July marked my 6th year in East Africa. Funny enough I was in America on the actual Africa-versary day. I hadn’t been to the states in 18 months and it was definitely a much needed trip after a tough year. It was nice to be home and able to introduce Ibra to friends, family and a touch of my life in America.
Of course there’s never enough time to fit everything in but I’m thankful for the people we were able to see from family to high school, college and grad school friends and lifetime church folk. In just 3 weeks we were able to visit NC, DC, Farmville, the beach, an amusement park and spend time with family. Of course there was more that I wanted to do and show Ibra but time and energy didn’t allow for all. We each had a top three list which we made happen which was good. Seeing the White House, connecting to American swimming programs and meeting family were Ibra’s top three. Rest, the beach and visiting the African American museum were mine.
I have to say that every aspect of coming back to Uganda was tough which is something I hadn’t experienced before. The 3 day travel time and airport challenges didn’t really add a positive twist but we’re thankful to have arrived safely. We’re also thankful to finally have all our bags and a partial refund for the damaged bags although no response or compensation for items taken from our checked bags by TSA. Since we arrived on a Friday I had a few days to recover before work on Monday. I think I moved in the jet-lag bubble for the first day but I couldn’t stay there long as new staff orientation began that Thursday. Jet-lag seemed to be much worse for Mr. Mapetla.
Once work started its pretty much been full on back to school. However I was able to attend a women’s conference at church my second week back. It was great to be able to participate in three days of the women’s Refresh conference. It indeed was refreshing and honestly I woke up on Monday wishing for more. The main three speakers were from the UK, Rwanda and Uganda. There were over 800 women representing at least 7 different countries. It was something that I needed to be a part of. I pray the refreshment and words that were spoken continue to give me life and encouragement for months to come. And for YOU, my friend, I pray that you will have refreshment in every area of your life. May your cup overflow and provide refreshment for those around you because there is someone depending on your overflow to bless their life.
Points of praise
-Time in America with family, friends, food and SLURPEES without gaining huge amounts of weight and a time to rest.
-Everyone who showed loads of hospitality with meals, transportation and allowing us to stay in their homes.
-After two years we’ve been offered a larger and prayerfully warmer house in Kenya. We made the tiny,cozy, wooden cottage work but an upgrade is long overdue.
-Refresh Women’s conference and the blessing it was to me and so many other women
-Thankful that we have jobs
Places of prayer
-For Ibra and I to be in the same city with jobs that are fulfilling and allow us to to fully use our gifts and talents
-A spirit of joy and thanksgiving no matter the situation
-Confidence, wisdom and time management skills in my work
-Freedom of fear and faith to step out into areas that I’m passionate about
Things that have made me chuckle
-Ibra and another friend being in agreement that they would truly miss America’s free refills”Ugandans would drink places out of business .”
-Every parent who has said “Wow, the holiday was good for you. You look great.” Hmmmm was I really looking that bad before?
-Perspective. In America someone described Ibra as ‘the small guy.’ Here people shared with him that he’s gotten big. “It’s a good thing you weren’t there longer because you would have gotten too big.”‘
Until next time, remember a smile is the only curve that can make a lot of things straight.
Angela M. Jackson-Mapetla