leaving the camels

Tomorrow morning I board a bus to go back to Uganda.
Said bus ride should last approximately 21 hours (oh joy:)

As much as I’m not looking forward to that bus ride,
the past couple of weeks have been good.
rest
relaxation
sleep
time in community (M-squad 2nd generation)
time alone

But it’s time to leave this place (Mombasa, Kenya) and go back home to Mukono.

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in front of Fort Jesus

 

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path on the way to the beach

 

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one of the many fishing boats on the Indian Ocean

 

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does your beach have camels?

 

much love!

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two years and a life-time

Almost two weeks ago marks two years since my squad’s return to America from the WorldRace.

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on our plane to Poland – the first leg of the journey back to America

 

When it came to that anniversary, honestly, I didn’t even think about it; not until there were posts in my (facebook) newsfeed about how sentimental the day was, the day we arrived back in America after traveling around the world for 11 months as ‘the q,’ how much has happened in the past two years, etc.

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some of us were prepared for re-entry – at least we looked like it:)

 

As much as I may not have noticed that it had been two years since returning from that journey, my life is forever changed.  There are people, places, and experiences I can never forget.

Like the time at Bethany Home in Malaysia when Chandler and I had to clean the poop out of little, dried, silver fish for hours, by hand.
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Or in Thailand how we were there for Loi Krathong and Yi Peng; festivals where people launch lit lanterns into the air and float vases down the river for merit.  We decided to write prayers on a lantern for the city of Chiang Mai and for the girls we were ministering to in the bars before releasing it into the night air.
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In Cambodia, J. Sue and Nari asked if they could be my sisters.  From that night on, J. Sue (on the left) would sign her notes and refer to herself as my younger sister.
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There was this really great day as a team in Kenya; we were taken by our contacts to see hippos on Lake Victoria, then to go swimming on a “secret beach.”  On the way home, we stopped for a quick photo opp. at the equator.
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I thought this view was beautiful when I was in Mukono, Uganda on the race (I still think it’s amazing two and a half years later:)
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You know how certain songs instantly remind you of something?  Well, when I hear Paper Planes I think of this one night in India when I was in a backpack…
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In Nepal there was this little girl named Solami, she was precious.  Every time we were leaving the building, she would run to give me a hug and half the time she would also give me a big kiss on the mouth!
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Then there is accordion-man in Odessa, Ukraine.  While walking to ministry during the week, we would pass by him most days (we ended up learning his schedule of where and when he would be playing).  Samantha and I really enjoyed dancing to his music, it made our walk more enjoyable; and he would laugh with us, which was pretty great, too!
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I have so many stories to share, but instead I’ll leave you with this video.
It’s a brief summary of my WorldRace.  Hope you enjoy!

 

much love!

nailed

Wednesday, I was invited over to Pastor’s house for the day (including breakfast), to spend time with the World Race teams since one of them would be leaving the next day.

Overall, it was a good day with some great conversations and laughs, but there were some bumps in between.  Let me tell you about those.

We were finishing up church [worship and a message] with the teams and Frida; we were all gathering to pray healing over a few people on the team.  One of the ladies who was sitting outside stood up to come inside, but in the process hit her head on the open window.  There was a loud thud and quite a bit of blood.  Jen was taken to the clinic and given about six stitches.

Not long after they returned from the clinic, I was hanging some of their laundry on a line to dry.  At some point I stepped back and onto a board with two nails sticking out of it.  Well, one of those nails went through my flip flop and into the bottom of my foot.  Needless to say, my foot has had quite some pain, but it will be ok!

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with Jen, the trooper with her head injury

 

Despite Jen’s visit to the clinic and my incident with the nail, I still had a good time with the teams.  It has been really refreshing and encouraging to have them here.

much love!

straight talk

A poem:
Two roads diverged in the woods
and I took the road less traveled
and it hurt man!
Really bad!
Rocks, thorns, and glass
…my pants broke!
Why?
Not cool Robert Frost!

 

 

I had forgotten about that video, but was just reminded of it when I went to write this blog; which was perfect.
Lately, I’ve needed a pep talk and I’m not completely sure the reason.

Living here in Uganda has been very challenging recently.  I’m not quite sure why.
Maybe it was taking the short trip back to America and now I’m having to re-adjust back.

I am tired; maybe that’s it.
And it’s not just an I need more sleep tired, but every type of -ally tired (mentally, physically…)

Then there is the possibility of how exhausting it feels (at least for me) to always be SO different.
Norms in America are not norms in my life here.
Having to constantly explain myself and actions can be tiresome.

But despite all of that, I am still so thankful for the opportunity to be here.  Daily, I feel so blessed by the people in my life.

Yesterday, one of the World Race teams that is currently here, invited me to spend the day with them in Jinja (about an hour ride from here).  It was so great to hang out with a bunch of mazungus; to just have conversations and relax.

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with 5 of the 6 girls
[l to r] Allyson, Hayden, me, Jen, Liz and Amanda

 

Sunday had been a really good day; I was walking home from hanging out with the WR teams, but, for some reason I was tried and just frustrated with life.  All of that changed when a man from the church who drives boda (motorcycle) saw me and asked if I was walking home; he told me to get on.  The whole way home we had great conversation.  It was such a blessing and just what I needed in that moment!

Life isn’t easy, no matter where you live.  There are always challenges and things that can make us tired and frustrated.  But like he’s says in the video:

We got work to do.
We can cry about it or we can dance about it.
We were made to be awesome.
Let’s get out there!

 

much love!