Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Life Lately

Greetings from Uganda! 


It's been a while since we've posted and wanted to share a few highlights from the last few months, including Mom and Dad Dyck visiting us in April! We spent our time between the projects in Masaka and Kibaale and ended their trip in Jinja. It was a very relaxed visit, since they have been to Uganda so many times before they really were here to just spend time with us, which we loved! 

Palm Sunday is always a favourite day in Kibaale, we love seeing our whole staff and school march through town together singing songs and then having our own church service afterwards. 





Awana! Our kids love to join in and be part of helping out or just playing games with the students whenever they can. 



Lake Nabugao is only about 30 minutes from our home in Masaka and a great day trip on a sunny weekend. 




Our last few days were spent at the beautiful Saranac on the Nile, just outside of Jinja. We were able  do some kayaking, swimming and then also went into Jinja for some craft shopping and lunch at one of our favourite places, The Deli




Avin and Finn asked for money to go bungee jumping into the Nile River for their birthday this year, it was great that Grandpa and Grandma were able to watch them experience their birthday gift! Avin was especially freaked out just before but it was a good thing they decided to go tandem, Finn encouraged her on and she's so glad that she did it! 



It also happened to be our 20th anniversary while we were away, we loved having our kids there with us to celebrate! 

20 years!! 

Thanks Mom and Dad for coming to see all of us, we're glad we were able to give you a glimpse into how we spend our days, we loved having you!! 

Babies!!! 

The staff daycare that is steps away from our house in Kibaale is a favourite place for everyone in our family to hang out! Mazzy especially spends a lot of time there; she helps with feeding, changing, cuddling and entertaining! 


Sometimes we steal a couple of the babies and bring them to our house where it's just a bit quieter and we can enjoy them a little more. 


Maya is obviously one of our favourites! 

Abidjan Grace too, her smile is definitely our favourite.


When hanging out with the students in Kibaale we tend to mostly spend time in the Nursery school, which would be like preschool and kindergarten, since they have a bit more time to be distracted, and our kids can easily help out during PE class, centres or of course recess! 



Olive is one of the upcoming graduates at Timothy Girls School, we were able to attend their grad party recently. We have loved having her study here these last 2 years, she's an amazing young lady who we expect will do big things in Uganda! 

Our good friend Jon Imbeau who is the Executive Director of Awana Canada came in July with 2 of his children and 2 other staff from the Canada office. They spent their time helping out with the Awana program we are running in Kibaale as well got a few other churches and organizations started. Our staff in Kibaale started an Awana program with just our grade 2 students a couple years ago and they loved it! We added another grade this year and next year plan to run the program for the whole primary school.



Some of our long time friends from home were in Uganda in July and we had the chance to meet up with them in Jinja while they were visiting Ekisa. One evening was spent with a sunset cruise on the Nile River which we'd highly recommend! 


Enjoying the beautiful view on the top deck with Leighton and Sarah Friesen while the kids are down below having a dance party! 

Meeting your sponsor child is definitely a highlight for our visitors in Kibaale, we're so glad that the Friesen family were able to meet their sponsor children, Sharon and Dennis. 


 
Jeff and Jolene Van Huizen with their girls and sponsor child Kayima Enock. 

At the beginning of August there was a team here from Peace Portal Alliance Church working at their project in Mpigi. Joel was able to spend a few days working alongside the team; they helped build a brick house and put on a VBS program at a primary school. The team then spent a couple days with us in Kibaale, they paid for and helped us build a new mud house for one of the students in our school! 




Thank you Peace Portal team for coming to visit us in Kibaale and for all your work on this new home! 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Break Outreach


Every year spring break is one of our favourite times of year, we get to host the Pacific Academy School Outreach team and they are always an amazing group of kids and leaders. 

This year was especially fun for Joel since the boys that were on the team were in Grade 11 like him and his friend who is here, Malachi. The boys were able to jump right in and join the team during classroom devotions, home visits, sports days and school outreach trips. Also one of the leaders was our friend Lizabee who we have lived in Uganda with for several years, it's always a treat to be reunited with great friends here! 

All of our kids were very helpful; joining the team to collect water, take them on hikes, and helped out with sports day stations, they loved this group and wanted to spend as much time with them as they could. 












Getting to deliver gifts from home for sponsored students is always really special.  






Building a mud hut for a student in our school does not get old! We usually get to help out with the building of a few homes each year and our kids love each and every one! 

The team worked really hard, even with a delay in the morning because of rain, to get completed by the end of the day. 


The sun came out after we started but it wasn't too hot of a day which was great. 

Avin's friend from home, Mirah, was also able to join us in Kibaale for a few days with her Dad, Cameron; it was great having them with us! 




We had to walk quite a distance to fetch water to make the mud, but everyone did it with smiles on their faces. 


Our own students in Kibaale go on Outreach themselves each term and one day the team was able to join them as they visited a needy family in the community. They brought them food and clothes, dug in her garden and took the very long walk to water to with their jerry cans to stock up. 


Our friend Cameron showing them their family photo. 




This hike to water is long and steep, and this family only has small children, so it is quite a challenge for them everyday. It was quite a beautiful spot though that we had never been to before!