana. This morning we took a tour or the campus. I was struck by all the amazing changes that have taken place in the last two years and the wonderful team that works tirelessly to make it all happen. The campus has grown so much. They added 3 nursery classrooms, the high school and expanded the women's vocational training program. The high school is three stories of beautiful classrooms which includes full science and computer labs, a large pavilion and sports fields. The women's program is set to graduate it's next class on Saturday so we were able to see some of their beautiful projects. For those of you looking for the perfect gift, we plan to put in a pretty big order of goods to sell at the Loft when we get home.

 

The second half of the day we had the opportunity to assist a husband and wife team of dentists in doing a dental screening. We saw about 200 kids and were amazed at their beautiful teeth. They did 1 extraction and referred about 30 kids to the Musana dentist. Hannah, Sam, and Emma were right at home playing with the kids. Julie and I enjoyed spending most of our time in the clinic while Sue and Laura (mom) hopped back and forth. Sue of course had her camera in hand and Laura made up a catchy dental care song. We will be doing two more days in the dental clinic this week. I am excited because this team will be involved in a ton of health care which I love!

 

Tomorrow those with some artistic skill (not me) will begin murals while the rest cheer kids on as they "face the dentist". Only 700 more to go.

 

More to come from Hannah tomorrow… If we get internet…

-Tamara

For the 7 Dwarfs (good news I am not so sneezy anymore)

 

Hello from Uganda

Greetings from Uganda.  What a day it has been!  

 

After a real night's worth of sleep, we were awakened to sounds of thunder that produced a lovely, hard, much needed shower. Rain here has been sparse creating lots of dust.  Banana Village was just as beautiful, welcoming and the cooks fed us a delicious breakfast before heading out to Musana.  

 

The drive was much different than I remembered last year.  There has been so much development!  

 

We have just finished eating a great meal at Sol View.  Now with full tummies the evening will be short. Prayerfully, we will get back some of those lost hours of sleep!

 

Love to you all from Uganda!!!

 

-       Julie

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Uganda team made it to Musana!

The Uganda team made it to Musana! They do not have internet quite yet, but called to let us know they made it! They will hopefully be back online tomorrow. Prayers for a sweet night's rest for them so that they are ready to hit the ground with passion & energy tomorrow. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

One flight, two flights and one more for good luck!

Hi everyone, 

Just want to let you know that we have made it from San Antonio to Houston to London! We are now waiting for our flight to Qatar which is followed by a 7-hour layover before heading to Entebbe. The team is in great spirits and we have gone from being the Magnificent 7 to the Saucy 7. Not as scandalous as it sounds. It's all because we ate at Chic Fil A for lunch and all the extra sauce is now traveling with us! A more appropriate name will be coming!!!

Ken Ramirez very graciously drove all our luggage to Houston (he and Naiya were going to Oregon and flew out of Houston as well). Julie was our chauffeur and let me tell you she can keep up with the best of them! It was a smooth ride and our timing was perfect. Entering the airport we were the first people in line for check in and didn't have any wait going through security! 

For a note of humor as we were in line to board out of Houston my phone rang. It was Porter Loring mortuary asking me if I wanted to pre-arrange my funeral. Awkward!!! A little ironic, but comical. 

Update: We have now made it to Qatar and the natives pronounce is Qatar… not Cutter! The airplane we travelled on was definitely a 5 star. It was a brand-new plane with all the modern conveniences. We all watched a movie or a two and tried to rest a little, but mostly to no avail. Tamara has spent the entire time sneezing. So, we might become the 7 dwarfs. So far Tamara has been deemed "sneezy" and Emma is "bashful". I'm not sure anyone will fight over "Dopey" or "Grumpy"!!! And "Happy" could be all of us! We have been told if we want to eat we have to do it during night time hours in honor of Ramadan.

 

Update: We had a great flight to Uganda; or we were SO tired none of us stayed awake to care. We landed in Entebbe right on time, paid for our visas without a problem and collected our bags. They were inspected by Customs but we got through with EVERYTHING intact! Kyemba was right there to meet us and we whisked our way to Banana Village, set out almost immediately again for the bank and to meet our old driver, Haji, for dinner. In typical Ugandan fashion he was over an hour late, and I was afraid we were going to fall asleep in our meal waiting for him. He did finally show up and it was great to see him again. He is still the smiling jokers I remember. He spent the evening shooting straw covers at different people!

 

So now we are back at Banana Village and collapsing. Tomorrow we head to Jinja for Internet and then finally to Musana where we can start serving…

 

Until then… thank you for being part of the team.

 

Suebee

Par II One flight, then another and one more for good luck!

One flight, and then another and one more for good luck!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Team Uganda ..... The Journey Begins

I am so excited to be going on this journey with these wonderful ladies. We left today at noon and headed to Houston for our 8pm flight. So yes we arrived 4 hours before our flight. (Sue's dad would be proud) We decided to have one last Chick-Fil-A before heading to the land of fresh food. From here we head to London, then Qatar, then Entebbe where we will stay the night before driving into Iganga. All that to say you may not hear from us until Sunday. Please pray for continued travel ease.

Tamara
(For the Magnificent Seven)

Hungary Day 3

"You're a Good, Good Father…" I don't often wake up with a song in my head, but in Hungary this was the second day in a row with a sweet worship song to kick off my day. It's been a long time since I've traveled internationally and never for a mission trip. I realize that I love the world differently than in my travels when I was younger. The lens of God brings His heart to an almost tangible place within your own that can be indescribable. Today we worked closely with the elders of the local church and their pastor John Wilson, our Overflow partner. The deep rooted love for their relationships, community and God is abundant and to their core. John is completely devoted to his church that he leads and...a true father to this community.

Our team is doing amazing!! It's been a true gift that we've all worked together for years. It turns out after almost a non-stop week together Scott, Liz and I still like each other!!! I know...it surprused me too!! Just Kidding! Tomorrow is our last day in Hungary. Scott will be heading home and Liz and I are off to another adventure...Poland!! More to come later!!

Michele

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hungary Day 1 and 2

I have had some interesting birthdays.  I remember Scampi's pizza, a magician at a swimming party, and countless sleepovers.  But, yesterday was unexpected.  

Sitting in Budapest at a restaurant in which we could try different Hungarian dishes, suddenly the room broke out singing "Happy Birthday" and I was presented a small cake with a large firework.  It was both startling and heartwarming. It felt familiar and strange.  

Hungary has been both familiar and strange. 

Budapest is the divide between East and West.  The Danube river eases through this ancient city naturally dividing ways of thinking and being.  At one point Budapest was the center of Europe and when you are here, it makes perfect sense.

Our day was an orientation to the city and the ministries that John and Zsofi lead.  While John has been leading Alpha's national office he has also recently been installed as the pastor of the church they attend.  It should be mentioned that Hungarian is a particularly difficult language and John has mastered it so deeply that most do not know he is an American.

Alpha is strong here.  Connecting  to the International Alpha headquarters in London, John and his team have been able to develop a growing movement of people who are being introduced to Jesus for the very first time.  Others are being developed into leaders and community is being cultivated  to strengthen the church.  I have been reminded of my own love for Alpha while we are here.  

Now the Pastor of his church, John is leading the community through a time of discerning strategy for the coming years.  This is what we will be working on the rest of the week.  

Michele and Liz are amazing people.  Gifted and brave they move through every opportunity with grace and strength.  Much of our job here in the early days has been to learn about how we work together so that we can care for and serve the missionary family we support.  I am proud to be a  part of a church that values the care of our missionary team.

The next few days we will begin our work with the larger community.  It promises to be an adventure as this mission is at a turning point in its life.  

In closing, a personal note.  John Wilson is a friend of mine.  I admire him and am still a little angry that he left Texas and did not stay to hang out with me until we were old.   But, the more I am here and watch him in this place I am absolutely sure he is where God wants him doing what he is made to do.  

When you don't know the language you watch people a bit closer.  How they smile, if they are relaxed, etc.   Watching people interact with John, whether it is a church member, a blind Alpha participant, a barrista, or a co-worker, John brings peace wherever he puts his feet.  I am not sure he knows this is true.  I intend to tell him.  

So it is familiar.  "Happy Birthday" song, close friend laughing at you, and lots of talk about church leadership.  And its strange. Ancient buildings, raw meat spread on toast, and endless consonants.  

More to come…


Scott Heare


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Haiti Day 5

This trip has flown by faster than Zach’s hair poofed up in the humidity on the first day (just trust me, his hair is absolutely insane). We started off the week a stranger to our amazing host family, translators, and the kids of the community, but by the end they had meshed into our little family (which not only means we became spiritually close, but it also means that they became a victim to our malicious jokes and manipulative card game moves). Today was our official last day on Haitian soil, which is super hard to process. We are all gonna miss our new friends, the beauty and culture of Haiti, and especially each other (even though at the beginning of the trip, i’m pretty sure half of the team was scared of each other, but its okay because everyone loves each other now). For me, today was very bittersweet. Bitter because today meant the end to this “adventous" (don’t worry, I purposefully spelt that wrong, it’s yet another inside joke) week, but sweet because we got to experience another side of Haiti which reminded me that even in the seemingly most hurt places, there is still insane beauty (and also because I got to spend it with some hilarious people who manage to bring me out of my “turtle shell” (just another inside joke)).  On the way to the beach, us youths rode in a the bed of a truck (thats not exactly what its was, but its kind of hard to explain), while our adult leaders and hosts rode in the cab. For most of the ride we scream sang Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift (take into mind, there was no actual music playing, it was all acapella) while Adam (or as we now know him, “Dadam”) humorously glared at us through the window. Once we had nearly lost our voices, we arrived at the beach. As we walked out onto the sand, one of our hosts immediately exclaimed “wow this is the most white people I have seen in one place in Haiti ever”. Although the beach was packed, we still managed to have loads of fun. At first,  Jackson realized that he forgot to bring his frisbee (Georgina (which is the name of his “friz”) and became pretty sad. Then, he saw a frisbee on the ground and he and Caroline legitimately wandered around and asked a ton of the random tourists/missionaries if they knew whose it was. Eventually they found the owner who was a boy who looked to be about 11 years old. They awkwardly asked him if they could use it and he replied by saying, “guess so… yes, let me get it”. Once we had our hands on the frisbee, spirits were lifted and we played a terrible (yet still fun and only slightly violent (by slightly I mean Emma was only hit in the head one time)) game of frisbee. I know that most likely sounds like a totally random and pointless story, but in all reality it probably sums up most of our week together. We all really longed for God to do amazing things in our lives and for a connection with each other and this community. We put ourselves in awkward and uncomfortable situations to achieve our goals, and by the end of it all, we had obtained a victory. I am so thankful for this amazing team, all that they have taught me, and all of the painful side aches they have given me from laughing too hard. I’d have to say I feel pretty “connected”  (that’s my last inside joke, I swear) to these people.

Niaya ouuuuuut



Friday, June 9, 2017

Haiti Day 4

I have a fun fact for you guys, Haiti is hot. Like overly ridiculously hot. Like your face is melting off hot. ESPECIALLY when you shovel dirt and gravel onto two separate roads for 6 hours. Actually, it’s not as bad as you would think. We always have access to water, in large quantities. Like, today I drank 120 ounces of water and managed to sweat enough of it out that I only went to the restroom twice. We shoveled literally all day, but I actually had fun because our group decided to make jokes in place of complaining too terribly much. Plus the whole atmosphere of being nearer to God (at least it sure seems like it) helps. Each time I felt overwhelmed or the thought of giving up came into my head I would look up to the mountains and remember that OUR GOD created all of it and he loves this place even more than I do and I would yet again be re-energized (not gonna lie, that happened like every fifteen minutes). Our entire group (at least us kids) have a “connection” (thats low-key an inside joke) that makes us all get along incredibly well. I haven’t gone more than 30 minutes of this entire trip without laughing so hard I lose my breath. Robin even thinks we’re pretty cool, and she doesn’t even like young people! It helps we’re a really small group (6 kids total) and we’ve all become so incredibly close (even though its only day 4 haha). An example of our teamwork is when Sony (the interpreter) kept telling us “you get a coke if you move it” referring to a BIG rock on the side of the street. For a while Zach and Jackson tried to move it before we got in trouble for our lack of working on the road. A while later we all had gravitated back to the rock and Zach decided to pull the rock, Quinn (the 13 year old daughter of the missionary family we’re staying with who is super duper cool and we have all bonded with as a team as well) and I had lodged a shovel under the rock, and Emma and Charis and Niaya were pushing the rock. We tried for a good 5 minutes but WE GOT THE ROCK TO MOVE!!! I think Zach was the most proud of our accomplishment. (I want to put in a side note here to point out all 6 of them, including Quinn, are sitting ridiculously close to me and Zach keeps putting on the caps lock button to mess with me which goes to show how close we’ve become both spiritually AND PHYSICALLY) After we literally (metaphorically) died (we didn’t actually though so shout out to Jesus Christ) from all that shoveling we got to visit a store called Haiti Made in tap taps (rickety prison looking things on the back of trucks), which is a store full of Haitian made objects and Jackson ordered a coconut and peanut butter smoothie because YOLO and Haiti. After we got back to Reach Global we played an impromptu game of catch the frisbee and each time you caught it you had to make a weird sound (and the boys tried to catch and dab), which brought upon an entirely new round of laughs. All in all today was the hardest physical day, but weirdly the most fun one yet. Each day I start a new Notes page and write inside jokes, funny things that happened, or random quotes from the day and today had hands down the longest list yet. I’ve also taken so many photos and videos because even though were a relatively small group, we manage to do a lot of stupid stuff that requires documentation. Tonight we had an opportunity to lift each other up in encouragement and share our thoughts of each other from the past week and every person in the circle had amazing and thoughtful things to share with the others, to make some to the point of tears. I need too wrap it up because everyone is annoyed that I’m writing so much (even though they wished I had edited all their posts to make them longer and “more interesting” so I’m not sure why they’re mad). But overall, today was just a really really funny day that produced a lot of fruit in everyones lives. 

Caro (fine, lime, line etc.) is out!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Haiti Day 3

Overall, today was the longest day so far. For starters, we decided to fast for the majority of the day- which was not at difficult as I thought it would be -and then we also did a ton of prayer walks, in the heat. This being said, I would still say that I loved just about every second of it. Getting to see all the establishments and clinics in the community was so incredible and I especially loved when my small group got the opportunity to go and sit in on the Christianville school’s time of worship/competition. The joy and purity that all of the elementary-aged students had was just mid-blowing to watch, and I could tell the rest of my team felt the same way. Later in the day when we got back to the house, everyone got together and played scribble-head and charades, which was very entertaining, and my team won of course. I think that today was exactly what we all needed it to be, and we got a lot of time to just sit and talk- both about the things we have been experiencing and things that are going on in our lives back at home -which was really great. That’s all I got, so thanks for reading! 

Emma

Haiti Days 1 and 2

Blog Day 1- Zach Stallings



 Zach here! To start off we had to be at the airport by 4:30. I had a lot more energy then the rest of the group, at least thats what it seemed like. We all got through TSA smoothly. First flight went well and a few pictures of Jackson, Adam, and I sleeping. once we got to Miami we went straight for the food. the small group that I went with to get food got asian food. I got orange chicken and attempted to eat with chopsticks which was very tasty. The view of the second flight was WAY better than the first one, and I enjoyed looking out the window. About 30 minutes into the flight Jackson is asleep and Charis had the perfect opportunity to put pretzels in Jackson’s wide open mouth. Once we got to Port Au Prince we got all of our checked baggage pretty well and got out of the airport fast. The driving somewhat scared me, but we got to the community. Everything else went quickly and now ready for the next day. 

Zach out yo! 



Blog Day 2- Jackson Davis 


Hello, J Dawg here

So heres a preface: This place is awesome, and the people are awesome.

The morning started off with some hearty oatmeal and a walk through the community and our guide, Sony, was nothing short of extraordinary. He taught us how to say cow, pig, dog and various other things, but learning and trying to memorize the names of the animals tops off my list. After the community walk, we had a legitimate Creole lesson from Sony and i learned a lot but the question is how long I can retain it all. Next up we had a lesson over the history from a very wise and enlightened man, Franck, he had so much hope and passion for the history and future of his nation and just listening to him gave was awe inspiring. After all that learning we filled ourselves up with some chili and then went to build a bunk bed for a local family and the smile on the boy receiving the bed was like a little wink from God saying “this is what it’s about”. Just brightening up someones day. Them we had dinner and the Haitian food was impeccable. Finally we had worship and then talked about how we felt about the day and then took a dive into some deep stuff and finally devotionals. Well thanks for taking the time to read this terribly written blog and thanks for all your love and support. J Dawg out.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Team Haiti - No Wifi The Struggle is Real

Hey just wanted to let you know that I haven't been able to send out the blog. Internet isn't working and I can't get my data on my phone to push it through! But we had a great day organizing the workshop, putting together a bunk bed and playing soccer with the community boys! We also got an awesome creole lesson as well as a lesson on the history of Haiti! Here's a couple pictures!