Well, we’ve been here for one month.  I think it’s time for an update on the kids!  

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!  
When we are feeling the need to burn off some energy, we take the children to one of the playgrounds in town, which are at the malls and a few outdoor restaurants in the area.

Andy’s Antics:

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.  

Blooming Bethany

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!

On the Menu:

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!

Out and About:

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.  

She likes Malaika, so this time went pretty well.
Thank you for your prayers for our children’s safety, health, and well-being!  God is hearing, and has chosen to protect them.  What a wonderful feeling to know that the all-mighty Creator of the universe is looking out for tiny little Bethany and Andrew!

Jenny Hillman
7/20/2013 08:46:53

Thank you for the update. Pray and think of you all daily!!! Love ya guys and very proud of what you are doing!!! Aunt Jenny

Gary Eiden
7/20/2013 12:21:34

What a great update, I was thinking a month had gone by so fast, we enjoy reading the blog and seeing the pictures... We are also happy that you are all settling in and everyone seems to be adjusting to a new way of life. What great things you are doing there, you are always in our hearts and minds. Love Gary, Sheila & AJ.

Matt & Kayla
7/20/2013 13:00:22

Thanks for the update Sarah! It is so good to hear you all are doing good. Praying and thinking of you all!

Sherry Crow
7/20/2013 13:03:50

Thanks for the updates on A and B! Bethy's little dance is probably just like yours was at that age! :-) And I LOVE the new pics! We know that you and Nick are being the very best of parents for our sweet little grandchildren!


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