Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jinja, Uganda

Dear readers and prayer warriors,
Thank you so much for your interest and support. I apologize for the silence these past weeks. Good, reliable internet has been tough to come by. We have so many pictures and stories to share with you all and hope to do that sometime in the future.
Currently we are enjoying Uganda. Being uprooted yet again and plopped into another strange place and culture sent us in a bit of a tailspin as we dealt with some culture shock. Here in Jinja, the Africans are a lot more westernized than we were familiar with. Few speak Swahili, which was a bit of a disappointment for us, since we had been learning so much and wanted to continue learning the language. It's rather strange greeting people in English. Having running water and a complete westernized restroom (with a mirror) was something to get used to as well. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of village life, like when the electricity randomly shuts off at the most inconvenient times.
Our time at Welcome Home has been flying by. The kids are quickly stealing our hearts. I can already see that leaving in about 12 days is not going to be that easy.

Here is what a normal day consists of for us:
8:00 – Breakfast (served by our hosts at the guesthouse)
9:00-1:00 – Loving on the kids at Welcome Home
Quite a few of the kids from the toddler group go to school in the morning, so we have started helping the cooks prepare lunch or wash dishes. Sometimes we help the laundry ladies hang out the loads and loads of laundry.
1:00-3:00 – Lunch break
We often eat at Welcome Home then run off to take a nap or walk down to main street to get internet or do some shopping.
3:00-5:00 – Play with the kids

Welcome Home employees locals to care for the children. They do well at meeting the physical needs of these littles, but it is impossible for them to provide the care and love that each individual child needs. I guess that's why we are here. Loving on kids all day is pretty awesome. Being weak physically, makes it tough, especially when they are crawling all over you, begging for entertainment. Please pray for our physical heath. Beth especially has been struggling with stomach issues for the several days.
Here at Welcome Home the children are divided into three groups: preemies (newborn-18 months), babies (18months-3years), and toddlers (3 years on up). We've been asked to spread out and interact with all the kids. If we spend all our time with one group, the others might feel unloved by us. It's so hard not to have favorites and to continually hang out with kids you don't know as well. But we are getting to know these 70 precious souls and their names are beginning to stick in our minds.
Our evenings are often spent hanging out in town. Supper is not provided for us, so we have been eating a lot of street food. By now we have discovered our favorite vendors and frequently visit their stands. Building relationships with the locals has been so much fun. It is not unusual for us to cross paths with familiar faces and stop for a little chat. Every day someone asks about our peculiar style of clothing. Having daily opportunities to share our testimony and the gospel is awesome! 
Continue praying for us!