Category Archives: Uganda

Rice and Beans

As I prepared our Ugandan dinner for our last day in Uganda, I couldn’t help but think of the women in Uganda who prepared the meals for us, sometimes even the kids, most cooking outside with a single pot over hot coals, hand-preparing each item in the hot sun.  If there was a “kitchen”, it often involved burning coals as well , with a hole on top to place pots and absolutely no air conditioning/ceiling fans, etc., in a small “hut-style” room. (And I complain when it’s too hot in my kitchen.)

So, my “Ugandan” cooking was a bit less strenuous, with my easy gas-burning stove with six burners, yet it was a bit more difficult than I anticipated. It also didn’t quite turn out as beautiful as the picture above of one of the fabulous Ugandan meals I experienced.  You see, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, but I’ve never made traditional beans before.  And, even though I did know to soak them overnight, I neglected to soak the dried cow peas, and underestimated the cook time for the beans and peas by quite a bit. Fortunately, Brian was 30 minutes late for dinner and the chapatis also took longer than expected, so the only thing that had to wait for us was the rice (which I do know how to make).

For the menu, I used my new Ugandan cookbook

and my Ugandan Mchuzi spice mix,

both purchased at a Kampala grocery store and very helpful for our dinner.

Ugandan Dinner Menu


Finished Chapati

These chapatis were similar to those made during our week in India, although I used ghee instead of oil.  They were also equally delicious, particularly with the rice and beans.

Cooking the beans, using Mchuzi mix, tomatoes, cabbage and salt.

Thankfully, the beans were cooked properly by the time we ate dinner (apparently red beans can be toxic if undercooked…good to know) and they were almost as good as the beans served in Uganda, thanks to the mchuzi mix. So bummed I didn’t buy a bigger container.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to go back to Uganda. I hope so!

Slightly undercooked, crunchy cow peas. Not nearly as delicious as those in Uganda.

The above items were served with some fresh, American avocado and I even let the kids eat like many Ugandans do….with their HANDS! (They thought this was pretty fun.)  So, after we prayed for and thanked God for the hard-working women who cooked for my team and I in Uganda-Moreen, Katie and the other nannys-we dove into our delicious meal.

Tallinn wasn’t quite so sure about eating avocado with his hands.

Hannane, our student from Brazil.

For dessert we enjoyed some fresh pineapple, just like they did in Uganda, although I think I may have had the best pineapple I’ve ever had in Uganda.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this meal again, however I’ll be sure to soak the peas next time and leave ample time to cook the beans. Everything was really delicious and I want to remember this country that taught me so much about what true beauty means. Where people sing praise to the Lord despite their often harsh circumstances and are so willing to share what they have with others, even those who might have much more than they do. What a wonderful, beautiful people the Ugandans are. I am so thankful to have had the chance to visit this amazing country and meet the people that call it home. Our family will also continue to pray for our new friends and hope to go altogether one day to visit them again. And, as we make a joyful noise with our new instruments, we will also remember these joyful people and their gift of music!

Weebala Nnyo Uganda. I’m not sure I will ever be able to truly express my gratitude for your welcoming kindness and love.

Nkwagala Nnyo.


Paper Bead Necklaces

Several months ago I was introduced to beautiful necklaces made by Ugandan women using recycled magazines. Typically, these women come from harsh circumstances and selling necklaces has paved a way for them to leave lifestyles and make a change, often enabling them to support their families and pay rent.

Amazima ministries, led by Katie Davis, has trained a group of women to create wonderful, brightly beaded necklaces, each one different from the other in length, color and design.  For our next adoption, we have been working with 147 million orphans selling these necklaces as a fundraiser.  A portion of each necklace not only helps the mother who is making them, but it also helps feed an orphan, support an adoption and reuses materials that would otherwise end up in a land-fill!  Such a wonderful ministry and I am so thankful for what they do!

Although we are quite inexperienced and in no way desire to compete with these talented women, we decided to try making the necklaces ourselves to get a little taste of this Ugandan specialty.

Using a very basic online instruction guide, we cut various magazine pages into triangles.

Applying a tiny amount of glue at each tip,

we then rolled them up tightly using a small paintbrush to form paper “beads”

Tallinn's beads

Addie's beads

Finally, we strung the beads onto a fishing line

 and knotted them tightly together to form necklaces.

My finished necklace

Not necessarily masterpieces like those of the Ugandan women, but I’d honestly rather buy one and support a woman in need than try to make my own. (I’m also not sure I could come close to making such beauty.)

The kids are already ready to make more and, as it’s so easy,  and we have a grip of magazines, we’ll probably add a few to our collection.

New Adventures in 2011

2011 could not have started off any more full of adventure. And this wasn’t a virtual adventure, but a real live trip around the world….a trip that involved five crazy flights and ended up in Uganda. Sadly, the kids did not get to join me on this one and neither did Brian, but they will live vicariously through me this next week as we dive into Uganda.

While I was gone, my mom taught the kids all about the UK and even made a traditional Shepherd’s Pie dinner. Thanks mom! (I’ll post a few pictures on that tomorrow).

Now there are several crazy things that happened that brought me to my Uganda trip and the story is long and complex, but really God is the one who made it happen and opened my eyes to this amazing country and prepared the way. 

Here’s a little photo gallery of my journey. Enjoy!

First morning sunrise-view from my room

First Stop, African Hearts Boys Home

Walking through the village to paint a school

Getting right to work!

Stopping for a break

Ugandan snack

Dedicating the school 

Abi and I painted all the poles.

Local women preparing dinner

Church on Sunday...Awesome!

My buddies, George and Shafick

Our Team

Getting ready to play soccer with some boys from another home, using their shoes/cleats.

After the "football" game....we WON!

Visiting another orphanage

skit time

The Nile Headwaters....AMAZING!

Packed into the taxi van

There are so many more pictures I could share, but these just about capture our experience….heart-breaking, full of laughs, inspiring and blessed!

Thank you Jesus for this amazing opportunity to serve you.

Heading for Uganda

To start off 2011, we are heading for Uganda…..or maybe I should say “I” am heading for Uganda for this is a glorious REAL trip and I am leaving on Monday, not virtually or in my dreams, on a real, legitimate transcontinental flight, actually quite an amazing airline-Emirates-my first time flying this dream airline!!! 

 It came together through a series of events that could only be orchestrated by God and I am excited to post lots of pictures when I return (not sure how great the internet access will be there).  If you want to check out more about what we are doing, which involve giving lots of love to orphans, painting… click here.  Also, I know I’ve posted about Katie Davis’s ministry in Uganda before, and I am hoping to get to spend some time with Katie on this trip. 

In the meantime, my wonderful mother has decided to teach the kids all about the UK as we have entered into “U”.  Since she doesn’t quite know how to do this blogging thing, there will likely be nothing posted while I’m gone, but come mid-January we will be back in action.