Each time I fly around the world I improve my recovery skills from the evils of jetlag. I floated around yesterday not sure what time zone it was. I bumped into a few walls. My horse lifted a hind leg to kick to warn me not to be gone so long again. We all survived some epic Kira tantrums due to her extreme exhaustion. I got to swipe plastic at Costco rather than rummage for the exact amount of currency using piles of thousand shilling notes and thinking in numbers over the millions. I even organized, sorted, and delivered some of the goods I brought home to sell. I collapsed though before I got to take my sweet Lucy for a walk. She loves me even so.
The shop here in San Antonio, Evolve, is having a Valentine’s event this Saturday featuring our cause as a great way to love others this year! Victoria, the owner, was thrilled to see all of the wonderful new items I brought home. She said, “it feels like Christmas”. It was good to hear her enthusiasm as the work it required to assemble these items, haul them home through customs in five large suitcases. The fact that I actually delivered the day after arriving in the USA was an achievement I register high.
Craig and I had a few minutes to talk before he went to work. In the afternoon he had to fly to California for work. He’ll be home tonight in time for our date. He might have even had the audacity to ask the pilot for an earlier departure time because he hovers protectively over our date. He loves to tease me and text thirty minutes before their plane leaves and say, “I’m leaving the office now for the airport.” There are perks when you follow the CEO around. He can be a bear when he has to fly commercial. I take great joy in poking him back to reality with my sharp elbow.
All day in my mind, I was following the schedule of the children in Uganda. They started school this week in a new school. When I asked Angela, “what do you think about starting a new school?” She said “I am looking forward to making new friends.” I wondered, “Are you afraid?” She said, “of what?” I thought about it and smiled. It is easy to make friends in Uganda because everyone is always socializing with new people. Their social friendliness, respect, and polite ways are part of what captured my heart in the very beginning.
The tales of the first day of school when they sat around in the devotion circle were fun to hear. Some of the older boys in the school said to Daniel, “you must bow down to me and do what I say.” Daniel said, “I will not.” Good boy. Let’s not let anyone bully our children because a red headed mzungu will follow a hot headed Ugandan woman into that school and take care of it quick. Last year one of the teachers was bullying our children! Phiona went directly to the head master made an issue, then she confronted the teacher and made her cry. She never bothered our kids again. (Phiona and I are an awesome team by the way. And when we begin to have too much fun the gentle grounding of Robert’s steady ways pulls us back into line.)
Saying good bye to the children was difficult for Jack and I. Devotions were in the grass around a circle sitting on plastic chairs talking about meaningful spiritual truths. We enjoyed some photo time, shared one last meal together, then loaded the van. Christine cried wiping her eyes with her arm and hiding her face. I reminded her I always come back. She’ll be so busy with school she won’t notice I’m gone. Many faces were long. I enjoyed ten full minutes of bear hugs from the kids. When I opened the van door Daniel said, “wait we must all pray for Mama Tonya” so the children gathered around me and took turns praying, in English, for our ministry, our travels and for me. That is how I would describe being the richest woman alive.
Driving away from our happiest little house in Kampala hurt my heart. Jack’s face was somber as well. He said, “back to my boring life in Texas where every day is the same.” Hyperbole. What he means is there’s no kind of fun like what he just enjoyed with the kids in the Kirabo Seeds home for a few weeks. I’ll share more about this trip through his eyes in the following weeks. I think this trip alone was worth the rookie leap of homeschooling him for fifth grade. I hope he always remembers this year by the weeks he spent with our family in Uganda.
For me when people asked me today, “how was your trip?” I gasp for a moment and say, “well, it was quite an adventure.” So much happened that I don’t know where to begin. It’s going to be enjoyable for me to go over the highs and lows and draw some conclusions here in this blog for the next few weeks. For now, I need to pull on my riding boots and prepare to get back in the saddle, in more ways than one, but first, in quite a literal way…and I can’t wait. Time at the stables is when I get to just be Tonya…not mama…not Mama Tonya…not boss lady of Kirabo Seeds… just a simple eager student of life testing bravery and experiencing deep love with a pretty mare.