September was all about being on the go. It made me think of my mother, she always used to tell me ” you just have to be running the streets.”
Ibra returned back to work at the end of August and I was on a bus to see him the very next weekend. Our house had some upgrades over the summer so I wanted to get things set up for him before his school year started. Upgrades didn’t really make the space bigger but fresh paint, carpet tiles and a giant fireplace have added a different touch to the tiny cozy cottage.
There are a large number of Ugandan students at Ibra’s school so I was able to return with some parents. My uncle used to call my car the flow flying jet because I, may have driven with a touch of speed. Let me just say, there is absolutely no way my former jet would have ever kept up with the jet I returned in. Seven hours from door to door versus my 13 hour bus trip. My eyes were open the entire time as the driver said he was going slow, not to scare me. eeee thanks.
I’m adjusting more to the new work environment and I move about each day from my office to the admin building across the way. My to do list seems as if it multiplies as soon as I check one thing off but most days my head is moving above the water.
I know that this role is one where I will learn, grow and rebuild my confidence. It will surely awaken skills that had become a bit dormant or dusty, and introduce me to a whole new approach to things as my boss is more of a technology guy. Some good boosters for the month have been leading a professional development session for students’ personal assistants. Preparing and organizing the first open house of the year and creating a staff recruitment plan. I’ve realized that at the end of the day, I just need to be me. Working to ‘prove’ myself worthy just adds stress and creates an unnecessary mess of mistakes.
In the middle of the month I again went to Kenya for the first parent’s weekend of the term. I took the bus there and returned with a family and driver who drove closer to the ground. It was great to see my bible study kids and some of my favorite parents. It’s interesting, I would probably label last year as one of the toughest in my life. I had no idea of the impact I was making even when I felt I was merely hanging on by a thread and no where near my best self.
Students, parents and staff were excited to see me. They talked about how they missed me and different things that I’d done to help them. It wasn’t even major things, maybe stopping by an office every now and again, having non traditional bible study sessions or joining high school students for lunch (check- food reference accomplished for the month. Lol) My high school girls asked when I’d come for a long weekend so we could gather in a dorm with bean bags and hot chocolate to “just catch up on life Ms.”
I in no way mention this to boast in myself but merely to remind you and me both that we have no idea the impact of a smile or a the warmth that a sincere “how are you?” makes.
Off To See The Judge
The month included having Mallory and her son as guests and going to court. Not for anything bad but to testify on behalf of Mallory, the Longwood student who got me to come to Uganda and then became my boss. Since 2015 she’s cared for, loved and parented many kids but one has become her own. What a privilege it was to stand and testify on behalf of her family to become a legally bound unit. Granted, we didn’t leave with a decision that very day and the wait has tested our faith but it’s great to know that God does all things well and in his timing. I think with the nervousness of court and me being adamant that I would not address the judge as ‘my lord’ I messed up on the simplest question. Where are you from? Ummm? Thankfully my responses got better after I realized my origin and that I am indeed an American citizen.
Oh the joys of being back in the city of Kampala
- Attendance to a fund raising art exhibit to support a drug rehab program
- Meeting a parent who’s a fashion designer and spending hours in her workshop trying on awesome designs
- The Lord has blessed us with the opportunity to get a car from missionary friends who understand that every person can’t just make a one time payment to get a car.
- To wrap the month up with attending Kampala Fashion week and making the ‘look what they wore’ article in the local paper. Can I say I was toooooo excited.
And It’s Undone
After 13 years I’ve gone for a pre-birthday change, spending 10 hours in a salon chair with four women pulling my head back and forth to comb out every dread loc on my head. Yep, it was painful and honestly I feel the pain as I type about the process, but it’s done and something new is happening with my hair.
Not having used a comb in 13 years means I have a whole lot of learning to do. I’ve actually been to the salon multiple times in this month vs my every 6 weeks appointment. I didn’t even have a comb and the one I bought is too small for this natural head of hair. Needless to say there will be lots of learning for this lazy hair girl but we’ll see how it goes.
So that’s about it for September. I think the question for the month has been, what are people seeing when they look at me or you for that matter? More than likely it’s very different than the way we see ourselves. Is it someone who’s trying too much, not trying at all or a person happy with themselves, flaws and all.
My prayer for you is that your image reflects a light and that light draws people close. I pray that your light allows you to love others and to love yourself. YOU are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. YOU were created unique and for a purpose. YOU make a difference to me and so many others.
Until next time,
Blessings, laughter and style.
Angela M. Jackson Mapetla
c/o Heritage International School
Points of Praise
- Protection as I’ve traveled back and forth across borders
- Speaking with two pastor’s wife that are dear to my heart and whom I call friends (Sis. Wiley (Farmville) and Sis. Brenda Williams(VA Beach)
- The courage to step into hair change
- The parents prayer group that I work with each week to communicate prayer points and pray with
- Good visits to Kenya
- That I’ve made an impact
Places of Prayer
- The ability to quickly learn and adjust to technology that’s new to me
- Continued provision
- Release from worry
- Freedom from self doubt
- Unwavering confidence
- A restful and fun fall break
- Birthday love, blessings, laughter and a vision of purpose for the new birth year
- Friends who are stepping out on faith with big life changes; PhD programs, moves to new countries, transitions in work and family