So clearly my blog has not been a priority in the past several months, but I thought it would be nice to at least post an update to let you all know what has been going on with us in Uganda:
What has been happening:
- A lot of travel! In October, we had a country review which each MCC country program does every 5 years. We had a team of 3 other people (a team leader from Canada, a local expert from Kampala, and a peer rep from South Africa) and Muigai traveled with them all over Uganda to visit partners in two weeks! They went to the far Northeast corner (Karamoja), the East (Soroti and Kamuli), the far West (Kasese), and central (Kampala and Mukono). It was a crazy itinerary and I got to stay in Kampala since I was still in my first trimester and not feeling so well. Overall, it was a really good time and as Reps we felt encouraged and affirmed in the work we’ve been doing with MCC in the past 2 ½ years.
- In November, we went to Kigali for an All Africa Reps meeting with all the MCC Reps from African countries and well as several colleagues from headquarters. It was a good time of connecting with people who can relate to the joys and challenges of this position and the kids had a blast with the other MCC kids. The childcare workers were amazing and it was the first time ever my children both went to childcare willingly without any tears.
- In December, we went to Kenya for our East African retreat with all MCC workers and their families from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Our MCC Uganda team consisted of 22 people including 8 kids 6 and under, and it was a lot of fun! After the retreat we spent Christmas in Kenya with Muigai’s family.
- Both children are now in school! We decided to homeschool Natalie the second half of last year because of all the traveling we had to do, and we found a great tutor to work with her. She really enjoyed homeschooling but it was a big challenge to find other children for her to play with. So we decided to send her back to Acorns School. She started in early January and has been really excited to be back in school with her friends, and the transition went very smoothly.
- Nathan has also started “school” – he goes three days a week to a new play based preschool in Kampala. He is in the play group class so it’s just a lot of play and interaction and no formal school yet. He has had a bit of a harder transition but is slowly settling in.
- The diaper project is continuing to grow and I’m really enjoying my involvement in this project. We are currently working with three tailors and have been able to provide them with a good part time income over the past year. We had a busy and good Christmas season, participating in several Christmas sales and bazaars in Kampala. The most interesting project we were involved with was designing a diaper for a set of 2 month old conjoined twins who were getting ready to travel to the US for separation surgery! They are joined at the butt so it took some creativity to come up with a design that could work. They are currently in the US for what will be a several month series of operations and follow ups, but the doctors think they will be able to develop normally after the surgery.
What is coming up….
- A new baby! We are eagerly waiting for the arrival of our son who is expected around mid April. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided that we will travel to Nairobi to have the baby. There is a wonderful Kenyan midwife Lucy who has delivered my sister in law’s babies and just opened a freestanding birth center in Nairobi, and we are looking forward to having this little guy there. Since the other two children were born in the US, it will be a blessing to have this one surrounded by Kenyan family and friends. We plan to travel in early April and return to Uganda as soon as we get his passport (likely at 2-3 weeks old).
- A trip to Zanzibar! This will be our last major travel before the baby comes, and our East Africa regional Reps meeting will be held in Zanzibar next month (if you want to motivate your team members, have work meetings in places like Zanzibar – I’ve never been so excited for our regional meeting!) We are planning to go a few days early to have a family vacation at the beach – a beach vacation at 35 weeks pregnant is not ideal, but if I will be huge and uncomfortable I may as well be huge and uncomfortable on the beaches of Zanzibar!
- A trip to the US in July! We have about one month of home leave left, and I’m planning to spend the last 2-3 weeks of my maternity leave in the US and then Muigai will join us for a month of home leave. That means I will be doing the international travel with all three children without Muigai (have I lost my mind???) but I am so excited to be able to go home soon after the baby is born. It will be hard to have the baby without my family around so at least I can look forward to this trip.
So those are the highlights from the past several months and what we are looking forward to in the next several months. Please keep us in your prayers especially with the upcoming travels and the birth. I’ve been feeling really good lately and pray that things will continue to go smoothly over the next two months.