Heels (Highs)

+Friends and family that continue to support and encourage me in this work. 27-8-14
+New church experience in Jinja that just made my heart miss GCC and the home that I’ve found there. 24-8-14
+Fresh passion fruit/banana smoothie by me. 24-8-14
+Recognizing the need for a break. 24-8-14
+A great weekend with my friends from Mississippi. It was like being at my aunt’s house the entire weekend with all the cooking. Potato salad, German chocolate cake, pecan pie, collard greens, fried fish and homemade corn bread, plus mac& cheese and so much more. Thanks to the Smith’s. 24-8-14

+Dry places turned into blessings in just a matter of days. 20-8-14
+Meeting more Black Americans in Jinja. 22-8-14

+ time of rest during the holiday 18 August 14

+open mic night at the cultural center-yes all across the globe people want to express themselves through music even if they missed a lesson or 20 or 30. 18 August 14

+ Being told that God’s love has been seen in and through me to people I never even knew was watching. 18 August 14

+ New American friends from FL, NY, and SC. Awesome weekends of hanging out and feeling connected. 15 August 14

+ Paul Smith spending a month in Uganda and adding only the specialness that Paul can bring to every building, baking, cooking, ice cream making, adventure taking experience you can imagine. 13 August 14

+coming home to find the ‘cutex’ man in the yard. Yes, I will have a polish change for 80 US cents. 24 July 14

cutex man
+all teachers participated in the district teacher conference 23 July 14

+Making my first Ethiopian dish-Shiro (split pea flour dish) because it’s me, I just asked the lady if I could have some of her flour first to try before investing in the big bag and she was nice and gave it to me. 23 July 14

+we got a swing at the school and the boys built a tire swing at the house 20 July 14

school swing

+The cat no longer coming in my window in the middle of the night unfortunately because his last life got caught in the security razor wire. 19 July 14

+Game Night with the boys; Battleship, Guess Who, Chinese Checkers, Lady Bugs 18 July 14

+Over 100 parents and kids at our first Family Games Day and EVERYONE participated in something. 5 July 2014

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+Praise and Worship with a word at the school. Thanks to our friend Ronald for leading with one of the teachers. 4 July 2014 Independence From Sin to let our Future Begin.

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+Homemade peach cobbler and an American flag cake. 4 July 2014

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+Watching folks learn how to blow fire, as an option to not having fireworks. 4 July 2014
+A Steak dinner and real A-1 sauce. 3 July 2014

+School dance lessons to my 80’s inspired flash drive 3 July 14

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+Seeing results from adding pressure to parents about school fees. Seems no one wants their kids sitting at home for days because they haven’t paid for last term not this term, which is half over. Hated to do it but that seems to be the only language that’s understood. 1 July 2014
+Seeing the Doors Primary kids enjoy themselves at Jesus Fest and realizing what a wonderful first time out of the slums experience this was for some of them. 29 June 2014

end of the Jesus Fest Day 2014 Jesus Fest 2014-Doors Primary is ready
+Having a neck choking hug an giant smile as I was a surprise visitor on boarding school visitation day. I was just as happy as my friend Vanessa. 30 June 2014

+Kampala Fashion Week Show was a blast; from getting my makeup done by Hayden, to heart filling compliments from the boys, to being identified as Rwandan and then using that to get us an upgrade to Platinum seating…and no i didn’t buy a single thing although i left with a free set of handmade jewelry. 19 May 2014

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+Being reconnected to facebook and the internet. Thank you to my cousin Nikki for helping me out in a major way. 27 April 2014

+Meeting new Black Americans and hanging out at the mall. 27 April 2014

+Term 1 holiday rest time. 25 April 2014

+Being included as a part of the family of several friends, with birthday party invites, Easter dinner, and the ability to just randomly stop by for a visit and boost-thanks to the Zuors and Wrights. April 2014

+continuing to gain new cultural experiences –Nderie Center and hanging out with Australians’ April 2014

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+A guardian feeling comfortable enough to ask for help with a child that’s got a bad case of the teen-tudes and adult disrespect.  Pray that counseling and tough love will work for this family, and even me-as this girl surely tries my patience too.  11 March 11, 2014

+Thankful for the work of our Ugandan, school social worker. She has been a blessing to the kids and parents, and is turning into a good friend.  11 March 2014

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+Skype dates and catching up with friends. 9 March 2014

+Day one of our Parent-Teacher Conference days was a win, with one parent showing up for the first time ever and 15 of our 89 kids having a parent come to see how the kids are performing at midterms.  We have two more days, so we’ll what the numbers look like. 10 March 2014

+Slurpee recipe-Mallory got the perfect consistency of a slurpee, now we will work on perfecting the taste. This could be fun and a super sugar rush. 9 March 2014

+foresight to carry a spoon in my purse for dinner, so that I didn’t have to use my natural utensils. 8 March 2014

+Juliet watching herself on the Doors sponsorship video.  She’s always very shy and quiet but I was thrilled when she volunteered and did a wonderful job on video. Stardom is just a bit much for her. 7 March 2014

juliet watching her video

+going for morning birthday greetings to one of my Jaja friends who turned 85 on Wednesday.  She was surprised to see me but was happy to tell me to “sing the birthday song because it’s my birthday.”  I can say I was more prepared for the birthday song than seeing the Jaja in her partial birthday suit (the original one.) 5 March 2014

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+A trip to the American style movies (super cold AC and all) at the new American style mall. Good movie (Legos), good company (Doors-EMI-Aussie) and good food at an upscale restaurant. Plus orange-grape mixed slushie.

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+Rest days. 15 Feb 14

+The election of student leaders.  I’m excited to see how these folks will shine. 14 Feb 14

+Seeing and being friends with Ugandans who are strong male role models willing to volunteer to spend time at the school with our kids.  For many of the kids I know this is one of the few positive male role model experiences that they see outside of our teachers. 14 Feb 14

+Completing the inspectors visit with peace and thanksgiving that he he’s the work we are trying to do….and now off to the races for the lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng list of things that need to be done in order to get closer to the licensing and registration process. 14 Feb 14

+Knowing all the moms at the parents meeting and being able to name all their kids from the lady with 1 to the mom with 9 kids at the school. 14 Feb 14

+Sam Forbes visit; So proud of her ability to manage the tears. lol 13 Feb 14  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

+Pizza at the shores of Lake Victoria with interesting musicians.  13 Feb 14

+Drop by visits to my friend Angela’s, she reminds me so much of my neighbor Mrs. Morrison. 12 Feb 14

+Tuesday series on church beliefs.  It’s nice to hear what the church here is founded on and to have so many things align with the beliefs and foundations I have from the states but without the specific outfits of different occasions, i.e. white for communion Sunday and baptisms. 11 Feb 14

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+Sunday dinners; BBQ sauce, Jamaican attempts, always desserts. 9 Feb 14

+Seeing DOORS kids at Sunday service as they are now going to boarding school for secondary. 9 Feb 14

+A day of rest. I didn’t realize how tired I was until failing asleep at 7:30 pm on a Friday night and not waking up until 2:30 am only to put on my pajamas and head back to bed. Spent the entire Saturday chillin’ in my ‘papa’ pajamas. 7 Feb 14

+Teaching the kids to make paper Valentine’s Day cards and explaining that the day is not just for married couples.  We’re still not on a LCVA Valentine’s level but we’ve got a start.  Next year-introduce the color-glitter, as my one friend believes glitter is surely a color. & Feb 14

+The best first week of the term, since I arrived. 7 Feb 14

+A box of American snacks from The Nieves, just at the perfect time to allow me to have a sandwich turned into a combo with pretzels and double stuffed Oreo with the winter snowflakes. 6 Feb 14

+Market day shopping and trying on pajamas, skirts, and tops on the street. I believe one of my parents is pretty well versed in my style as he has seen me every time I’m at the market trying things on. 6 Feb 14

+All but 4 students missing from school, home visits work, especially after the one mom ask s another parent “did your son go to school today because if not you are in trouble with Teacher Angela.” 6 Feb 14

+The Rain at 3am to cool down days of dry season heat. 5 Feb 14

+New clothes from my family and a tailor who can reduce the size for minimal fees. 3 Feb 14

+School excitement over the 2 PLE performances 3 Feb `14

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+Not falling during the muddy, slum walks. 5 Feb 14

+Slum walks to look for kids who haven’t attended the first 3 days of school. Eight families visited with almost all parents and students having the face of shock and fear but with promises of all saying I’ll see you tomorrow .5 Feb 14

+Teachers that care about our students and who are willing to walk and look for them. 5 February 2014

+Day 2 of the new school year brought a few more returning faces but we’re not fully at capacity and we’re waiting to see who actually shows up by Monday. as Ugandans don’t feel the need to come to school for the first week of classes. Thankfully the majority of our students have learned this is not the way DOORS Primary operates. 4 Feb 14

+We received the results for our two students who sat for the 7th grade (PLE) national exam.  One of the kids hadn’t been to school for years and over the short time at DOORS he has been able to catch up enough to get a Division 2 on the exams.  Students are grouped by Division. D1 means you score 4-12 on the 4 exams (1 being the best score possible.) D2 begins from 13 to 20., then D3, followed by an incomplete and failure.  the teaches and kids were so proud to see that our 2 pupils had a D1 and D2 (which only missed D1 by 1 point.) I’m so pleased with the hard work and dedication of everyone. 3 Feb 14

+Great first day of school. Not all the kids showed up but the ones who did were ready to work and well behaved, which was super nice. 3 Feb 14

+And we have a new Primary 2 teacher on Friday January 31 for the new term starting Monday February 3. 31 January 14

+Gifts hand delivered from America. Old and new things all bring cheer and excitement.  Love the love of family and friends. 3 Feb 14

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+Maintaining a calm as I still need a new teacher by Monday’s official beginning of term. 27 January 14

+Mango pie, burgers, and fresh cut French fries on Australia Day.  I added a beat to the burger just so my Australian roommate wouldn’t be by herself with that. 26 January 14

+Refreshed, renewed, restored.  Thank heavens for a week of prayer and fasting at the church. 25 January 14

+the welcoming of Christmas cards in January. 22 January 14

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+the ability to walk in without an appointment and begin a root canal procedure 15 January 2014

+laptop is running much faster after some help form an IT guy at one of the international schools. 15 January 14

+homemade chili with beans that I actually ate-good and spicy and the brownies just added that extra yum-yum touch 14 January  14

+dentist refusal to give me a crown saved money and avoided unnecessary pain 14 January 14

+brunch with friends  11 January 14

blkred.jpg+Ringing in the new year at church, just as if I were still in the states. 1 January 2014

+It’s very possible that I may only need a new power cord for my laptop, although i think i better still invest in an external hard drive. 31 December 2014

+Grace and favor to get out of being ‘charged’ (nor paying a bribe) with improper use of  a vehicle after making and illegal U turn. Sorry, I didn’t see a sign. 31 December 13

+Being able to spot a great pair of shoes at the street market, from the window of the car.  Stopping and having a Doors Primary parents be just in the nick of time to help me negotiate-thanks Dad of Bright. 31 December 13

+Waffles for New Year’s Eve dinner in my new waffle iron. Thanks Angela W. I think the boys loved it just as much as I did.  31 December 13

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+Hayden P as the first overnight guest in the new place. December 2013

+New black American friends and time at a retreat center for Christmas dinner.  As the youngest for the group, it felt more like a combination of friends and grandparents, which was cool.

+Katie’s mom was able to visit Uganda and she was a trooper and a gem, as her bag only arrived after she was on the plane returning to the states.  She had every reason to be upset and complain but she merely found ways to love and enjoy the full experience.

+We had visitors from Thanksgiving night until the 17h of December, it yielded itself for a crazy few weeks of late night/early morning airport runs but the overall we were able to have vacation bible school for the kids and we got some additional tables and benches built for the school.

+An up graded Christmas tree from last year. This year we had a 5 foot tree with ornaments hung on the wall including a giant star, and white lights versus our tree drawn on a dry erase board last year.

+New blog site design thanks to Jobie (Joesph) Baker

+Dinner at Pastor Peter’s with the Doors girls. December 2013

+A suitcase full of school supplies for the coming year-woohoo chalk board erasers. 29 November 2013

+Kampala all night outdoor worship, even if I only stayed until midnight and not 6am. 29 November 2013

+Having parents show appreciation to me and the staff for the job well done this year. 29 November 2013

+Thanksgiving dinner 28 November 2013 thanksgiving plate 2013

+An OVEN to cook mac and cheese and sweet potato pie 28 November 2013 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

+Living room furniture 23 November 2013 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

+/- finally moving into my own place after months of searching and praying but not as excited as I thought I would be. 23 November 2013

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+help with the laundry, since the lady who regularly helps is out on maternity leave. 16 November 2013

+sushi in Uganda 15 November 2013

+Hayden P in from the village. 15 November 2013

+ Gratitude’s and grumbles, even if it meant hearing grumbles directly pointed at me. 15 November 2013

+Recognizing that I’m grown as a person and not allowing myself to be seriously wounded by words. 15 November 13

+work being done on my new blog site…don’t worry I’ll let you know when everything is complete and how to keep following me. 14 November 2013

+/-Finding a place that claims to have Southern Fried Chicken but being too afraid to try it in fear that it wouldn’t taste like my aunts. 3 November 13

+Having my WI friends meet  a VA friend of mine in Jinja and getting his number for me.  I feel popular-teeheehee. 3 November 13

+A children’s triple birthday party where the honorees and hosts are Nigerians, meaning GREAT West African food full of spicy seasoning and 3 birthday cakes.  I think I might need to tag along with my friend and her kids at all upcoming birthday parties. lol 2 November 13

+Driving in downtown Kampala for the first time without accident and with the ability to find parking and to get back home. woohooo 2 November 13

+Having the WI folks come to the school and serving as a mini workshop day for parents, kids, and staff with lessons in communication, finances, and songs. 31 October 13

+New SHOES from America 1 November 13

+Having the opportunity to see the excitement from sharing American baked gods and new shoes. 1 November 31

+Crunchy Peanut cookies and pound cake. 1 November 13

+The school kids grasp of English has improved so much that we didn’t even need a translator for the communication workshop. 1 November 13

+Having a family that is willing to make sacrifices an extend themselves to support me. 1 November 13

+Seeing someone I know at the Equator. 30 October 13

+Preparing praise and worship songs for the school with a piano player. 29 October 13

+picking fresh blackberries to have with milk and sugar for breakfast. 29 October 13

+Time in the village. Peaceful, clean air, and a lovely 8 bedroom house on a hill overlooking the mountains.  28 October 2013

+A raised bed with a real American mattress and box spring-it was like my old bed in the states without the pillow top but who cares when it’s a REAL mattress and not the regular covered foam pieces. 27 October 13

+The sounds of holiness and my church as Caroline touched those first keys on the piano and sang This Is The Day, I could have cried with joy. 27 October 13

+Visiting the Rakai village and orphanage. 26 October 13

+Seeing familiar brown faces in Uganda.  I love my friendship bowl of diversity but it has been nice to see Black American’s who know me and understand my humor and sarcasm. 25 October 13

+New shoes and gifts from my cousins. 25 October 13

 

+friends from Milwaukee being in Uganda and hopefully coming to the school next week; can’t wait to see them and to get birthday treats sent by my aunt and cousins-woohoo. 24 October 13

+Seven students getting a 95 or better on midterms, I guess food (cake) is a good incentive. 21 October 13

+50% of the students have PURCHASED their sportswear uniform. 21 October 13

+healings 18 October 13

+celebration of more October birthday’s with my roommate Ashley and one of the boys. 20 October 13

+being automatically tagged as African even if it means being labeled Ugandan, Rwandan, and now Kenyan. 20 October 13

+Kenyan Hero’s Day and the pride that Kenyan’s feel-so strong that many ladies wore the flag in some form of a dress. 20 October 13

+Spicy Indian food cooked by a Ugandan. 20 October 13

+Strong possibility of getting a place 16 October 2013

+birthday outfits finally being completed by the tailor.  Seems the power man was out to keep me from rocking new gear on my birthday as both tailors couldn’t complete the jobs because of power outages. 16 October 13

+Staff working together to cover the absence of a sick teacher for the entire first 7 days of the term. 23 September 13

+All but 6 kids being back by the first day of the 2nd week of Term 3..and yes I have gone looking for those 6 and expect them soon.  Sucks to be fussed at in front of your neighbors in the slums. 23 September 13

+/-Understanding that I was being talked about for my clutch purse not perfectly matching my gomezi when showing pictures to the teachers. Plus for picking up the Luganda not so plus on the comment but I did call them out-so BAM. 22 September 13

+Self-service buffet-meaning my food did not have to touch at the wedding ceremony.  There is no such belief in the divider plate here-everyone uses the pile all the food on top of each other method.-yeeeeeeeeee 21 September 13

+cute, little individually wrapped chicken pieces smoked in banana leaves. 21 September 13

+being able to buy picture copies on the spot. 21 September 13

+Seeing that family comments cross all borders of land and sea, as I rode in the car with three of the groom’s nieces. 21 September 13

+The boys being so proud and wanting to take  pictures with me dressed like a Buganda woman. 21 September 13

+Good staff meeting where the history and testimony of DOORS was given. 20 September 13

+free internet for my phone thanks to coke connect codes found under soda bottle tops.  Why yes you do need to buy a soda to get the code from the bottle top or you could just go to the little shop next door and ask that they save the bottle caps after opening sodas for folks.-Holla-and since I’ve figured out how to download pics from my phone to facebook, I can maximize.    On the flip side I would love to work for the Marketing and Customer Service folks of cell services here because their communication of rates, packages, specials is HORRIBLE and yep I have told them on several occasions, maybe I need to write them a letter (MDC) 14 September 13

+Seeing the boys still full of excitement about learning and home school.  I never imagined the boys getting pumped to do homework or to show off their papers from class.  In only two weeks the difference in attitude towards learning has be remarkable. They have improved and not having to hear comments from students in their class nor the teachers saying they are too old or laughing at them when they don’t have the correct answers has been a great confidence builder. 16 September 13

+shoe shopping online with my cousin, even though there’s nothing better than going in the store to try on the millions of pairs to see that the not so cute in the box is cute on the foot and the super cute in the box is cut narrow and short.  After too many hours I had to call in the Big Heels- my best shoe shopping partner in style-Stacey, man am I tired and I never left the bed.  15 September 13

+Productive Saturday of work. 14 September 2013

+Being a part of the neighborhood community, whether this means having conversations with the guys sitting at the bar (which happens to be the place you must pass to get to our gate) , spending time sitting at the corner store with Jaja and working the cash register, well cash drawer cause small shops don’t have registers, just a desk drawer of money, being at the store so long that I get to have a late 4pm Ugandan lunch, or getting to know the police officers at our area police station, within walking distance to the house.  The common thread to each of these stops and chats is that every person mentioned that they’d seen me out and moving around. Now I must say that when the police told me this I got a touch nervous.  I knew I hadn’t committed any crimes but I was thinking ‘have they seen me going off on some taxi driver or boda man?’  Thankfully the one female officer had seen me going to the pool but because I don’t always know the ‘when’ button, I gave her my thoughts on the waste of money that occurs whenever the president wants to spend time at the resort when there are so many other things the country needs to use the money on.  Politely, she gave me a nice political, I’m not saying a word smile. 10-15 September 13.

 

+Stuffing drawstring bags from my friend DJ Tina Dixon at Harlem College Radio. It’s like preparing Christmas stocking with school supplies for the new term. Check Tina out every Sunday night from 9 to midnight est. www.WHCR.org 10 September 13

+massage discount days and my first hot stone massage for an hour and 30 minutes. 4 September 13

+talks with a few people about putting their Christmas trees up with decorations that will have beauty and order, or at least decorations that don’t look as if someone threw the decoration box at the tree and said catch.  I have to submit proposals next month, so I could get some holiday funds. 3 September 13

+presentation to new engineer interns, it was as if I was presenting to new students or staff and of course I gave them a take away-woohoo 3 September 13

+time in the village, even if the majority of the 150+ adults didn’t speak English but assumed that I spoke Luganda and just talked to me or fussed at me for ‘scanning’ them (words used by a drunk man who thought I was taking his picture.) 1-2 September 13

+the Lord making provision for us to be able to pay full school salaries for the end of August. 30 August 13

+34 out of 39 primary students passed at least one exam with a 70 or above, this is up from 21 at the end of first term. 22 August 13

+3 students passed every single exam and the #1 student passed with her lowest grade being an 86 and two 99’s and a 100. 22 August 13

+end of term parent meeting had parents as early as ON-Time, so we could start only 20 minutes late. So-so much progress considering my very first parent meeting had the first parent arrive an hour and fifteen minutes after the communicated start time. 23 August 13

 

+finally the blog site and I are on the same page-we’re both working together to get new posts posted.  Sorry for the delay. 14 Aug 13

+/- I’ve introduced the boys to the love of reading magazines.  Now the down side is everyone is trying to take my brand new In Touch that I received from Hob on Friday.  Since I’ve said NO you cannot have my BRAND NEW magazine, I had 5 people at one point, surrounding me, some actually turning pages as I read. 11 August 2013

+God answers the frustrating questions and giving opportunities to discuss the frustrations. 10 Aug 13

+My Ugandan friend Ringtho having his gift make room for him to go to London and Somalia as a landscaper.  It was so awesome to see him back in the country and to hear how grateful he was to travel for the first time and of the skill that he learned in the village from his family. 8 aug 13

+Shawn T-Hip Hop abs at the boot leg dvd place-now let’s see how well this thing works 10 aug 13.  Well hip hop abs was really just the regular insanity-boooo to the boot leg.  I need ab work as the tailor continues to point out that the stomach is the hardest thing to loss and that mine is growing.  The tailor was topped by the jaja (grandma/senior citizen) who touched my stomach today and asked about my son.  I am thankful that the guy translating was trying to be nice by saying he didn’t quit get what she was saying but I got it.  When I said I had no kids and no husband, she proceeded to ask if she could pray for me and that she would pray that the guy was God fearing but she wouldn’t pray for any race so God could give me an African, a white, or whatever.  Gotta love seniors.  11 aug 2013

+following the shopping list, which included a new hole free mosquito net in blue and some $2 Gucci sunglasses to replace my broken $2 Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses. 10 Aug 13

+introducing Ugandans to tacos, guacamole, salsa, and cinnamon sugar chips. 9 august 13

+reggae bands 9 Aug 13

+my new friend Kevin the Kenyan, volunteering at the school all week and teaching the kids some Swahili 9 August 2013

+having the opportunity to both have and be a Barnabas (he was a encourager who had faith in God and people.  He took risks for others and he knew how to recognize the positive in others before pointing out their weaknesses.  He was a connector of people

+a missed public holiday meant a half day for my kids, a morning of dancing competition between students and teachers, and Teacher Angela chasing the popsicle in a cooler guy to have him bring homemade ice for all the folks who actually showed up for school, and surprisingly I didn’t even get one for myself. 8 Aug 2013

+school upgrades: a fence closing off one end and the box frame and a wall being replaced in nursery, thanks to Uncle Mark and security guard Hannington. 3 August 13

+2012 birthday gifts yet coming in… I know maybe I should have just hung on to open it this Oct. 8 2 Aug 13

+Skype date with Twin Oaks Baptist Church in Rocky Mount to end the summer series of prayer for different countries. Greta job Rebecca Ann Mason 7 Aug 13

+hanging out with Ugandan friends 2 & 9 Aug 13

+Facilitated my first Ugandan panel at the churches campusers (college students) camp.  Wasn’t so bad but of course I still had some Raise The Bar self-critique moments that I would change for next time. 5 Aug 13

+only being 4 minutes late for the new 7:30am church service, meaning early Sunday school and then a 9:30 am service for myself, leaving the 11:30 service for others, although I was asked if I would be staying to do a second Sunday school. 5 Aug 13

+introducing bowling to Ugandans and then sadly getting beat in both games by newbies bowling in socks. 3 Aug 13

+a weekend of rest and reorganizing my closet-well everything but the shirt shelves-eeek sleeves, short sleeve, and long sleeve are all mixed together. 4 Aug 13

+monkey bread made on our charcoal stove turned oven; some spots a touch doughy and others burnt, but the good parts of bread, cinnamon sugar, and walnuts-yum 24 July 2013

+surprising a friend at the zoo by having the boys show up before she returned to the US. 25 July

+Giant trees with tree swings. 23 July 2013

+Staff excited about resume/CV revisions, even if it meant me staying in the office until 6 pm to complete 5 one on one revisions in one day.  23 July 2013

+homemade pizza, homemade doughnuts that will give the hot doughnut sign a run for its money, and over the top laugher-that’s my Ugandan community 23 July 2013

+calls and texts that show people actually listen and understand my need to have communication, especially when ‘programs’ change. 22 July 2013

+homemade mini peach cobblers hot out of the oven and vanilla ice cream 22 July 2013

+My ant bite turned infectionis finally healing all while leaving a scar on my best feature-my leg.  Oh thank heavens I didn’t have to cut my leg off and forever end a life of great shoes. lol 19 July 2013

+ reconnecting with some old friends and realizing that my need to voice my opinion had led to the disconnect, especially when I’d been asked not to voice my thoughts-whoomp, whoomp sorry, maybe I don’t always know cultural responses. Good thing communication and apologizes have now been given on both sides. 18 July 2013

+The boys having Ugandan, Kenyan, NIgerian, American,  and New Zeeland examples and role models of men, teaching them to treat women with respect, honor all while adding the element of surprise and creativity. 17 July 2013

+ Parents that actually address their kids for misbehaving in Sunday School (and yep-I told and yo momma is a praise and worship leader an you out in my class acting a mess), 14 July 2013

+Personal size watermelon for $1.50 and it was GOOOOOOD 14 July 2013

+proud new smiles and thankful hearts for dental donations –YAY Timothy and Richard-pictures to come. 12 July 2013

+what good is a revolving floor restaurant without a piano man and Lionel Richie tunes 12 July 2013

+all in one fun; bowling alley, DJ, arcade, roller skating rink all under one roof and located on the top floor of the mall. Great fun with great people July 12, 2013

+birthday celebrations; New York style pizza, bowling, small dance party, desserts overlooking the city with the revolving floor 12 July 2013

+attending a mini worship night at Wilson Begembe’s church as an intro and fundraiser for the all night stadium worship night the last night in November 12 July 2013

+the ability to find my way and move around to new areas-Nasaana 12 July 2013

+Seeing Ugandan women actually form a single file line for a bag search, only for the line to become a mash pit once the doors opened-let the normal pushing and shoving begin 11 July 2013

+school pictures with some Tyra Banks worthy models from Nursery class 2 July 2013

+a sponsor to cover the remaining dental work for the boys 3 July 2013

+/- Realization that I still have much work to do on what comes out of my mouth.  So + for realizing but a –that it’s still a struggle. 4 July 2013

+the power to cancel school for American Independence Day, it does happen to fall right after midterms and the kids could use a break-right 4 July 2013

+Having an increased number of students with 80+ grades on midterms 3 July 2013

+skype time with The Lam-Michelle Lam that is. 3 July 2013

+having multiple calls from people at church/small group checking on me because they missed me at service and Sunday small group. 3 July 2013

+the Lord remembers silly requests-I want my next friends to have a boat-I didn’t say a big

+An LA video guy has extended his two week stay in Uganda and is helping us create DOORS promotional videos.  It’s funny because the girls said they weren’t used to seeing my professional side.  They have become used to the loud teacher Angela shouting for kids not to pee on the outside of the latrine. I was a touch nervous in front of the camera but I hope he can get some footage from my five takes. 28 June 2013

+Most days my boyfriend flashes me a smile and gives me a tiny hug.  Usually I told him that I love him, so, so much and he just smiles and generally repeats what I told him. Today when his mom came for Women’s Ministry she let me know that my boyfriend came home to tell her ‘Teacher Angela loves me so, so much.’ 25 June 14

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+Hanging out with my Black American friend Trina, watching Apollo and listening to Black Gospel music. 22 June 13

+BACON, Avocado, Cucumber sandwiches on toasted bread 20 June 13

+The “ARREST” of 6 rats this week.  Our new security guard was proud to tell me this news after the purchase of four traps and yes I still squeal every time I see one dead or alive.  EEEEEKKKKKK 21 June 13

+A great parent conversation to work on finding solutions to help one of my most behaviorally challenged students.  I love that parents recognize and own behavior issues versus trying to blame everyone else.  I also love that I can end meetings with prayer and teaching families to hug, especially since I am the most non-hugger person.  19 June 13

+I’m a leader; I’m a leader Sunday Morning service and now tonight’s small group.  I’m enjoying being accepted into this community. 19 June 2013

+really good day-parent meetings, education visits, shouting parents, leading bible study, with a nice walk home 19 June 13

+hearing the Lord’s voice speak on the smallest thing even if I don’t listen 19 June 13

+Children’s Sunday in the big church is complete and the kids did a really good job.  A few bumps for the continuous improvement developer but overall a good service. 16 June 13

+homemade oreo’s for an ice cream cake in Uganda-yes EMI Paul is AMAZING on the cooking skills and bringing America to Uganda. Boy was it DELICIOUS!!!! 16 June 13

+As of today all the children have officially returned to school, minus the boy who returned to the village. 11 June 2013

+Another wedding invite for June 22-excited especially since I am friends with this person and never had to attend a wedding meeting but still made a contribution. 11 June 2013

+great opportunity to learn life lessons while I talk through life lessons with Monica 11 June 2013

+New Mizzi (Swahili word for rooted) Bible study group and although better with time, we still did not make the 4 sharp time but I think I will enjoy the group. 9 June 2013

+Getting to see Tom at the soccer match set up between his home, our home, and another boys home. It was the first time many of these former street kids had seen their friends from the streets. 8 June 2013

 

+birthday celebrations are ever happening in a home of 19-the latest with an American cookout style celebration grilled meat, potato salad and fruit salad too. 7 June 2013

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+Seeing beaming faces after all the girls at DOORS Primary receive new dresses on a random out of the blue day. 5 June 2013

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+Direct statements of intentions even if they did make me raise and eye brow 3 June 13

+Mallory has returned-woohoo 3 June 13

+GREAT Art event at a café’/gallery called Mish Mash, featuring the art work of the DOORS Primary students. 2 June 13

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+Being able to take kids and a few parents on a brand new adventure and part of their town.  The art show allowed for a great day of pride, smiles, and fun.  So thankful for the work of Jess, my roommate and the Art Teacher, for Scott another American friend who set up 3 different music acts for the afternoon, and a community of friends who supported the event, including a church announcement. 2 June 13

+friendly faces in Sunday School and at church, welcoming me back to Uganda. 2 June 13

+Using my London layover effectively by taking a city bus and boat tour.  Great private guide and I noted a number of things I would love to do in London-and not all of them were shopping but a TJMaxx right across from a giant H & M would surely be on the list. 28 May 2013

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+The smell of Yankee Candles-one of my fav slurpee flavors on top of that (Peach Mango). Thanks Larry for the candles to cover cat yucky smells. 2 June 13

+Monday is a Public Holiday (Martyr’s Day) Celebrating 22 catholic matyr’s. No school 2 June 13

+setting up for the school’s first art show at an area café’ 1 June 2013

+crunchy, homemade peanut butter cookies that I shared for others delight 1 June 13

+a friends external hard drive with over 500 movies of all kinds only for me to pick the whackest one’s to watch; My super ex-girlfriend, Never Give Up 31 May 13

+a great gym workout 31 May 13

+checking an extra bag/tote to bring back more things vs mailing them 27 May 13

+being tackled with hugs and greetings from teachers and kids alike 30 May 13

+realizing people are just as concerned for me here as they are in the states 30 May 13

+my cousin finding a replacement battery for my favorite camera, that fits in my skirt pocket 12 May 13

+Slurpees-everyday now that my town has built a 7-eleven 20 May 2013

 

+connecting with friends and family and seeing faces of surprise and joy 20 May 2013

+Black American church services 20 May 2013

+OLIVE GARDEN salad and alfredo 19 May 2013

+Fashion Shows and friends following their passions. Congrats Richmond, VA Dress For Success be sure to check them out especially if you have professional clothing donations. 18 May 2013

+Longwood pot lucks planned from Uganda and a room full of wonderful folks-former students to faculty and staff 9 May 2013

+Longwood in the Spring 11 May 2013

+My SHOES-Heels, suede, shoe boxes Oh how I’ve missed thee 7 May 2013

+Thanksgiving in May and on a Tuesday-happy times 7 May 2013

+Thanksgiving dinner in May with surprised family members.  I love me some Jackson’s. 7 May 2013

+7-eleven does not disappoint on ethe first meal of slurpees, doughnuts, and jalepeno kettle chips. I know odd combination but at 10 pm after 17 hours of traveling-you know. 6 May 2013

+Safe arrivals in the US. 6 May 2013

+Nursery kids fixing my hair and making two side ponytails that were TIGHT and crocked. 26 April 2013

+confirmed ticket to the US of A for friends and family visit. 26 April 2013

+Random phone calls to friends in the states, it always makes me happy to hear the surprise in folks voices. 24 April 2013

+Work Permit papers have now gone to the next office for appearance and approval at the Wednesday meeting. 18 April 2013

+Friends excitement about Uganda gifts.  So glad DOORS Primary students were able to touch some hearts-DJ Dixon. 18 April 2013

+After the first day of exams, tests scores have improved significantly from midterm scores. Praise the LORD. 17 April 2013

+New bowls for all-we’ve upgraded from our plastic and I’ve told the boys that we shouldn’t break, lose, misuse, or remove the new bowls from the house.  I even labeled them with initials and said, no plate-no food. 13 April 2013

+Sitting at the ‘Kinko’s’ desk has now allowed me to greet customers and folks think I work here. One CV typed and printed.  LOL 16 April 2013

+Morning email from L-Jones…my staff…….. 16 April 2013

+Social gatherings and helping to host. Thanks EMI Rose for making your home feel like I’m with my family.  Southern connections-NC-VA. 13 April 2013

+Chamber-Long’s excitement and willingness to serve in anyway while here; bandaging wounds, reading with children, filling in as a substitute teacher to teach subjects that require she do the homework in order to learn to work, putting in 110%. 30 March-9 April 2013

+Maintain a calm, attitude free self as I was told that several signatures are needed on the documents to precede my Work Permit papers.  Just trusting the Lord that the timing and wait will be worth it all 9 April 2013

+Warmed, made-to-order sandwiches on fresh whole grain bread eaten on the back of a boda. 9 April 2013

+Private hire drivers and safe journey’s even if the brakes were just a bit over touched. 6-8 April, 2013

+Friends still having confidence in my work skills and sharing job posts. 8 April 2013

+Finally making the moment to complete bungee jumping after having it on the wish list for years. 8 April 2013

+Packages from home that included homemade peanut butter cookies, baked nice and crunchy, just the way I like them.  Now to pace myself…but they are soooo good. April 8, 2013

+hikes in the rain without a fall in the muddy path we followed. 7 April 2013

+Managing outdoor community showers and latrines. 5-8 April, 2013

+Chicken on a stick purchased through the window of the car, on the side of the road. 8 April 2013

+Waterfalls. 6-7 April 2013

+Rainbows and thunder storms. 6-7 April 2013

 

+Holidays in Uganda with a mix of old and new traditions with a house full of fun, friends and family (36). March 30, 2013

+Still taking time to dye Easter Eggs even if the only food coloring that works on brown eggs, is red. March 30, 2013

+Fresh lamb-Finger lickin’ good. March 30, 2013

+Easter dessert table-sad face for not getting a picture. March 30, 2013

+Katie pulling out the Pintrest skills from her mom to make a bunny rabbit Easter cake and foil and fabric Easter eggs because the plastic ones aren’t sold here. March 30, 2013

+Being able to show my friend around and creating excitement about Uganda. March 30, 2013

+New Easter outfit, thanks to The Obi’s Nigerian fabric. March 30, 2013

+My first friend visit from the US-thanks Chamber-Long and an a BIG welcome come on over to all my friends. March 29, 2013

+Gifts from home which included a homemade pound cake with caramel icing, Essence magazines, along with the Vogue issue featuring the First Lady, and 2 new cell phones-don’t forget I still need your number. March 29, 2013

+The boys doing a great job in the church play and yes I attended 2 of the 3 sows. March 28, 2013

+A four day weekend for Easter. March 28, 2013

+tan lines from a day at the pool. March 28, 2013

+Good Friday service at the Makeree University sports complex. March 28, 2013

+The first step towards the work permit has been approved but the next steps are being held up due to the 4 day public holiday weekend. March 25, 2013

GEDC2067.JPGEaster Outfit preparation time with the tailor-Sarah.  We had a little difference of opinion on a few ideas but hopefully it will all turn out great. 19 March 2013

+New functioning latrines that even I visit, always turning to look for the flushing handle. Lol 19 March 2013

GEDC2054.JPGA recovering nursery student.  She looks a 110% better than the last time I saw her at the hospital for malnourishment. 18 March 2013

+The girls heart in helping others, even when it means coming home to a nauseous American girl who had no place to go in Kampala. 18 March 2013

+Boys being more than excited to be in the church Easter Production.  They have been loving every minute of rehearsals, including the overnight weekend rehearsal.  The 3 shows are days a few days away.  16 March 2013

+Friends sharing their excitement about new jobs, interests, and relationships.  16 March 2013

+American style cookout’s in a homemade, oil barrel grill with the emi engineering interns.  Burgers, fried and grilled potatoes, guacamole, chips, chocolate chip cookies, Jiffy cornbread-just cause, red Kool-aid, and Arnold Palmer. 16 March 2013

+ MIdterms complete, no perfect scores but 90’s, and of course plenty of areas for improvemnts before final term exams.  15 March 2013

+A day at the Lake Victoria Hotel pool with the Lambie family (the folks I babysat for.)  A nice day of relaxing and the other American family brought homemade rice crispy treats with real marshmallows from the states. Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhmazing 9 Mrch 2013

+ Women’s Day being a Public Holiday so I used it as a body scrub massage and hair styling day. 8 March 2013

+Woman’s Day-The day that woman gained equal rights as men.  Some of the things they gained rights for were eating at the table and not sitting on the floor.  The ability to sit next to men.  Being able to eat chicken-yes rights restricted food.  What the devil?  Those are just a few of the perks women in Uganda gained with the UN International Women’s Day. 8 March 2013

+Pictures of the American snow days helping to give me a mental cool down. 7 March 2013

+International Women’s Day being a public holiday-yes, thank you Jesus for a long weekend. 7 March 2013

+The shock when I make surprise calls to the states.  I could do more but some folks have yet to send me their numbers-boo to you-lol 7 March 2013

+Teachers being flexible in helping to fill in, rearrange schedules, and sub for other teachers who were out. 7March 2013

+Babysitting thank you’s in the form of massage gift certificates-YES!!! Almost seems wrong considering I had fun  over the weekend and only a few times where my Ms. Javckson voice had to come out. 6 March 2013

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+Emails and updates from former students keeping me posted on job searches and interviews.  Makes me feel connected and encouraged that I’m still a part of their futures. 6 March 2013

+Meeting more Americans, that actually live close to our house.  The wife has a twin named Angela to I think she’ll surely remember my name and I think I have their names down too. Andrea, Richard, and little Benjamin .5 March 2013

+Twitter, Facebook, and email shout outs from my Student Affairs colleagues during the National ACPA conference.  I missed seeing  my old hanging partners and great discussions and learning, can’t wait for you to share some knowledge with me and of course some of your winnings –lol 5 March 2013

+Praise and Worship at the DOORS home on a Wednesday night. 6 March 2013

+Confirmation that Chamber-Long is coming for a visit at the end of the month.  Can this home handle another TN person besides Katie. 4 March 2013

+Roadside pedicure.  I always see these guys and their mani/pedi baskets walking the streets and thought I would like to try that.  I told some friends about it and S. Allen sent a little clipper set to carry in my bag in case I needed roadside assistance.  Well I got my first pedi and polish.  For less than $1 I had good service and the same-mess up my toes getting my shoes on experience that I have at any place. 4 March 2013

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+Being able to just drop by and see friends with a side bonus of a fried fish sandwich with hot sauce and homemade fries/chips. Thanks Trina and kids.  28 Feb. 2013

+Mr.Cartwright being a great sport and teaching upper primary about cars and the mechanics of a ‘motorcar.’ 27 Feb. 2013

+Small group discussions. 27 Feb. 2013

+The ability to look Smart because my friends send me things-Thanks Stace and Hob on the smaller size clothing hook-up. 26 Feb 2013

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+A week of putting my envelope of condiment packages to use; ketchup, mustard, mayo, strawberry and GRAPE jelly packets, plus some Taco Bell hot sauces.  Man of man good friends in deed Bobbie Jo and The Utzinger’s and only 4 little packets burst but I surely washed every single packages and now I carry a zip loc bag of condiments on me.  Yes, I’m friends with your grandmother or great aunt with the giant purse 24 Feb 2013

+Sunday School kids introduced me to the freezer pop lady near the church.  You know what I’ll be having after service and between services every Sunday, and with a few to go and with then only being 100 ugx or $0.04-it’s a must. 24 Feb. 2013

+High School girls from the church boarding school, helping me with Sunday School especially when the other teacher didn’t tell me she’d be gone. 24 Feb 2013

+Weekend babysitting gig of 5.  Oh thank heavens there was a teen to help me out. 22-24 Feb 2013

+Novida pineapple soda after it’s been in the freezer for a few hours-now that is almost a slurpee.  23 Feb. 2013

+Pulled pork BBQ or should I say sliced pork that I hooked up because the butcher failed to shred the pork as I asked. 20 Feb. 2013

+Katie returning and bringing her dad along. 18 Feb. 2013

+Productive days even when the To Do List only received a few check marks. 18-20 February

+Care packages and the extra bonus notes on the front of the box from a friend in the US Postal Office (Hey PeeWee). 20 February 2013

+Picture collages (Hob and The Blakely’s). 20 February 2013

+A real working internet stick. 19 February 2013

+Diverse looks; American: madras and cowboy boots; School girl: Shouting red uniform; Ugandan/American: ketenji and western pants (whoops-missing that pic-soon to come).  19 February 2013

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+Teachers excited for uniforms and staff ID cards.  It seems that every place here gives ID cards and that too adds legitimacy and swag. Plus one proud supervisor who now has staff improving on picture taking poses. 19 February 2013

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+Having Nurse Katie back-is bought loud back to our home. 18 February 2013

+Uniforms!!! (Boys, girls, nursery)18 February 2013

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+Valentine’s Day gifts; #1 Teacher Hersery’s Kiss and hot pink Gap swing sweater. 14 February 2013

+A good first small group Bible Study fr the year even with a watering eye and runny nose.  I really missed the weekly fellowship and friendships. 13 February 2013

+Homemade chicken noodle and rice soup with enough left over for the next day.  “Auntie Angela what is that called? Chinese man soup.”  No pasta noodles do not deem something Chinese-lol  13 February 2013

+A Subway like lunch-chicken and mayo with lettuce (closest thing to chicken salad I’ve found) on a freshly made tiny bun, Uganda knock off Pringles, biscuits (somehow cookie like), Sprite, a Bob’s soft candy stick, and a slice of fresh pineapple with a Sprite on the side.  So good…and yes back to blog food references. 12 Feb 2013

+A new to me internet stick replacement, at half the price, although I should have listened to the inner voice going for 80% of the price. 12 Feb 2013

+Office/school upgrades, upgrades, upgrades.  12 Feb 2013

+Tuesday market bargaining and a fried fish for dinner that was a grand total of $0.80.

+Positive thoughts and feelings from the new staff members as we began one-on-one’s this week. 12 February 2013

 

+Finding out that I was the very first house guest of Gracious and Ringtho-the wedding couple. 10 Feb 2013

+An excellent Sunday School, with demonstrations of Moses parting the Red Sea, and a powerful Sunday service on the Holy Spirit.  I’m excited that small groups start this week, I’ve missed that time with my Ugandan friends.  10 Feb 2013

+Fabric has been purchased to make new curtains for our newly painted living room and kitchen.  Along with picture frames and pictures for those areas-Our home continues to upgrade HGTV style-10 Feb 2013

+Rhiana (the nursery student who had a hole in her heart) is out of the hospital recovering after a successful surgery. 9 Feb 2013

+Thankful for safety and protection each and every day.

+Purchasing ‘shouting red’ fabric for school uniforms, which are promised to be completed by Feb 18.  You know I love some red ‘cause it looks good on me and black people-lol.  Be on the lookout for school pictures…and yes I have asked to have a pinafore (nursery girls’ jumper) and a pair of red slacks made for myself. 9 Feb. 2013

+Seeing Denis from Internal Affairs at the Pork Joint near the school.  Thank the Lord, because I lost his number as well.  Now the funny thing is that he recognized me before I saw him and he came and hugged me.  Of course I asked about my work permit and he’ll be checking my file number on Monday.  Look at what an AMJ postcard, frank words, and American treats can do.  9 Feb 2013

+Teacher’s taking action and adding debate and extra reading, writing, and speaking exercises to the students daily work.  Now I need the teachers to look around the rooms and make sure they are completely cleaned before departing but we will get there.  8 Feb 2013

+A Hug in a box from the Gay’s, along with good treats and dryer sheets that have added to a fresh Bounce smell in my closet because some days you need to trick the mind into thinking the clothes were machine dried versus line dried. 6 Feb 2013

+Being able to help a former Longwood student and her elementary class by taking pictures of their traveling jaguar at our school.  My kids and teachers were excited and hopefully her kids will be just as excited to see the jaguar in chapel, having lunch, and as the first décor on my new office walls. 6 Feb 2013

+Kevin (a female) the Orange store customer service rep offered the best customer service I’ve experienced since being in Uganda.  I’m writing a friendly email to Orange because she deserves to be recognized for not letting other staff or customers intrude as she was helping me and she continued to help me at the same level of excellence for two days.  Orange is my internet provider and has the best international calling card.  6 Feb 2013

+Having a functioning office; table, chairs, a bookshelf, strips to hang some pictures.  I’m excited to decorate. 5 Feb 2013

+Thankful for progress and growth, from school expansions to teacher lesson plans and schemes that re followed and easy to follow when we need to have a subsitute.  5 Feb 2013

+Teachers using and enjoying the new Teacher lounge/resource room. 5 Feb 2013

+Our timetable/ school schedule is working smoothly with only 1 reprint/adjustment needed. 5 Feb 2013

 

+Mark’s super willingness to help me get things together at the school, even if it meant changing his entire program for the weekend.  He moved and hung doors, painted by lantern, sat with the carpenter to put pressure on him to complete the task, he even exchanged the new jerry cans several time for me as I couldn’t decide on the best colors as I sat in the car with fear that cutting it off would mean that it wouldn’t restart.  27 January 2013

+Mallory coming back. 27 January 2013

+Ice water-Ahh refreshing. 27 January 2013

+A post office box full of mail, cards and letters  from VA to TX to China, and the China letter made it to me un just under 4 months.  22 January 2013

+Inauguartion Live Stream.  Just waiting on the personal updates. 22 January 2013

+Jaja bringing sweets back from America for me and then inviting me to her nieces’ graduation dinner.  22 January 2013

+Always having an open invitation to “you come, you eat” from the lady who manages the liquor store, next to the bar, down from our house.  21 January 2013

+Having a friendly welcome from the neighbors when I return home at the end of the day.  21 January 2013

+Raspberry tea mixed with Crystal light lemonade and ICE CUBES of course because we do have a fridge-hello cool refreshment.  20 January 20, 2013

+Being recognized by some of the Sunday School kids as I walked down the street.  “Teacher Angela, teacher Angela.” 20 January 2013

+Giant freeze pops at the Super Supermarket-yep that’s the name  Ahh, Mr. Grape I heart you, you add such a cooling touch after a long day of work on these HOT January days.  And yes, that is my Zebra snuggie as a backdrop. 19 January 2013

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+Messages that more packages are on the way. So appreciate the love and the willingness to take on the extreme shipping costs.  19 January 2013

+Our new latrines are looking good.  I would guess they’ll be complete by the end of next week. 18 January 2013

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+A productive day, even if the full To DO list isn’t complete, a number of tasks got checked off.  I’m coming for you head on Mr. Procrastination. 20 January 20, 2013

+ Old but new Sunday dress thanks to Melissa hope’s shopping and shipping from the AMJ boutique.  20 January 2013

+A clean room, at least for the last 24 hours. How long will this last?  20 January 20, 2013

+New forms (benches) ,two office chairs, and a fresh coat of paint on the desks and chalk boards. The carpenter should have more desks and bookshelves ready next week and I just might be able to have a real desk with those new chairs.  Thanks Alena and Anitra S. for your donations to the school.  19 January 2013

+Giant freeze pops.  I almost took a lady out in the supermarket when I saw her with a freeze pop with the Kool-aid logo.  AHH what a treat, if only the supermarket was open after midnight, I would surely be there at this very moment for one. 17 January 2013

+Thankful for Dr. Ken who came and did an excellent job of medical services at the school.  We saw everyone that “wanted/needed” to be seen, even the folks that I could already diagnose with “dehydration and a virus.” Nurse Katie would have been so proud. 17 January 2013.

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+The latrine is almost done, thanks to my newly acquired brick laying skills-yep, I do it all.  OK well maybe I learned how to and laid a few of the bricks and then our boys from the house helped the mason’s do the rest but either way-it looks good and should be ready by the first official day of the term (28 January.)  17 January 2013

+Special hand delivery of goods from the states, thanks to new friends in Uganda. 16 January 2013

+Request from a former student staff to help her Nursery class out with their Flat Stanley-like project.  Thrilled to take their guy around for pics at our school. 15 January 2013

+Multiple encouraging messages this week from the states saying that I have inspired, blessed, or helped them through my work in the states and here.  I heart my former staff, students, and colleagues.  15 January 2013

+I impressed myself by remembering how to get to some of the students houses in the slums, since there are no street signs and all sorts of twists, turns, moving under laundry, and over streams of dirty water, I was thrilled but I probably need to take someone who speaks Lugunda because after the shocked look most parents are clueless to what I’m saying. Lol. 16 January 2013

+Thankful for Mallory and Katie who do so much to lead and manage DOORS Ministries.  Being here without them –weeee-they are missed – thankfully Mallory returns next Sunday but no Nurse Katie until mid Febuary. 15 January 2013

+ So appreciate a loving family and friends that support me and tries to comply with the ever most random and crazy request that I might have even miles and miles away. Linda J, Melissa, Nikki, Sandy, Stace, Hob, Larry. Christmas in January. 15 January 2013

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+Four students brought school fees and many came with items from the school supply list. 14 January 2013

+Kids started returning to school on Monday for half days of reading and coaching/tutoring.  Not everyone has returned from the village but Nursery students never fail to turn out in big numbers-27 and that’s not everyone Nursery person.  So yes prayers for me and especially the Nursery teacher’s-great and highly appreciated. 14 January 2013

+Bob’s candy canes-the best and yes you can tell the difference in taste.  10 January 2013

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+Boxes from longtime friends full of school supplies.  Thank you Rebecca Ann, Mason Crew, and your church family.  10 January 2013

+Finding a plan that has awesome rates for calling the US but I might need to get a cheapo phone (supposedly I can find something for $15 US) to makes those calls on because changing out SIM cards in my phone has now caused the phone to think is June and six hours behind on the time display.  I will also need to properly manage myself on the calls and airtime purchases. DISCIPLINE-DISCIPLINE-I can do this. 9 January 2013

+For American Night we planned to have tacos, chips, fresh salsa and guacamole.  It just so happens taco seasoning mix could not be found in the store but never fear, I hooked up some things and man oh man-yum with homemade sour chip to top things. 10 January 2013

 

+Added paint color to the house.  One blue bedroom, a brick red kitchen, and a light grey living room.  Alena has done a good job heading up this project. 10 January 2013.

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+High Class living-fridge, ice cubes, and I purchased a plate so I don’t have to have my food touching in a bowl.  Yep-yep-yep. 9 January 2013

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+My strawberry ‘frozen juice’ was so much closer to a slurpee today than my first experience.  The guy asked me to wait for him to add more mix but I told him, this is how it should be-more ice than juice.  Since the machine was going pretty slow, I told him I could handle filling my cup as long as he could manage getting me a full bag of popcorn. 7 January 2013

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+Having the ‘you look smart’ comment and nod from the head dentist.  Thank you Dr. Tom, your comment completely washed away the other comment that said I looked like a tourist. 7 January 2013 And yes, this was a full photo session in one of the dentist patient rooms-while the boys were getting x-rays.

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+The dentist said that Richard’s teeth look better just from the last time.  He could tell the difference in his cleaning habits.  That’s right you go AMJ with the tooth brushing tutorial at home.  On to the flossing tutorial-but I let Dr. Carol walk them through those steps as I took pics, I mean don’t you take ‘snaps’ at the dentist. Lol 7 January 2013

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+Nigerian fabric and raspberry tea from The Obi’s.  New fashions to come –yep yep 7 January 2013

 

+Always a plus to see people that I know on the street or in the taxi. Hey. 7 January 2013

 

+New help on getting the work permit processed-still moving forward.  6 January 2013

 

+A working fridge with correct plug but a forgotten surge protector. 6 January 2013

+Finally faux hawk hair success. 5 January 2013

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+Birthday celebrations, Ethiopian food style with cookies and ice cream after. Happy Birthday Jess. 5 January 2013

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+How did I fail to mention my almost 7-eleven experience.  After my dentist visit, I treated myself to a Big bite hotdog (more of a cross between a regular hotdog and a foot long hotdog but in a foot long fresh baked bun), chips (nothing to write home on there other than the mix of fresh and not so much), and a slurpee (frozen strawberry juice-with more sugar rush action than frozen but delightful all the same.) You go City Oil-with the convenience stand out front that also has frozen yogurt, ice cream, and pop corn. 4 January 2013

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+We got a fridge.  Now we danced and jumped when we saw the very first one at 400,000-great price considering the others we’d seen were at least 650,000.  Well a little less dancing was needed when I was told that the first fridge had a broken compressor which would cost 180,000 to 200,000 to fix.  So on to the next one, which was on ‘special’ for 500,000.  So still a good deal, with a two year guarantee. After our purchase we went to the grocery store next door and got some refrigerated items.  Nothing goes without being an adventure-and to wrap up the adventure, the plug fits in NONE of the house outlets nor adapters that we have.  So now to find a jumbo 3 round prong adapter- another day, another story. 5 January 2013

+I got a chair for my room.  Well it’s one of the lawn chairs that come in the bag-you know the very one that’s in the trunk of our car, or I guess packed away for the winter in your basement or garage at this point.  I wanted the mega bag chair with lounge ability and the comfort of curling up inside to watch a movie but I thought $90 US for such a chair was indeed RIDICULOS-no matter how comfy.  I would still like something to curl up in but at least I have a start.  A CHAIR-I’m Big Time now. LOL 5 January 2013  I thought I would be getting another-wicker living room chair as well, I paid 75% down and planned to pick the finished product the following day, only to receive a call that they man felt he didn’t charge me enough and he wouldn’t give me the chair for the lesser price.  His counterparts told him he could get more-probably because of my muzungu accent but not so my friend-i’ll just pray and belive that someone will give me a chair for free-so there-no money for you.

 

+Ahh-The African Walmart better known here as The Game.  Merchandise lighting, areas with hard wood laminate flooring, shelves with price tags, fresh flowers to buy when you enter the store, a customer service desk that takes returns, signage to mark the aisles, workers with hot pink and black golf shirts, intercom systems. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  The Luggo outdoor Mall is pretty American and it felt like the states,  out at the mall shopping on a Saturday morning (well the morning wouldn’t be me in the states but you get what I’m saying.)  The only difference was the absence of any clothing and shoes stores, which was interesting but the purpose was a chair and fridge-so no need for the other things. 5 January 2013

+Clean teeth, no cavities, the same message to floss more-just like in the states, and an unexpected facial from the water pic. Not Swift Creek Dental with Dr. Wilson and staff but I still love the dentist-Bling and big smile. 4 January 2013

+Purchased all the remaining textbooks needed for our new P7 class 4 January 2013

+Having my first real motorcycle ride (not a boda boda) be in Uganda on Suzuki but still a motorcycle. 3 January 2013

+Nice Beach Resort (more lake front) experience with picnic tables, a playground, boat rides, DJ, snack bar, ahh yes the giant Flintstones birds that just come right on up to the tables, and within walking distance from the house. 3 January 2013

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+Ketinji Christmas stocking, thanks to my holiday host Terrie. 30 December 2012

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+Having the cool safari van with the pop up top, allowing us to stand in the seats and look out for animals.  29 December 2012

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+Having an awesome safari guide (Kizeto) who tried his best to make sure we got good sightings of the animals at Queen Elizabeth. 29 December 2012

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+Quiet (with the Lord and away from the city) and fresh air.  You don’t realize how loud the city is until you return from the still peace of nature.  I always realize the smell of the city and man-oh-man isn’t fresh air grand. 29 December 2012

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+Card games on safari-Phase 10 baby and Crowns. 27 December 2012

 

+A hot water ‘hitter’ that worked in the hostel.  The directions said be sure to cut on the hitter before you shower.  I failed to take a pic (of the sign that is.) 27 December 2012

 

+Combining new and old holiday traditions. Puzzles, games, breakfast in pajamas, candle light service in a garage, food, laughs, fun. 25 December 2012

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+Technology and the ability to connect with my family on Christmas. 25 Christmas 2012

 

+Having multiple Christmas Day invitations. 24 December 2012

+Being comfortable with a new church in Uganda.  There are some oh so nice people at Ggaba Community Church and they have a children’s choir traveling to the states on January 2 until June.  If you live in AL, check them out. 23 December 2012

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In front of the GCC tree with Pastor Peter.

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+New teaching staff confirmed and in place before my Christmas Day goal. 23 December 2012

+First trip to the mall just so happened dto be on the last Saturday before Christmas.  There were traffic jams all over the place and people filled the mall.  There was also a Black Santa :)  The other high was I found a pair of pants on sale, which means i now have a pair of pants that fit and fit correctly without a belt.  Downside-the lady said they don’t have after Christmas sales, she even asked wny a store would do such a thing-no Black Friday or After Christmas sales. What?  Not that I’m here for shopping but who doesn’t want to opportunity to at least see a deal.  22 December 2012

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+Catching up with friends on facebook chat (Hob and J-Leadbetter) at early hours of the Ugandan morning.  23/22 December 2012

 

+Good night rains for sleeping almost all week. December 2012

 

+/- Mallory and our boys being able to make visits to see their families.  Bitter sweet. 20 December

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Last family dinner of the year.

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+Finally getting my box from Tracy R, only 3.5 weeks after it had been sitting at the Post Office.  Because I build relationships, 4 of the 5 folks working on that day knew exactly what I was coming for and I didn’t even have to ask for the penalty voucher (if a package isn’t picked up in 7 days there is a 1,000 shilling per day fee), Rachel just came with all the paperwork in hand. nor give my name or box number. 20 December 2012

+Christmas dinner turning out well.  Not having those instant or quick fix advantages has increased some skill sets for me. Fresh green beans with whole grain corn seasoned with onions, leeks, garlic, and pork bones, homemade mashed potatoes, pesto pasta, breaded chicken tenders, and banana pudding.  I even let my food touch these days…usually not by choice. lol 19 December 2012

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+Christmas cards arriving and news that holiday and school packages have been mailed. !8 December 2012

+Finding my way to the Bootleg DVD man to get a good deal on some movies and US TV shows that I miss. SCANDAL Season 2-intense.  It’s so nice to now be in sync with all the facebook statuses people were having about the show.  18 December 2012

 

+Meeting more Black Americans and setting up future plans with them-I’m up to 8-yep-yep. 17/21 December 2012

 

+One of the worship team members asked me for music, so that the teams can add more Black American songs to their Praise and Worship list.  This means that I need to have some CD’s and song titles and words.  I think DJ Dixon from WHcR in Harlem is hooking me up.  Check DJ Dixon out every Sunday evening 10-midnight est) via live stream http://www.whcr.org/. 16 December 2012

 

+Going to Miami Beach for the first time-it just so happens that it was in Uganda.  The skin was all tan but that 9 month, natural kind of tan. Lol 16 December 2012

 

+Reliving my days of sales and making one-on-one connections by helping one of my friends sell Uganda bracelets at the beach. They didn’t think I could do a good job in the ‘search for money’ or making a sell.  So I took that as a challenge and of course sold 18 in 15 minutes.  Bring It Suckers.  Sad part is I sold exactly enough to cover the cost of my huge fish and chips and I was them told, that I was like the kids and put all my money in my stomach-sad face because it all comes back to food. What gives? 16 December 2012

 

+Excited that one of the teachers will be able to go to her home of Kenya for the first time in close to 3 years. 16 December 2012

 

+Sarah from the Abanna guest home came for a visit. Almost a year since I last saw her. 16 December 2012

 

+Having people recognize and greet me by name on the streets of Uganda.  It happened five times this week and honestly I was so in my zone of moving that folks were literally shouting Angela for quite q few moments before I even connected but on the 5th time, I was there, present and aware and so thankful because the person was going in the same unknown direction that I was traveling in and said ‘oh I’ll help you get there.’  Now the funny thing was when we got off the taxi, this 17 year old girl told me to come and grabbed my hand and walked me to where I needed to go. Lol-Oh Uganda. 16 December 2012

+Visiting Tom and the guys at their new house, even when the ‘it’s close’ directions were a nice contribution to my exercise for the day.  I was also pleased to hear from the organization’s directors that Tom is one of their bigger success stories and that they appreciate me visiting him. Warm heart. 15 December 2012

 

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+White Elephant gift exchange was a hit and all but one person brought a gift (but of course the Linda J Wooding in me, had extra gifts for the table so no one would be left out.) The staff had fun with this new idea and they added their own spin to things with a second round of drawing numbers and stealing the extra gifts.  #1 gift a hand crafted basket made by one of the cooks followed by bananas and cookies (we had several gifts of cookies and I think it’s because sweets are rare here.)  Other gifts included: a shirt, bean and wood necklaces, a mug with a spoon, tea, and sugar; a serving bowl and handkerchief.  We also had three AMJ delights: a slammin’ good watermelon, fried apples, and a vanilla with lemon glazed cake to go with our beef, rice, and grasshoppers. 13 December 2012

+Having people who are willing to help me out by running errands to get camera batteries, additional copies of staff pics, and so many other things.  I am indeed appreciative of others. 13 December 13, 2012

+I believe we may have the teachers needed to complete the vacancy spots by Tuesday. Prayin’,prayin’, prayin’ for committed team players who are eager to learn and teach. 13 December 2012

+Staff evaluations complete and ready for setting new goals next year. 13 December 2012

+Still being able to give fashion advice in Uganda and having my cousin shop and ship clothes and shoes to me from the AMJ closet boutique, as she calls it. Thanks Melissa and Kim.  12 December 2012

+Having folks willing and wanting to mail stuff to support the school and some US cravings for me. 12 December 2012

+Pork on a stick from the Pork Joint. Man oh man, yummy for your tummy tasty, wood grilled pork. 11 December 2012

+Thankful that God uses plain, old, ordinary people like you and me. 9 December 2012

+Children’s Christmas play at church and the afternoon at the pool and gym (man do I miss the convenience or a regular workout and a gym at my doorstep). 9 December 2012

+All staff clean-up day for the new half of the school.  The staff worked so hard and we got things accomplished in less than 2 hours.  Now if we can get the remaining tenants out of our classroom space, and raise money to add furnishings, that would be IDEAL! 7 December 2012

+Apple pie as my first Christmas gift.  My small group exchanged names and although the giver was supposed to be anonymous, it was pretty clear that my giver was the only other American in the group-purely based on apple pie-Ugandans don’t do pies or desserts for that matter. 4 December 2012

+Good staff meeting to clear the air and expectations for both teachers and administration.  It’s great to know that the staff feels they have learned something this term and have a strong support team in their colleagues. 3 December 2012

+Sushi and Chinese buffet in Uganda 1 December 2012

+Kids being Oh SO SMARTLY dressed for Speech Day.

+ Successful end of term program (Speech Day) with lots of parents, family members, and food. 30 November 2012

+Taking the upper primary kids to worship night at the city stadium 30 November 2012

+Thankful that we can serve kids lunch everyday-posha and beans is far better than nothing with a sauce of nothing. 22 November 2012

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+A great Thanksgiving dinner were some Ugandan friends were introduced to Thanksgiving and the holiday of tons of food that include leftovers-even at our house. Yep-that’s green bean casserole. 22 November 2012

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+The ability to use the resources around us to make a great dinner, even without all the modern conveniences of the US. You can do a lot with a hot plate and a charcoal stove. Yep-including banana pudding-without the help of NIlla wafers but still good. And no a turkey is not needed for Thanksgiving to be Thanksgiving. 22 November 2012

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+Snacks-even Ugandan knock off bugles. 22 November 2012

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+Having a serious laugh at Mallory’s expense.  Someone didn’t realize that charcoal can be an instant mustache, if you wipe your face while fixing the cooking stove. lol 18 November 2012

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+Having ‘The Look’ on my face when parents were smiling and cheering for their kids at the board school Christmas program but then being the parent super smiling and blocking people’s view when our boys performed. .. and yep the face changed in just a matter of a song and the next class on stage. Lol 17 November 2012

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+smiling and having a look of complete understanding as the other parents at the Christmas program laughed and talked with me as if I knew Luganda and was a birth parent.  Smile and nod, works almost every time and when things seem to intense-just look really focused. 17 November 2012

+The Lord blessing us with the ability to rent the other half of the school building.  This will mean a space to have separate classrooms from baby, middle, and top Nursery students, and will allow us to have a teacher resource/lounge space, a designated Women’s Ministry space, a potential reading space for students, and possibly an office for me.  Big prayers for funds to get furnishings for the space (primarily a few tables, benches and chairs, a few more blackboards, a bookshelf, and file cabinet)  Just to make my requests known J, especially since we’re entering a season of giving and a time when folks need to finish those tax free donations.  Right here-we’ll take your gift. 14 November 2012

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+Teacher’s extending themselves to make sure the term ends successfully. 14 November 2012

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+And the postal text alert worked today but I didn’t have my mailbox key on me.  Can’t wait to pick up my surprise parcel; Who could it possibly be from?  14 November 2012

+Love that the staff now ask for photo time with specific pics requested.  Of course a camera always brings out the best in the kids as well.  13 November 2012

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+ Fried posha that taste like my Daddy’s fried potatoes.  I knew I would eventually find a way to eat posha-egg and flour batter, soul food seasoning, deep fried, and Heinz ketchup-yep, that’s the trick.  Even the Ugandans didn’t recognize this delicious treat. Truly American way- fry something that’s already cooked. 13 November 2012

Not the special AMJ special fried posha but clearly still good to the baby.

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+Starting my Monday off with so many kind words of encouragement Josh K Blakeley, Chinita Ray Obi, and all those who added thumbs up for the day. 12 November 2012

+Lower Primary internal exams written, now off for printing.  Upper Primary only has a few more to complete and we will begin on next Tuesday. 12 November 2012

Sisters that are both top performers in their classes.

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+People continue to help in supporting the work of DOORS; from encouraging words to requests for Christmas wish lists.  12 November 2012

+Year round watermelon that can be purchased as a slice right off the wooden wheel burrow along the road. J 12 November 2012

+Being able to attend the Church Of God In Christ Holy Convocation via cogicislive.com.  Big church hats, the organ humming behind the preacher like a song-love my church and my people. Thankful I don’t look like what I’ve been through because God is good. 7 November 2012

+Ending the day with my Black American friend J and an excellent dinner of gnoochi with gorgonzola, mozzarella, and tomato sauces combined to create an amj dish (yep-fat girl dish there but so good). Plus lemon iced tea.  Ahh a great way to end two not so great days.  6 November 2012

+Staff informing me that they were proactive and met to discuss how they can help fill in the gaps from the staff that can’t complete the term.  6 November 2012

+Instant effects of antibiotics kicking this gastro bacterial infections butt rather than my butt.  YAY meds, even if it meant waiting for 3.5 hours at the doctor’s office. 5 November 2012

+Donnie McCurklin song at Ggaba Community Church, where I was singing louder than the soloist (people actually turned and looked at me) and the only person in the church standing.  I was so happy to hear a Donnie song (As Long As There Is You from the McCurklin Project.) 4 November 2012

+Having one of the staff members say that she doesn’t feel like the school is home, when I’m absent. Ahh, that was sweet. 2 November 2012

+An entire package of sweets (candy, cookies, etc.) from Laura Bayless.  Now if I can get these post office people to seriously get on their job of notification especially since I’ve paid for the service. 1 November 2012

+Passport extension granted as the paperwork for the work visa is yet in process (keep praying with that one.) It only took three 2hour bus rides each way, a trip into the city, and some Ugandan cash shillings of not so optional thanks.  Exact words “Are you going to leave me with some lunch?” as another man says “You at least need to get him soda.”  And do I have any small bills for soda-NO 1 November 2012

+Bible Study Small Group.  Although I wasn’t feeling well I still wanted to attend and I feel better. 31 October 2012

+Having a heads up that the school inspectors will be back next week.  Now to make sure all my teachers have their lesson plans and schemes of work together. 30 October 2012

+Walking through the slums and having a little knowledge of my way around. 30 October 2012

+Teaching new songs at chapel-Shake the devil off and a different version of In the Name of Jesus We have the victory. 29 October 2012

+Being able to move around Kampala on my own, even knowing little short-cut paths. 29 October 2012

+Going to the bead shop (Taloso Workshop-creatively different) where you can design and make your own jewelry.  AHH the beads and the ability to create, I could have stayed there for hours.  I may never want to buy off the rack again.  29 October 2012

+Dinner with Mallory at I

+Alpha and Omega boys doing well in school with Fred making 100’s on all his midterms except the one where he got a 98-holla. Who says former street kids can’t be the best and brightest. 28 October 2012

+Freeze pops.  I saw a school girl with what looked to be a freeze pop, and after direct conversation it was indeed(my eyes for a frozen drink/snack never fail me J) After I send the girl to get me one and I begin to bite into the plastic one of the ladies asked, do you drink the water here?, because some people who make those things don’t boil the water first. Do you really want to eat that? After seeing my love face for frozen treats she said, You should probably pray over that. And yes I prayed that the Lord would protect my stomach from the water of the freeze pop and He did and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO deliciously refreshing and a highlight. 27 October 2012

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+Attending my first African wedding from noon until 8:22pm. 27 October 2012

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+Back in a pair of stilettos for the first time in 3 months. NO better way to get your shoe grove back than a 7.5 hour stretch in heels.  YAY for weddings and hot shoes. 27 October 2012

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+Kids and teachers being exposed to more Black Americans besides me J  It was great having Baltimore folks in the school.  It was also funny to see the shock on people’s faces when perfect English came out of their mouths.  Everyone just knew they were African. One of the teachers said, she talks like you when you first came-jitter jitter jitter and too fast. Lol  Another teacher said you look so happy, we knew these were your friends. 26 October 2012

+Donations and goodies from my new Black American friends. 26 October 2012

+ Having A concerned and committed mom come to school three days in a row because her son has not been to school for 4 days and had been absent from home for 24 plus hours.  Will the fact that there were tears today (from the son) mean that he will now attend versus leaving home with his brothers but going a separate way to hang out with street kids and staying out until midnight or will there be a week #3 of conversations with him and his mom? 24 October 2012

+We got a CAR 24 October 2012

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+Breakfast for dinner at Ozzie’s in Jinja-pancakes, bacon, and eggs with a pineapple Novida. 24 October 2012

+connecting with friends on facebook chat for great conversation, while not doing a good job of saying goodbye prior to 4am. 22/23 October 2012

+Random photo shoots with Nursery Kids-Grace, Maleek, Sharron, others whose names are all mixed up in my head-not surprising if you’ve ever worked for me or been in one of my classes (random photos and poor recall on names.) 22 October 2012

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+Longwood Love care package arriving with birthday cards, snacks, school supplies, clothes, and a box that keeps going like Mary Poppins bag. 22 October 2012

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And yes Angela M Jackson was excited for sneakers and crocs-Lordy Lordy Uganda is a changing me.

+Down time reading American magazines that came in a birthday box. In Style and People-ahh thanks MDC. 21 October 2012/

+Visiting Kansanga Miracle Center Church for a wedding introduction but finding the service to be just like attending a Church of God IN Christ  Sunday Convocation service-the energy, the loss of time,  with the addition of a translator and thankfully a much shorter offering period.  The service and message made me smile and feel a warm hug of familiarity.  The prodigal son and restoration and freedom of regret was right on point. 21 October 2012

+Having tailors and being able to have AMJ designs come to life and the tailors liking my ‘fashions’ Because they don’t look like other peoples.  Birthday gift complete. 21 October 21, 2012

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+And the packages, mail, and even birthday wishes continue to come.  This weekend’s box with homemade pound cake from my friend Michelle was still moist and delicious even after the miles of travel.  20 October 2012

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+Unexpected kindness. 20 October 2012

+Great worship night with drumming, dancing, and random laughs of fun. 20 October 2012

+All 10 of the boys home for the weekend. 20 October 2012

+Message from LU Ambassadors saying they are having a DOORS Pancake breakfast fundraiser.  Praise the Lord. 19 October 2012

+Meeting Black American Women from Baltimore, MD today and finding out that one will be here until September.  Even in a place where my skin color is the majority, there are yet times of feeling the effect of being a minority. 19 October 2012

+Jinja Immigration office working to process my special pass while I wait for my work visa. 19 October 2012

+Meeting Black American Women from Baltimore, MD today and finding out that one will be here until September.  Even in a place where my skin color is the majority, there are yet times of feeling the effect of being a minority. 19 October 2012

+Jinja Immigration office working to process my special pass while I wait for my work visa. 19 October 2012

+Obeying the Lord when he tells me to have forgiveness for the boda man that pissed me off when he cheated me and whom I said I would never use again.  Funny how the voice of the Lord can humble you and remind you that there are folks who probably are holding grudges against you and what kind of witness am I if I can’t forgive for something as small as 500 shillings ( less than 50 cents) #embarrassed but openly told the boda driver and his peers that the Lord convicted me about forgiveness. 17 October 2012

+Having students being concerned for their friends and comfortable enough to tell me that they think their friend misses school because of abuse.  17 October 2012

+Having teachers volunteer Saturday hours to help students catch up on their reading and writing skills. 17 October 2012

+ Making surprise home visits.

  • Man what a change in the facial expressions of some of my most ‘stubborn’ students.  Then when for teacher Angela to say “ahh, nice to meet you, so in so is very stubborn and never wants to listen to me.”  But best of all having a mom take a child by the ear and pretend she’s cutting the ear as she explains he will need to start listening and following directions…and yep just in case you were wondering a 4 year old can give the ‘I want to kill you look’ to an adult.
  • Having parents excited for me to come to their home and welcoming me with smiles, hugs, and the best seats in the house.
  • Having children yell for Teacher Angela as I walked through the slums.  17 October 2012

+ Feeling like a native Ugandan because I can walk home in the dark without using the ‘torch’, i.e. flash light and feel completely safe and knowledgeable about where I’m going. 17 October 2012

+Birthday cards, wishes, and love continue to come my way.  More cards received from blood family and an oh so special Longwood –Lancaster Hall Student Affairs support staff family-Tracey, Elise, Betty, Pat, Angela.  It’s awesome having a mail box that doesn’t receive bills but only kindness. Lol 16 October 2012

+Spider bites and infections being healed and progressively returning with restored vision. Initial pic under lows.16 October 2012

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+Two packages from the states in one week.  Huge SHOUT OUTS to my family for all the Angela random items and my friends Ray and Kim for all the beauty supply items and salty/sweet snacks. AHHHH who would have dreamed an exfoliating body scrub, lightly scent hand cream, and face moisturizer could bring so much joy.  Check out the entire Nuance-Salma Hyeck line at your local CVS, Kim has worked hours and hours to make this product line a success. 15 October 2012

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+Having a Sprite (my slurpee, sonic substitute) delivered to me at school after mentioning I was having a not so great morning.  15 October 2012

+AMJ special design hot pink, orange, and navy birthday outfit completed with even the tailor being impressed with my vision and style.  Now where will I where this cute number to?  Thanks for the gift Sandy-good job on the colors-lol.  15 October 2012

+Awesome friends Michelle and DCook2 taking flat Angela to the Richmond Folk Festival and introducing here to many new friends.  Thanks to Ferrum folks Kathy and Tracey for joining in the fun.  I’m sure if you want, Flat Angela can come and take pics at your place as well J 14 October 2012

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+Waking up to find that I’m flat Angela.  Move over Flat Stanley.  For those of you who don’t know Flat Stanley, he’s a paper doll that gets sent around the world to have pictures in different places.  His picture is returned to the normally elementary school student to share with their class.  Thanks D-Cook2 Where in the world will flat Angela venture to?  Hopefully a 7-eleven is on the check list. 12 October 2012

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+Implementation of weekly tests for the students, with signs of improved test scores.  Keep those prayers for my students’ knowledge base and recall to grow from memorization to recognition and comprehension. 12 October 2012

+Thursday morning DOORS Ministry meetings that allow for productive home office hour work to be accomplished.  11 October 2012

+Receiving my first two packages and birthday cards on today. 10 October 2012

+Birthday celebrations that started in September and continue to happen with gifts and wishes beyond 8 October.  10 October 2012

+Having a family that LOVES me, even if it means putting themselves out to go through packed boxes to find clothes and specific shoes to send me. Including My yellow Poetic License heels, skinny jeans that now fit properly due to my new ‘portable’ size, salty treats, a long rain jacket and a rain pants suit, the October issue of Essence (black American magazine), and tons of other stuff. 10 October 2012

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+African men being protective and grabbing your hand or moving you out of the way of a being hit by a boda, taxi, or fist from a fight at the Independence Day festivities. 9 October 2012

+Interesting lunch dates that end with a fresh pineapple versus fresh flowers.  9 October 2012

+Chocolate birthday cake with peanut butter icing the day following my birthday.  Yay for roommates that like to bake and thankful for people who don’t mind sharing an oven and baking pans.  9 October 2012

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+Home remedies helping the cough; ginger, lemon, honey, and hot water. 9 October 2012

+Gifting myself birthday presents and informing others of what they have purchased me, so deposits can be made in my account J  Sandals, a fabric bag, a ring, and a new tailored outfit. 8 October 2012

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+Former street boy calling to wish me a happy birthday and asking when he would see me to give me my present.  When they call you mom, they take it to heart.  8 October 2012

+Angela M. Jackson personalization showing up in one of my Ugandan gifts; first Longwood’s Chi gets the M. and now Ugandans. Yep yep 8 October 2012

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+Friends being friends and supportive no matter where in the world I may be or how random and long the facebook chat or email may be. Thanks MDC, Kim, LAB, Stace, Brum, SJAllen, Joren W., and Hob. 8 October 2012

+Having gifts, calls, cards, and facebook messages from 100’s of people for my birthday.

+Day of great birthday food-spaghetti with meat sauce from Dukem, for lunch and pasta with white sauce, and a calzone pizza from Fuego for dinner. 8 October 2012

+Using my birthday as part of my negotiation skills, the day helped to get me some good deals and even caused a vendor to throw in a bracelet for me.

+Spontaneous purchase of an overpriced ice tray that is currently stored in the freezer at Jaja’s store so I can have iced tea tomorrow-WOOHOO.  Yep that’s right we don’t have a fridge but that didn’t stop me from asking others that do.  I think using Jaja’s freezer looks a little better than me going into the bar to pull out the ice trays that the liquor store had prepared for me.   7 October, 2012

+Donations from people who know people who know me and want to see the work succeed.  Keep spreading the word for me and the Paypal link. J 7 October 2012

+Random Skype conversations with my family and comments that can only come from them about my appearance.  Gotta love that there’s a little piece of Ro (my mom) in all of us-from aunts to cousins, and maybe even he dogs. 7 October 2012

+Having good company for the day. 7 October 2012

+Adding sliced bread to my fish and chips order to make a fish sandwich, after my initial request for a hamburger bun was turned down because they have exact inventory of buns to burgers.  But hey, at least they removed the crust from the sliced bread and my fish sandwich with hot source was good.  Plus it allowed me to keep the trend of having a food related post. Lol 7 October 2012

+Learning the basic foot moment for traditional dance but not so much getting the hip action part quite right. 7 October 2012

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+Visitation Day with the New Life Home boys at boarding school and at the National Theater where some were performing in the drama, music, and dance school competitions.  7 October 2012

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+Days of Jubilee Independence Day celebrations that’s  included a concert at the King’s Palace with traditional dancing, African Children’s Choir, and some of Ugandans big music performers, walking through a freshly painted  Jinja Rd covered with red, yellow, and black flags and multiple DJ’s and a band, watching fireworks from the taxi, and the actual Independence Day isn’t until Tuesday 9 October.  7 October 2012

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+Birthday cards and gifts over the past week that I have yet to open because it wasn’t officially October 8-somethings will never change J 6 October 2012

+Knowing people when I go out to events.  King’s Palace= Baker and Patrick The Driver from December. 5 October 2012

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+Time with our boys that go to Alpha & Omega Boarding school. 5 October 2012

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+Facebook chat with my college roommate.  Just like old times with the random thoughts0 ,discussions on boys and fashion,  laughs, and late hours (well at least on my side.) Thanks Fray.  4 October 2012

 

 

+Finally made it to a Life Cell group (small group Bible study.)  It was cool and actually at the pastor’s house.  I even knew people there.  Thanks to one of my staff members for going with me and a big shout out to Pastor Peter for inviting me to stay for dinner afterwards.  Delicious, with a nice and spicy homemade hot oil to top the chicken, and of course the Apple pie and ice cream from the other American, who’s married to a Ugandan, was GREAT!!!  3 October 2012

+A Serving table for lunch. 3 October 2012

+ Thankful for relationships being developed in key places and with the right people,  even if they come with a closing line of  “you should buy me a soda” or “bring me back some chocolates from the store.” 2 October 2012

+YAY Uganda for loving a girl who loves desserts.  Buy 1 get 1 free scoops of ice cream-passion fruit and strawberry rock in a sugar cone.  Then a shout out to a roommate who likes to bake even if it means finding a home that has an oven because we do not.  Go Jess-holla if you like warm fun-fetti cake. 2 October 2012

+Making some surprises for my taste buds.  We had rice and beans for lunch but instead of beans I added sugar, milk, and bananas. Man oh man did this not taste like the best bowl of rice krispies without the snap, crackle, and pop.  Yummy.  I made all the teachers try my combination-with mixed results there. 1 October 2012

+Gwe (you) following my blog and feeling connected to ‘our’ Uganda experience.  I really want to have a day with 100 followers. Gwe-help me please. 1 October 2012

+Passion Kampala 2012-Great live concert with Chris Tomlin 29 September 2012

+Working with the teachers on good camera smiles versus the mug shot poses 27 September 2012

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+Winging it to make a pretty tasty red pasta sauce even without my spice rack. 27 September 2012

+ Farmville friends and connections today with my Jferguson gallery betl buckle form my dear friend Sarah Hobgood. 27 September 2012

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+Picture uploads working. woohoo 27 September 2012

+New olive green skirt from Mallory that will look good with my new sandals and due to ‘decreasing’ I can fit the juniors medium-the elastic wasit may help just a touch. lol. 25 September 2012

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+Great dinner at The Bay to celebrate Sydney’s (one of my housemates) birthday.  NO better way to start a dinner than with hot monkey bread before the giant burger with gorgonzola cheese and special sauce. 24 September 24, 2012

 

+Pineapple tea-yum and good.  All you have to do is boil pineapple with the water and tea leaves/bags.  You won’t need too much sugar because the pineapple adds a great sweetness.  Now if I had a big cup of ice that would make things perfect but even without the ice my tea is delicious.  You can do this in America and you could even have scones-yummm.  A post without something related to food just isn’t a AMJ post. lol 23 September 2012

+Bringing the Spirit of Life birthday song rendition to my schools’ staff birthdays.  Some of the uncles believe my staff says they have a birthday every month just so folks can get a birthday card and a fresh pineapple.  We don’t have a working oven so no cake, muffins, or cookies but I do think I just might need to express that the birthday person normally shares their special treats with the others. The first two folks have taken their pineapple and moved on about the day, even with the presentations being at lunch time. Hmmmmm 23 September 2012

+First professional development activities went well with the coin memory dates and the communication triangle.  The staff seemed to enjoy the activities and gain from them. 21 September 2012

+Completing the steps for final necklace preparations to send to the states next month.  Great holiday gifts-let me know if you would like any. 15-Sept-12

+My former staff sending professional development resources for my new staff, who are excited to do professional development activities. 14-Sept-12

+Hearing the surprise and excitement in my Uncle Randy’s voice when I called for his birthday. 14-Sept-12

+This Thursday we had our first DOORS Ministry meeting, which will happen every Thursday morning. 13-Sept-12

+Being able to have the boda man stop at little shops so I can get fresh pineapple, watermelon, and bananas for my fruit salad….and then again to look at some cute shoes.

+YAY for packages from the USA via one of the newly arriving team members.  I have perfume and mini butterfingers, and new glasses. 07-Septemember 2012

+Finally having a post office box #73622-Clock Tower post office-Kampala,Uganda.  So you know about the wait and the requirements, now let’s talk about the experience on the day of the great receipt of a skeleton p.o. box key.  We complete the paperwork, signatures and the gluing of all three of my passport pics.  The guy then directs me to “take your card and see her. She just went to make a call.”  OK-not sure of the her or why I’m seeing her but when I went into the office I couldn’t help but notice the 13 bottles of nail polish, polish remover, and two bottles of perfume, and I think some braid oil but the label was turned.  So now the mystery of delayed mail is solved-who’s really going to mess up a fresh polish to get mail out?  Respect the drying process. lol.

And yes, my parcel package identification card was cut, laminated, and then I was asked for laminating money.  My response “what are you talking about?  He just said to see you-not that I was coming to  pay for something extra.”  “Well this is better because once your card starts to get damaged, the cost is more –can be expensive.”  Every place on the globe is trying to make that extra cash, whether it’s laminating fees or the 45% tax on any package received, unless it’s a used gift or valued at less than $2. 06-September-2012

+Being able to finally see ‘my son’ Baker in a home and doing well although he says “the clotheies aren’t good.” most people add an extra e sound to the end of clothes. 6-September-2012

+Continuing with the design skills and just waiting to see how my AMJ Creation sandals will look. 05-September-2012

+Virtual chat sessions with friends and former staff members. 07-September-2012

+Great first week of school and Friday staff meeting. After a few examples I think they get highs and lows or Praises and Prayers and they are excited and want to do professional development activities.  If you have any good activities/ideas for low to zero budget, team builders that relate to team work, confidence, growth, and personalities-please email meJ 7-September-2012

+Jaja has returned from the village. Can’t wait to see her. 07-September-2012

+Encouragement and support from former students-so thankful. 07-September-2012

-Mediation skills.  I had to dust off my skill set but I think everyone is now on the same page.  I wasn’t expecting the first use of this skill to be with adults but who better to practice because immediately following mediation #1, I went into mediation #2 with some children.  In the first situation I used prayer to wrap things up in case two I pulled an old Clayton E. Jackson (my daddy) and made the kids apologize to each other and hug it out-their looks were like daggers when they realized I wasn’t moving until everyone hugged. 07-September 2012

+One of the wedding committee ladies (a gender minority at the meetings) has an event planning business, so maybe I can get connected with other events and soon wear my one pair of stilettos or just assist-either way-potential to meet more people and be established in the community.  2-Sept-2012

 

+Ugandan visitors on Saturday. 1-Sept-2012

 

+Uncle Mark has been such a tremendous help in getting the school set up and in helping me find my way around to become more comfortable living in Uganda.  He’s a true jack of all trades from window replacements, to brick work, to master budgeter and negotiator to maximize every dollar, to being completely fine with me giving him daily lists of projects,  and even going multiple times shopping at the market with a person whose eye catches everything. Whatever is needed, he’s willing to help.  The best is that he is fully committed to accomplishing the task list each day, just as he has a full commitment to the Lord and our boys. Now today, I could have gone without saving a few schillings and taking a taxi, even if the house is “just not that far, just beyond the next building and past the church.”  3-Sept-2012

 

+Good first day of term Ugandan outfit. 3-Sept-2012

 

+Super kind young men from the church (and the wedding committee) who have so many manners; they not only walk me home from church, day or night, but they helped me fill our last teacher vacancy. 2-Sept 2012

 

+Godfrey from the church who has helped me locate and purchase 4 of the 8 curriculum needed for the school. 3-Sept-2012

 

+Going to the American Embassy gym for a nice work out, planks and all.  It was awesome to workout-coming from the chucnky girl who’s “slimmed” a full 15 pounds since leaving the states.  The random addition to this is my method of finding a scale before going to the gym.  Multiple people have told me “I’m slimming” but I didn’t really think so until I put on my one pair of jeans, which had a nice amount of space in them.  So hmm, who would have a scale? Why yes the clinic at the end of our compound should, right?  So Sunday after church I just went to the clinic and ‘directly asked’ and sure enough I was able to weigh, without a folded bill. 3-Sep-12

+Even with all the work to be done, the teachers are excited.  The best was seeing a teacher standing at the chalk board speaking as if her class was there.  I asked if she was excited and she gave a HUGE smile with a big ‘yes’ response. 30-Aug-12

+Desserts two nights in a row.  30-august-12

+ Birthday celebrations for the boys. 30-Aug-12

+Uncle Mark helping me get so-so-so many things off the check list and not complaining about all the physical labor and running around through Ggaba, Kampala, and Namuwongo. 30-Aug-12

+Super fly African first day of term outfit, designed by M-E, me.  Wish I had my yellow Poetic License heels with the brown satin laces-perfect match. 30-Aug-12

+Rubbermaid/Depot skills in action, even with the tiny cut on my hand placing glass panes in the windows. 30-Aug-12

+One month anniversary dinner overlooking Lake Victoria- pear salad with walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. Chicken cordon blue stuffed with feta with left overs in a foil wrapper. AH-HA a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream-desserts how I’ve missed you. 29-August-2012

+Desks, benches, and chalk boards for all the classrooms. WOOHOO 29-August 2012

+Having one of the teacher’s share during our goal setting session, that she has already learned some things from me and she goes home and practices putting my words into actions. 28-Aug-12

+Transferrable skills, even on the things that I may have avoided the most:assessment and goal setting with teachers. 28-Aug-12

+Bacon pizza, even if I had to pull off the yellow peppers and purple onions and star shaped sugar cookies. Yummy lunch 28-August 2012

+ Picking up Emmanuel from the hospital and seeing how excited the New Life guys were to welcome him home. Facebook pics. 28-August 2012

+Fresh squeezed lemonade in my new pitcher that has the hand juicer deally inside the top. 26-Aug-12

+Shopping at Kampala market. From the dust pans, clothes hanger, and kitchen supply street to the plumbing and electrical street with 100’s of people and mega trucks and boda drivers still squeezing through to the calmer fabric street.  Just like Black Friday times 1000. 26-Aug-12

+Learning about Ugandan wedding culture and making new friends. 26-Aug-12

+Having Americans preaching at church the entire week, with the special plus being that today’s preacher is originally from Lynchburg, VA now living in AL.  I was too excited and he seemed pretty thrilled to meet a follow Virginian and of course I mentioned that I was just thinking about my favorite show store in Lynchburg…but not during his message of course. 26-Aug-12

+Skype and phone conversations with friends in VA. 26-Aug-12

+Lunch at Dukem Ethiopian Resturant-Hmm good and inexpensive. 24-Aug 12

+Longwood folks emailing resources so I don’t have to reinvent the wheels of evaluations or contracts, and being “my people.” 24-Aug-12

+Textbooks, curriculum for two grades, a bookshelf, a lockable door on the school office, and chalk boards being built in time for 3 September opening. 24-Aug-12

+Excitement of making welcome back posters and classroom supply baskets for the teachers and students. 24-Aug-12

+Our boys being protective, young men and not letting people disrespect their aunts. 24-Aug-12

+I have my first invited guests to the house tomorrow. A friend from WI and one of his friends from Uganda.  WOOHOO new Uganda connections and old reconnections from the states, even if my cousins didn’t send stuff for me as he traveled. 20-Aug-12

+Securing two more teachers for Term III, even if the offer is over the phone on a Sunday for a Monday morning start. 19-Aug-12

+ Spending a nice, breezy afternoon overlooking Lake Victoria and updating my blog with pictures. 19-Aug-12

+Good message and service at Ggaba Community Church. An American preacher will be there for the week. 19-Aug-12

+Using my AMJ relationship, connection building skills to approach one of the men after church to get help obtaining some documents needed for the schools Term III.  It pays to listen during church, you can get resouces for the school or life. 19-Aug-12

+Talking to Tom (one of the former street boys) on the phone today and setting a time to visit this week. 14-Aug-12

+Getting the number of 2 boda boda drivers, so that I can just call them versus having to do the daily neogiation and explaination of where I’m going. 14-Aug-12

+Managing to get a boda to the taxi station to meet up with a friend, all on my own.  WOOHOO-gaining more independence each day. 14-Aug-12

+More funny lines during interviews, yet seeing the positive impact of constructive critisim. 14-Aug-12

+Seeing our boys pray for the new team that arrived last night. Yet a powerful house of praise, prayer, and worship. 14-Aug-12

+Getting my laptop back. 12-Aug 12

+Finding misplaced money. 12-Aug 12

+Grilled chicken from the street vendor at the end of street. 12-Aug 12

+Going to the Spek Resort and having ICE and lemon in my water. 3-August 12

+Getting to watch tv and the Olympics for the first time, even if it was archery and some marshall arts stuff. 3-August 12.

+Riding the boda boda like a real Ugandan woman-side saddle.  A touch scary on the curves but I did it. 3- August 12.

+Rode the Boda Boda by myself back to the house. 2-August 12

+Meet with another schol administrator for benchmarking and Uganda knowledge. 2 August 12

 

+Good seats on all my flights. No middle seats nor not so kind row mates.

 

+HUGE smile and welcome from David, Mallory, and the boys.

 

+Nurse Katie waking up to greet me with the giant lion bed head. lol

+Seeing so many people excited for me and supporting my journey.

 

+Speaking at the Robert R. Moten Museum about DOORS and the similarity of desire that the students there and the kids in Uganda share of having an education.

 

+ Interview and front page article in the Farmville Herald making people aware of the work in Uganda.

+Pre-trip fundraising goals set and secured 24 hours before the deadline.  Still more to go for the year but step 1 accomplished.

+ Prayers answered for a laptop within 24 hours.  On July 3, I asked my friend to pray that the Lord provide a laptop by July 15.  My belief was that it could be done and that multiple laptops would be available.  In less than 24 hours a laptop was donated and within the next few days several other laptops were offered.

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