Just Being, Together

Hey dear friends! 

It's been way too long since we last shared our adventures using this forum. We are going to do a better job! Actually, we created a few more avenues for you to keep track of us and our adventures! Maelynn is a fabulous story teller and has taken to creating videos detailing her take on Uganda, our experiences, and anything else that crosses her mind. It's guaranteed to be a great watch! Malachi is a behind the scenes kind of guy, which is evident in his new interest; photography. He has had a blast documenting sights and experiences here in Uganda. Check out our website to see their new pages! 

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The Amazima School has three terms per year. The first term break falls in May. Like last year, we were blessed with visitors during our term break!

First, my (Ashley) sister, Darby, came to Uganda for two weeks. She came the last week of school and had the opportunity to meet our students, sit in on classes, and see what day-to-day life is like for us. Our students laughed, either exclaiming how much we looked alike, or argued insistently, saying we looked nothing alike. We also took Darby to the market, where she met the ladies we regularly buy our fruits and veggies from, and they treated her like a celebrity. Darby was also a big hit on Main Street, where most of the souvenir shopping is done. Living here, we see the vendors on a regular basis, and have gotten to know a few of them well. Mama Caroline, as I call her, has named herself my Ugandan Mother. (To the extent where she remembers if my skin was looking dry last time, and checks me over to make sure I have been moisturizing!) Mama Caroline was ecstatic to meet another American daughter and quickly embraced Darby as her own. We truly had such an amazing time, but I think what I will take away from Darby's visit is the power of just being -- together. Please don't misread that as being together. That of course, was fabulous, but what I am trying to say is that we could just "be." She caught sight of our world here in Uganda, did life with us, and just spent quality time with us. There was no performing, no hidden agendas; just time to enjoy and connect. 

Later, Dustin's parents came for three weeks. This is their second trip to Uganda, as they visited last spring with my mom. Because we have a small house (think 700 sq. feet), they rented an apartment in town. This apartment felt like a resort to us because it gave us a space to all gather, and allowed us to disconnect from campus. Malachi and Maelynn loved that there was access to a swimming pool, and took full advantage of this (and Grandpa Dave's obsession with ice cream). They were only a tad bit excited that Grandma and Grandpa were in Uganda. ;) Dustin's parents are great swim instructors for our kiddos, and Malachi and Maelynn officially became un stoppable (and unsinkable) little fish ready to try anything. Our friends in town remembered David and Denise, even greeting them with huge, heartfelt hugs. Denise experienced her first ride on a boda boda, as well! Dustin and I had quite a bit of work to complete during our term break, and knowing Malachi and Maelynn could spend quality time with their grandparents was a huge blessing. Again, we were able to just "be." What a glorious feeling...just being. Enjoying time together, relaxing, and resting; being without explanation, that's what quality time means.

As you enjoy vacations, picnics, or visits with dear ones this summer, may you just be... together. You'll love it.  

(We are so grateful for our friends, family, and supporters. We know so many more people would visit us if they were able. We look forward to the day you come visit, and until then, we will continue to share our stories and adventures. <3)