Happy Surprise!

One of the goats we gave a widow was apparently pregnant. I suspected she might have been but said ” she just gets a two for one special of it is!” And she did! She was thrilled and we are thrilled for her!

Our Sylvester is getting big – sometimes he looks like he’s pregnant with twins he eats so much! I am driving the workers crazy because I won’t tie him up, they keep coming and telling us that Sylvester is eating ALL the banana trees and ALL the mango trees. He has been eating leaves off the growing trees but he’s not eating the whole tree. I ask them “why didn’t you come and complain when you tied the bulls next to our big banana trees and they ate them down to the ground?” Or “why, when we tried to plant our own garden you tied up your own goats right in the middle and they ate all of our growing vegetables?” (Of course that was blamed on the dogs. I don’t know about you but I have yet to have a dog who eats black eye pea vines or carrot tops!) So when I’ve seen him tied up I untie him. Until he really starts being destructive he’s free to roam. The trees will survive without a few of their leaves, we have so many grown trees anyway.

He thinks he is one of the dogs and it is quite funny that he can be down the property and if I say “Maaaa” he comes running and yelling the whole way. He still wants to come on the house (he doesn’t) and would like it if we would give him a bottle still. He is quite entertaining and his mowhawk is growing. Maybe one day we will find him a wife and try again with the goat project. But this time we’ll do it our way and maybe keep more alive!

The Season For Matoke

Right now our trees are becoming ripe with bananas and matoke. More matoke than our little bananas unfortunately! We don’t eat the matoke ourselves but we love the tiny bananas! And I am thankful we are able to give it away to those who don’t have any. Before, our workers would often take it, along with mangoes and avocados. I haven’t seen an avocado or mango of our own in a year. We will watch and watch a tree ripen and then “poof” the tree is bare of any fruit and no one knows where they went! Haha! But we’ve had to add some more rules and crack down and let go of some of the help so fear has led them to make sure we get the matoke.

Salima was able to give more to the widows this week. They were so excited. She has also gone to get all the requirements she needs to register her own community based ministry. She plans on counseling parents on proper nutrition for their children and why vitamins and a good diet are important while pregnant. She also wants to do what she can for the widows and to help out orphans with school supplies. In the future she plans to have a training center for seamstresses and have classes for soap making. Her sister Takia was able to go back to her instructor for more training so that she can teach women here in our village. I am proud of her for taking both my and Salimas advice about continuing to learn. While she is getting extra training she is sewing clothes for the children at church for Christmas. And sewing some adult clothes we are going to try and sell, especially to the Mzungus! She made me pants and I already have orders from America for them! There have been many expats in Kampala asking where they can get pants made out of the fabric that is made in Uganda. So I have her working on that right now. I pray that they are both successful in their chosen fields.

I think she gave matoke to twelve widows total. Different ones than the last time. She is learning as she is helping. We give her advice that we have learned over the past four years. Try and help all widows, if they have already gotten solar or other things, move on to others and try to help. She said she learned from the last time she gave out the matoke, we weren’t here or I would have said something (I’m not shy about pointing things out and trying to teach others). But there were two “widows” that seemed to be quite young – probably in their twenties. Before I could say anything about it she came to Chris and told him she thought she made a mistake but tried to correct it. She said after realizing these two were young, and they were quite rude, trying to pick out the best looking matoke, she told them they are young enough to get out and grow their own food or find a new husband! We told her that it is hard to be discerning and have to tell some people no but we are so glad to see that she is aware and humble enough to admit her errors and come to us for advice.

And here I am modeling the first of Takia’s pants she made for me. She said her instructor told her the Mzungus like to wear pants! And it is very hard to find pants made from the fabric made here, which is called Kitenge. A lot of white and foreign people buy this style pants in Jinja as souvenirs from Uganda but they are all made in India! So I pray we can sell many pants and also her other designs in dresses and children’s clothes. I sent her back to school to make at least six more pair, with and without elastic at the bottom. (I prefer no elastic but fell in love with these pants!)

Please pray for Salima, Takia and their sisters. Haria just found out she passed her exams – we knew she would! And Salima will officially graduate Nov 7 with her degree in Social Work. Takia graduated and they have another sister in nursing school. They are all good girls with a love for Jesus and making their community a better, more educated place.

Psalm 5:12: For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.


Today we had to say goodbye to our loved Doberman Athos. He was a very loving dog – even though I didn’t like 70 pounds of love jumping on me and knocking me down! He was diagnosed with cancer a little over a month ago and we thought he may have more time but he went downhill pretty fast and we don’t want him to get to the point of really suffering.

My favorite picture of him after eating rice!

He will be missed by his sister Lagatha and Bella the most I’m sure. They all run and play all day. And our night guard Muwaze favors him over Lagatha, Athos always led the way when they made their night rounds so he was sad when we told him a few weeks ago that Athos wouldn’t be around much longer.

Christian will miss his “rounds” when he goes to open the barn. The dogs are the best rat catchers and the barn is their favorite place to go catch them. When they see Christian heading that way Athos would always go first and make a run all the way around the barn and back to the door. If Christian didn’t have the door open by the time he got there he would make another trip around the barn and then in. He loved going in and searching through hay for rats! It was always funny to watch him do that!

We’ll miss you Athos.