It's truly a blessing to be home. On Friday I was able to stand next to my college roommate as she married her bf and a truly rad dude...and then today I got to share a tiny moment with my niece Lenya hanging out at the market. I am thankful for these moments.
I'll be honest, being home has been a bit crazy and slightly overwhelming (considering I havent had a real day to pause since landing in LA)...but at the end of the day my heart is so thankful for all the things I love about home. Being away makes it that much sweeter, and I'm enjoying this next season of life - babies, weddings, family vacation...and time to sit and be still in God and reflect on all that He taught me in Gulu!!
Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? - Job 11:7
He is your praise and He is your God who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen - Deuteronomy 10:21
ahhhh...can you believe it? I've made it home! What a journey to get here - nothing short of adventurous (and long) but I wouldnt trade it for anything. There is no doubt that traveling to the other side of the world is extremely exhausting, long, crazy, and always a bit stressful. But for some reason I love it all. The waiting in the airport, the people watching, the movies on the flight, and even the airplane food (love all the tiny portions lol!) So this journey home was long - but so fun!
6 hour car ride from Gulu to Kampala. Couldnt go without a last sip of Novida pineapple soda!
Had a day to shop around Kampala! crafts galore!
First flight. Entebbe Uganda --> Istanbul Turkey.
7 hours and I had the whole row to myself! Hallelujah
2 hour layover in Istanbul and the first Starbucks i've seen all trip! I will admit that I did smile upon seeing this familiar sign and ordered a coffee frapp!
a powerful book. heavy read, but incredibly insightful...a book that is changing the world!
view from the second flight...Istanbul Turkey --> LAX!
13 hours of pure glory. Watched a few movies, befriended a Turkish guy named Giohan
HOME!!! BOBS HAWAIIAN with mom and dad. yummmmm
Finally got to meet my nephew CAMDEN!
And now i'm off to one of my best friend's weddings! Abbie and I were college roommates freshman and sophomore year of college. She is one of my favorite people and I am so thankful I get to stand beside her as she marries her high school sweet heart Jake! Love this girl and I'm glad the journey home was timely because I wouldnt have missed her big day for anything!!
Tomorrow morning my roommate Charissa and I are heading the 7 hr back down to Kampala to spend a day resting before heading to the airport late Monday night. Charissa is headed to Gabon (west africa) for a week to visit friends and i'm headed back, back, to Cali Cali! It's pretty surreal packing up and saying bye to the town and these people and i've realized that 3 months is just the tip of the iceberg really. I told my roommates (who are all here another 3 mo) that i'm going to be living vicariously through them as they continue to explore all that this beautiful country has to offer.
Lucky for me, I got to spend my last two days in Gulu at Fort Patiko - basically a huge hill where you can camp out and get an insane view of the sunrise. Our two friends, Tony and Eric, drove us out there and made sure we had a legitimate fire. *side note, Eric -the one in the photo with Maddy and I- is a world champion kickboxer. no joke. He's training right now for nationals as well as the olympic qualifiers. In a few weeks he's headed off to Greece to fight some Ukranian or something and ultimately wants to open a kickboxing gym in Northern Uganda to get kids off the streets and into a disciplined sport. coolest dude ever! Definitely feel safe around Eric and Tony haha.
Well its sad to say bye to this place and the beautiful people that call it home...but I know God has great things in store. His timing is always perfect so i'm following His lead and heading back home to share with everyone what Uganda has taught me! This has been one heck of an adventure and I praise God for all His mercy along the way. In a few short days i'll be back home...i'll finally get to meet my nephew Camden...i'll get to take a hot shower...and i'll get to be a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's weddings!!! STOKED AND THANKFUL, ALWAYS.
SEE YOU SOON AMERICA.
A few weeks ago my dear friend and college roommate -Natty Sue- emailed me telling me her and two of our friends, Danielle and Bre, would be in Jinja for a weekend. I knew I couldnt pass up the opportunity to meet up with them. I mean, how often are you in Uganda with your college roomie? Right. The journey from Gulu to Jinja is quite extensive...as in...a 7 hour bus from Gulu to Kampala, a boda ride to the matatu (taxi) station, then a 2 hour matatu from Kampala to Jinja, then one more boda to the hotel. Lucky for me, I got to do all of this solo! The rest of my friend were meeting up with us a day later. anyway....after a long journey I was so thankful to see some familiar faces and to give natty sue a big hug. love that girl.
Rafting the Nile goes down in the books as one of the crazier things i've done in life. Maybe the craziest. The company we went with did a really good job with the whole day. Feeding us, making sure we felt safe, throwing in a few jokes here and there to keep the mood light, and taking photos for us to remember the day. I would 100% recommend this to anyone near East Africa - its an incredible experience!
I'm just glad I got to do it with a crew of some of my favorite people!
in the back and the front row is Danielle, Bre, myself, and Natty!
They fed us fresh fruit and Rolex's (breakfast burritos) for breakfast
T H E N I L E
Our raft guide was Davey, a scottish man who has lived in Uganda for 9 years. This was the one waterfall we went down and at this moment I was having a blast!
Okay..this was our first flip. Not gunna lie...flipping over in the nile river is a scary feeling haha. I'm pretty sure at this moment I was thinking.. "OH GOD PLEASE NO.." hahaha
White water rafting!
catching some air
I think this was on our last rapid and this flip was pretty fun. The scary part of flipping over is that, if you dont hold onto the raft, you can start floating down the river and "end up in Cairo" lol. So I was just holding on for dear life to that raft!
After a long day of rafting we stayed at a hotel then woke up at 5am to catch the post bus back to Gulu
BYE JINJA. BYE KAMPALA!
*also for those of you who don't know, my face has experience some crazy allergic reaction and has been swollen the past two days. I went to the clinic this morning and was given some creme and medicine to take and so far the swelling has subsided a bit. The real bummer is that i've missed the past few days of work and I've been resting at home and icing my face rather than spending that time with the women at work! But God works all things for his good and i'm feeling a lot of peace about my last 4 days in Gulu! Thank you for those who have been praying - God is good - and i'll be home on Tuesday!