Alisha's update

This is Alisha, and this is my first blog ever. I thought I’d touch bases with all of you and give you my own perspective on Africa. Well, as I have told many of you, for the first two weeks I was a basket case, wallowing in self-pity, searching for any way I could to get back on that plane. Deep down I knew I was in the right place, but on the surface I wanted God’s will to change and for us to land back in Medford, and quick.
I guess I should clarify it wasn’t Africa I hated, but really just being so far from home. If we were only one flight away or if I knew I could fly home whenever I wanted, my time of adjusting to this place would have been far easier. I was missing (and still am) family and friends very much.
But one day something Brad’s sister Traci said in an email really made sense to me. She said, “Even the Israelites missed Eygpt….” And finally, my time here began to make sense. At that point, just days after sending my dad home on the plane, I got my heart in the right place again. In some ways I feel like Uganda is my desert, and getting back to the States is the promised land. I also know that in this place I have many lessons to learn (just not for 40 years I hope!!). It is amazing how quickly your weaknesses are exposed when God plucks you away from everything you call home. I have realized from this experience that my biggest fears lie in not knowing what God holds for our future or even His will for tomorrow. So, I’m slowly learning to just find joy in today.
I can’t tell you all how thankful we are for your prayers, financial support, emails and packages. Though I miss home, family, and friends terribly, just knowing that we have a team (all of you) behind us is so motivating for me to not let this season of life go in vain, but rather, to make the most of the opportunities that come our way. We are praying for you all, that God would bless you just as He is blessing us.
God has given us an amazing place to live here, far better than I ever imagined. Our boys have lots of space, a rope swing, and a large garden (with the help of our day guard, Mr. Wilson, we have planted, radishes, broccoli, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, onions, and lettuce.) The boys also have bikes, indoor board games, trains, books and Legos we brought over with us. I’m learning that it really doesn’t take much more than a little sunshine and our big walled-in yard to entertain three energetic boys. The boys are also learning the names of some of the Ugandans we see daily at school or at the store since greeting is so important here.
So I do all the shopping for food, etc. despite the fact that I am a little afraid of getting pulled over. I try to go only one day a week (Mondays - though right now our car is not running and is in the shop, and we are waiting to hear if we need a whole new engine - yikes! So you can all pray for that). But I think I have finally figured out what is expensive and what isn’t. Shampoo and toiletries are ridiculous (often double what they are at home). Things like ceretain fruits that don’t grow here (apples, oranges, berries and grapes) can be outrageous as well, far more than you pay for even organic ones in the States. I discovered last week that I actually bought a $9.00 box of Rice Krispies the first week we were here, not knowing what the heck I was doing. So……it’s a learning process.
We try to buy the big things at the store and leave things like bananas, ndizzis (small, deliciously sweet bananas), eggs and flour for buying in our neighborhood. I love being able to walk down the road with the boys to greet the Ugandan people and support their little businesses by buying their fruits and veggies. They are even starting to give me consistent prices (rather than upping it for the Mzungu!) because they know me now (and know I'll remember!). Greeting them by name when I can helps a lot with that as well. They LOVE it when you remember their name, or even better, when we try to speak their native language, which for most people in Kampala is Lugandan. It is cute to see them react to us trying to say something in Lugandan.
The boys’ mission is to buy bananas from the little girls they see carrying them in a basket on their head. They talked and decided that whether we need them or not, we should take time to talk with them and buy their bananas because it may be the only money they bring home that day. The boys are learning a lot about poverty and doing without some of the perks in life just by what they see on the streets. The funniest thing they do in the car is count the Mzungus (white people) they see on the way to the pool. It is hilarious. They even yell “Mzungu!” and wave sometimes as they drive by and add them to their count!
Last week for Spring Break our nextdoor neighbors (the Kelly's) invited us to drive about an hour and a half to the KingFisher Resort near Jinja for a night’s stay. The boys really loved the pool because it has a slide that goes from one pool to the other and a bridge going over the pool they could swim under. They also loved getting to play with their new friends (who live next door). They have a boy named Judah (Brodie’s age,) a girl named Julia (6 mos. older than Jonah) and a girl named Liana (6 mos. younger than Graysen). It really is a blessing to have playmates living just over the wall. The dad, Brian, is the pastor at our church, and his wife Lynne has is teaching me a lot about Uganda, where to take the kids, how to cook here, and about the culture of Uganda. It is such a blessing to have met them so thank you to all of you who prayed we would find friends to help us. We've decided to share our internet connection with them since we get bad reception on our antenna (their lot sits up higher so they get good reception) and they don't have the setup - so Brian and Brad set it all up this past weekend, running a wire across from their bedroom window down over our roof and in through our front window (gotta love Africa!). Well, I think that is all the updates from me. We miss you all so much! (Pictures: at top-it's the rainy season, which mostly falls in the form of violent thunderstorms like this one that appeared one early afternoon just 30 minutes after a sunny blue partly cloudy sky; next-the boys after their easter egg hunt; next-we hosted 33 people at our house for an Easter potluck feast, and it poured rain the whole day so we were all stuck inside; Jonah and next-door neighbor/friend Julia (with Graysen stalking) hanging out at the pool at KingFisher in Jinja; next-Jonah and Graysen deciding if it's late enough in the morning to get back in the pool at KingFisher; Alisha with the boys and the Kelly kids at the 'Rainforest Lodge' on the way to Jinja - what a beautiful place in the middle of the rainforest, but way too expensive to stay!; us and the Kelly's at dinner in Jinja eating...yep, you guessed it, Mexican food! It was our first try at Mexican food in Uganda, and it was not bad. The restaurant is owned by an Indian man who was raised in Uganda and then married a woman from Texas! A bit of a strange cultural combination to produce a Mexican food restaurant, but we'll take it!

Comments

Jill said…
Hey deary, glad to get the update from you own words! Miss you guys but the boys look like they are just as pleasant and fine as ever. Having some good neighbors helps too! Hope all continues to be well and yes, you do sound like you are adjusting:)
lazrus2 said…
Alisha,

Thanks for sharing your heart and adventures with us!

I am glad to hear you are adjusting to all the many changes well, and yes, it does begin with the attitude, most definitely!!

I know your neighbors are a great blessing to you in so many ways, and that you are to them in return (much more than sharing the internet connection =).

God is so good to know the limits of what we can handle, and 'ease us' into His best plan for our lives...just one step at a time, and learning to walk closer to Him all the while we do.

Praying for that for us all,
Dana
Kristen said…
Yeah Alisha..your first blog!!! I loved it! Thank you for sharing!!
Kristen said…
You are living next door to one of our friends and guys from our Passion team!!!!! Are you at Calvary Chapel?? how fun and what a small world! I continue to pray for y'all as you adjust and hope that our team coming in 2 weeks could meet you.
Amanda Baca said…
It was good to hear thing from your perspective, Alisha! I'm glad you have found friends so close to home and the you are adjusting better. I liked the Egypt vs. desert parallel that you (and Traci) made and am glad that God used it to help encourage you.
brian c. berry said…
Hey Alisha,

I love you. I'm praying for you. I'm proud of you. I can't wait to see you this summer. Hugs are on their way!!
berrytribe said…
I'm praying and sending love daily. Do us proud while you are there. Can't wait for our adventure with you!!--shan
Traci Morrow said…
Lets not give Brad the popularity poll, but do you notice you already have 7 (now 8) responses to your first blogging??!?! :)

Alisha for President. :o)~

Just kidding Brad - I love to hear from both perspectives so dont go all silent! :) We love you too!! :)


Alisha, you are such a sweet woman of God and I can hear your voice in your posts. :) Thanks for being YOU and lucky Ugandans to get to have you!! :D (for a TIME)

Tell the boys hi from Aunt Ta, Uncle Kace, and the Morrow kids. :)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
Elaine said…
So good to hear and keep up with all that is going on in your world! My prayers and thoughts are with you guys all the time. Alisha, God bless you for the woman you are!!!! You are an inspiration to all of us! Please let me know if I can send anything from home, You have my e-mail.
terri said…
Alisha, Thanks so much for writing,and the great pictures, How great is God to give you such wonderful neighbors, who just happen to have 3 kids/playmates for the 3 crawford kids! Talk about a Godincidence!!We love you and are so inspired by your transparency and testimony of all God is doing in and thru you. Hugs and love and lots of prayers, Terri for all la brie's
Hi just a visitor here found your blog by a different one. I clicked on yours because my maiden name is Crawford so I had to see who you all were. :) I live in Oregon to but up in the Willamette Valley. Praise God for your adventure your on for HIM. God bless you guys!
KelliW

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