This is what the Lord says:

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert
in a salt land where no one lives

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit

Jeremiah 17: 5-8


my walk to work.

Most of us in the states start our day off with some coffee, maybe a bowl of cereal, and a decent commute to work in some form of traffic. Life here is Gulu is a little bit different than that. The house I live in is a 15 min walk (2ish km/ 1 mile) to 'town' where you'll find your local super market (uchumi) and our favorite western coffee shop (coffee hut). Our walk to work is even shorter, probably a little under a mile up the road. On the smaller streets around us, you'll rarely see a car. Just bikes, bodas, and people walking. It's nice to take the time to walk places and say 'good afternoon' to those walking beside us. 

My favorite part about the walk to work are the kids! All around us are little huts and neighborhoods full of the most beautiful children. Here in Gulu they call Americans 'muzungo' or 'mono' so every day as we walk by the kids will run over to us and yell 'mono! mono!' and shake our hands (the proper greeting here) My heart melts every time! 

*also, kids here love getting their photo taken. They'll run over and point to the camera and say 'photo!' as they stand back and do a pose. It cracks me up! 

right in front of our house/gate
these boys were hilarious. The little one ran up to me and with a huge smile asked me to take his photo. I took a few steps back and they just naturally posed like it. HAHAH. amazing.
a small market on the way to work. Sometimes we'll buy tomatoes from here
the road to Kku!
"mono! mono!" 
After I shook their hands I turned back around and saw them posed like this. 
They couldnt have planned this better - and I think its my favorite photo so far. 
These are the kids right down the street from us. They are the ones we got our puppy from!

Blessed to be living in a place with such beautiful, radiant, joyful people. It's wild to know that this is home for me, for the next two months. I'm slowly starting to get in the groove of things, adjusting to the pace of life here. It feels good to slow down, to walk places, to buy local groceries, to say hi to my neighbors, to have super dirty sandals, and to know that each day was so full of a bunch of tiny awesome moments. 

"Joy comes to us in moments - ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary" - Brene Brown, Daring Greatly. 



So, my roommates have this saying.."T.I.A" which stands for "This is Africa" 

It is most commonly used when ridiculous things happen like... your boda (motorcycle) driver's front tire blows out and you're cruzing down a red dirt road trying to avoid oncoming traffic and the only logical response in that moment is - "this is Africa!" Or when the power goes out and everything in the fridge starts to smell a little funky so you have to be creative and quickly cook the remains of your food using your head lamp for light, "this is Africa!" Or when you decide that on Sunday you're going to squeeze 8 grown adults into a small van, drive 2hour to Aruu falls, jump in the slimy water, pray you dont get any bugs, and then drive back home to take a refreshing cold shower- there is really only one thing to say- "this is Africa!"

Aruu falls was truly magnificent. I've never seen waterfalls quite like these. There were so many of them, all built up by hundreds of huge rocks making them pretty sweet to climb. We spent the day exploring the falls, eating our pb&j sandwiches, and just basking in God's massive and insanely beautiful creation. 

This. Is. Africa. 

*also, pictured are all my roommates + our friend Hunter who works with Restore Leadership Academy here in Gulu. They are all such great humans - but more on them later! 


Ugandan pets

At our house here in Gulu we have a little cat named Luca (who strangely eats raw eggs) and...drum roll... a new puppy named louie! We got her from our neighbors down the road for 20000 shillings ($8) and shes been a fun addition to the house. I mean, look at that FACE! 

The days here are super hot and yesterday we finally got our power and water back on. Praise the Lord.  A luxury here, and something we take for granted in the states. I've been taking some pics around the house and am waiting till next week to bring my camera around the compound. 


the first few.

Time here in Gulu runs slow and the days seem to stretch themselves out. Something i'm learning to really really love. The women we work with are all incredible. They're so welcoming, funny, full of life, and very talented at what they do. Funny thing is, "Amie" spoken by an acholi person sound a lot like "Emmy" which is a male name in their culture, short for 'Emmanuel." So I told them they can all call me Faith - which they love. 

A lady cooks food at work and you can buy a standard ugandan lunch - beans, rice, and cabbage - for a decent 500 Ugandan Shillings (20 cents). Its actually really good and a few of the ladies call eating all your food "clearing the mountains." Also, the children here are some of the most entertaining, beautiful, adventurous souls I have ever met. They are slowly stealing pieces of my heart, especially when they roll around in the dirt and then reach their tiny arms up to you to be carried around. 

There are huge mango trees at work, providing the best kind of shade on a hot Gulu day 
 This is Adam. He is awesome and literally just crawls around all over the place.
 The women told me he started walking when he was like 7/8 months old. 
 Standard Ugandan lunch. "time to clear the mountains!"
And this little guy is Silas. We became friends today. look at that face!

Also today I was able to sit down and hash out a rough schedule of my photography goals while here in Gulu. I hope to do some spotlight stories on some of the women we work with as well as a few video projects along the way. I am excited to be challenged by this position and the creative freedom it has allowed me to explore. For now i'm relaxing, getting to know the women, planning ahead, and getting used to living with no running water (its supposed to be back on tomorrow).

Life here in Gulu is simple. Its slow. and I love it already. 



yowzah. So i'm finally here, sitting in the intern house in Gulu.
its only been 1 day and it has already been nothing short of an adventure.
so here's how it all went down

1. leave LAX and fly 13 hrs to Istanbul Turkey. Thankfully I sat next to a super nice young lady named Enas who was on her way back home to Jordan and she helped me find the wifi on the plane and explain to me what exactly I was eating.

2. Landed in Turkey and had a quick 40min to get to my next plane. I said bye to Enas and rushed through the transit security check only to find that my gate was far far farrrrr away. Then I look up to the terminal sign and read "501 to Entebbe LAST CALL" Thats when I really freaked out and started straight up running through the hot, extremely crowded & confusing istanbul airport. Praise God I got to my plane on time and chatted with another young lady who was on her way back to Kampala Uganda to work with a non profit.

3. The flight from Istanbul took me to Kigali, Rwanda and then to Entebbe, Uganda. This flight was so crowded and hot, but I got to sit by the window which meant I got some pretty rad views of northern Africa at night. I slept a lot also, and when we finally landed in Uganda at around 4am I was ready to go.

4. exit the plane, get through customs no problem, and head out to find my luggage. Only problem - no luggage to be found. This is when normal 'panic amie' would come in but for some reason (coulda been the jet lag) I was pretty calm. The airport was tiny and literally every person left the airport but me. So im in the process of finding my bag when I run out to tell Ben (kki staff) that i'm here but waiting. That bag process ended up taking an extra 1.5hr or so and we finally left the airport at 5.30am.

5. leave Entebbe airport and drive 1hr to our hotel. Ben and I crash for about 1 hr before heading out to our next driver's car and start our journey at 7am. Our journey was a 6hour drive from Entebbe to Gulu on a straight, long, dirt road with more pot holes than I could ever imagine. Our driver got pulled over twice for speeding haha and I felt the jet lag hitting me hard on the drive up. 6 hour is a long long time to be sitting in a car, especially after youve been sitting on an airplane for 20hrs prior.

6. FINALLY get to the intern house in Gulu at around1pm and meet my fellow interns. Really rad people, and a great mix of ages, personalities, and hometowns. We chatted for a while and they offered me clothes to wear while I wait for my bags, and then we headed out to play some soccer. We walked 15min to a local high school and met up with a bunch of other foreigners living in Uganda! A lot of them are girls from 31 bits (a company similar to kki) and others are here with Bob Goff's school, as well as some other foreign aid organization. I never guessed i'd meet so many foreigners in the middle of East Africa. Pretty cool community here.

wow. so basically the past few days have been wild wild ride. The whole plane ride here I felt so at peace about landing in Uganda, and really felt covered by the Lord's spirit as I entered the country. Its wild being in such a foreign place, and I know it hasnt fully set in yet - but I am thankful for these gracious people surrounding me and a place to dive deeper into the Goodness of God at all moments of the day.

*also today we got a puppy. yes. an adorable $8 puppy from the ladies down the street. We named her Gulu but are calling her lulu which is very fitting and funny considering I just worked at lulu lemon!

anyway, beautiful first day in Gulu. Tomorrow i'll see the compound and meet all the ladies. Also, i'm not bringing my camera around for a week or so...so photos will be soon!


gone going, gone

A few quick shots from the last 3 days training at KKi headquarters. 

I was blessed to meet all the rad people behind this company and hear their stories first hand. It's amazing how much thought, love, years of hard work, passion, determination and selflessness have gone into making this company what it is today & I believe this is only the beginning! 

alright, back to packing. flight leaves in...11hrs. 

yes, that is a pickleball court in the middle of their hq. 
ooo also the house the interns are living at is LITERALLY 1 block from the ocean. I crashed there a few nights and was like a little kid at a candy shop waking up each morning and skating 30 seconds to this beautiful view. We're super spoiled here in socal to have an ocean this rad & it will be something I miss over in Gulu. But, I was thankful for one last glossy ocean sunrise. 

also a couple things i'm feeling/thinking right now...
How am I going to carry all of these bags. Havent showered since tuesday (tmi?). How does one move to another country. This is crazy. Dont forget your passport. Dont forget your malaria pills. What am I doing. Lord please get me to Gulu safely. DANGIT why didnt I rsvp earlier to get a window seat. I hope I sit next to nice people. Just think solo time on walkabout. you can do it. Lord have mercy. I pray I can find Ben at the airport. Did I bring too many shirts. Is this really happening? Yes. yes it is. It's game time. real life. God is good. lets go. 

meet you on the flip side!!! 


The next week for me:
1. Finish packing
2. last perspectives class Mon night. It's been an awesome 15 weeks!
3. head to Costa Mesa for training tuesday-thursday
4. come home Thursday. make sure bags are ready to go
5. fly out Friday night!!...GULU HERE I COME

in the meantime...a few gopro shots from yesterday sunset @ manhattan with Dad



One huge thing I learned about myself in college is that my love language is 100% quality time. No doubt about it. I love just being with people. Which is awesome, until you realize you're leaving the country for 3 months and will be very, very far away- ha! But the blessing is that the time i've been able to spend with a few of my closest friends this past week has been that much sweeter.

Saying "bye" will probably always be a weird thing for me to process, but thats ok. I've realized it's okay to be gone for a while, because the friends you truly hold near and dear in your heart will be right there to greet you once you're back.

Here's to the last week with the raddest group of people I get to call my friends!

handles with lex. a hometown tradition that should never stop. This chick has been such a blessing and is back in SPU now to finish off her junior year!
a brief but rad sleepover with nj. Thankful to be roommates again with this chick, even if it was for a night. Next time we're back in the same place she'll be weeks away from getting married!!
OH VENTURA WITH THESE TWO. My first friends in college, two chicks who really grew to be such incredible blessings in my life. Abs and Cat (morgs too!) I love you so much. And literally next time we see eachother Abbie will be walking down the aisle and Cat will be 7mo pregnant!!!
 SB with my two homies Sarah and Kimi. I am so encouraged by these two & their never ceasing spirit of adventure. Sarah is currently in Florence for the next 6-8 months and Kimi is on her way back to finish of senior year at APU. These two wild kids are the best people to be around. I love these crazies!
Maggie! WHAT A BLESSING. Truly. When I applied to work at lululemon I figured i'd be a good job where I could save money and maybe meet some people - little did I know i'd meet this incredible woman of God who is so real, so honest, so wise and just an overall huge blessing. What a cool friendship & I am so stoked to see what the Lord has for us once i'm back!!
 && the best way to end my week of goodbye's was to be with this crew. Meg, Brad, James, Colt, Chris, Liana, and Kate! What a radical group of humans. seriously. How blessed are we??? It's insane. We spent the day at Brad and Kate's place, walked to get lunch, looked at their wedding photos, and dreamed up the day we'd all move to the same city together. What a true dream team. and THEIR PUPPY....
CALLI GIRL. So cute!
and the final send off to one of the best guys I know - Colt! God's timing rocks and Colt was back in LA for a quick layover and was able to spend the day with all of us. We ate a lot, listened to his stories of Haiti and the people there, spoke some french, and dropped him back off at the airport. The crazy thing is, we might not see him for a whole year! But the Lord is good and we're praying he makes it back for Nati's wedding in May. 

So...here's one last "BYE! SEE YOU SOON" to all these incredible people.
I thank the Lord for each and every one of you and the ways your faith and wisdom have inspired me. 

**also shout out to Kacy & Steph, two friends I was able to say bye to but didnt get a photo with. Thanks for sharing a meal with me and sending me off with your support and prayers! love you both

"May we have power together with all the saints to grasp how WIDE and LONG and HIGH and DEEP is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" Ephesians 3.18