physics is phun

Yesterday I used balloons in a physics demonstration and turned around afterward to discover my students pelting each other with the balloons. I guess physics has been a little intense recently…


school and not-school

Some pictures of school. Only 6 days left until the “holidays”! (ie, a 2 week break)


   high school history: not complete without the movies!


science project: learning the planets!

This past weekend, a certain young lady that I see every day had her fourteenth birthday!! It was so special to eat lunch with her family, to hear her birth story, and to attend her party. Games, presents and cake, and then we watched Anne of Green Gables — for the first time in my life!


this picture cracks me up–i’m speed walking to demonstrate running!


now everybody is ACTUALLY running


sweet game of Gorilla – Man – Gun

one saturday in april

As my life winds toward the not-normal, here are some glimpses of pure normality on a Saturday morning.


Wake up to birds singing, sun peeking in the windows, and Teefu curled up on my rug


Spend a few hours in the kitchen baking, accompanied by coffee, of course


Delicious banana muffins for breaktime, with sprinkles of all things!


Of course, then comes dishwashing. The lovely Kimberly joins me. 


Catch a boda-boda to the market to buy some groceries; perhaps eat some lunch in Kiwoko. Matoke and meat sauce, YUM! 

And here’s a picture from about two weeks ago: we had a late night adventure with a snake. For all those folks on Facebook who don’t believe there was really a snake in the photo:


That little black spot in the corner is the 10 inch snake, curled into a ball.

Thankfully some heroic men came and killed it for us. Exact identity unknown, but rumors are it was a black mamba. Our houseworkers saw a green mamba the next day in the garden. Rumors say that one is still alive…

since the internet is working

I thought I’d give you a few more pictures from the rhino sanctuary weekend.


There were some really beautifully colored bugs there that I’d never seen, along with that massive ugly one from the last post!


Surprisingly, I’ve never seen these before either: a frog in the toilet. One of us tried to rescue him, but he seemed very happy right there and didn’t want to be rescued.


Riding on the roof rack through the rhino preserve with Wesley. Only later did we learn there a leopards in the park…

no excuse…

well, every time I sit down to post something on this here blog, the internet konks out and the pictures refuse to upload, and I get so frustrated at having spent 10 minutes on something that didn’t work at all that I give up until about 5 days later…and then the whole process repeats.

So if you’re reading this, it’s quite a feat!

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I went to the Rhino Sanctuary about 2 hours away with some friends. Apparently Uganda used to have rhinos by the thousands, but today there are a total of 16 in the country – 14 at the Sanctuary and 2 in the Entebbe Zoo.

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God blessed us with seeing the 2 month old baby rhino! It sill looks like a dinosaur…but it frolics like a true baby animal, so it was cute!

wjs 034 We also saw a part of God’s creation that wasn’t so cute…this big ugly bug was on one of my companion’s shirts in the pool! Lots of screaming ensured. It came back that night because it’s attracted to light (thanks to my brother for that little bit of info…and the note that these bugs have extremely painful bites!)



As I scroll through pictures to share with you, I realize that life here has become quite ‘mundane’ and I don’t take as many pictures of normal life as I used to! Plus, living with an AWESOME photographer makes me (a) a little self-conscious about my photos and (b) a little lazy about taking photos!

I’ll try to do better! It’s hard to believe I have only  two months left in this place. I want to live in the present every moment before I leave–perhaps taking pictures would help with that.

super bowl…monday?

The internet is flying (benefit of waking at 5.30am!), so I thought I’d post some pictures of the Super Bowl celebration I attended. A fellow American had rented out the Kiwoko theater, where somehow they had a connection that allowed them to stream the Super Bowl from ESPN.

Most of the crew trucked over to the theater (a 10 minute drive) about 1.30am on Monday, wanting to see the kickoff. (remember, we’re 8 hours ahead of Eastern time!)


apparently we were a minute ahead of the USA in the game

My housemates and I, having to work that day, decided we’d go at halftime. The call came at 4am, we stumbled out of bed, made some coffee, and drove to join the 6 other people there.


the chef was in the middle…she made lots of yummy food for our Super Bowl midnight showing

Nobody mentioned the score to us, though I probably still would have gone simply for the opportunity to say “I saw the Super Bowl with 8 other Americans in the Kiwoko theater in Uganda!”

In classic Ugandan fashion, it started raining about 6am–pouring rain–and we lost the connection. So some of our members worked on their shadow puppet form.


bet you’ve never watched the Super Bowl in this kind of theater!


After about 15 minutes of rain, we decided to head home, as we’d left windows open at the house (it’s dry season, it never rains like that!). Apparently the connection was regained as the Seahawks were celebrating…oh well, we had a solid 1 hour of rain and our cisterns needed it, so I can’t really complain!

Cultural Night

I debated whether to skip this post or go through with it…I started it three weeks ago and just now do I have the desire AND the internet to finish it! Every time I look at the gorgeous pictures that Wesley took, though, I think “the world needs to see these!”

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rolling naan for 60 people meant lots of hand were needed

In the midst of Envisioning (NHU’s annual staff ‘renewing the vision’ training), we have a cultural night. This year, we divided by department, so I joined the Administration group, where we created a delicious meal of Indian food for 40+ people. Ironically, no one in our group had Indian heritage…but thankfully the internet makes almost any cultural food accessible!

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Making 9 batches of naan…serious math lesson!

cooking naan

finally cooking the naan…with only 2 pans, it took almost as long to cook the naan as to mix it and roll it!










Serious mingling (which is Ugandan English for ‘mixing with that massive stick’)





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the master chef and his assistant…seriously!










time to eat!

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the delicious meal: naan, rice, lentils, and chicken/tomato stew with all sorts of tropical fruit toppings 









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fellowship time

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really good conversation with a fellow foreign staff teacher

Frita the Jigger



Today I had a distinctly Ugandan experience that I’ve been waiting for since 2010. In fact this morning, I was thinking to myself, ‘Man, I hope I have this experience before I leave…I’ve had malaria, this isn’t half as traumatic.”

Ironically, a few hours later, it happened.

I had my first jigger removed!


pre-removal. Note the massive white spot on my big toe; looks like a blister but it’s a jigger!


My roommate took one look at my toe and said ‘It’s a jigger!’ We immediately got to work; she grabbed her jigger-removing tools (a thumb-tack and tweezers), and I snagged my camera.

What is a jigger?? you’re probably asking at this point. It’s a type of sand flea that burrows into your skin (generally toes, since they’re next to the dirt) and lays an egg sac. The egg sac grows until the eggs are ready to hatch, at which point the eggs are dropped to the ground (to burrow into other unsuspecting toes) and the flea dies.

A jigger might itch, it might hurt, or it might be painless, as mine was.


the egg sac, halfway out

Mine was also a MASSIVE one, one of the bigger ones that Hannah has dug out. Winner!


hole in toe, egg sac, and tools.

The whole removal process took about 5-10 minutes.

True Ugandan jigger experience? Check!




America…it was America.

Not much more to say at this point, as I’ve jumped full-swing back into Uganda.

Some pictures (though most are actually from Canada!):



Sunset, White Rock, BC



Sasquatch warning…gotta love Canadian humor

zip linezip-lining in Alabama. WHAT a blast!


the passport non-saga

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but surely this has to be too good to be true. What’s the catch?

Those were my thoughts two Thursdays ago, exactly one week before Thanksgiving. I watched the passport agent click, glance, and type, double-checking my request. “OK, you can pick up your passport after 11:30 tomorrow morning.”

Honestly, I walked away a little crestfallen. It just seemed too easy. For goodness’ sake, the whole trip had been seamless, minus a very minor glitch with metro parking easily solved by a call to nearby family. I had been all prepared for a battle of faith, for waiting weeks without worry, for last-minute arrivals. But come Friday, one-and-a-half weeks after my purse was stolen, I had a replacement passport–no struggle, no arguments with the Passport Office, no long lines, no mean government agent. My passport was possibly the most hassle-free replacement of anything in my purse (though also the most expensive!).

Where was the crazy-God-story in THAT situation? my heart wondered. Now everyone’s going to ask me, and I’ll have this lame answer about bureaucracy working well. 

USA mail

I got mail from America…literally!

I realize now that was a faithless answer–God was just as much at work in the real situation as the one in my imagination where I traipsed all over DC for signatures, evangelized a whole office, and by a sheer miracle got my passport in the mail 2 days before I left. Frankly, it WAS a miracle that the Passport Office didn’t question me about travel dates (I had a legitimate argument but I was trying to bend the rules by about 5 days!). It WAS a miracle that they said I could pick up my passport less than 24 hours later. God’s fingerprints are over the whole situation…they’re just more disguised because things happened ‘the way they should.’

I doubt I’ll ever understand the whole situation, from the purse to the passport. But I do know that God is working everything for my good because I love Him (Rom. 8.28) and I am His child (Rom. 8.14-17, Matt. 7.11). Really, that’s all I need to know.