There are a thousand reflections I could share with you on this day. But for fun, I thought I'd interview the kids for their perspective.
For the record—B. is 8 now, W. is newly 7, C. is 5, and J. is 3.
Why did we move here, do you think?
C: We are going to help Ugandans know God.
W: We are going to build some things.
What things do you like about living Uganda?
B: We can buy things with our very own money since they’re right down the street.
C: We can get packages in the mail!
W, C, and J: We have more friends, and they’re not very far away.
B: We can find igneous rocks! [Like the one Daddy just brought home from Kilimanjaro…technically not in Uganda.]
C: We can raise money for eMi [through Kilimanjaro].
W: That I have a little [decorative] canoe from the craft market! And that I live in a compound, so I can go out in the front yard! Safaris are the best thing about Uganda! And that we have a tire swing we can swing on whenever we want. And the avocadoes and all the different kinds of animals and birds, like ibises. Our climbing tree.
J: I do like safaris, and the two scooters we have now. I like Zac.
What are things you miss about living in the U.S.?
W: The power would always stay on, and we could carve pumpkins. I miss visiting Grandma every week.
B: I miss the state fair.
C: I miss the parades, and playing on the playground [there are few playgrounds in Uganda].
Who are people that you really enjoy in Uganda?
W and B: Oliver, Zane, Jonathan, Lachie, Maddie, Sophia, and Janet. Yokaneh, Joseph, and Julius, and Moses, and Patrick [our night and weekend guards].
J: Zac. And Yokaneh and Julius!
C: Evelyn, Leah (she’s not here any more), Sophia, Mercy, Haven, and Hannah. And Oliver! And Yokaneh, and Patrick, and Wilson, and Moses [guards], and Stephen [Ugandan eMi staff].
Who are people you really miss from the U.S.?
C: I miss my friends. And Emma and Drew and Sophie (cousins) and Miss Rebecca. And all my aunts and uncles. And everybody!
W and C and B: Grandmas and grandpas!
W: Emma and Drew and Sophie! We have never seen Sophie!
What are some things you see here that you hadn’t seen before you moved here—that you think are interesting?
W: Ndizi (little, finger-like bananas) and animals, like chickens and monkeys. And taxis. Cacti.
B: Matatus (15-passenger taxis) and bodas (motorcycle taxis). Guards. Igneous rock.
C: Igneous rock [can you tell that this rock is making an impression?]. Cactus trees, like the one in our yard.
What are things that you think Ugandans are good at?
B: They are good at making ropes and being resourceful.
W: And jump ropes too!
C: I think Ugandans are good at making with their hands.
W and C: And carrying things on their heads!
What are some things you’ve learned this year?
B: How to make a jump rope.
W: How to make guacamole.
What is something here that would be hard to describe to people who live in the U.S.?
W and C: The Ugandan language.
C: All sorts of Ugandan things, like making things with their hands and carrying them on their heads.
W: And all the different kinds of taxis.
What are some things that make you sad here?
W: That we don’t have all our family here.
B: Ugandan suffering.
C: Same as will and Baden.
What foods do you like here?
C: Posho! [Maize-meal mush] Avocadoes. Maize. Radishes. G-nut sauce [like peanut sauce].
What American foods do you miss?
W, C, and B: Pickles.
B and C: Corn on the cob.
B: I don’t mean to be rude, but when is this interview going to be over?
What is one of your favorite Luganda words?
B: Ssebo (sir).
C: Nyabo (ma’am).
W: Kati, kati (now, now).
What’s something that you like, but didn’t expect to like here?
B: Here [i.e. I didn’t expect to like it here, but I like it].
C: I didn’t expect to like G-nuts or maize, but now I do.
What do your parents do here to help people?
B, W, and C: Give them food.
B: Give them homes (through eMi).
What is cool about growing up in Africa?
W: The rainy seasons are so fun!
B: Learning things to make us better people.