Friday, December 31, 2010

Yes...Its still available!

After a few months my condo is still available for rent.

The price is now listed at $1575 per month!
Email me at: 8710rental@sbcglobal.net if you are interested!



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the BIG move....

Right after graduation, the staff and students at GBI geared up for our biggest move yet...our transfer to Buloba!

Here are a few snaps of the chaos!

My office...aka Staff PC holding room


The Moving Company brings in guys to help! Good thing...it took 5 full loads with an 18 wheeler and 3 trips with a lorry!



We took EVERYTHING...even dismantled the student lunch area and sold off the old tin roof!


This signs came down...with no trouble in the community! Yeah!


And Annet...well...the finance office can never shut down so Annet's office is now temporarily located in my living room...

It took a full 3 days to move everything...but for now...we are done!!! January will be when the tough job of unpacking and setting up the new offices begin...But until then...I'm on VACATION! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas #3 in UG

Christmas #1 - 2007 I remember it well because I was SICK...Everyone went to Mukono for Christmas that year and I stayed on the couch, watching TV with a trash can by my side...

Christmas #2 - 2009 Was also one I remember...partly because I had high hopes for it but I remember being sooo bored. I had gone to church, then had lunch, then went home and watched movies on my laptop while it poured outside.

Christmas #3 - 2010 Was WAY better! It met and exceeded all of my expectations! My family and I went to a new resort on the lake. I went to the spa, hung out by the pool, ate enough food to feed me for a year and slept in a bed big enough to hold 5 people! Here are a few of the pics...It was fabulous!

The Nativity - UG Style

The Hotel


The Aftermath of the Gift Opening


Face Painting - Kayiza wanted to be Spider man


Christmas Carols by the Pool


Lots of Buffets


and Watching TV with the Fam


Overall, A very merry Christmas! Too bad we cant do this every month!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

GBI Graduates 48!!

On 10th December, GBI was privileged to send out 48 more workers into the field!

Some will stay in Uganda, while others will head back to their homes in Rwanda, Kenya, Congo, Tanzania and Burundi!

I am excited to see how God works through all of them to build up His Kingdom all over East Africa and I am so blessed to apart of it!!


Staff and Graduands!


GBI Staff, Showing off our Accreditation Certificate!!


Being Silly with Students and Staff!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bday Fun


My birthday fell on a Sunday this year and Sundays here are always spent with my family...So I didn't really make plans...I just went home as usual...

When I got there, they had pasta for lunch (my fav), they had a yummy cake, champagne, and presents...they had even invited more people from the fam over to make the surprise extra special!

Cutting the Cake :)


Dad, Opening the Champagne


And of Course Kayiza...Helping me open the presents :)

The following day when I went to work...it was a busy day as usual, until I was getting ready to leave and my friend Joseline told me to be at my favorite restaurant at 6 sharp!!

I had no idea what they had in store for me but when I arrived...the party began!

We had LOTS of yummy food...


We did some dancing...the guy at the restaurant even put a happy birthday song on the stereo for us!


Then we all crammed into my car and went for ice cream!


Overall...it was definitely a good welcome into my 30's!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Creation Story...Baganda Style

I find it interesting that most cultures, no matter where they are located have a Creation story...it is always interesting to me to see how they are related to the Biblical Creation story...kind of like playing a game of "telephone" where one person tells the story to another and it is passed along a chain of people, these creation stories re-iterate the factual ones but show how each culture had its own point of view per-se...this then is the creation story in the Buganda Tribe, one of the largest tribes here in Uganda, that occupies most of our central region and happens to be the tribe that my family is from...Enjoy..."Kintu the Legend"

Long ago, Kintu was the only person on the earth. He lived alone with his cow, which he loved so much. Ggulu the creator of all things lived up in heaven with his many children and other property. From time to time, Ggulu's children would come down to earth to play. On one such occasion, Ggulu's daughter Nambi and some of her brothers encountered Kintu who was with his cow in Buganda. Nambi was very fascinated with Kintu and she felt pity for him because he was living alone. She decided to marry and stay with him despite the opposition from her brothers. But because of her brothers' pleading, she decided to return to heaven with Kintu and ask for her father's permission for the union.

Ggulu was not pleased that his daughter wanted to get married to a human being and live with him on the earth. But Nambi pleaded with her father until she persuaded him to bless the union. After Ggulu decided to allow the marriage to proceed, he advised Kintu and Nambi to leave heaven secretly. He advised them to pack lightly and that on no condition were they to return to heaven even if they forgot anything. This admonition was so that Walumbe, one of Nambi's brothers should not find out about the marriage until they had left, otherwise he would insist on going with them and bring them misery. Kintu was very pleased to have been given a wife and together they followed Ggulu's instructions. Among the few things that Nambi packed, was her chicken. They set out for earth early the next morning.

But while they were descending, Nambi remembered that she had forgotten to bring the millet that her chicken would feed on. "I have left my chickens' millet on the porch, let me return and fetch it," she begged Kintu. But Kintu refused and said, "Don't go back. If you do, you will meet Walumbe and he will surely insist on coming with you." Nambi, however, did not listen to her husband, and leaving him on the way she returned to fetch the millet. When she reached the house, she took the millet from the porch, but on her way back, she suddenly met Walumbe who asked: "My sister, where are you going so early in the morning? Nambi did not know what to say. Filled with curiosity, Walumbe insisted on going with her. Therefore Kintu and Nambi were forced to go to earth together with Walumbe.

It did not take long for Kintu and Nambi to get children. One day, Walumbe went to Kintu's home and asked his brother-in-law to give him a child to help him with the chores in his (Walumbe's) house. But remembering Ggulu's warning, Kintu would not hear of it. Walumbe became very angry with Kintu for refusing him the simple favor he had asked. That very night, he went and killed Kintu's son. Naturally, this caused a deep rift between them. Kintu went back to heaven to report Walumbe's actions to Ggulu. Ggulu rebuked Kintu, reminding him of the original warning he had disregarded. Kintu blamed Nambi for returning to get the millet. Ggulu then sent another of his sons, Kayikuuzi, to go back to earth with Kintu and try to persuade Walumbe to return to heaven or if necessary return him by force.

On reaching earth, Kayikuuzi tried to persuade Walumbe to go back to heaven but Walumbe would not hear of it. "I like it here on earth and I am not coming back with you" he said. Kayikuuzi decided to capture Walumbe by force, and a great fight broke out between them. But as Walumbe was about to be overpowered, he escaped and disappeared into the ground. Kayikuuzi went after him, digging huge holes in the ground to try and find his brother. When Kayikuuzi got to where he was hiding, Walumbe run back out to the earth. Further struggle between the brothers ensued but once again Walumbe escaped into the ground. The famous caves that are found today at Ttanda in Ssingo are said to be the ones that were dug by Kayikuuzi in the fight with his brother Walumbe.

The struggle went on for several days and by now, Kayikuuzi was close to exhaustion. So he went and talked to Kintu and Nambi as follows: "I am going back into the ground one more time to get Walumbe. You and your children must stay indoors. You must strictly not allow your children not to make any noise if they see Walumbe. I know he is also getting tired so when he comes out of the ground, I will come upon him secretly and grab him." Kintu and Nambi went into their house, but some of the kids did not go in. Kayikuuzi once again went underground to find Walumbe. After a struggle, Walumbe came back out to the surface with Kayikuuzi in pursuit. Kintu's children who were outside at the time saw Walumbe coming and sreamed in terror. On hearing the screams, Walumbe went underground once again. Kayikuuzi was furious with Kintu and Nambi for not having followed his instructions. He told them that if they did not care to do the simple thing he had asked of them, he was also giving up the fight. Kintu in his embarrassment had nothing more to say. So he told Kayikuuzi "You return to heaven. If Walumbe wants to kill my children, let him do so, I will keep having more. The more he kills, the more I will get and he will never be able to kill off all my children". Ttanda, where the fight between Walumbe and Kayikuuzi allegedly took place is figuratively referred to as the place of death.

So that is the legend of creation, and how sickness and death started. Nonetheless, Kintu's descendants will always remain as Kintu said in his last words to Kayikuuzi. Hence the Kiganda saying "Abaana ba Kintu tebalifa kuggwaawo". Which means that Kintu's children will never be wiped off the face of the earth.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Onion anyone?

Lets just say, I will try most things once...

So as you know, I have been sick (and honestly, I hate being sick!) So when my dad told me about a remedy for my sickness...I said...sure, why not try it!

The remedy, cut an onion in half, put it on a plate and put it on your bed while you sleep...supposedly the onion absorbs a bunch of germs?! haha...Now I don't know if this is scientifically fact or not but my nose does feel a little clearer today..

Lets see if I feel better for the whole day, or if this feeling of a clearer nose is just attributed to the 9 hours of sleep I just got!

Saturday..here I come!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You know when...

your eyes are droopy

your pj's are on at 7pm

your bed is your favorite place

you sleep long hours

you yawn all day

you would rather sleep then eat

that you are....

NO NO NO...NOT OLD...NO NO NO...NOT DEPRESSED!

YOU know you are SICK!

And yes...i have had a little head cold for the week and as i type i am ready for bed at 8pm! Its not a sign of old age...at least not this time...but if you are thinking i am old, shame on you!!! It is true though, in 3 short days i will enter into my 3rd phase of life...haha...figure that one out why don't you!

But alas, for now i say farewell to blogger and hello to my comfy bed! Trust me...its better this way, with my sickly brain you never know what i might write!!!

Goodnight world, we will talk again soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unexcused Absence?!

As an ex-primary school teacher, I realize that any kid who hasn't been seen for 2 weeks risks the possibility of being dropped from their school roster and reported to the truancy police...and yet, I realized today its been 2 weeks since I have shown my little face here!!!

Sorry for my absence!!!

Things have been so busy around here with GBI preparing to move in less than one month, and me taking luganda lessons 4 nights a week now...it seems as if I just have enough time to eat and sleep nowadays!!!

As I watch the calendar days FLY by I am in shock that we have only 40 days left of 2010...I am so thankful as I look back at this year...

So much has been accomplish,

So much has been learned,

I will admit, the lessons of this past year have not all been easy but they have all been needed and have all been worthwhile.

There are many days I shake my head in disbelief at the ways that God works and then there are others that are so obviously God to me that I can't understand why others around me can't see what I see.

I am looking forward to see what these last 40 days of 2010 will bring and can't even fathom what is in store for 2011...God only knows...and I like it that way!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elections...here we come...

Well...not really...we still have about 3 1/2 months to go but campaigns are underway and causing quite a stir here in our normally quite and peaceful town :)

So how do campaigns in UG take place??

I don't have a TV but I'm guessing their isn't very much commercial bashing like you have in the USA.

We have 8 candidates this year...and the biggest way of advertising is posters, t-shirts, bodas, taxis, lorries with huge speakers, whistles and tree branches...

Yes folks, if you can't hear the campaign from your office window, odds are you will see the long line of traffic and huge trucks stalling traffic with their music, dancing and waving of tree branches...

Taxis fill up followers all wearing the candidates election color, tape the posters to the front grill of their cars, hang branches from their roof racks and have all the passengers stick their heads out of the window blowing matching colored whistles...its quite the production...

Each time I get stuck behind one of these campaign blockades though, I can't help but think to myself...humm...I would be more willing to vote for you people if you made traffic BETTER rather than worse!

haha!

Oh well!!! Let's see if Musevini will take his ba-zillionth term in office...well not ba-zillionth but he has been president of Uganda ever since I was 6 years old so he has been president for almost as long as I have been alive!!

Good ol' election frenzy... I guess I better get used to it sooner rather than later since it will probably last all the way through March!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Condo STILL for Rent!

Okay...here goes price drop number two...

$1645 per month and you get my place!!



email me at: 8710rental@sbcglobal.net if you are interested!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oluzungu Wange

"Oluzungu Wange" - I am about 85% that means "my English" in luganda but if it doesn't....have grace on me, Im still learning!

Despite the fact that I can still only greet in Luganda, it is a fact that over the last year and a half, my English HAS changed...

I don't really notice it much, but I think that's because it is a gradual thing...I was actually talking about it with my sisters (Liz & Angie) this past week and we all laughed about it!

So how has it changed...well...this is what we concluded...

1. Its slower...and if you speak to me quickly, sometimes I don't understand a word you are trying to tell me!

2. My accent is different...at least that is what I am told because really...I don't think I had an accent to start with! haha!

3. I use British spellings of English words now and even have my PC set for UK English on the spell check...this plus my bad spelling to start with has made it literally impossible to spell anything at all without spell check so if you find misspellings...have some grace on me!

4. I use new words for old ideas...For instance:

Full stop = A period at the end of a sentence
Shifted = Moved
Flash me = Call me on my cell and hang up before I have a chance to answer it!
Rubber = Eraser
Jam = Traffic
Abused = Talked badly about someone
Funny = Weird
Paining = Hurting

5. I over emphasize personal pronouns...For example, I might say, "For me, I'm tired" or "For you, you are fat"...From what I gather in Luganda lessons its a matter of translating Luganda into English because in Luganda, you double your pronouns for emphasis.

6. I am no longer politically correct...if you are black, I call you black; If you are white, I call you white; if you are some version of Asian, I will probably call you Chinese; if you are overweight, I will probably call you fat...hey...dont get mad...its a cultural thing and well...I have embraced it! Actually here we even distinguish between shades of black, so if you ever hear someone ask me who someone is, I would probably answer and say, you know.."he is the really black one" or "he is the short skinny brown one....!"

But anyways....I am sure there were more but at 9pm that's all I can remember!

I hope that doesn't discourage anyone from calling me cause it is nice to get a long distance person to chat with! I will try to keep up, just please, don't use any new slang, or talk 4,000 words per minute and we should be fine!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ahhhh....Saturdays....

I LOVE Saturdays...not just like them, I LOVE them!!

Why?

Well...there is the obvious reason...Sleeping In!

and the other obvious reason that, if I don't want to think...I really don't have to...

But then there are the other reasons I love Saturdays, ones that may or may not be different from yours...

1. PJ Days...yes, it is true...most Saturdays I stay in my PJs until at least noon...last Saturday it was all day...come on now...don't judge...you know you do it too!

2. Coffee...Saturday is the only day when I make REAL LIFE COFFEE! The rest of the days its good ol' instant which for some reason just isn't that good.

3. Conversations...Saturday is the day I get to sit and chat with my friends, my sister and my house help...I learn more about their lives, we usually have some conversation related to or about the bible, and we share laughs and jokes together!

4. Breakfast...Saturdays is also the day that I get to spend the most time with my sister Barbara...we usually collaborate and come up with a breakfast plan of bacon, sausage, eggs, fruit, and some sort of bread...all ready to eat at the early morning time of NOON :) and yes...we are usually in our PJs for breakfast! :)

5. Visitors...If you haven't guessed by now, the good news of lazy Saturdays has gotten out and Barbara and I usually have someone we know drop by to share in our fun...last weekend we had Joseline who shamed us by going out for an early morning run while we slept, we had our youngest sister Angie who stayed with us for the week and has truly embraced our sleeping in motto, we had Alema (my house help), and Alema's daughter Rida...it soooo great to hang out with family, friends and neighbors!!

SO...even though it is just Tuesday as I type this...I am looking forward to Saturday again :) AND while it is rare to see a picture taken of any of us on our lazy days, Alema's daughter took a snap of me and I of her as we captured pictures of each other's big Saturday Smiles :)


Friday, October 22, 2010

Miracles DO happen...

And this one happened to be from none other than the Ugandan Post Office...

I can't tell you how many times things come squished or ripped or not at all but today I had to smile at my ripped letter...

Not because it was ripped BUT because it had been sealed in a plastic envelope and on the back was a signed letter of apology from the post office for any inconvenience the ripped envelope caused me...

It was a miracle and actually made me really excited for the accountability, integrity and customer service skills that this employee at Posta Uganda actually displayed!

WELL DONE!

Keep Up the Good work...

And for those of you who live in Uganda and don't believe that I am telling the truth right now...here is a picture to prove it :) haha! See!!! Miracles DO happen!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shaken NOT Stirred...

I went to fill my gas tank last week and drove away chuckling...

Why?

Something new happened that has never happened to me before!

I drove up, popped open the tank release, rolled down my window and asked the petrol attendant to fill up my tank...

Now in UG they love to get it really really full...today was no exception BUT I think the attendant I had was trying to get a gold medal in filling tanks to their maximum capacity...

When the counter started slowing and I thought for sure the attendant had filled it to its capacity I started to pull out my money to pay but rather than coming to the window to tell me my balance the attendant comes to my window and says "I shake??"

"I Shake??"" I think to my self, hum...this is a new one, so I repeated what he said and sure enough, I got it right the first time...curious as to what he was talking about I said "SURE!" with confidence...

Lets say, I wasnt expecting what I got, because at my resounding, "sure" the man started shaking or more like rocking my car back and forth...

I felt like a milkshake or a martini getting jostled about in the front seat...riding out the waves...

Then after his shaking, he proceeded to squeeze in an additional 300 shillings (approx 15cents) of petrol into my tank...

Yep, my tank was definitely as full as it was going to get, I paid and off I drove, with a little chuckle and a smile!

Just another reason why I love Uganda!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Funding Update...

Hello All!

I just want to say thank you to the 88 people who make it possible for me to live and volunteer here in Uganda! The last 6 months or so have been tight as I was only operating at 80% of my budget but due to new donors this past month I am up to 96%!!!

Thank you soooo much for being apart of this ministry! I believe in the work at GBI and I know that all of you do as well!!

As we would say in Uganda...

Weebale Nnyo!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Introducing Doreen...


Ankunda Doreen is another of GBI’s Child Development students.

Her name Ankunda means “He loves me” and indeed she also loves children. She works as a primary school teacher and has wanted to minister to children for most of her life. When asked what she likes most about working with children she said that she enjoys preaching the Word of God to them as well as praising and worshipping God with them.
Even though the Child Development course has only been in session for 1 month, she says she has learned so much. The course that has influenced her the most?
Special Needs Children!
Doreen admits that she didn’t know that children with special needs could do anything but now she says that she sees everyone equally in God’s eyes. “Normal? What really is Normal, there isn’t such a thing”, she says with confidence.
Now I can minister to children better and by the end of my 2 years at GBI I will be equipped with the knowledge I need to serve and transform the children in my community to the glory of God.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Child Development Testimonies...

The Child Development Program has been running for 1 month now and we have some very excited students because of it...

That being said, let me introduce Thomas Ojok!



Thomas Ojok is one of Gaba Bible Institute’s newest students. He, along with 12 others, are the founding class of the 2 year child development diploma program that was just launched in September 2010.

If you ever have the opportunity to ask Thomas about children or about Child development you will see a vibrant smile and passion come pouring out of him.


Thomas has been working with a Christian NGO called “Children of the Nations” for the last four years where he serves as the only male role model and “uncle” to 56 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 16.

Thomas says that it is his passion to study more about children, to see them grow and to be able to equip them to transform his society. "Our children are a source of wealth to our society, but yet, most Ugandan’s do not understand this," Thomas says, "it takes knowledge and training for us to fully understand God’s design and plan for our children. I am so blessed to study Child Development, it often brings tears to my eyes as I read and study all that God has laid before me. God has called me to serve our children; it is my purpose in life. When I have the education, I can lead a generation and that is why I am at GBI!"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Causes???

I have to admit...I like FB...

It for some reason is one of the only information sources I get on what is happening in the lives of the people back in Cali...

If it wasn't for FB, I wouldn't know who was engaged, who got married, and who is having kids...

It really is a great way for me to stay connected so that when I go back for visits to Cali, I wont be 3 years behind in all the news...

That being said...FB causes REALLY REALLY drive me crazy!

I get cause invitations from people like...

"Save kids from HIV" or "Stop violence against women"

Yet all these people do on FB is say they "like" the cause and in some way they feel like they have done something about it...Maybe its just me but I don't think that God would like FB Causes either...

After all He wanted us to take action, to live our faith out in action and deeds...not just to say you like a cause and act as if by "liking" something it is going to make the problem go away!

What I would really like is a note, or a blog post telling what you tangibly did to help save kids from HIV or stop violence against women...its what you DO not what you SAY that will make a difference in this broken world...

OKAY...I am going to step off my soap box now...but seriously people...please don't send me those FB Causes...it really annoys me and in all reality, I will probably just push ignore anyways...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Family

I know that God is a God of Families...

How do I know this?


It seems that wherever I go, no matter how near or far...God always provides me with a family.


As you all know I have a village mama...Mama Jane, who along with my kids gave me the name Mirembe... I love spending time with her but being that she lives 2 hours away from me now, I only see her every few months.


I guess God thought I needed family more than every few months though and so for the past several months now I have been adopted into the Kasekende family!! So my full Ugandan name is now Mirembe Kasekende :)


How did this happen??


I made friends with my neighbors :)


After a couple of months, one of them invited me to their family Sunday Lunch and the rest is history...I now have a standing engagement every Sunday afternoon for a family meal.


I love my new family and I am so very thankful to God for yet another home!


Let me introduce them to you...




Left to Right: Liz, Mum, Me, Angela, Barbara, Dad - Here we were Celebrating Mum's Birthday and Father's Day all in one at a great new restuarant!



Here is Mum and I at Emin Pasha...watching Barbara awe the crowd with her beautiful voice!


Dad and I...Not sure what we were laughing about but I know we had a great time!


My Sister Barbara...when we celebrated her 30th bday! We are both 1980 babies :)

My other two sisters (Liz & Angie)...enjoying our lunchtime conversations with each other!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Taking a Hit...

When I left for Uganda I took alot of hits about it...

People thought I was crazy, other's couldn't understand how I would leave a good paying job, or my comfy condo...but over the last year and a half most have come to understand why I did it and the good that has come of it...

There are still others though, who love to bash people that they just don't understand. So once again I find myself trying to defend what I do and why I do it...

I am glad that the disciples were questioned and often had accusations made against them when they left for their missionary journeys...

I know I have big shoes to fill!! I just pray that I will have a good attitude toward those who desire hurt me and mock the things I do.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Joburg


Despite the fact that Johannesburg, S.Africa is pretty much every list I came across as the 10 most dangerous cities in the whole world, I was surpised at how much it looked like LA...

1. LA is for the most part old and made of concrete...so is Joburg
2. LA is a desert...very dry and usually brown...so is Joburg

3. LA has crowded roads full of nice cars...so does Joburg

4. LA has big malls, McDonalds, KFC, and theatres of all types...so does Joburg

5. LA is host to drugs, graffity & sketchy neighborhoods...so is Joburg

6. LA is host to the Santa Ana winds and while the Santa Ana's arent in Joburg, it is surprisingly hot and windy just like LA.

So really...even though I was in S.Africa for work, it really was like taking a trip back to my home town of LA...I left complete with a tummy full of McD's, chapped lips and dry skin...ready for Uganda with its moister air and preservative-free food once again :)


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Search is ON!

A couple of months ago I heard of a book about a Jewish guy who set out to live out an entire year according to the bible...from what I was told, he followed all the old testament rules as literally as possible and gained a deeper understanding of Christianity as a result.

I forgot about the book until just this past week when it was brought up in another one of my conversations, so being in Jo'berg, I decided to check out the 5 bookstores in the local mall to see if I couldn't get a copy for myself...

About a day later, and with 2 sore feet, I am now convinced it is not for sale in the East Rand Mall!!! I did however find a huge stack of Francis' crazy love book on sale for the bargain price of 109 Rand...but I digress...

The only place this book seems to exist is online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, both of which do not ship to Uganda :(

SO as a second option, I checked out the guy's website...making me want to read the book even more but definitely solidifying the fact that even though this guy lived out the bible for the year, he missed the good news of it entirely...

What did he conclude about living biblically after a year...well...according to his web page...for him it meant he had to:
  • wear sandals
  • eat Ezekiel bread
  • play a 10-string harp
  • carry a staff
  • drink goat's milk
  • wear a biblical looking robe
  • burn myrrh
  • light your house with olive oil lamps
  • sit on a handy seat
  • taste some kosher crickets
  • and avoid lustful movies

That is all the list said...I was kind of amazed that there was nothing in there about loving your neighbor or carrying for orphans & widows...despite his obvious holes...I still think it may be an entertaining read, and definitely a book I will continue to look for in bookstores nearest me :)

You can find out more about the book at:
http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/yolb.asp?id=live

Friday, September 3, 2010

Condo for Rent

After a great first tenant experience, my tenants were able to purchase their first home and my place is now available to rent again!

It is being offered at a REDUCED PRICE!!!

$1,695 per month with $1,000 security depost!!!

Here are some pics of the place:






It is important that I get the place rented as soon as possible so if you are interested, or someone you know is interested...please feel free to contact me at: 8710rental@sbcglobal.net

Here are some of the details:
  • 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Canoga Park California
  • 1,218 sq ft
  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • Granite in kitchen and baths
  • his/her sinks
  • wood burning fireplace
  • all appliances included (refridge, stove, microwave, washer/dryer)
  • free water
  • shared pool/jacuzzi
  • 2 balconies
  • 2 underground parking spaces
  • central ac/heat
  • top floor unit in a quiet building
  • Available October 1, 2010
  • Security check and 1 year lease required
  • Sorry...no pets allowed

Price: $1,695 per month with $1,000 security deposit required
This is below what I pay on it every month so you are getting a deal!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Its begun...

This week was the start of Term 2 at GBI...It's bizarre to me as I see students applying to spend their first 2 years in college studying a program that I just finished writing...

The student side of me questions whether I even have enough education to write college programs while the teacher side of me wonders how all the ideas for each course will actually transfer out of my brain and into our professors' brains...

All I know is that this thing can't be from me...it's impossible...it's from God and while I had a tiny hand in it...I know he is the one who put it all together and will continue it for the years to come!

I am excited to see where our students are in 2 years when the first class of child development majors graduate!

I am excited to see how God will continue to use me, despite my pitfalls and inadequacies, and more importantly I am excited to see how this generation of grads will transform generations to come!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Hi, My Name is Lena and I eat bugs"

No this is not some type of AA confession but something that I realized I am getting more and more okay with as time goes on...

Now my friends in India just posted a blog about how they became vegetarians when they moved to India...I must confess...this blog is going in a completely opposite direction of theirs but still...it will make for some good reading (I hope :)

As Americans I know most of us get a little squeamish to the idea of eating bugs...but what I find is that Americans are probably the only people on earth who think eating bugs are gross...notice I didn't say they are the only ones on earth who don't eat bugs...cause even though we like to think we don't, we all eat some...either on accident or on purpose...

I did a little research...just in case you are curious... http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272_v121/ai_13953408/?tag=content;col1

How did my "revelation" come about....well...if you read my blog you have probably noticed that I have had my share of bug stories...bugs in my popcorn kernels, bugs in my kitchen, d-worming medication and the works...

What you don't know is that I knowingly eat bugs on occasion...not because I want to, but because it is a part of life...

For example...I eat ants at least twice a week...not because I like the way they taste but rather because at least twice a week there is some poor little ant carcass stuck to the side of my matoke at lunch and rather than be an annoying white person, who will waste perfectly good food because their is a dead ant stuck to it, I usually just cover it with some sauce and munch away...a little extra protein right??

Today however, I think I hit a low point in my bug consumption....and NO i didn't buy a cup of grasshoppers on the side of the road to much on...

I opened up a much anticipated box of corn meal, and well...the contents practically crawled out of the box, into my mixing bowl...

My first instinct...and probably to most of you reading this will come as some surprise but my first instinct wasn't to throw the box away but rather to try and pick those bugs out with a spoon...but once I started my endeavor I realized there were to many for my spoon method to be successful...

Instinct 2...and no...it still wasn't to throw the box out...rather it was to use my metal strainer to sift them out...well...lets just say my metal strainer doesn't have small enough holes...but it did catch some...which was when I realized there were three different types of bugs taking up residence in my corn meal and not just one like I originally thought....there were some brown ones -I'm guessing they were baby weevils, long white ones that looked a little like centipedes just not as gross, and really tiny ones that looked like walking pieces of grain.

Instinct 3...find a smaller strainer...which I did at my neighbors house, but well...it was a little too small so not even the corn meal went through...

Instinct 4...use the metal strainer over and over until it comes up clean...then at least I know I got all the adults and teenager sized bugs...the rest...well...what could they hurt right?? After all, this is going in the oven and they will all die anyway!

So that is just what I did! Anyone up for dinner at my house tonight???!! haha...

It was fine...don't worry...I didn't die!

As I finished up my meal, I came to a new juncture in the my "I eat bugs" road...what to do with the rest of the box of corn meal?? Toss it, keep it....humm....lets keep it...I repeated Instinct steps 1-4 but instead of killing them by fire, this time I decided I would put the sifted corn meal into a bag and freeze em to death...so at this very moment, my visitors are dying a slow and hopefully agonizing death in my freezer...

The next step....buy a medium sized strainer so that once they have all frozen to death, I can sift them out and enjoy some corn bread free of bug carcasses!

Ahhh...isn't life an adventure?? It sure would be boring if everything worked out perfectly every time!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Refridgerator Funk?

I am officially annoyed, as you can probably tell...

But seriously, my refrigerator is driving me CraAzYY!

It all started at the end of June when I got back from Malaysia...

And yes, I know what you are thinking...oops! You left something to rot in there BUT really I didn't!

I made sure all the fresh food products were gone before I left to avoid "funky-ness" when I return, yet when I opened my dear college dorm sized fridge, there it was...

You know, the type of smell that you know SOMETHING went bad, but you can't quite identify what exactly that SOMETHING was??

So I hunted through the fridge and found a plastic bag with a green piece of cheese hiding behind a container of juice...yeah! I thought with satisfied relief...my funk is GONE!

For about a week I was as happy as could be until that exact same funk came back...again, I went on the hunt, this time finding absolutely nothing but still trying to do something, I through away a few things that may have been close to being bad...

again, the scent left...for a WEEK!

So this weekend in a desperate dash I through away everything but the wrapped cheese and scrubbed down all the shelves...lets hope that it solves my problem otherwise I really might go off the deep end!

Oh dear...I can't tell you how much I hate fridge funk!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cool Blog...

A friend of mine posted this blog to her facebook and well...I was very entertained...

This girl has committed herself to buy a $1 outfit, every day for the next 365 days, she then modifies them and makes them fit her...

I could only imagine how much fun she would have here in UG with our used items!! Maybe she needs to come and outfit us!

haha!

Enjoy!


www.newdressaday.wordpress.com


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Evil Weevil!!!

So if you know me, you know I am quite the fan of popcorn....um um....I love it! Seriously!

So, needless to say, I have had some experience buying popcorn!

Two weeks ago, I bought my popcorn in a different store...one I know and trust of course...but yet last week when I opened up the bag and poured the kernels into my Tupperware, I noticed something...

Little tiny holes on the popcorn kernels...odd...I think to my self...

As I keep pouring, I am moving the kernels around to make space for each one of them in the container and I come across 1 little black bug...

Humm...okay...what's one black bug...I kill it and continue to pour...

Another black bug...

Then another...

As I start to kill these bugs (which by the way look like tiny versions of triceratops with some weird points on their heads I realize that those little holes in my popcorn kernels aren't just there on accident...

In fact, as I moved the popcorn more and more, I realized each kernel was home to a little bug and so the more bugs I smashed, more and more kept pouring out.

I had never, in all my life thought that bugs could live in popcorn kernels...so last night I decided to do a little Internet detective work to uncover the truth about my unwanted friends...

Now...in case you want to know...typing in bugs in popcorn kernels doesn't work very well...but after about 20 minutes of persistence I found what I was looking for...my unwanted friends are weevils and apparently their favorite foods are popcorn and rice. Who knew!

I think the term "evil weevil" works for me!

I am not a very good "capture it on film" kinda girl...but i found a picture of these evil weevils during my Internet search...if you ever see one in your popcorn...know that all his friends are in hiding in the other kernels, throw away the bag, and start over!


Just some advice from someone who now has experience in the subject!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Muzungu...

Contrary to what most visitor's to Uganda think...the term "muzungu" isn't really a compliment...sorry to break it to you if you bought one of the "muzungu" shirts at the craft markets...BUT the truth is...

While most white people take it to mean just simply "white person", that is not quite an accurate translation of the word...

What it really means, based on conversations I have had with some of my Ugandan friends, is roughly "obnoxious rich white person"

AND I have to say, its not something I really enjoy being called.

Most of the time, you will see young children yelling "muzungu" to a white person with their hand held out...a sign they are wanting a little extra spending cash that day.

As a year long resident of Uganda, I was pleasantly surprised when the young children on the end of my road stopped calling me a muzungu a few months ago and now just greet me when I drive by with a smile, a wave and a "hi" or "bye"...a sign that I am being more and more accepted in the community here and I love it!!

The thing that bugs me...is the one "christian" guy who enjoys doing business with the white missionary folk because he can rip them off...my goal this next year or so...

Is to get him to stop greeting me by the name muzungu...honestly...that would really make me one happy camper!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Duncan's Big Day...

Duncan joined us at GBI this past May as our Head of Community Development Programs and has quickly become one of the gang here at work.

Some of us have nicknamed my brother "trouble" as he loves to tease people and make them laugh. Any given day you may hear Duncan call me "Sir" or me call him "Ma'am"...not because I get my luganda mixed up but rather because Duncan just likes to be silly...as a result, we have bonded and are in great anticipation as we eagerly await Duncan's big day on 21st Aug...otherwise known as the wedding day!

We are in full swing around here, the girls deciding what they will wear for the events (the give away and the wedding) and the men...well...they like to give Duncan pointers for his soon to be married life and tell him he needs to be more tidy as a married man :)

I am privileged to be invited to the give away, which is happening 2 days before the wedding. The give away is a party thrown by the bride's family, in which the husband to be brings "his people" to come and officially accept the bride from her family.

From what I am told, certain people have certain tasks at the give away...there are people who are there to keep the groom calm, people there to receive the bride, and much much more.

I am told my job is to receive Charity for Duncan. I don't yet know all that it entails but I am happy to do it as his adopted sister and very honoured that he chose me for such an important task!

I am sure there will be lots of pictures taken...so stay tuned for updates & pictures as Duncan's Big Day quickly approaches!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hairstyles...

In the last year I have come to realize that Ugandans like my hair in 3 particular states, and despite no matter what new "do" I come up with, I usually only get complements on my hair when it fits into these 3 "styles"...

1. It's wet
2. It's greasy
3. It's plated (braided)

Yes folks, its true...

On those mornings when I am organized and have time to wash my hair before work, I usually hear, "Thank you Lena, for washing your hair this morning..." from my good friend Joseline...and despite what you think, its not because its been a long time between washings but rather because she likes the "wet" look...She even told me one day that my hair would look so nice all day if only I brought a spray bottle with me and wet it throughout the day! Ahhh, how I love Joseline!

A few weeks ago, I went a whooping two days without washing my hair...due mostly to the fact that I was being lazy...On day two of my hair washing strike, I have to admit that my hair was a little greasy...and so tied it back and went on my way, knowing in the back of my mind, that I didn't look my best. That day, I got three complements on how nice my hair looked and that I should style it that way all the time...so yes folks, the slick, wet, greasy look is in and if you want to look cute around here...throw in a little extra grease in your hair and continue on your merry way :)

Of course the third, and my prized hair style is the plated one (Braided)...and all it takes is a few bags of synthetic hair, 10 hours of sitting, and about $10...

The point of the story...I will probably never be considered cute in Uganda...at least in area of hair...

Oh well!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GBI...

GBI is expanding quickly!

We have new programs starting, new books in the library, tons of new staff and hopefully in a few weeks...tons of new students and teachers!

10 teacher interviews down today...a few more tomorrow :)...I am blessed to be apart of what God is doing here in Uganda!

For more info on our ministry, check us out at:
www.gbiuganda.org

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blogger Blocks

Usually I am not at a loss for words but it seems as if I have hit a block in creativity the last two weeks or so...

SOOO...Don't give up on me and this little blog of mine...

I promise more to come in the near future!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Java Cafe...

Oh how sad you made me!

When I walked with a bounce in my step back into your store after a long 3 weeks in Malaysia and discovered that my iced mocha was no longer 5500/= (approx $2.50) but rather 8500/= (approx $4.50)!

Last I checked I wasn't in a Starbucks??

I hope you lose business with your $4.50 iced mocha and go back to the way things were when we all happily sipped ice coffee for a bargain price of $2.50!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Praise God for Colds…

As some of you may have heard on the news…the final football matches ended with some bangs here in Kampala…and not good ones.

As the night ended reports tell us that there are close to 70 dead here as a result of 2 bombings on civilians watching the final match.

One of the places hit, the Ethiopian Village in kabalagala, is a place I have been frequenting often for football matches…They have good Ethiopian food and a huge projector screen for viewing. On any given evening there are close to 100 people there cheering for their favorites teams.

I had made plans to be there for the final match as well, as I had for the last 5 matches, but this past week I have had a head cold and so I thought being out until midnight again, in the cold air wouldn’t be good for my plan of getting better.

I cancelled my plans at 9:20….10 minutes before the match began, put on my PJs and crawled into bed.

Around midnight my neighbor called me…I was half awake and half asleep and so I didn’t understand what she was asking me…I just grunted a few times and went back to sleep…I guess I sounded delirious because around 1:30 she called me again…this time I heard the question…

“ARE YOU IN YOUR BED SLEEPING???”

Yeah…why? Was my response…

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay…and you were in your bed”

I thought her question was funny, but I figured she was good intentioned.

It wasn’t until 6am when another friend of mine called me and disrupted my sleep…

“ARE YOU ALIVE???”

Huh….

By this, the 3rd interruption, I decided something wasn’t quite right and so I started asking questions…

It was then that I realized what happened…

The news had broadcast that the Ethiopian village restaurant was bombed and that an American was killed…my friends all thought it might be me, since they knew that was my favorite place to watch the matches.

As I hung up the phone, fully awake with shock I could only thank God for my cold and for His watch care over me…without that cold I would have been in the middle of that restaurant with all the others who were innocently attacked.

They haven’t yet released the names of my fellow patrons; all I know is that the newspapers here are riddled with pictures of victims, dead in their chairs. I am thankful that so far, I haven’t recognized any of the dead.

Praise God for my sniffles and please be praying for the 70 families that have lost loved ones because of this terribly tragic event.