June 5, 2014

The rain fell down


The sun was shining.  The rain from the night before was quickly drying, turning it into a hot and muggy day. The kids were getting restless waiting for lunch and everyone was a bit sleepy.

All of those facts made it the perfect day to let the kids loose with some water play. 

As the children finished their rice and beans, we gathered all the stray basins from around the compound and filled them up with water. 

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We were just finishing filling the last couple of basins when we heard a loud crashing noise.  We looked up to see a quickly approaching rain cloud. One minute the sky was clear and blue, the next minute it was dark and the babies were running from the thunder. 

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Instead of calling off the activity we decided to just let the kids at it.  They were going to get wet anyway, right?  Might as well risk the chance of rain.

As soon as the children jumped in the bins the skies opened and the rain fell down.

It poured.  It was perfect.

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The children screamed and giggled.  They splashed each other until they were shivering from the cold.

These children are great. 

It was one of those moments you can't forget.
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::To see a video of our crazy water experience head over to Instagram::

The day was a success.  And now we all can't wait for our next #waterplaywednesday at Abide Family Center! 

May 31, 2014

Hiking up a hill, walking through a palace


It doesn't matter how many times I've been to Uganda or how many places I think I've seen, there is always something new to discover and enjoy.

One of the greatest surprises of staying at Abide is how close it is to a killer view of Lake Victoria. 

A short (or longer if you're out of shape like I am) hike up from our compound and there you are. Looking out over Lake Victoria and the surrounding area. It's breath taking.  Not only that but on top of this hill stands a real life palace for the king of Busoga (the local Ugandan tribe).

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This last week we had a missions team come and visit Abide.  And with the extra willing hands we were finally able to bring the children currently at the center up to see the view for themselves.  Babies were strapped to backs and we double checked that each child had their shoes on.  And off we went.

With the little legs the hike was [much] longer than expected.  The sun was hot and there were some tears on the way up.  However, once at the top we were greeted with the best surprise, a private visit in the kings palace. We had biscuits and juice on the porch.  Then we marveled at the view and the fairy tale looking staircase. 

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The view was amazing. The breeze was glorious. but these children, they were the best part. They win. Always.
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May 23, 2014

Playtime at Abide Family Center


I've been at Abide Family Center for a little over a week now and these children continue to amaze me.  They work together [almost] flawlessly and can be entertained for hours with simple objects.

Today that object was a wheelbarrow.  So many laughs followed.

This week ended on a [very] good note.


Playtime at Abide Family Center || Bugembe, Uganda from Joanna Rist on Vimeo.


A Harvest of Blessing

May 19, 2014

In the chaos they were calm


Today started with a bang.  While standing outside Abide Family Center's child development center one of the older children came up to me and said...

"Auntie Joanna, Teacher Nakato is not coming today."

Um, okay. 

What happened next can only be explained as pure chaos. It started with the realization that my Russian is better than my Lugandan.  It continued with children going nuts over new supplies and refusing their naps. 

Toys were flying across the room.  Children were flying across the room.  The one baby who is terrified of me showed up in the classroom.  It didn't take me long to realize that I needed help.  And I wasn't to proud to admit it.  

So into the office I went,  "Pastor Julius, do you mind translating for me for a little while?" To which I got the wonderful response "It's okay".

And the day was saved.  He translated and was the peace keeper between the children all day long.  While I helplessly tried to wrangle and entertain the remaining children.  Countless times today I found myself sheepishly looking over at one of the Ugandan staff mouthing "help me!" and they would smile, walk over and calm the situation right down.

Maybe one day I will be as skilled at calming these children down, but right now I still have so much to learn.  

Today I could not be more thankful for Abide's amazing Ugandan staff.
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May 15, 2014

First day at Abide


After one missed flight + three successful flights + a 2.5 hour car ride I finally arrived at Abide Family Center late last night. This place rocks and I'm excited for what these next couple of months are going to be filled with.

Lots of cuddles and smiles. Lots of good conversation. Lots of creativity.

And hopefully lots of learning.

It's going to be good and I can't wait.

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