the best view in kampala (beauty found amidst a difficult week)

Cassia Lodge- located atop a Kampala hill, overlooking Lake Victoria. The sign boasts it has the “best view in Kampala” and I can’t argue as it’s certainly the best I’ve seen so far (though I’m quite fond of the view from our bedroom and kitchen windows). We have enjoyed a few dinners here, celebrating the birthday of friends. These shots were from the most recent dinner, where we were lucky enough to watch the full moon rise over the lake while we ate.

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The table is always good news, but especially when it’s lit by the full moon and the distant city lights.

how sweet he is

It has been decided that Owen has the sweetest blood in the family. Somehow he always ends up covered in bites when the rest of us are not! The other day I counted 13 bites on just his back alone. Still, he doesn’t complain. He says he is thankful for his medicine (Malaria) so that they don’t make him sick. He also expresses thanks every time I kill a mosquito. “If that one were going to bite me, I’m glad you killed it. Thank you.”

who is my neighbor?

I’m pretty big on hospitality. I love welcoming in the outsider, sharing the table, opening our home, and making sure people in general feel loved, valued, and wanted. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at this, but this trip has got me thinking, particularly about how I show hospitality those those I live in close proximity with- my neighbors. 

I’ve been learning a lot about what it means to be a neighbor from the people here. Being the outsider and the newcomer to the community, I have been astonished by the number of people who have showed up at our door, stopped cars mid-street to say hello and introduce themselves, invited us places (to meals, to their homes, to church, to their own restaurants), shared their stories (and asked us ours), helped us get settled (running errands, figuring out currency, carting us around the city), and who have just expressed a genuine gladness for our presence. 

I’m thinking about how, though I do those things in certain arenas of life and with certain groups of people, I do not tend to offer that kind of hospitality and warmth to the people who are my neighbors (meaning the actual folks who live on our block or our alley, not the general, all-inclusive “neighbor.” That one is easier for me). I’d like to change that. 

So far on my list of changes y’all can hold me accountable to: not being so entitled with our water and power supply at home (and here), walking more frequently as a discipline of slowing down and being more present, and now, showing hospitality to my neighbors.  Hopefully someone is writing these down, ha! 

Simply put, we might have come here to adopt, but it feels like we ourselves are being adopted. And this adoption feels more like an invitation- one that should be extended to others, so that they too can feel taken care of, known, and full of the hope that comes from having people with you on the journey. #joinme #everythingsgoingtobealright

vaccinations (check!)

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After a visit to the travel doctor, 17 vaccinations between the 4 of us, and three different prescriptions for “precautionary medications,” we are one step closer to being ready for our trip to Uganda.

These are the faces of my strong and brave kids after the vaccinations were complete.

On this thanksgiving weekend we are thankful for modern medicine AND for lollipops. One step closer…