Top 10 Things I’m Thankful For (The Uganda Version)
1. Breakfast and Coffee on the Veranda: Before I leave for the day’s work, I take time to sit and enjoy breakfast and coffee on the veranda at our inn. It’s as lovely as it sounds.
2. Rhinos: Wow! They are huge! We visited the rhino sanctuary, about a 3 hour drive from Kampala, and spent the afternoon hanging out with these magnificent creatures.
3. Community Gardens: Our children’s home director is intentional about making the homes sustainable, and community gardening is a big part of that. C. has developed community gardens at the homes to encourage fresh, sustainable eating. The children grow tomatoes, herbs, onions, and other vegetables – from seeds!
4. Gratefulness: Each time I travel to Uganda, I come bearing suitcases bursting with donations. When we arrive at the homes, we spend time handing out the donations, and the children act as though it’s Christmas morning. The kids put on their new clothing, tags and all, over their clothes and treasure it. Kids in children’s homes rarely have anything that is just theirs alone, so these times are very special for them. Their gratefulness warms my heart.
5. Chinese Egg Rolls: What? Chinese food in Uganda? Yes! It’s so tasty. I visit the same local Chinese restaurant every time I’m in Kampala. The owner remembers me every time and even recalls that I have a daughter adopted from China. Eating overseas can be risky – my tummy can attest to that! So finding a good place to eat is definitely something to be thankful for.
6. The U.S. Embassy: I met with them during this trip, and they are awesome. There are lots of paperwork and legal technicalities to wade through, and they do it. And do it well!
7. Bore Hole Wells: I love to see the bore hole well at one of our children’s homes. 75 meters deep. Filled with fresh, delicious, safe water! Bore hole wells are popping up (or rather, going down!) all over the African continent, and with each well, good water quality and sanitation are coming to a new community.
8. My Ugandan Colleagues: When you’re in the midst of the adoption process, you can feel as though your paperwork is headed off to never-never land. You mail things away and then wait. And wait. And wonder. Is anything happening on the other end? As I talk to my colleagues here in Uganda, I am impressed over and over with the tenacity and professionalism they bring to their work. Be assured, they are working hard on your behalf. They know how to navigate the legal system and the culture, and most importantly, they love children. It’s an honor to be working beside such great people. Even if most of the time we work thousands of miles apart.
9. Hugs and Handshakes: Whenever I arrive at our children’s homes, I’m greeted with a smothering of hugs and lots of firm handshakes (from boys especially). These children live with so little and have come through significant difficulties, but their hearts are warm and ready to love. I love their hugs and handshakes.
10. Well, of course, the boda boda! (I’m sorry. Did I already mention that?!)
Previously published at www.agapeadoptions.wordpress.com