2 day jaunt

Yesterday was an all day travel day from Uganda to London. We found a sports bar that showed American football and had wings, nachos, burgers, fries, and drinks. It was sooooo good and great to watch football finally. Early flight this morning to Chicago and the home. My heart is full. It’s been an awesome journey. I can’t wait to share with you all. I’m blessed beyond measure and have so much gratitude within me.

See y’all soon!

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Extra safari

We were able to sleep in some today. Although I randomly woke up at 7:30 and never went back to sleep. Jackie ray and I went to breakfast around 8:30 and I had yummy oatmeal again along with my standard cup of coffee.

Kay Charlotte was able to get us an extra safari this morning in the Chobe bush for about an hour and a half. We didn’t see much game (animals) but we did see a TON of giraffe!

We were able to get one last swim in the amazing pool overlooking the Nile and grab a quick lunch before we had to catch our flight. We took off on the dirt air strip but were delayed due to a herd of elephants!

Animals are amazing and God was so creative in designing each and every one. It’s so cool to look at them and watch their movements and habits.

We reached Kampala and the town was booming today since its Saturday. Everyone was out shopping and at the market. It was nuts!

We are back at the same hotel we were at the other night and the kids swam. We are ordering room service while the parents have a night alone.

We leave in the morning for London and then to the US on Monday. I can’t believe our departure for the US is already here. It’s been an amazing time despite my early homesickness back in Italy. I’m truly blessed to be able to experience this amazing journey.

I’ll have to say my favorite has been Uganda. It’s definitely captured my heart and has put life into perspective. I can’t wait to come back but until then my prayers will be flooded with those orphan’s faces and the Ugandan people. They are amazing people that are so polite, genuine, and happy.

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Para/ chobe safari

Oh how I love the oatmeal in Africa. Such creamy goodness. And that’s what I had for breakfast along with coffee at 6am.

We went on a safari all day on land and on the Nile. It was a lot of driving but oh so fun and a great experience. The animals we saw were elephants, giraffe, antelope, hippos, wart hogs, baboons, various birds, crocodiles, and other things I can’t remember the names
🙂 it was so neat to experience wild life up so close. It was a super cold ride to and from the safari but we had a lot of laughs and managed ok. Everyone is pooped. It’s dinner and bed.

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Pool on the Nile

Today we flew on a prop plane to Chobe to go to the safari hotel. We arrived on a dirt path and during our landing we saw giraffes, antelope, wart hogs, and hippos. It was amazing. Our hotel is literally on the Nile River and is in the middle of nowhere. It’s gorgeous here. We spent 7 hours swimming in the 3 pools. The kids played well together. We are like the only people here. It’s nice. We were Able to see the hippos out of the water tonight at dinner. It’s amazing. They are huge!!!! We learned some fun facts about them. There are hundreds of them but they can be very dangerous. Tomorrow we are doing the all day safari. I can’t wait. And hoping to see lions. 🙂 4 short days until home. I can’t believe it.

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Quarter of a Century

September 12. A special day since its my birthday and a special birthday since I got to spend in Kampala, Uganda.

It was a day of traveling but went more smoothly than the last bus ride. I woke up not wanting to leave these kids. As I was taking my luggage to the bus, a boy who I didn’t recognize ran up to me and gave me a letter that was folded very neatly. He had been waiting for a couple hours to find me in order to give me the note. Mind you, it was 7am
When he greeted me so he had been waiting on me since about 5am which is an hour after these kids wake up. I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t recognize the boy and kindly thanked him, hugged him and went on my way to eat breakfast. A while later, I decided to open the letter and this is when I realized who it was from. It was from my buddy shautique who I had played with and interacted with most of the time in the village. He is in the 8th grade and the sweetest thing. He was always by my side, talking to me, and joking around with me. He even looked for me in the crowd as he performed his song
and dance. So, I put it all together. Shautique was in class when I left, so he hired a friend to stand by the bus and wait for me to give me his note that he wrote for me. It was precious and I was so moved. I can’t wait to write him back and send him pictures of us. He gave me his address so I’ll be sure to send him things. I’ll share later what the note said.

It was so great to ride in the bus through the various towns today. So much poverty. But yet such happy people but subdued people.

We made it to the hotel and we chilled and watched a movie until dinner with everyone. I was able to Skype with my momma for like 2 minutes and see molls face for one second and receive many wonderful texts, emails, and Facebook posts from family and friends. It was amazing!

Dinner was great and I got a new watch from the Lindsey’s and some other treats like singing and such.

It was weird to not be with my family and beat friends, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m looking forward to what God has for me in my 25th year of life.

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Hope Child Care Program/ Bright Hope School

Wow! What a day! Early morning!! Breakfast at 7:30am. We had oatmeal 🙂 yummy! And fruit. Very good. We were able to hear from Fred and Ruth who run the village. They shared their story and their vision for this orphanage. There are around 550 students here and around 250 live on the property. The other kids either live with a guardian or another family member but do not have parents. We took a tour of the property and was able to see the kids in school and visit some classrooms. They wanted to know where we came from and so we showed them on a map in their classroom. They love asking about different rappers and they love Arnold schwartzenager and Rambo. It’s funny. We were able to visit Faiths house today. She was the recipient of the one and only homes of hope home here in Uganda. She used to live in a mud shack the size of my bathroom with her twelve kids. We were able to see both the old and new home. The new home has 3 rooms and cement floors and a roof. She was so so grateful and filled with so much joy!!! it’s amazing how grateful she was. The kids from the orphanage came in a flock and surrounded the home while singing and dancing for the Lords will to be done and to bring homes of hope to Uganda. That’s a huge part of this trip in seeing how that can be done and to build relationships. We returned to the property and played a ton with the kids. We ran around, danced, played soccer, took a ton of pictures, I taught them the Macarena, loved on them, and listened to them. We were blessed by a women’s group that dance and sing together as well as make baskets for people to purchase in order to better their lives. The children of the orphanage also put on a program
In the afternoon that consisted of singing and dancing. They then wanted us to do something and all we came up with was singing Jesus loves me 🙂 its been so great to see the kids interact with these kids. After dinner we had a debriefing time where we all shared what was on our hearts and what stood out to us today. What stood out to me the most was how I take for granted my parents love and availability to me. These kids don’t have that and I am so blessed to have not one but two loving parents who take care of me, listen to me, give to me, and love me so much. All these kids have are each other.

The stars are amazing here and the milky way is fantastic. 🙂

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Entebbe, Uganda

We made it to Uganda. Flew into Entebbe and everyone was there to greet us. We are in a big van and headed to the equator and then on to the village where the orphanage is. I guess there are about 450 orphans! We do not have phone service but I’m connected to someone’s hot spot as we are traveling 5 hours in the car this morning. We are a seven hour time difference than Indy and 2 hours from England where we just came from. It’s so muddy and dirty here. Very poor. So sad. Excited or the rest of the trip. Praying for healthiness, no car sickness, and plenty of food we can eat 🙂

Well of course we couldn’t make the trip without something happening along the way. We blew a tire on the way to the village. Thank God for His safety and that nothing bad happened. The driving here is crazy. You can go any speed basically. You can pass anytime you want. It’s nuts. After about 30-40 minutes waiting on the side of the road we got going again. We made it to the village and orphanage safe and sound. We were greeted by the kids with a welcome dance and we had to walk down the middle of the road in the village to get to the guest house whole hundreds of kids were lined up along the road so happy to see us. We played with the kids and it felt like we were movie stars. Franks wife made us dinner consisting of beans, rice, pineapple, salad, potatoes, and juice. It was very good. I was able to go to night school with Olivia. You could barely see in the school room and it was at 8pm! Kind of nuts. We have to sleep in these tents so we don’t get bitten by bugs while sleeping. Hoping I get some sleep tonight since last night it was on the plane. We have bunk style beds so it’s not always the easiest sleeping arrangements. Tomorrow is a full day.

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London Calling

I love London. It reminds me so much of NYC. Except for the fact that I see a ton of rolls Royce, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and you get the picture. We did some last minute shopping for Africa and had lunch at pizza express. We were able to explore Hyde park which is very similar to Central Park in NYC. We rented row boats and went out in the big pond in the park. We really wanted to rent bikes but they didn’t accept credit cards without a special chip and US cards don’t have them yet. 😦 the girls and I made up dances and listened to music as well as purchased an iced chai tea latte 🙂 I’ve got them hooked! Off to Africa (Uganda) we go for the week ministering to orphans and going on a safari. Happy birthday week to me 🙂

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From Harpenden to London

Yesterday was a day to finish up work, pack up, and pack for Africa. We are only taking 3 suitcases for the 6 of us. David did a lot of work and the girls played well together. We went looking for clothes for Jackie for Africa and we ate lunch at the Thai place. It was real good.

To London we went in the evening and arrives at our hotel. It is beautiful. Called the mandarine oriental hotel overlooking Hyde park which is similar to central park. We were able to see Harrods department store all lot up at night and this is such a wealthy area. It’s the second wealthiest city to NYC. I see one luxury car after another. It’s crazy. We ate at a sushi restraunt. it was so good!

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Such a cheery day

This is a pretty standard start to a blog post: we did school all morning. The girls finished all their work except for some studying they need to do. David still has things he needs to finish. 7th grade is quite the jump in work load from 6th grade. He is quickly learning that. We were able to have a delicious lunch at Prezzo. Maggie and I split a salad and chicken dish. We went to the Harpenden ywam base again and listened to an economist speak on the world’s debt today and what the bible says about it. It was very interesting. Money is the 2nd most talked about thing by Jesus in the Bible and hell is number one. I may write more on that topic later. But me being a freak about money I found it very informative and interesting. I’ve gotten Maggie hooked on chai tea lattes and we were at to divulge in one at the cafe on the base. It was very good. Maggie and I had to go back to our favorite store, mint velvet, and get another pair of leggings. When we find something we like, we tend to buy in bulk :). We were able to relax a bit in the room and do pedicures and manicures together. It consisted of spilling nail polish remover all over the bed, again on the floor, and lots of laughing. Maggie and I are struggling with not getting a pedicure for over a month. We are little premadonnas we know. And of course, they took me to ZaZa for dinner on our last night in Harpenden. Again, it was so great and yummy. Tomorrow we head into London where we will stay a night and then off to Africa! I cannot believe it is almost here.

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