Footprints

For the first time in 4 years, I shall not be able to celebrate Easter in the 40-40 way. For a few minutes, that is the only line I actually could write in this post but I shall try to continue.

When you think about it, it seems pretty childish that missing out on a few hours playing, eating, laughing and dancing can tag at one’s heart so bad, and yet here I am, asking myself many questions. Did they reach safe? Did ‘new people’ join us this time? Will the children have fun? Will they remember this day years from now? I spent the most part of my morning looking at old photos and watching videos with deep sighs. I know later, when the photos from the do start pouring in, I will contemplate flushing my phone down the toilet. (Thankfully, it has been giving me trouble so we shall pretend I was just putting it to rest) Where did all the time go?

For 4 years, the Easter weekend has been transformed into our living, breathing definition of Christ’s love. Out of design, his design, we were led to a mission, a mission to make his children’s lives better. It was indeed Jesus who said, the kingdom of God belongs to the little children. Their presence is blessing enough, but that we are able to make a small difference is a huge plus:

For the first time, in years, I saw many adults in one place sob silently in a gathering that was not a funeral. For the first time, I saw men who had sworn they did not want anything to do with children, run around, get dirty, make funny faces and act even more child-like than the kids themselves. For the very first time, many of us took a step out of our ‘comfortable’ lives, away from family and friends whom we are ‘conditioned’ to love and shared our hearts with new families that we hitherto did not even know. For the first time, Jesus’ death and resurrection was more than just a story, more than a tale which belongs in church or the Bible. It was 40 meaningful days culminating in the greatest of all gifts, love.

That was the Easter weekend of 2012 and we have not stopped since.

If there is a week(end) when I contemplate life and my journey now and the future, it is definitely this one. Even the readings in church, conversations and last thoughts before I go to sleep, change. I am constantly aware of what this season represents for not just me, but the 40-40 family in all its breadth; our choices, our paths, our footprints.

FOOT

 

4 years ago, 40 days brought together people who may not otherwise have met; 4 years later, we do not only have ‘over 40 smiles,’ we have what seems like a lifetime of beautiful memories.

Today, of all days, I celebrate everyone who has kept us going, in your respective ways. You would be surprised how even a simple text message to say “thank you for making the children smile” gives us a little more strength to hold on. The amazing team that holds the fort daily, the volunteers who come in when they can, each and everyone of you who supports with a word of encouragement, or those trips to the mobile money agent :P, the family we have grown which prays for us, our ambassadors all over the world,everybarrreeee,ย THANK YOU!

It is a great honour to be part of a group of passionate, dynamic people who genuinely believe they can impact the world positively and go a step further to actually do it.

The glory goes back to God who has been with us every step of the way, who has watched us fall so he can pick us up, let us cry and assured us righteous tears are never in vain. He started this work and it is evident that he will continue to see it to his fruition. Truly thankful that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we got an opportunity to do more. While our sacrifice is nowhere near grand, HE who inspired it, sacrificed enough for each of us, for all eternity.

May you remember and meditate on Jesus’ love this Easter.

jesus

A glorious Easter to you and yours.

Xx

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Not-so-terrible twos

Dear Penda,

You turn two today! How awesome is that? ๐Ÿ˜€ My excitement is quite unhealthy but don’t you worry, I am going to try and keep it under control (or not).

Apparently this is the age when you start saying ‘No’ a lot and struggle with your desire for independence. Are we ready? :O Before we can start to worry about all of that, all I am concerned about right now is the precious gift that is you ๐Ÿ™‚

Your name is a beautiful representation of who you are. You are love and you are light. What more could we possibly ask for? Sometime last year, we were hanging out together, along with aunt Ritah and aunt Doreen (you have like 671 others of these, and uncles too) on a sunny day. You could hardly say a word but your presence was completely enthralling. I marveled at God’s goodness, that he would package so much beauty and personality in one little being who was completely oblivious of the joy that she brought to us. That week had been long but when you danced on the table (not like that, I was holding you as you jumped about) and we sang ‘twinkle little star,’ everything was perfect, if only for a moment. There have been many such moments since, your smile and laughter should really be considered as ammunition against terrorists. They would probably surrender and dedicate their lives to spreading love. (Don’t you wish life was that simple?)

You are a special gift to us, you know? We just can’t help but gush over you. I hope you will get used to it because it is not about to stop. I remember your last birthday like it was yesterday. Your mommy went out of her way to put up a real bash for you and boy were you adorable! Do you remember? If you don’t, I will have you know that you enjoyed yourself and looked like a princess.
Your grannies were there too, there was plenty of laughter and good vibes. We had a session to write you little notes for your teen years and you can guess who wanted a ream of paper when all they had was a sticky note (smh) It was such a wonderful day, as we celebrated you and your little precious life.
P.s: If ever we delay to pay your school fees, this is the disclaimer in advance. Remain comforted in the thought that those shillings were well spent on the birthday of the year;2015 ๐Ÿ˜›

The other day, mommy sent me a picture. You were probably 5 days or so and I was holding you in one arm and pointing to the camera with the other. You were sooooo tiny! Nonetheless, your gaze was still focused and as it turns out, you are quite the photogenic little lady now.. I wonder where you got that from. *side eyes Kemigisha*

Your pictures, videos and best of all spending time in your presence just makes me smile for days!Your character is steadily developing and I look forward to the years when we shall hear you speak everything that is on your mind and watch you grow into the phenomenal woman I know you shall be. You make mommy proud, you make us all proud.

 

Ballerina Minion character cake

Happy birthday our little beautiful star,Estella. You make life better just by being in it.

Much love and lots of prayers now and for the years to come โค

Your Godmommy.

Xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koona dance

This might be the shortest blog post I ever write but even as I type, I am reeling over the content ๐Ÿ˜€

It is no secret that I go gaga over great music, even better if the beat makes my knees weak and electrifies my system. These songs don’t come very often but when they do *insert those emoticons, you know them*
Anyway, when Ritah recommended I listen to this song, I did not know what to expect. However, I had a good idea because *screams* Sauti Sol!
I shall not say much more, watch the video and then we can discuss our own dance version, yes?

 

 

Watch till the end!

Happy Friday!I know mine is ๐Ÿ™‚

Leero weekendi!

 

Xx

Making memories

โ€œWherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.โ€

Two months ago, on this day, Linda was all nerves and bags; the former because of the anxiety of living in a new environment, the latter carried all 30 or so kilogrammes of the possessions for the next few months. If feels like just the other day she was waving goodbye to her friends and feeling quite proud of herself for not getting emotional. The more she thought about this lone trip, the more she realised that ‘adulting’ was going to happen whether she liked it or not; the best she could do was embrace the situation and hopefully, even enjoy it.

First forward to two months later and she has actually acquired a rhythm. There is no real routine because each day comes with an almost unique schedule but Linda can now comfortably say she is ‘okay,’ many times, even better than okay.

The routes that she could not take without a chaperone in the first few weeks, are now a walk in the park, she can actually get to the school in several different ways. She knows whom to talk to when in need of a good laugh and whom to avoid when stressed because they will only aggravate the situation. She still smiles and says hello even when the grumpy ‘robots’ ignore her, but she’s often pleasantly surprised when the humans approach her instead, with lit up faces.

Linda has a favourite bookstore that she wishes had a discount on their discount and the other day she discovered a shop aptly named “Peace, love and tea.” Isn’t that all this world needs? Much as she had a class that day, it will probably be one of her go to places for whenever she needs to smile. Their tea varieties and packages got her jaw to drop. Their tea cups and sets are also to die for.
tea 1

ea 2

Linda has learnt to appreciate solitude and discovered things about herself she probably wouldn’t have without this experience. For one of her modules, she had the entire “UN” in her class. During the introductions, the diversity was a tad surreal; Taiwan, China, Japan, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina,U.S.A,Scotland,Namibia, Kenya and of course Uganda. Look at all the options for holiday destinations where she’ll know at least one person! As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon for her to use a train or bus and not even hear one person speaking English, it’s like music listening to the different languages. Indeed, her solo bus rides will be one of the things she misses the most when she leaves.

What started as a daily countdown to get back home has gradually grown into a bittersweet predicament where she finds herself appreciating the experience and relationships she has formed more than she expected. ย It is indeed true, that most things simply need time.

Her current mantra is to seize every little moment and savour what will make for great memories throughout her life.

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