Monday, November 14, 2011


If you missed out on your opportunity to rent my place in Canoga Park, CA last time it was available, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! It is being offered at a REDUCED PRICE!!
$1,575 per month with $1,000 security depost and will be available Jan 14th, 2012!
Here are some pics of the place, please note that the pics show the unit furnished, however it is being offered unfurnished at this time:
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:
Here are some of the details:
  • 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Canoga Park California
  • 1,218 sq ftHardwood 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
  • Central location, near 101 and 118 freeway access
  • pets allowed
  • Price: $1,575 per month with $1,000 security deposit required
This is below what I pay on it every month so you are getting a deal!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sneak Peak...

ARM (otherwise known as Africa Renewal Ministries) is celebrating it's 20th year and as a result I have been helping put together a celebration is filled with stories about the organization, successes they have had, and how far they have come over the last 20 years. As we were working on success stories for the Mwangaza Choir pages, I realized that I too had a success story about the choir that I could share...Parts of this story will be in the magazine, but I figured I would share it with those of you who may never see the magazine in print...for those of you who will see the magazine, consider this your "sneak peak",

If it were not for ARM’s very first choir, sent to Californi

a in 2004, I don’t think I would be living, working and serving in Uganda Today.

I first discovered the country Uganda, sitting in Cornerstone Community Church, Simi Valley, California. I remember the music and the rhythms, but even more so I remember the testimonies of the children who had faced so many challenges in their young lives but had the determination to love Jesus and share Him with the world. It was in my seat that night that I felt God telling me…”Go, go to Uganda”…

You would think that I would have ran out of my seat and talked to my missions pastor that second, but being a procrastinator, I didn’t…I did however go to the back table and signed up to start supporting a young girl who lived in Ggaba. It was the first time I had ever given to anyone or any cause outside of my own little church circle and I loved feeling like I was doing something so outside of myself, even if I hadn’t actually done anything with Gods call “to go, go to Uganda”…That was in 2004...

(Mwangaza's Choir - 2004)

It was 2 years later when the second choir returned to my church that I realized I had been disobedient to God and what he asked me to do 2 years previously. I sat again listening to the music but mostly praying during that concert, “God if you want me to go, you need to do it because I don’t know how”…in my usual fashion, I went to the back table and sponsored another 2 children. I was up to 3 now, but still had never set foot on Uganda’s soil.

(Mwangaza's Choir - 2006)

It was a few weeks later that God opened up a huge opportunity and I was invited to go on a short term trip to Uganda with some members of my church. I went with them in Nov. 2006 and my life has never been the same. Before traveling to Uganda, I was always the one who planned trips to different places around the world and then ticked them off my list when I returned…determined to explore the world in my lifetime. But when I returned from Uganda, I didn’t tick it off my list…instead I found myself saying, “As long as I keep going back to Uganda, I don’t care if I ever go anywhere else”.

I returned again to Uganda in 2007, trying to tell myself that I was just called to go on short terms there, but God showed me through the pastors at my church and through the people in Uganda, that he wanted me in Uganda, LONG TERM.

I finally submitted to God’s call for me, when I moved to Uganda in July 2009, and I have to say that it has been the greatest blessing in my life. In Mark 10 God says that those who leave their homes, their families, and their land for him will receive 100 fold and I have found that to be true in my own life. Some days I smile and thank God for making Uganda just for me…I know that is silly because he didn’t make it just for me, but the blessings he has poured out in my life in the few short years I have been here make it feel that way. I can’t imagine my life anywhere else, and I am so blessed to be working alongside the very organization that sent Mwangaza choir all those years ago and helped me realize God’s calling on my life!

(Me and my co-workers at ARM Headquarters, Sept 2011)

Thank you ARM for being faithful, keep up the good work because you are making an impact for the world!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Birthday Clowns...

I don't know about you but usually I find clowns odd and creepy, but last weekend, I found one that was quite who danced, and had jokes, and mocked the kids (but in a good way) was very fun! So here are some pics, from our 3 year old cousin's bday...enjoy :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Concert Mania...

Well...Okay, not quite mania (being that it was more of a jazz concert) BUT still sooo sooo good!

This month we checked out one of our local musican's here in Kampala, Maurice Kirya, and was great! I was very impressed, not only by the music but also by the venue...!

Proof that missionaries in "far off places" can still go out and have a great time :)- and proof for some of you that I don't pass by lions on my way to work... (you know who you are!)


Now, for the funny part of the concert, and probably only funny for those of you who know my sister Barbara and I when we go out...but check it out...I found our twins...the chick in the white sweater was SOOO me (actually, I have that exact sweater but in black, so yes, sooo me) and the white chick was a dancing fool, just like was sooo funny to watch them that I had to snap the picture, even if i knew the quality wasn't going to be so great!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Definitely my Mother's Daughter...

The other day I got myself all "dolled" up for a fancy wedding at the local 5-Star resort...My sis covered me in make-up, we did my hair and of course had to take some pictures afterward...

When I looked at the pictures I couldn't help but laughing as I realized I have become my mother...
It was soooo funny because I could see some of her expressions in me, which apparently I never see without the camera...

So these pics are for those of you who know my mother, and want a glimpse of what she looked like when she was around my age!

I know...its a little scary right (esp the last guys might as well just call me Teri...) humm?!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Curriculum Consultant...

Wow...I can't believe it has been about a month since I posted on this blog! SOOOO SOOOO Sorry!

It seems time has escaped me as I dove into my language studies!

While I am still in no way fluent in Luganda, I have a better grasp on it for sure and I hope to continue to learn and grow in my language skills in the next few months and years! Please be praying for my brain...I think I have sprouted some new gray hairs on my head because of all this thinking and learning, but yes, its worth it...and there is always dye to cover the gray!!!

Unfortunately, my 6 months of full-time language study has ended...but yet a new chapter has started! As promised, I am now in ARM headquarters helping them with their leadership curriculum. The goal of the curriculum is to ensure that when their children leave the sponsorship program, they are able to be examples of servant leaders to the community around them. This curriculum revision is set to take 4 months, then I will transition back to my position at ARCC (aka...GBI).

Soooo, as some would say..."that's the skinny" and thanks for your continued reading, despite my prolonged absence! I hope to be a little bit better at updating this in the near future!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

GBI gets a new look and a new name :)

Ever since GBI moved out of Gaba, our school name has been somewhat awkward, especially when meeting new people...usually my conversations went something like this...

"Where do you work?"

Me: "At Gaba Bible Institute"

"Oh okay, I know where Gaba is"

Me: "Well, its called Gaba Bible Institute because we used to be in Gaba but now the school is in Buloba."

"Buloba?! That's far!"

Me: "Well, its not too far and the plus is that now we have a nice new campus with lots of space!"

"But why is it still called Gaba then?"

Me: "Well, we will change our name soon but we are waiting for when we apply for a new accreditation from the National Council"

"Oh, okay"

SOOOOOO all that to say, now my conversations can be easier - I can just picture them:

"Where do you work?"

Me: "Africa Renewal Christian College"

"Oh okay, thats cool, where is that?"

Me: "Buloba..."

So there you have it, GBI is now ARCC or "Africa Renewal Christian College" and our new logo, well, I think its pretty cool :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Revisions and Additions...

This summer has been a busy one...and yes, I realize it has just begun!

Amidst all of my luganda learning, I have also been helping GBI with Curriculum revisions and additions. Each week I meet with 2-5 people who are each learning how to write curriculum...

I am excited for the much needed revisions in our English and Computer programs and I am also interested in our future additions (Bachelors Degrees)...hopefully coming next year sometime!

Please continue to pray for me and my curriculum writing buddies! Pray for wisdom, insight, creativity, depth and determination...all very important traits we need to write curriculum that will stand out above the rest!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Uganda...A Fresh Perspective...

We have all seen it on tv and in pictures...the dirty, fly ridden kid, with tears in his eyes sitting in a slum...and yes, we do have those here in UG BUT I want you to see the pictures you don't ever see...A glimpse of what real life looks like here in Uganda...

Our International Airport - This is what you would see when you first arrive in UG

Inside of Entebbe Airport, Complete with Duty free stores...

Around Town...This is Kampala Road in the heart of our capital city. The Brown building with red letters on the left is our main post office...this is where I pick up packages sent to me :)

This is a Friday Night at Emin Pasha, a local hotel/restaurant/spa - On Friday nights they have a jazz band called's a great night to snack on good food, listen to good music and hang out with your friends!

This is Cafe Java''s kind of like our version of starbucks but it is also a full restaurant with all the "american" food you could want...My fav...An Iced Mocha and a Chicken Salad Sandwich.

This is Garden City, one of our malls. It comes complete with a casino, bowling alley, movie theatre, dance club, and food court.

Here's a peak inside Garden City, this is one of our grocery store chains called Uchumi. This particular grocery store also hosts a christian book store and electronics shop.

In Uganda, we drive on the left hand side and rather than having traffic lights everywhere we use these roundabouts at intersections.

This is the inside of the National Theatre, every few months they host musicals and plays here. My Ugandan sister Barbara is part of the theatre group so she can often be found singing on this stage.

This is the parliament building in the center of Kampala

This is where my sister Barbara works and one of our best options for car insurance.

Our football stadium, home to the Uganda Cranes...This is called Mandela Stadium

Kampala is home to many international schools, this one is KISU, which is a school for primary through high school age kids. My friend Jeff's kids go here...they have an amazing school campus!

Here is our national bank, Bank of Uganda...some of my Ugandan family members work here as managers and economists.

Yumm...another great food spot here in town is called Faze 2 - This is great for lunches or candle lit dinners.

This is downtown Kampala, the building you see straight ahead is home to many little shops BUT is also home to my church (Calvary Chapel Kampala) - the top floor is our sanctuary, and the one right below it are the church offices and sunday school rooms.

This is the Kololo airstrip with a great view of our capital city...large events are usually held here, such as concerts, fairs, motorcross events and political speeches.

Our golf course, in the center of our city...its soooo beautiful that it almost makes me want to learn how to play golf...humm...

This is the Speke, it is a hotel about 5 minutes drive from my house and has this amazing pool, house back riding, and water sports...It also has some great Indian food :)

The Sheraton Hotel...They have a great little dance club here where they like to play old skool music (60's-90's) videos...If you want to dance to the "YMCA" song, this is the place to do it :)

And...last but not least on my little tour of Kampala is the Serena Hotel...Its also a great place with an amazing seafood buffet and a lake in the lobby.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour...I am hoping this will help clear up the questions I get about how many wild animals I see on my way to work everyday! I'm also hoping some of my long lost friends from Cali may want to come visit me and this city I call home :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

The 2 Year Mark...

Today I have officially been in Uganda for 2 years...I arrived here on July 1st, 2009 and its so odd because sometimes it feels like I have been here for SOOO long, then other times it feels as if I have just arrived...

Either way, It is becoming more and more evident to me that I have not stood on US soil for awhile...I have forgotten what its like in some ways...I have forgotten names of streets, food places, and directions. I have friends who were single when I left who are now married with's all a little surreal!

Despite that though, I enjoy this new life of mine and I am looking forward to many more anniversaries here in Uganda! Now I just need someone to toast this special day...champagne anyone??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Change the World...

This is a story I heard from a friend of mine today...I liked it and thought I would share it with the rest of you...

The Egg:
The Egg starts out with a hard shell and a soft inside BUT after putting it in boiling water, it changes and develops a harder inside.

The Carrot:
The Carrot starts out hard BUT after putting it in boiling water, it changes and becomes soft.

The Coffee:
The Coffee, goes into the boiling water and rather than changing the beans the water is changed.

So should we be...we shouldn't be changed by our world and our environment but we should strive to leave our own impressions on it, we should in essence go into the world and change it

The moral of the like the coffee and forever leave your mark on this little place we call earth...

Thursday, June 23, 2011


2006 was the first time I stepped foot in Gaba, at that time GBI didn't exist...

In 2007, I once again stepped foot in Gaba, this time it was in a 2 story white house which was being turned into what is now known as Gaba Bible that time, it didnt look like much and didn't have much! Most of the books were from the 1960s and there were very few people on the campus.

In 2010, the 2 storied house was falling apart but the school itself had started to prosper...we had gained accreditation, we had newer books, student desks, and more students and staff. The school was in such a bad state though, that the 2nd floor of our school was condemned and the students studied outside under tents...

In 2011...the state of our school changed dramatically...and God blew me away with what he could do. We moved into our new campus, which was no longer a rented house, but consisted of 18 acres of land for us to grow into.

AND NOW...while none of us but God can know the future, we can get a glimpse of where GBI is headed...I am soooooo blessed to be apart of this! Thank you for praying! As I see God continue to do amazing things everyday through Gaba Bible Institute, I can truly say, I can not even imagine what he still has in store for us! For we are TRULY blessed!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Time for Change...

It has been 3 years since I have had this blog and well...I think its time for a change so here is the new and improved look for this blog!

You may remember the old had a picture of Gaba Port at the top with the words "Send Me"...well now that I have been living in Uganda for 2 is quite obvious that you have indeed "sent me"...

As you know GBI spent its first 3 years in Gaba on the shores of Lake Victoria...hence the picture of Gaba Port, BUT God has blessed us with our own campus and so my new picture on the top of this blot is of GBI's New Buloba Campus! I am so excited to see how God uses this campus, the workers and the students who are here!

Thank you again for being a part of sending me...and keeping me here in Uganda! I am truly blessed to be on this journey as I watch God work in Uganda.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Yesterday in church our pastor talked about hell...he talked about the option in the bible that God will ultimately give us...either we use him as our cornerstone on which to stand or he will be the cornerstone that crushes us.

Now I know alot of people feel uncomfortable when talking about hell...some want to believe that only "evil" people will go there, others want to believe that it doesn't exist at all, or still others like to joke about how fun it will be there because all the people who like to "party" will be there. I do think its something everyone needs to consider when they decide what they want to believe in and for some reason the topic has come to my attention in the last few weeks several times. I don't know if its because its something that I dodge in my conversations with people or what, but for some reason I think it needs to be something we talk about.

This morning when I woke up, I saw a video on facebook about the very same was a video from my pastor in California. I think he explains it very well, so rather than re-create what he was trying to say, I will just re post the video here. It is thought provoking and a very good and much needed way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Luganda Proverbs...

One of my assignments in language school is to memorize some of the Luganda proverbs we have...if you know anything about me though, you know my memorization skills are TERRIBLE! So I thought I would share a few of the proverbs here in an attempt to aid in my memorizing!!!

These are just a few from a book of over 1000 proverbs I have, I am giving you just the literal translation...see if you can figure out what the meaning behind them are - (hint: I gave you easy ones)...As with any proverbs in any country these will also give you a little view of what culture looks like in Uganda!

"Abali awamu, tebalema kuyomba" - People who live together cannot fail to have quarrels

"Abangi babi kulya, balungi mirimu" - A crowd is bad for eating, but good for work

"Ab'oluganda bwe bayomba, tossaayo kikyo" - You should not give an opinion when 2 relatives are quarrelling.

"Agenda gy'amanyi, tazibirirwa budde" - One who travels to a familiar place does not worry about arriving in the dark.

"Akatono, kekazzza omukwaano" - A small gift strengthens a friendship

"Akozesa emikono gye, tabulwa ky'aalya" - One who uses both hands, cannot fail to eat

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Barbs!

I'm glad you were born :)

Friday, April 15, 2011


I realized today that it has been almost a month since I posted anything here and in addition to that, I am pretty sure I also missed my email update which was supposed to go about two weeks ago...

But don't fear...I haven't fallen in a ditch and died or run away never to be found again...

Its amazing to me that the more language learning I do, the more tired my brain becomes and therefore the thought of writing anything, in any language, in any medium, has become quite the task. In fact, most days I even have trouble answer questions after 4pm!

I sure hope all this new input doesn't push out anything important that is already stuck in my brain!! sounds weird but it is a very real possibility at this point!
I promise to try harder and post more often!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Buloba Campus...Its Official!

Yesterday was the official grand opening of GBI's new campus in Buloba!

Even though I have been there many times before, the event really solidified it all for me. Once again I was blown away at the provisions that God gives us...and how beyond our belief his provision is!

The campus has progressed far since we purchased it last has flushing toilets, electricity, new paint, new tile, a kitchen, dorms...and sooo much more!

We celebrated with our local police, the prime minister of UG, the head of the Higher Education accreditation board, founders, donors, staff, students and many more.

I can not wait to see what GBI looks like next year at this time...or even in 5 or 10 years! God is doing great things here and I am thankful that He allows me to be a part of it!

(Pics to come next week some time :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I can READ!!

Today in my Luganda class I read a 96 page luganda book...Impressive right?!

Now before you get tooooo excited for me, I will let you in on a little secret...

All the pages looked like this:

haha...but you know what?

I don't care! I can still read!!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who Wants to be a Millionaire...


I am learning more and more about Uganda now that I have access to Ugandan TV Channels and to my surprise I now know that their is a Ugandan Version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire...

As a result of my new knowledge, I now have a few questions...

1.) Can I go for a taping....?!? How fun would that be right?!

2.) If so...where is this taping?

3.) And how do I go about getting my pale behind a few tickets?!

If you are reading this and you know the answers to my questions, let me know :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's Science People...

I opened my SEALED, Snap lid container of rice today and to my surprise...some of my little friends had sneaked in. I'm still stumped at how they managed to get into the supposedly airtight containers but don't worry...that wasn't my scientific revelation!

I went through a now common exercise of sifting the bugs out of my rice, poured my 2 cups of rice into my pan, then did another little visual check for any unexpected visitors. I found a few and removed them and then added my 3 cups of water...and... to my surprise I learned a very important scientific fact...

Not only do dead PEOPLE float,
So do DEAD bugs :)

I found 5 floaters after my addition of the good ol' H20 and thought to myself...gee...if I would have know this fact earlier, I wouldn't have had to go through the pain of sifting!

I think next time I find friends in my rice, I am just going straight for the drowning/floating method, after all, its fast AND effective!

Till next time....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yeah!!! I'm NOT stupid!

So remember how I wrote on my facebook page that you should pray for me because I had a Luganda exam...Well...I have had a few now and at first I was really starting to feel stupid every time I got my papers back. The thing I couldn't figure out was why everyone was telling me I did great when I thought I did so poorly...

It wasn't until one of my friends clarified it for me..."You do realize they grade on a British scale and not an American one right?"

Me: Yeah...but what is the difference, I don't get it?!...Well it took a few days and my curiosity got the best of me, let me say I am so thankful to the Internet for clarifying it for me!!

My test scores so far:

64% & 74%

But in the British scale,

70% and above is an A (4.0)
60-69 % is a B+
55-59% is a B (3.0)
50-54% is a C+
40-49% is a C (2.0)
39% and below is an F...

NOW I don't feel so bad...but do you see why I was so confused in the beginning! haha! Yeah for good grades!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


In Cali we have the term "Spanglish" and it is a nice way of saying you are are speaking Spanish and English at the same time....half your sentence may be in Spanish with a few words of English thrown in...

I was reminded of Spanglish today when I was in my Luganda lessons and we were talking about "Luganda-nizing" English words that we do not have in Luganda. Right now, I am definitely use a lot of "Lugand-glish" for the simple fact that I dont have enough Luganda words in my working memory...BUT I have to say, the Lugandanizing of English words makes me kinda happy...

1.) It gives me less to memorize and
2.) It tricks me into thinking I understand more Luganda than I really do!! are some of our Lugandanized English words...
Try and see if you can figure out what words they are :) I will put the answers at the bottom (but don't cheat and peek before you try and figure it out for yourself :) After all, it will be more fun that way :)

1. Ssaati
2. Kkooti
3. Laadiyo
4. Bbaasi
5. Bayibuli
6. Ssikaati
7. Mmotoka
8. Bulangiti
9. Ttivvi
10. Pulofeesa
11. Zzipu
12. Mayiro
13. Ssiniya
14. Apo
15. Eggiraasi
16. Pulezidenti did you do?! haha! Did any of those look like English to you??? Let me assure you, they sound more like English than they look when they are spelled...

In case you couldn't quite figure out what these words were, here are the answers! I would love to hear how many you got right...

1. Ssaati = Shirt
2. Kkooti = Coat
3. Laadiyo = Radio
4. Bbaasi = Bus
5. Bayibuli = Bible
6. Ssikaati = Skirt
7. Mmotoka = Motor car
8. Bulangiti = Blanket
9. Ttivvi = T.V.
10. Pulofeesa = Professor
11. Zzipu = Zipper
12. Mayiro = Mile
13. Ssiniya = Senior
14. Apo = Apple
15. Eggiraasi = Glass
16. Pulezidenti = President

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reality Check...

The longer I live in Africa the more I come to realize what close minded views people have of this continent...

When I say I live in Africa, many people imagine me in the middle of a National Geographic Photo shoot, hunting wild animals, crossing large deserts or sitting in the middle of a slum full of kids with runny noses and swarming flies...

I realize that this view that people have comes from the images they see on television, or read in story books...and unfortunately I find that american TV, books, and even the education fall way short on giving us an accurate picture of what the rest of the world is really like... is a little bit of a reality check aimed at giving you a small picture of what we have in Uganda and some of the things I enjoy that most people can't imagine I have access too...

In UG we have:
  • TVs...and not just small ones, we have nice big flat screen ones...
  • We have DSTV
  • with MTV,
  • E! Entertainment
  • and all the other channels you may enjoy in the US
  • We have tabloid newspapers...and yes, they are just as ridiculous as the ones in the states
  • We have a movie theatre
  • A bowling alley
  • And a small roller skating rink
  • We also have a paint ball field
  • White water rafting
  • and Bungie Jumping...but if we are being honest, I would never matter what country I was in!
  • We have coffee shops
  • with Iced Mochas, Lattes
  • and sweets to munch on
  • We use cell phones,
  • and have internet access through blackberries and iphones.
  • We also have traffic...lots of it...and personally I think its worse than the 405 morning drive
  • During the week, you will see business women and men in their business suits
  • carrying laptops and
  • sitting in cafes, having important business meetings
  • We also have shopping malls
  • Food courts
  • Elevators
  • and fancy restaurants
  • We have spa's
  • Swimming pools
  • local celebrities
  • and Five star hotels
  • We also have Two story houses
  • Dogs and Cats as pets
  • and Ice Cream shops
  • You can find Pringle potato chips in our stories (on most days)
  • along with twix candy bars
  • and oreo cookies
  • We also have pizza parlors,
  • Chinese food
  • A sushi restaurant
  • and a beauty parlor that does eyebrow threading, mani's and pedi's
  • We have banks,
  • ATM machines
  • Fireworks on New Years
  • and Night clubs
  • We have motorcycle cops
  • Police cars
  • and highways
  • Our cars have radios,
  • CD players,
  • and air conditioning
  • English is our national language
  • and Uganda is a country, making Africa a CONTINENT
  • We have lakes,
  • Mountains,
  • and Valleys
  • And despite what you may think...Uganda is generally green year-round
  • We have great weather (ranging from mid 60's to mid 90's depending on the time of year)
  • We have car dealerships
  • Auto repair shops
  • and photo studios
  • We have mormon missionaries in black trousers, white shirts, black ties and name tags, just like the USA
  • We also have Jehovah witness temples,
  • Mosques
  • Catholic Churches
  • and a variety of protestant churches
  • We have universities offering Phd's
  • MA's
  • and BA's
  • And, just like in the US, people in UG spend absurd amounts of money on their weddings
I am sure there are more things I haven't mentioned but well...If I tried to kill all the stereotypes that people hold about Africa in one blog, that blog might be a few miles long...

I hope this gives a clearer picture of life though, and just how much Uganda really has to offer!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Preservatives please!

Honestly, there isn't much I miss from the states...I don't miss the Santa Ana winds, or the SFV wild fires. I don't miss the 405 freeway, the work-a-holic mentality, or the individualistic society...

What do I miss then? I hate to say it, but I miss preservatives! haha! Is that weird?! Of course I miss friends and family left behind, but when people ask me what I want them to send me as gifts, my mind always runs to those foods I love but can't get here in UG...

My favorite preservatives, you ask?

Dried Cheese Tortellini & Raviolis...
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
White Chocolate Chips
Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso beans
Beef Jerky
and Powdered Coffee Creamer

So there you have insight into me and my preservative secrets!

Maybe someday these favs will make into a store nearest me...(hint, hint)...if you are a store owner in UG and want tips on what to import...I promise to buy these items from long as you don't try and charge me $45 for something that should only cost $3...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm used???

Being that I have been in UG for almost 2 years now, I have to say that I am used to most things here...I think that is why blogging has been difficult lately because everything I think to write about seems so boring...I realize though, that what is normal life to me may not be for you and so the other day when I woke up, I took a picture of something I don't think I will ever completely get used to...

What is it you say...?

A large, and I do mean large, flying cockroach...

Now, I am too much of a chicken to try and take a picture of one that is alive and flying towards my head...but when it is laying upside down in my bedroom I seem to find a little more courage...

The first picture I took though, just looked like a dead cockroach and didn't portray just how big this thing was, so I mustered up a little more courage and put my pointer finger next to you can see, it is just as long as my finger and fatter...and no, I don't have small hands or short, skinny fingers...

And yes, this is officially my arch-enemy here in UG!!

Now, I am know you are thinking..."wow...look at Lena, having great courage (or you are saying...doesn't she have anything better to do then take pictures of dead bugs)", but either way, let me be completely honest and tell you that when I tried to sweep it outside with a broom and it tried to fight for its life by fluttering toward me, I lost all my courage and ended up screaming like a little girl...

So much for courage!!!

Oh well!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

PJ Jeans??

I think I am outside of the fashion circle...

A few weeks ago one of my FB friends wrote on her FB status that she wanted some "Pajama Jeans" and I have to say...I had no point of reference to what she was talking about and why 16 people had hit the "like" button...

After a short internet search I was back up to speed, but I couldn't help to think what it would be like if I was a missionary back in the day when there was no FB, no internet searches, etc...

I know that when I go back for a visit in the US, there will be new slang, new fashion, new marriages, new babies and new places that I know nothing about...but I do know that with FB and the internet, at least I wont be tooooo weird...after all, I have a head start...I know what PJ Jeans are now, right?!

haha! here's too life and the impossibility of freeze framing it...I'm glad that things always change...

Imagine how boring it would be if every day was exactly the same as the day before!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I don't hate visitors...

One of my friends has a picture on the side of her blog that says: "I don't hate comments" and I remember when she first put it on her blog more people actually left her, let me see if her theory works for me too...

"I don't hate visitors!!"

I don't really know why, but for the last few months I have really been longing to see someone I knew from the US...a friend from LA, a family member, a church acquaintance...anyone who I knew in the states actually...I'm not so sure why I have this "I need a visitor" itch, but maybe its because I have been here awhile and since being here most, if not all of my fellow missionaries have had people from their lives back home come to see them...and me...well, not so much! I'm thinking "the itch" also has something to do with me wanting at least someone from my old life, to have a small picture of what my new life looks like and where I am everyday...

SOOO if any of you have a tiny little voice in the back of your head saying "Go somewhere in the world and visit a friend", let me say, that "friend" maybe me and that place maybe Uganda...

Just a thought :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Okola ki buli lunaku?

Nzuukuka buli lunaku ne nsenya amannyo.
Bwe maliriza nnaaba omubiri ne ngambala engoye.
Oluvannyuma nsaba ne nsoma baibuli.
Bwe maliriza nvuga e'motoka ngenda ku ssomero mu CLC ne nyiga oluganda ne Simon.
Oluvannyuma negezamu oluganda ne mikwano gyange.
Bwe maliriza ngenda awaka ne kwebaka.
Nsaba njiga okugamba oluganda mangu mangu!


So if you haven't noticed...I am practicing my luganda on you! HAHA...the great thing about practicing on you, my reading audience, is that most of you don't speak luganda so if this is COMPLETELY have no idea and you still think I am great luganda speaker :) In turn boosting my confidence in trying to speak...haha!

But if you are reading this and you do speak luganda, please let me know how I did...I am sure its got some flaws...BUT feel free to send me corrections, or even questions in luganda so I can try to respond to you!

For all you non-luganda is the rough translation of what I wrote (or tried to write):

Title: What do you do every day?

"I wake up every day and brush my teeth.
When I am finished, I bathe and get dressed.
Then, I pray and read my bible, when I finish, I go to my school (CLC) in my car and I learn Luganda with Simon. Later I practice luganda with my friends.
When I am finished, I go home and sleep.
I pray I will learn to speak luganda soon!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Extra Expenses...

First let me thank ALL of you who contribute to keeping me in Uganda each month!!! I am sooo very blessed to have all of your support, both through prayers and finances!!

That being said, if you are interested in giving this year above and beyond what you currently do, or if you want to give a special one time gift, I would be grateful!

This year, with our school move and my full time language studies, I have two new expenses that I did not originally plan for...

1.) Language School...while it is something that I am enjoying tremendously, it is an added expense (approx. $300 each month) that has been a challenge to pay for.

2.) Land...My long term plan for staying in UG, is to be able to purchase land near our new campus and build a small apartment complex...this will allow me to eventually live closer to the campus, provide extra housing in the area for our growing staff and student population, as well as help provide extra funds that can subsidize my fundraising in the future. ( The land is approx $15k per acre in the area I am looking)

So, if you would like to contribute to either of these...visit and click "new donor", Once you do that, you will find my name / acct and provide the needed information to set up a financial gift.

Thank you again for all of your support and love!!! I can not thank you enough!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do you cook in your kitchen??

haha...okay, yes, I admit, I am not betty crocker and my ideal night is not making some exotic meal but I have to say, I love learning about Ugandan culture!!

So here...Wives are expected to cook and serve their husbands...that is not what strikes me though...what strikes me is how the language reinforces the idea of what a marriage should look like...

What do I mean??

Well...the verb to cook is: Oku-fumba

If I am cooking I say: Nfumba

If I am not cooking, I say: Sikufumba

Now do you want to know the word for married???

It is: Mufumbo

If I am married I just say I am: Mufumbo

and if I am not married, I say Simufumbo

See the similarity??

Its like saying, no I'm not cooking, and no I'm not married...Now that is one to smile about...the thing that made me laugh though is the conversation I had about this with my language teacher...

It went kinda like this:

"So if you are married, you can cook in the kitchen and you can cook other places too"

Hats of Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart then, if you aren't already married you would make two really great African wives!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

7 Candidates and 2 Weeks...

On 18th Feb, Uganda will hold its presidential elections....this election is the biggest yet, with 7 presidential candidates from 7 different political parties.

I have to say, I am curious how this election will turn out. Our current president, Museveni, has held office since 1986. In 2005, he changed the election laws that bound him to run only 2 terms, and this election, will decide if he runs for his 4th term as president. He has slowly been losing power with each election, going from a 75% in 2001 to a 53% win in 2006...Yet with the elections upcoming, people are not so sure much will change after all, Museveni's party definitely has the most resources and the biggest influence.

The prayer of all here is that the elections will be peaceful and so far we haven't had much trouble occurring.

Please keep us, the elections and Uganda in your prayers during this time!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm NO girl scout!

How do I know this...

Well...I don't know much about the girl scouts but I do know they sell cookies and earn patches for their uniforms.

From what I have heard, one of those patches is wilderness survival, including making fire from sticks.

So today, I had many little sticks, match sticks actually, and I had two and a half boxes of them and a pile of about 500 papers...

Can you guess how many matches it took me to burn my paper pile???

Not one, not 10, not even took ALL 2 1/2 boxes and over an hour...

The things that kept running through my head during my afternoon activity??

1.) When I was a kid I always thought houses with lots of papers would burn faster...humm...maybe I was wrong...maybe paper products aren't as flammable as I had initially thought...

2.) Maybe these papers really are cursed!! (I was burning the papers because someone told me they thought they might be...I figured...better to be safe than sorry, right?)

3.) If I have so much trouble burning papers with matches...I could NEVER survive in the wilderness...where I would probably have to catch my food and then figure out how to cook it...matches or not...It could be a task that is way out of my league...

4.) If I ever committed a crime...I wouldn't pick fire to dispose of the evidence...After all, I would probably still be trying to light the evidence on fire by the time the police came to the scene...(and yes, I admit that I might watch too many investigation/crime TV shows)

Needless to say...I did eventually succeed...the proof of my success?

I have a pile of paper ashes by my back door, I smell like I smoked a few packs of cigarettes, I have more space in my lower desk drawer, I have a lighter conscience and I have a weird sense of accomplishment...for all you girl scouts out there...does this qualify me for a patch?

Just curious!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

School girl?

I have to say, I would never, never classify myself as a school girl...for some reason when I think of school girls I think of short skirts and Britney her early years that is...

But it's true, I am for the first time in my life a school girl...that is, someone who ONLY goes to school...I think if I had been a school girl during college I may have learned alot more than I actually did...but its amazing how much free time you have to actually do your homework, rather than just have enough time to make up excuses for why you didn't have time to do your homework.

So it's full steam this pace, I am hoping I will have some good luganda speaking skills by March...but my brain is old, and well, its hard to teach old dogs new pray for me as I venture into this school girl, "let's learn luganda" thing!!

Mweebale Musaba!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's RENTED!!!!!!

After a few LONG months, I am pleased to announce that my condo is now rented!!!

Thank you for all of you who prayed for a tenant for me!!! Its such a huge burden off of me to have it occupied!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Super Sized

My new favorite thing???

The GBI Projector!

Yes, I admit, I spent my holiday watching movies super is sad that I have to give it means movies go back to a 15" laptop screen.

I have to say, Super Sized Movies were fun while it lasted...I sure hope I will get to babysit the projector again sometime soon!