Daddy and Mommy take turns working at the school each day, while Andy and Bethany spend most of their time playing, eating, and sleeping at home. We brought some favorites from America, so the kids still get to play with their Duplos, stuffed animals, stacking cups, books, etc. They are also becoming good laundry helpers!
This boy is really into music and signing right now. "Peas Porridge Hot," "Happy Birthday," and "Jesus Loves Me" top the charts in this house! He also loves reading books and is working on learning letter sounds. He is fascinated by the chickens, goats, and cows on the property and has picked up the Luganda words for them! Vacuums and Clocks have dropped off ACE’s priority list because we don’t have them here.
Baby B is a full time walker now, and loves trying on all her shoes! She also loves opening and closing anything with a latch, snap, or Velcro. Bethy can say a few words (Mama, Dada, thanks, hi), but does most of her communicating through hand signs. When she hears music, she does an adorable little jig and makes everyone laugh!
We are blessed with good eaters! They eat a lot of fruits, pasta, potatoes, bread, and eggs here. If it is peeled or cooked, it is generally safe to eat. We’ve recently found some healthy brands of dairy products (Kiira Jersey & Jesa), so they are now enjoying yogurt and milk again! We don’t eat a lot of meat here, so we get most of our protein from beans and eggs. They have also sampled typical Ugandan foods like matooke, chipatis, and samosas, which they enjoy.
I have chosen to continue breastfeeding Bethany in efforts to ensure her nutritional needs are met. I’ve been hiding our pediatrician-recommended vitamins and calcium supplements in their food as well. So, just in case they aren’t getting all the same nutrients they were in the States, we’re covered! But, truth-be-told, I think they are eating healthier now!
We are a spectacle around here, so the kids are very used to hearing, “Mzungu Baby!” They usually smile and wave and enjoy the attention! The Ugandan kids at school and in the neighborhood have been very welcoming, too!
There is one major culture-clash that our family has not been enjoying, however. It is tradition and common practice that when you see a cute baby, you run up, grab the baby away from the parent, and walk away saying, “Ah, Baby! I take you!” If you have spent any time around my children, you know that this does not go over well for us. (Don’t worry, they don’t go far. We aren’t letting strangers cart off our kids!) Women, men, boys, and girls have all done this… at church, at the shops, or when visiting someone’s home. I think the idea is to pay a compliment to the family, and also to give the mother a welcome break from caring for her child, but it doesn’t always work out for A and B. Usually, when the person sees that my child is not happy, she returns the kid. Then when a few people have tried and failed, they decide to let the children stay with the parents. It is an exhausting process! But we are finding that once the whole progression is performed once, the next visit goes better and the people are less likely to try again.
We are working to walk the line between being respectful of a new culture, not hurting feelings, and keeping our children comfortable and happy. This exemplifies the overall process of moving to Africa. It is a difficult balance. We are working to listen to God’s whispers as we make these little (and big) decisions each day.