Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Summer in Uganda

Although summer always seems to fly by, we've really had a great last few months. It's been a nice mix of spending our work days between Kibaale and Timothy Centre, hosting visitors, taking care of tiny babies, looking for new giraffes at a park near our house, and finding ways to cool down!
Joel spent the first part of summer with us in Uganda and then was able to go to Canada for 7 weeks! He volunteered for a week as a Leader in Training at camp Anvil and was there another week as a camper, and then spent time with his grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles and many of his friends. 
Avin was a huge help to me with the babies we cared for this summer, she without being asked would relieve me at 6am so I could get a bit of sleep before we'd start our day and several times through the day would just go change the baby or make a bottle, I couldn't have done it without her!! 
Summer is when Finn is his best self. He just wants to be outside exploring, creating, climbing and playing, all day long. He loved getting a new bike at the beginning of summer, perfecting a flip on the trampoline, caring for 2 new bunnies and being able to swim the length of the pool under water. 
Mazzy also spent a lot of time biking around this summer, reading every day, and was also a huge help to me with the babies, who needs an American Girl doll when you have real life babies to take care of!! I had never even held a 3 pound baby before coming here and she is a pro at feeding and changing them at 7 years old!! 
It was so great having our friends Sean and Jamie visit us in Uganda with their almost 2 year old son. We were first in Uganda with them in 2007 at our church project, and then lived in Kibaale with them for 2 years, so they were the easiest visitors ever, it just felt like they were home.
There is still a lot of Uganda left for us to see, so we decided to cross one off the list this summer, Sesse Islands!

Despite the morning of rain the kids had a great time playing at the lake.

We hosted a team of young adults from Broadway Church who generously donated a house to one of our students in Kibaale. The team was able to spend a day mudding the new house with our family and the Grade 6 students.

Fun with the daycare kids in Kibaale. 
Always a baby on her hip!
The team finished their time in Uganda with a safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park.
It is such a treat to see the male lions.

This is about as close as I'd like to get to her!!
View from our lodge. 

Uganda is beautiful!!
This new toy brought hours of fun for all of the kids this summer.

Some days can be realllllly hot!!
Baby Isaac is one of the first little babies we started to care for. He was born prematurely and weighed under 3 pounds. He needed to be held constantly and fed every 2 hours around the clock. He is at a nearby babies home but since he was so high needs we helped out by taking him home a few days a week.

We have a lot of extra hands at our house, everybody pitched in!
Our home church, Peace Portal Alliance, had a team here this summer as well. They were able to come to Kibaale for the day and help us with the mudding of a new home for two brothers in our school.
Friends sleeping over and a new baby to cuddle is the perfect combination for these kids! Baby Joshua is from the same babies home and was also born premature, he weighed just 3 pounds.

Lake Nabugabo is just 15 minutes away and a very relaxing day on the weekend.

Lake Muburo is the closest park to our house so we were very excited to hear that they were introducing giraffes this summer. We decided to spend the day searching for them and the night camping out at the river where we fell asleep to the sounds of nearby hippos! There is a guard nearby, so we felt pretty safe:) 

An incredible spot for breakfast the next morning, I think we will do this again!!
Baby Rebecca's turn for a sleepover, although this little one does not sleep!! She is the sweetest baby girl though, she's actually 5 months old and has been at the babies home for a couple months, she came to them severely malnourished. Even now she is barely 6 pounds, but she is gaining weight and making progress, she is even starting to smile which just makes it all worth it!!

Jeff's summer project has been building a covered area on our back deck in Masaka. Now that it is done we are living outside; morning coffees, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the kids even homeschool out here, how lucky are they!?!
We ended our summer with a new puppy, Buff! He is, so far, the easiest puppy ever. Yay!

We have officially been back into the swing of homeschool for a few weeks now and the kids recently said to us that this is their favourite year so far! I am just praying this continues, at least until Christmas would be great. 
Although it is term 1 for our own kids school, in Uganda we have just begun term 3, so we are praying for our students in Kibaale and at Timothy to finish strong and do well preparing for exams. 
Joel arrived home a few days ago and it is so great to have him back! We are so thankful to all of our family and friends who hosted and spoiled him while in Canada, he had an amazing summer.
In my bible study this week I was challenged and reminded of the importance in putting God first daily by studying his word and praying before trying to figure things out on my own. So I go into this next season very thankful for how faithful Jesus has been to us and focused on putting Him first every day. 

"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Deuteronomy 8:3

Here is a link to our most recent newsletter- September 2015 Update

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