We made it back to Uganda! After 24 hours of travel, including 8 hours in the middle of the night in Dubai airport (can you say MISERABLE?) we made it back. Checked into hotel near the airport for the night…this pic is 10 minutes after we got in the room!
We will be headed back him this morning to our welcoming committee. Pray with us that they will let us have a little rest!
I will admit I cried the entire 24 hours and at one point feared we may get removed from a plane, but once we were here I felt like we were home. Haven’t cried now in 18 hours so that is a good sign. I will definitely miss our family but was so good to have the time with the little ones, their personalities as they grow is something I feel we miss out on the most. I’m afraid we will have some food withdrawal though and there’s not much we can do about that!
Raelee is ready to get home to Smokey and get our puppies back this week. Hopefully get settled back into our life here. It was definitely good to step back and gain some perspective on our life here!

Day At The Beach

Yesterday we went to the beach. Have to say Greek people are not self conscious about body image. Very interesting, terrifying and traumatizing! There were many more over 50 crowd letting it all hang out than any other age group!
The kids had a blast and we are hoping to go back today, if it doesn’t rain. We only have three full days left, we leave on Thursday. All of this time I thought we were leaving Friday until last night Daniel informs me our plane leaves Thursday. So, instead of being sad I am going to make the best of the days we have left!

Dinner Out

We had promised a movie at the theater only to find the night before that all the English speaking movies were replaced with Greek speaking movies! I panicked but the kids took it well when we told them we would still go for hot dogs and ice cream and then watch a movie at home…in our PJ’s with popcorn!
We had a lot of fun with them, they are two very funny, very smart kids. And they and Raelee get along very well considering…her bossiness! They have held their own pretty good!
We were walking down the street, all holding hands and Chris turned to me and said “Would you have ever believed we would be in Greece walking down the street with our Grandkids, with one of our own the same age?” God is good!

Play Play Play

We got to go with the kids to a pretty cool place, a little like Sci-port, that is a hands-on kind of learning center. It was a big house that was turned into a multi-room play area. We started in the construction room and after a bit we moved into the market area. I think they liked it the best, it was pretty cool. It had a bakery, a butcher, produce area, dairy and fish market. It also had a checkout area with cash register and money! Next door to it was a dining room/kitchen where there was a lot of cooking and serving going on. Amos was very serious in his cooking, Raelee and Lydia liked setting the table and cooking. I think they all took turns washing the dishes. The place started to fill with more and more kids so we (especially Grandma) decided it was time to leave, and we would try to come back another morning to explore the rest of the rooms!

I think with these pictures I am now caught up with the time Nic and Liz were here! It’s hard to sit down and re-size pictures and post when I would rather be playing with these amazing kids! But there is a little more time with them in school and Daniel back at work!

Mars Hill

At the base of the Acropolis is Mars Hill, a rocky hill known for Paul’s sermon to the people of Athens. It has an awesome view of the city spread out below, but it was a pretty surreal experience to be standing on the place someone as faithful and courageous as Paul. I think Christian and I both were near tears to be there, thinking of the people who embraced the message and the ones that scoffed. At the time he spoke here, the city was full of idol worship and philosophers and debauchery. He told them that they were worshipping many gods who would do them no good. They even had an idol that represented the “unknown” god just to have their bases covered.

I really didn’t want to pay and walk to the top of the Acropolis but I was very glad I did just to be able to stand on Mars Hill.

Paul in Athens

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Paul Addresses the Areopagus

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[a] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ 29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst.   Acts 17:16-33


While Nic and Liz were still here we visited the Acropolis Museum and the ruins of the Parthenon that are there. The Parthenon is a former temple that sits up on the hill that is the Acropolis, and is dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.The museum was very interesting and it has many, many artefacts from ancient Greece. It is built above the old city and has glass floors so that you can see what is left below. There are many tools and statues, some there are only parts left but there were many that were still intact. You could probably go 4-5 times and still not look at everything.

Temple of Zeus

The Temple of Zeus – Ναός του Ολυμπίου ΔιόςNaos tou Olympiou Dios is a huge ruined temple in the center of the city that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. The columns that are left are huge in diameter and height. It is a little strange here, to be walking around the city shops and busy streets and come upon ruins standing. But then you realize that there is basically another city underneath that has been covered with time. There are some shops that have glass floors, or portions of the floor that is glass that allows you to see the ruins of a building or interiors of buildings that were there so long ago. Athens is definitely an interesting city to visit. Also, at the entrance of the ruins of Zeus, is the Arch of Hadrian. It is believed that the arch was built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city.

There is an obsession, that has it’s roots in the Grecian times of debauchery, of the male genitalia and of sex. There are naked statues of men, of which we cannot pass by without a running commentary by our three year old grandson calling out the anatomically correct word for that particular body part. He calls them the “nasty statues”. It is pretty funny! Almost all statues and pictures of females are fully dressed, but even the warriors that went to battle were most often naked. So in many of the tourist shops you will find items that emphasize said genitalia. Bottle openers, whiskey bottles and many other things that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have use for! I guess it’s the novelty to take back for some people. I think the souvenirs we will take back will be more of the eating kind, or rocks!

Pickle Juice?

Without my glasses on I bought this water, thinking it was mineral water. Of course the blue glass bottle caught my eyes, even though I couldn’t read it. Nasty! Tastes like carbonated pickle juice! Daniel says it is made from a certain Pine tree sap and is pretty popular here. Eeww!
We had to say good bye to Nic and Liz yesterday. They should be back in NY sometime this evening. It was sad to say goodbye, but we did have a great time together. Pictures to come…!

First Day Of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for Amos and Lydia. Lydia went to a French school in Niger but this is Amos’s first school. I was told not to take pics and make a big deal so as not to get them freaked out. So I took one while they were having breakfast! Jessica asked Lydia if she could take a pic just before they left but Lydia declined!

They had a good day and at dinner last night Grandpa asked Amos if he was ready to go back again in the morning. He replied that he went today and that was enough! But they both cheerfully went this morning and have decided it is pretty fun.

More Pics Meteora Trip

Here are some more pictures of our wonderful trip! Today has been more of a resting day, we did a lot of walking/hiking yesterday! We considered taking a tour bus to each of the monasteries but after visiting two of them we found they were pretty similar and decided to take the trails and find the “monk prison” cave. It was a little challenging, especially with the little ones, but it was accomplished with very little whining, and as Amos says “happy hearts”! There wasn’t too much exploring in the cave, apparently there were tons of bugs that have made it their home and Christian said he couldn’t even breath without inhaling some. We ended the day by eating traditional Greek food and catching the train. The train ride seemed much longer coming home than it did going! We were exhausted!

Enjoy the pictures!