Donny and Jordan are now half way through their adventure in Uganda. They are learning to do everything from slaughter chickens, administer discipline, organize 17 children for school, cook on a charcoal stove, tutor school work, manage chores, teach bible devotions, lead staff meetings, and this week they are building a goat shed and chicken house on our land.
I love this picture. Of course Jordan’s tshirt says “I am a Bison” and where it is cut out he got a nasty mzungu sun burn. One scar bubbled up and he had to go to the doctor. I failed as mother to teach my kids to use sunscreen. I guess I should be thankful they eventually began to use soap when they showered. I am sure Robert is enjoying having my sons with him to finish this work. We’ve had a change of staff at the land. Eddie had frequent disappearing periods when he would leave unannounced for a month or so and return to his village where there is no contact. His final missing act resulted in one of our twin kids (baby goats) drowning in water on the land. Someone could have stolen the rest of them and they are not only valuable but hard working people have generously donated these resources to us so we can begin to grow a herd and feed the family. One child in California collected recyclables all year long and donated the $150 to buy a goat. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy about the neglect and irresponsibility. I felt mostly bad for Robert who invested much of himself in mentoring Eddie both spiritually and as a counselor. But Robert made the final decision to let him go. This shows excellent leadership skills. He also requested two weeks pay to send him along, demonstrating his gentle heart.
A family in Norway recently gave us this handsome guy. He’s the best quality breeding male we can get. We also bought another female. In Uganda goats aren’t used for milk but mainly for meat. The boys are grown big and slaughtered either for a family feast (Christmas) or for sale. The females generally have two births a year, and if we are blessed they produce twins. Judith, our assistant cook at the home, knew a guy in her village who was looking for a job. He had a reputation as a hard worker so we sent for him and he arrived this Monday with one sack containing a shirt and pants. Robert was going to provide for him out of his own pocket, but I said, let me talk to my boys. So Donny and Jordan helped stock the man up with some essentials and then they got involved in the outdoor work on the land with him. This week they have been helping build a goat shed.
I never told Donny or Jordan that there was a slain black mamba found on our land. (That would be the most venomous snake on this planet.) This old mud hut was Eddie’s house until it collapsed from the rain. He said he would build his own house so I sent the funds to buy bricks and mortar. He disappeared so Robert had to build the house himself. Our new man has a good house now and the old one is being transformed to house the goats. Nothing is wasted in Uganda.
Our land is producing food, housing the goats, and now we are moving the chickens. We bought fifty more chickens and the boys helped build a chicken house and fenced it so they remain in their area. We can buy little chickens cheaply and then they grow fat for our soup pot! It’s the way chicken ends up on the plate in Uganda. During my last visit I simply had it with the chickens in the yard. They stink, they drive the dog crazy, they attract numerous unwanted flies, and they really don’t have the room they need to get fat. I asked Robert to please help me understand what it will take to get them over to the land. So another man will help on the land to manage all our animals and our crops. We are so thankful God continues to provide so we can grow! At the land the chicken droppings will be harvested as fertilizer for our plants. I meant it when I said nothing is wasted in Uganda! I look forward to looking outside the girl’s bedroom and not seeing or smelling the chicken coop!
I’m thankful the boys are lending their strength and hard work to the cause. I look forward to hugging them and hearing all the stories. I know when I look into their eyes I’ll see they met a turning point in life and followed a journey they never knew possible. That’s what time in Uganda does for me. It settles me down, gives perspective, reminds me what is important here in this life. Priorities are easy to arrange, and gratitude erupts for the smallest gift God places in our day. That’s how I want to live. I hope to create relationships with a few university programs who will put Kirabo Seeds on the intern list for missionary students. I can see by the work available here that it will be a great opportunity to continue to offer students. I am thankful for Kirabo Seeds because it gives me the opportunity to help others, make a difference in lives, give opportunities to learn and experience, and know for sure I am within God’s will for my life. That’s the sweet spot. It’s the only place I need to call home.