It has been two weeks since I arrived in Uganda, and I am finally starting to settle in. I’m getting used to walking to the produce market and having to bargain everything down from the muzungu (white people) prices. I am getting used to walking to the dairy once a week to pick up fresh milk that is packaged in recycled water bottles. I am learning to live with the smell of burning trash that fills my lungs daily. I am learning to live with the fact that the power goes out all the time here, so you have to learn to hand wash your clothes and candles are a necessity. I am learning how big God is and how big his love is for the world. Let me just tell you, He is big and His love is deeper than you can imagine.
So you may be wondering, what is it like to live with 37 kids? Well, it’s crazy. Every morning at 7:00 am the kids wake me up with crying, giggling, and the best part, singing. After showering and eating breakfast, I walk downstairs and immediately hear the kids screaming “auntie, auntie” as they rush to the door to greet me. The little ones raise their arms up high jumping up and down begging me to pick them up. These kids give me more love than I could ever give them. “Joy comes in the morning” is the most accurate quote here at Amani. During the mornings, the kids go to our preschool here at Amani in order to learn English. They also go outside to play, and they get to go to the playroom to play on the “ark” which is basically an indoor playground. It’s awesome. When lunch time comes, the kids go and eat a Ugandan meal, usually consisting of rice, beans, and sometimes some kind of meat. They eat this meal with just their hands, and they make a beautiful mess all over the floor every time.
After lunch, I have time off and I go into town almost every day. This might sound miserable to some people because every single store looks exactly the same—literally—maybe they have one thing different. But I find it completely addictive, because the people who work at these shops are sweet, loving and thankful we are here. I am thanked daily walking down the street for taking care of the babies at Amani. The people in Uganda are so friendly and inviting.
I haven’t been here long, but I love these people and this place. I have been asking myself over and over again, how did I get here? How did I get this opportunity? God reminds me daily that all I did was say “yes.” It’s that simple. I am so grateful for this wild and wonderful life, and I am also grateful to those who have made it possible for me to be in Uganda.