#uganda

Exhausted might be an understatement...

Exhausted might be an understatement. Running on little to no sleep and a whole lot of tears, I have never thought being this exhausted could be worth it. After bittersweet goodbyes with the SFC team yesterday, I finally felt ready to tackle these nine days alone, with just my local Ugandan friends and I. That was until I made a not so smart decision to roll my window down during rush hour Kampala traffic, of course ending in a snatched phone and a pretty stressed out Gabi.

Taking many deep breaths and saying many little prayers, I began to repeat in my mind “its just a phone, its just a phone, it is just a phone” and suddenly I realized that it really was just a silly little phone.

If you know me at all, you know that I am sadly a bit obsessed with that black shinny thing I always carry in my hands so I came to this epiphany that maybe this was God’s way of testing me, or really just proving to me, that I will be just fine without this thing I consider my “lifeline” and that any replacement I find will be just fine.

So long story short, I barely slept, drove back into Kampala this morning, bought a slightly worn iPhone 4, and headed back on my way to Mukono, And you know what, God was right… I am doing just fine.

My apologies for not writing one bit during this past week with the Santa Fe Team, I knew this blogging thing would take a little time to get used to. To fill you all in, I had a total blast. After a couple days of work, crafts, games, and just spending time with the kids, this SFC team quickly became one of my favorites. They were something special and I fell in love with the way they loved these kids. They all threw themselves wholeheartedly into each child, they made sure that they knew they were loved, and took special time to remind them that they had so much to offer this world around them.

After the announcement of their surprise Safari on Saturday night, the excitement was at an all time high. Yet sadly, that’s when things started to decline. After one sick kid got the stomach bug, it wasn’t long before the next one had it too, and then the next. Thank goodness it only got to three but those poor three got it bad.

I spent most of my safari game drive Monday morning sleeping off some weird stomach bug myself, which thankfully only lasted 12 hours unlike the 3 days it stuck with the others. The 9-hour drive home consisted of me changing out cool rags for one feverish student and constantly praying to keep food down myself. And the day after that was my day to play “mom” and stay with the sickies once again. It was a whole lot to handle but thank goodness everyone is home and healthy now.

Let’s just say I am ready for some kiddo time! I can’t wait to snuggle my baby Patricia and laugh at her funny dance moves. I can’t wait to listen to Frank mumble on in Lugandan expecting me to understand his every demand. I can’t wait to be attacked with a great big hug from Peace, followed soon after by a baby hug from her little brother Martin. I can’t wait to spend all day tomorrow capturing update sponsorship photos of those adorable 40 kids who I LOVE watching grow. I can’t wait!!!

Although they started off to a rocky start, I think these next 9 days are going to be just what I need.

 Xx

Gabriella

 

37 HOURS OF TRAVEL LATER ... 

37 hours of travel later, I am here!!!! Nothing is sweeter than hearing my Ugandan friends greet me with "welcome home gabi" as I step out of the Entebbe airport. My heart automatically feels so at peace and I am reminded why I have fallen in love with this country oh so many times. 

As I patiently await the arrival of the Santa Fe team, I fill my journals with pages of thoughts and prayers for these next few weeks. I remember my very first time stepping foot in this beautiful country, blown away by its beauty, and I cannot contain my excitement for this team to experience that. We have so much in store over these next 10 days in Wakiso Village, from painting nursery buildings to teaching in the classrooms, and I cannot wait to see how God uses us!

My parents both wrote me beautiful letters of love and encouragement before I left. Their words spoke to me as I sat in my little airplane seat with tears in my eyes, especially the verse my dad wrote across the top of the last page. "I am not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energy on this one thing, forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead." Philippians 3:13

If you know me, you know I am someone who overthinks. I overthink about overthinking... and then I overthink about that. This past year has been nothing but unexpected turns and shifts and nothing went the way I planned. I felt lost time and time again and found myself constantly overthinking. I was focusing on my past, my past decisions, my past mistakes, and all the "what ifs" I could possibly think of. As I sat in that little airplane seat, reading my dad's letter, this verse just stuck. 

 "I am not all I should be" and boy is that true! But from now on "I am focusing on this one thing, not the million of thoughts that constantly run through my mind. I am focusing on "forgetting the past and focusing on what lies ahead." 

So here's to the next six weeks, to focusing on the present, to accepting the past, and to living knowing God is holding me in his hands every single step of the way. 

Xx

Gabriella