This past Sunday, I turned 19 and it was pretty much the best birthday ever! It was my first (and maybe only) birthday in Uganda. This birthday was a huge celebration for me–in my second home, with my second family, surrounded by some of the best friends on earth. The thought that kept coming to me all weekend was that I am fully loved and that is the best gift ever.
There are so many babies and children I wish you could meet. They have taught me so much and they have reminded me that life is good. The other people I would like to introduce you to are the mamas–amazing women who work day and night, loving and teaching the babies. These are the people who have given me the name “Auntie Katie,” a title I will always cherish. On Friday, we celebrated Amani’s March birthdays with singing, dancing, and cups of orange soda. Cheers to you, babies and mamas, may you know that you are fully loved!
Right now, there are four girls besides myself volunteering at Amani. They are simply the best and I thank God every day that they are my friends. They spent all day Saturday and Sunday helping me turn 19 in high style and reminding me that I am fully loved. On Saturday, we journeyed to the capital city of Kampala for a day of shopping and fun. On the way, we took a detour to the equator. We took pictures to prove we were there, and then we ate our lunch right on the equator! Afterwards, we went to Kampala and enjoyed hanging out in the mall and eating at Cafe Sserie. Everything is awesome with this group of girls!
On Sunday morning, I woke up to a house full of decorations. What thoughtful roommates I have! We went to church that morning–another experience I wish you could have. When we came home, my roommates told me they had a special gift for me. They took me to the yard, blindfolded me, and then they poured water all over me!!
One of our Sunday afternoon activities included trying every Ugandan soda we could find. In case you are interested, we found that about 90% of the sodas were actually disgusting–but it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! We also baked a birthday cake for me and we topped off the afternoon with some fun baby holding. For dinner we headed out to the Source of the Nile restaurant where I had some of the best ribs I have ever had in my life. The highlight of the day came when we got CONE BIRTHDAY HATS! What can I say? I am 19 years old and fully loved. For this time in my life, Uganda is my home and God has surrounded me people who are my family and friends. Life is good, and I hope that you know that you are fully loved.