Friday, June 13, 2014

Life in Uganda

We have been in Uganda for a little over 2 months.  Quite frankly I was ready to come, but had no concept of what it was like here.  I am sure that some of you are very curious about what our daily life is like, so, I will happily let you know.

First of all we are living in Kampala, Uganda.  Kampala is the capital of Uganda so it is much like any city in the world.  Building upon building, nice areas, bad areas, malls, restaurants, hotels, large churches, and jams (short for traffic jams).  

Upon arrival at the Entebee airport we walked down to customs and then out to claim our baggage we walked through a hallway with windows to our left.  On the other side of the windows were Ugandan faces staring at all the muzungus (white people) coming into their city.  I remember being startled and a bit frightened at first and felt a little like an exhibit at the zoo.  However, God immediately quickened my spirit and I thought, “Joanna you are here to love these people, not be frightened by them.”   My experiences from that moment on have been positive.

Our day starts off with coffee and whatever breakfast item we have available.  Sometimes it’s a boiled egg, a banana, or toast; just like we would do at home in the US.  We then have a 30 minute walk to work at the babies home.  On our walk we see many other walkers, bodas (motorcycle taxies), bicycles, and lots of cars.  The people we see are usually very quiet until greeted then they respond in a very friendly matter.  Some people upon seeing a new muzungu face will boldly state, “You are most welcome!”  The first time I heard this I thought, “hmm, I never said thank you…”, but what they are saying is “Welcome to Uganda!” 

As we walk we hear many tooting horns from the cars and bodas.  Ugandans love to use their vehicle horns.  And mostly they use them to say, “Move it!” Lol!  Driving here is very chaotic, but somehow it works for them.  I just sit back relax and tell myself the driver knows what he is doing.  I have only been genuinely scared while driving two times in the two months we’ve been here.  Also on our walk we see the men riding bicycles with passengers on the back.  I believe the bicycles here are also used as a taxi service. When they are not carrying passengers they are often seen using their bikes to haul goods such as 50 woven foot stools, or 10 4x6 boards, or whatever else you can imagine while they walk and push their bicycle.  The boda drivers carry much different loads, such as a whole family unit sitting behind them.  “Are you serious?” you ask, YES!  We have seen as many as 5 people on one boda.  Crazy.

In the vehicles you often see large trucks carrying 50+ security guards to their posts in the mornings.  In the car babies are carried on laps, unless the family has enough money for a car seat, and while walking babies are carried on the backs of their mothers.  I personally love seeing their little faces bobbing around behind their mother and their little feet sticking out in front beside their mommy’s ribs.  Young girls often carry their small siblings this way too.  Another thing you see women and children carrying are things on their head.  Yes, they still do this here in the city.  Although, here in the city when you see them carrying things on their heads it is mostly things they are trying to sell.  They carry bananas, roasted corn on the cob, muffins, mangos, etc.  There are also ladies who work for the city and sweep the street with whisk brooms.  I hate sweeping the side walk with a regular broom let alone bending over and sweeping a long street with a short broom.  I have the utmost respect for the work these ladies do and try to say thank you every time I see them.

Well, this post is getting a little long so stay tuned for more!

I pray you are all doing well. 

Love, Joanna

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Cup of Comfort with two Sugars

Image via flickr

Marie posted this sweet scripture lullaby a few days ago.  I listened to it Tuesday afternoon and loved it.  Tuesday night the worst part of our winter storm blew through and left me without electricity.  I was, I'll admit a bit scared and took my dog to sleep in my bed for the first time since we've had him.  I found myself waking often that night in a bit of a panic at all the different noises.  At one point I got up just to double check if all my doors were locked and my house was still in one piece.  As I made my way back to bed I prayed the words of this song, of Ps. 46:10- Be still and know that I am God, and of  Ps. 4:8 - I will both lie down in peace and sleep; For YOU alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  It is so awesome that God's word does not return void.  That the verse we need always finds its way from our heart to our mind at the proper time.    

I also received a LOVE gram from these two Sugars the next day!  Thanks Marie.  : )

I hope you enjoy.

God Bless and Take Care.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Back!!

We'll,  I was only away 3 months this winter instead of 4 so I guess that's progress.  So why so long?  We'll I've been a single lady for the last three months (not really single, just home alone).  My love has been in Texas, which leaves me a little busier than normal, and spending a lot of time talking on the phone to him or Skype!  He will be returning just in time for Valentine's Day.  I am so excited to be off work that day and able to create a special and relaxing day for my Love.

Well since I left off.  I was able to spend time with my Mom she was here for a month and a half.  It was nice to have her company.  She really enjoyed being here and attending my church with me.  She helped out with a lot of the Christmas giving the church did.  Thanks Mom!

I also got to hang out with Marie.  We went to see former President George W. Bush on Veteran's day.  We went shopping together for something... can't remember what.  We had tea several times, made christmas ornaments, and I got to help her out by caring for little Zane while she was in labor with Ezra.  It was so much fun.  He is such a joyful little guy, I love him so much, and his little brother Ezra too!

For Thanksgiving I went to Texas to be with my Love.  He came home for Christmas and after a little "adjusting" :) we had great Christmas together.  He got me new dishes; out with the bachelor dishes!  sewing tools, and new perfume.  I gave him some money to go towards an IPOD he's saving up to buy.

In early January I went down to Texas with him again and left him there until he comes on Valentine's Day.  After that he'll be staying for a while until he heads off for Chaplain Officer training for the summer.

On MLK Jr. Day my oldest sister and her family came down and we went to the AF Museum together, ate Pizza and also ice cream.  We had a very nice time and my 4 year old nephew said it was "really awesome"!  Too cute.

Here are some pictures from the last few months, enjoy!

Darling Marie and an Airman she found along the way. Hehe.
Pammy was here two times this fall/winter.  I love her being here!
President George W. Bush
My battery died after this pic. : ( At least I got one!
My Love!  So handsome.
Have I mentioned, I love him!! Being apart allows us to be newly weds longer. ; )

These last three were from the Bird Conservatory on South Padre Island.
 My Love was able to baptize his sister Clari in January.  
What a blessing.
 "This is really awesome!"
 "Hi Aunt Jodi"
 The girls' favorite part of the Museum

I also tried out Pam's(Where Your Treasure Is) potato soup recipe.  
It was so delicious!  I left out the ham and fixed my toppings like a loaded baked potato. 
Creamy Potato Soup

8 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion peeled and diced
2 cups diced turkey ham or ham
  3-4 cups chicken broth or potato water or both
4 oz stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour
2 cups cream, half and half,  or milk ( I usually use mostly milk with a little cream)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
2 or 3 Green Onions Chopped
Croutons (homemade are easy and taste the best)

Place potatoes in a pot of water and boil until tender. Drain desired amount of water and add broth to potatoes.  Add chopped ham and onion. In a skillet, melt butter, stir in flour and then add milk to make a roux.  Gradually add the rest of the milk over medium heat until you have a thickened sauce.  Slowly pour into potatoe soup.  Simmer gently for a few minutes.  Spoon into bowls and top with croutons and chives.  If you like a thicker soup, increase your flour in your roux, if you like a thinner soup, increase your broth.  Mmm Mmm good. 
Note: you can add cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream to this recipe and it would be delicious.

God Bless and Take Care!


Sunday, November 7, 2010


Beautiful Sunday

I've had a wonderful Sunday.  My mom is here visiting with me and I am soo happy she is here keeping me company.  Yesterday we went shopping with my sisters:
We sisters got kind-of matching hats for $3.00 (my dog tore mine up already. Boohoo.)
Then we ate a late lunch together:
 Then we did some more shopping.  I got two new dresses!  One of the dresses was just $10!
So, of course I wore one of my dresses to church this morning.
After we returned home I made my mom some lunch:


  • 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm®Cheddarwurst® Smoked Sausage
    1 tablespoon butter or margarine
    2 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½” wedges
    1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced
    2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½” strips
    2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½” strips
    ½ teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
    Hot cooked rice
  • Directions:

    1. Cut sausage on an angle into ½” slices. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Cook sausage 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly browned; remove from skillet.
    2. Melt butter in skillet. Add apples, onion, green and red peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until peppers are soft, about 10 minutes.
    3. Return sausage to pan and heat through. Top with cracked black pepper. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Took Patriot to the Dog Park and then my Mom and I got some ice cream from Coldstone!  Yum.
Now for some homework!

God Bless and Take Care!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Quilt Festival

Quilt Festival
(picture is a link)
Recently while looking up some quilting tutorials I found a blog with some very helpful instruction.  On that blog I saw that she joined in the Blogger's Quilt Festival (link).  After looking at the quilts of all different skill levels, and reading some of the stories of why they made their quilt I have decided to enter my little lap quilt in the festival.  

The story of my quilt is this.  My Loving Father recently passed away in Dec of 09.  During his last few months with us Hospice helped care for him in my Mother's home.  I am very thankful and appreciative of that so my husband and I decided to become volunteers with Hospice.  However, I work full time in the Military and attend school full time.  I do not have time to go on visits and do not think I am strong enough for that yet either.  So I decided to do crafts.  I was working on a crochet blanket for my Dad that I did not get finished before he passed so I picked it up again to complete for Hospice, but I don't like crocheting. I am too antsy and do not like the fact of having to chain one long row turn around and do it again.  Ugh.  So, I switched to lap quilts.

I just finished my first lap quilt and was able to turn it in a couple of weeks ago.  It was my first since the 7th grade( I'm 27 now).  I went pretty much off memory, and it shows.  Folks, our memories are great, but sometimes they're not as great as we thought!   I have now found a few tutorials to help me for my next lap quilt that I will start after I finish that crazy crochet and get it out of my house.  The things I would like to improve on are symmetry and binding.  

Here is my first lap quilt!
My Daddy and Me!
Last Christmas together
My wedding, 6 months before he passed.

God has blessed me so much.  I am very thankful for the time I was able to spend with my Father before he passed.  And the strength God has given me since.  I will always be my Daddy's baby girl.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beef and Broccoli with rice

Tonight's dinner:

Beef and Broccoli with white rice

This is a good recipe.  The only thing I would do differently is 1) add black pepper, which I did and 2) put the beef in very last and stir it up right before putting it on the plate.  My beef was over cooked, but I'm sure it's just chef error not recipe error.  I also added more water because the ginger was a little too strong for me.  I would use less and sprinkle it in to taste.

I also said I had 5 dinners left to make, but I can't count.  The beef stew was #6 and this is #7 so I only have 3 left and I have 2 planned out and one to figure out, and I'll never cook again.  Lol! JK.



  1. 1In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth.
  2. 2Add beef and toss.
  3. 3In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.
  4. 4Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes.
  5. 5Return beef to pan.
  6. 6Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan.
  7. 7Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  8. 8Serve over rice.