Uganda 2016 / Day 3

Yesterday I got to hangout with the muzungu community! They are wonderful, there is a group of 4 or 5 families who always get together Tuesday nights to play basketball, soccer, and walk, and it is so much fun. I took photos of the kids, and then I set up a ‘beauty shop’ and all the girls lined up for me to fishtail braid their hair. Their giggles were cracking me up! I watched the younger girls make a fort out of sticks and banana tree leaves. Such a good evening, and so refreshing. I woke up this morning not feeling super well, and that’s when I realized that beat-jet-lag-quick is not a strength of mine. I rolled out of bed and got ready for work. As I made my way down to the Operating Room where I was going to spend my morning, I was praying that God would help me find Him in the smallest of moments today. Because I wasn’t feeling well, I felt myself dragging, my attitude too. 1 Peter 4:9 popped in my head, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” I am here because God has gifted me with photography. Dr. Peter is here because God has gifted him as a neurosurgeon. Moses is here because God has gifted him as a social worker. Tim is here because God has gifted him with leadership. Caren is here because God has gifted her as a nurse. I could go on and on. There are so many wonderful people here that God is using so beautifully, and it is my job to be a good steward of the gift He has given me. Thats when I kicked into full gear, and reminded myself that its ‘go’ time. 

I walked into the OR, greeted the wonderful nurses and doctors, and changed into my green scrubs. I always wear socks under my OR boots, and today they were bright orange. The rest of the day I just kept them on, rocking them with my sandals, and everyone got a kick out of it. Today I was able to work in the OR with Heather, a sweet new friend who is staying in the guest house with me. She is from Oklahoma, and we have spent lots of time together laughing, trying to translate, and watching movies every night. She’s been such a blessing! We entered the room and little Abel was laying on the table ready for his ETV/CPC. We watched as they went through the sanitation procedure, laid blankets on Abel, and the surgeons washed their hands and became ready to operate. I won’t lie, being in the OR can be hard for me sometimes. I love being there, and its such a humbling experience to be apart of, it never gets old. But I have to remind myself that even though the face mask is hard to breathe in, even though the air conditioning doesn’t quite cool the room, and even though my scrubs are a little big, its an honor to be standing next to children, documenting this season of their life. I always leave the OR feeling happier. 

From surgery I walked back to my office and made a little friend on the way. I taught him all about how to use my camera using hand motions, and I was so giddy watching him ‘snap’ sights around the hospital! His laugh echoed down the open hallway, and he kept grabbing my hand to pull me into another moment he wanted to capture. This was one of those little moments I was asking God to help me find Him in. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing. He truly made my day!

When I got back to the house, I opened the door to my room and the biggest smile came across my face. Last year when I came to Uganda, Ben bought me a stuffed tiger, and I brought him back with me this time. Rose, the sweet lady who cleans our guest house, had made my bed and placed the tiger inside my travel pillow, right beside my neatly folded blanket. She makes my day too. The way she is so gentle with my stuff, yet puts her personality and sweet character into everything she does in this house is such a beautiful example of service. She came down the hallway and I thanked her for taking care of my stuffed animal, and she said “Of course my friend, he is family, he needs to be comfortable too!”. The sweetest. 

Later in the day Heather and I went to the market to get some produce that we needed for dinner. Oh, the market. It is so different than anything we have at home, and it is always such a 5 senses experience. Walking into the market there are sp many overwhelming smells, some good, some harder to take in. There are so many different colors everywhere! Avocados, tomatoes, lime, beans, bananas, watermelon, all the good stuff. Sounds, everywhere. From kids laughing, to vendors yelling “muzungu, my carrots!’ We engaged in the typical bartering conversation at each stand, making sure we gathered everything we needed for taco night! And then, my favorite part. Upstairs there is a sweet old man I always get bananas from. He lights up when we walk around the corner, and he always gives us more than we ask for. Ive never quite understood his name, but man is he a sweetheart. His smile can light up any day! I asked him if I could take a ’snap', and he grabbed a bushel of bananas and that sweet smile came across his face. This was another one of those moments where I could see Jesus. He was clearly shining through my banana friend. We made our way to the fruit section to grab a watermelon and pineapple, and the watermelon truck was being unloaded! Its always so much fun to watch the guys throw watermelon in an assembly line to be stacked at the top of the pile! 

This week has been a good one so far. I can’t wait for this weekend when I get to go on a clinic in Kampala on Friday, and then head to the orphanage on Saturday! Sometimes when I sit down to write these posts I truly don’t know where to begin or end. There are so many things that happen each day that I wish I could write about, but it would honestly take a book. I hope that my pictures can tell stories that I am not able to fully depict.