Years ago (before I went to Africa the first time), I wrote in my journal about wanting to live an adventure. My life of taking care of small children in the suburbs felt so ... Normal. I like living in places where you have to do things differently. Well, God has given me the desires of my heart! I am far from my life as a suburban mom right now!
Speaking of desires of the heart... Growing up, I wanted to live among the orphans in Africa. I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician (Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman), a teacher, or the house mom of an orphanage. On my first trip to Uganda, I cried real tears of joy because God gave me the ability to work in medical clinics here. How could I have imagined, when I agreed with Him that becoming a pediatrician was not what He had for me, that He was still planning to give me the desire of my heart?! I have had the opportunity to work alongside some teachers here, and so that dream has come true, and now... The last... I am currently the house mommy for Ddembe House! The house mommy had to have surgery about a month ago, and is still out recovering, so Moses has been doing everything. He has been looking very forward to me coming, as I had told him that I would be more than glad to step in and help. When he picked us up from Kampala Sunday afternoon, he said, "what will you need to cook dinner tonight?" Ummmmmmm....
I need all my close friends and family to know that I am working to set aside the part of myself who HATES camping and remember that I LOvE Africa more!
We stopped on the way home from Kampala and purchased a propane tank and some "accessories" to turn it into a gas stove. Calling upon all our collective years of Chem labs, We hooked it up like a Bunsen burner and prayed it wouldn't explode! Moses knew he needed a gas stove, but he is a 28 year old bachelor-- he's completely new at all of this, and I will admit that I've never cooked with a gas tank before!
Dinner Sunday night -- chicken and rice! It was only about 3 hours past their usual dinner time because of our travel from Kampala (and the fact that it takes nine years for a big pot of water to boil on our new stove!). It has officially been 24 hours, and no one has been sick, so I can say it was a success!
This morning, Moses said we would do the shopping for the week, so we headed to the market. Some handy tips that I learned from Moses pertaining to Ugandan market shopping:
1. Go early. Everyone else does, and if you wait, you only get the "bad vegetables."
2. Look at the place where all the women are shopping and go to that salesperson.
3. Ask the salesperson to choose the fruit for you. They will give you the best ones because they want your repeat business.
4. Make several trips to the car! ;-). Shopping for produce for a week for 14 people is a lot!
Seriously, though, look at this market:
It was incredible-- All organic, fresh vegetables and fruits!
Me: I'm looking for bigger green bell peppers.
Robert: Mom-- it's all non GMO!
Even some silverfish-- I told Moses I could NoT cook those!).
Being there helped us plan what kinds of things we could cook, and then it was time to go to town to buy the staples in bulk (exactly like Costco shopping -- except completely different!).
Tonight we made spaghetti, and it was great! Robert said, "I can't believe I'm eating Italian food, cooked by an American woman, in Uganda!"
We have some big plans for future meals, and are getting creative with how to cook an entire meal on one burner, using only the ingredients we have found here!
House mommies are not just about the shopping and cooking, though. There is also the laundry...
Moses: oh no. We have so much laundry to do, but we really must go to the market today.
Me: I brought clothes for each child! We don't have to do the laundry today! :-). (Thank you, Hattiesburg families!!!)
We also have to wash all the dishes... Which, I am not even kidding, is an endless chore.
The children do many chores related to cleaning the house, and washing and ironing (!) their uniforms. Thank goodness, because ironing definitely falls among my anti-gifts.
We are busy from 5:30am until the children go to bed at 10, and we are loving it.
I'm so grateful God gave me this chance, and I'm even more grateful that in His infinite wisdom, he waited until I had learned to cook without recipes to do it!