Today was cooking day! Matt, Amy and I have been planning to cook a Mexican food meal for everyone and today our new friend, Mandy, from Karagusa is coming to spend the evening with us, so we decided that there would be no better night than tonight!
This morning, Brenda and I cooked a chocolate cake (from scratch, of course…no Betty Crocker cake-in-a-box here…), and I learned that cooking from scratch in Uganda is different than cooking from scratch in the U.S., to say the least. You have to be much more creative and resourceful in your cooking here. Cooking MEXICAN food from scratch proved to be even more of a challenge. So when I say we made refried beans from scratch, for example, I mean like we started by peeling the beans that had come straight from the garden. And our “chips” were chapate bread cut into triangles and baked until they were crispy. Thankfully, we were able to make what I believe is the most important part of any Mexican food meal – guacamole – because avocados are quite popular here. We also made pico de gallo, Mexican rice, and Brenda made this amazing mango relish. We had large round pieces of chapate bread so that people could make soft tacos…I must say, it was delish…and it was kinda nice to get a little taste of home. We called it our Mefrican dinner.
It was the first time Reverend James and Timothy had ever had Mexican food, and they loved it! We just had a great evening together, filled with a lot of laughter. At the end of the night, Timothy said, “I will remember this night for forever.” Adorable.
Last night, Matt, Amy, and I invited anyone who wanted to join us for a walk to one of the nearby hills to watch the sunrise. We really only expected 4 or 5 people to actually get up that early, but at 5:30 AM we went to the meeting place and literally every student (including Rev James and Madam Hope and Olivia) showed up! We were quite impressed.
Besides the absolutely incredible sky full of stars, it was PITCH black on our walk there and up the hill but slowly it started getting lighter and lighter and a haze started appearing in the between the hills…it was beautiful. Eventually the sun rose and it was amazing. We had a great time singing and praying and laughing on the hill…such a great morning.
Most of my morning was spent putting together a movie of pictures and video of the students and the teachers to show them tonight. It cracks us up how much Ugandans LOVE to have their picture taken…as soon as you snap the pic, you have a crowd of people around you wanting to see it – even people who aren’t in the picture! So we thought they would love to see a video of themselves.
Amy and I went out this afternoon and started making hemp/thread bracelets…and after the first half hour or so, a few students joined us and then some of the village children. We made bracelets for 4 and a half hours! They loved them.
After diner, we showed the students (and a few of the teachers) the video we’d put together. It started with about 5 guys out there, and pretty soon everyone on campus had come outside to watch it. I had to put my computer up high so they could all see it. After watching it, they all asked to see it a second time. They were just laughing and laughing both times through! I leaned over to Matt and Amy at one point and said it was one of the cutest things I’d ever seen. They just looked like one big happy family all crowded around this little screen and having so much fun together. The students here are really starting to capture my heart.
I realized today that I have officially met the half way mark for my time here. I can’t believe it. I’m already dreading leaving here. When we were making bracelets with the kids this afternoon I told Amy, “Man am I gonna ever wish for moments like this whenever I get home!”. I’m afraid that I’m going to really start falling in love with the students here at about the same time that I’m going to have to leave.
Ahhhh…November 29, slow down!