Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April showers

Yes, rainy season has arrived in Timu. The sky has daily been full of clouds (see below). Terrill's new camera is catching them in a more artistic way than ever before. Thankfully, the rain and sun are alternating so we can both catch water for household use...and dry the laundry.

Life in Timu is continuing post-visitors. We never know what kind of pieces we'll have to pick up as the girls get attached to people, and then those people leave. But, it seems like they are adapting to our way of life and realizing that it's not a permanent separation when someone leaves. 
The girls are continuing in homeschool. For any who are interested, I'm doing a half Abeka, half Sonlight curriculum. Abeka has been great in teaching Kindergarten concepts and phonics. Sonlight has a great literature package that we're working through. I'm honestly amazed at how much I learn alongside these girls. Teaching is still not my favorite thing to do, but I no longer dread it. I'd appreciate your prayers as the Lord keeps increasing my comfort levels with this new responsibility. Below the girls were having homeschool in the yard with Grandma Velma.
Thankfully, homeschool only takes a few hours a day...and then the girls can run around and be girls.
They still love hanging out in the kitchen with me and skillet baking up new surprises for daddy.
Most days they spend outside near the sandbox and swings.
Their latest strength challenge has been carrying each other piggy-back. Janet can easily carry Lemu, but they both erupt in giggles when Lemu carries Janet a few steps and then they fall into the dirt.
Friends come nearly every day. We like the fact that the girls must practice their Ik language when kids are around. And, it's fun to serve the kids lunch and introduce them to new foods. 
When visiting our baptist friends in Kaabong, the girls have been becoming proficient on bikes.
When leaving Kaabong for Timu, we must do the shopping for the following week. The girls are something of an anomaly because they have white parents and people openly stare at them to detect what changes might be happening.
Grass-thatched granaries are going up to prepare for the agricultural season.
Enjoying the breeze on a trip home to Timu.
We stopped to let this chameleon in the road pass by. 
Upon returning from our three weeks away, patients started lining up outside my gate. They really have so little access to healthcare. 
My informal way of checking for a fever in a kid with a respiratory infection.
Terrill is back to dictionary work with a few guys several days a week. On cold, rainy days, they must build a fire to keep warm. They require milk tea and peanuts about 11am, followed by a hot lunch at 1pm. The old men in particular are motivated by the lunch offering.
On two different days last week, we killed snakes. Terrill believes they are poisonous boomslangs. Fortunately, they are not aggressive and were easy to kill.
The event of the week, though, was when our girl turned five years old. Lemu Immaculate is growing up. It's hard to believe we got her at 2 yrs, 11 months. 
When we asked what she wanted to eat for her birthday dinner, she promptly replied 'pizza'. Little does she know how difficult it is to make pizza in a village setting...without a refrigerator. Thank the Lord for velveeta. It works in a pinch.
Like Lemu, the grass is growing up in Timu and the circle of life is transpiring. We are thankful for a season of refreshment after the many dusty months earlier this spring. May the refreshment be far-reaching to all areas of our life.

Friday, April 17, 2015

(Grand)parental presence

Somehow during Amber's recent trip abroad, the girls and I made it through the first week fairly well. But then my parents, Arlin & Velma, flew over from the States to help lighten the load. And lighten the load is exactly what they did! Janet and Lemu had met my mother a year and a half ago but had never seen my dad. When they finally met, there was almost no adjustment period. My parents got started right away being grandparents, and the girls wasted no time getting into their role either:


After a week together in Kampala, filled with lots of swimming, Amber rejoined us with much love and goodies to go around. Then we headed north toward Ikland. On the way the first day, we got stuck in a huge traffic jam near Jinja that held us for three hours. Last time my mom was here in 2013, we got stuck in a ditch...you never know what kind of road adventures you'll have in Uganda:



 The trip back to Timu is long and arduous but was made easier this time with the help and presence of (grand)parents. LeapFrogs, bubblegum, and a few pit-stops didn't hurt either:

When we passed the hand-painted JIE sign, we knew we were back in Karamoja, the land of blue skies, red dirt, and green foliage:



Once we were back home in Timu, we had just a little less than a week with Mom and Dad. They helped us so much and were an incredible blessing. They did the girls' homeschooling, read to them, helped with cooking, did ALL the dishes, offered moral support, engaged us in great conversations and were all around amazing encouragers as we shared our Icien life together:
Mom and Dad, the four of us love you and thank you for sacrificing your time, money and energy to come over here and invest in our well-being.

To you we say: Mission accomplished!