Last week was exhausting but satisfying. It was jam packed full of lots of good things – friends, villages, learning, eating lots of food and most importantly, falling in love!!
The medical student Maranatha Health is sponsoring through medical school, Davis, and his partner Phiona came to stay with us in our home for the week. They also brought along their new baby, who is about 6 weeks old. It was our first time hosting a Ugandan family, and I had lots of practice preparing Ugandan meals (and also learnt more about cooking matoke, the staple Ugandan dish!).
When Davis and Phiona recently called us to tell us the exciting news about the birth of their first son, they also gave us the incredible honour of naming him. After some careful thought, Michael and I chose the name Andrew, for a very significant reason. Outside of ourselves and our own families, there have been several people from the very beginning who have caught the vision of Maranatha Health, taken it as their own, and invested many hours of their own time to turn the original dream into something tangible that can change the lives of people in Kamwenge. No-one has worked harder, been more committed, or sacrificed more in Australia towards this goal, than our good friend Andrew Spencer, who is also the treasurer of MH Australia. Together with his wife Candace, they continue to bless the people of Kamwenge through their huge committment to MH, always working quietly in the background. They have also just had their first baby, a son. We explained all this to Davis and Phiona, who excitedly agreed to accept this name for baby Andrew!
While there, I happened to fall in love with baby Andrew, who may just be the cutest, most adorable, cuddly, and certainly happy baby I have spent time with before (although I often feel this strongly about little people I meet!). I have never seen a 6 week old baby laugh so much, cracking up with giggles at the smallest things! Here’s some proof of his cuteness:
Both Davis and Phiona come from poor village backgrounds, while Michael and I obviously come from urban Australia. The differences in worldviews, attitudes and experiences between us all is remarkable (which, as always brings challenges) yet we had a positive week in which we learnt a lot from each other. I am always staggered by the similarities in humanity, despite the differences.
We also had the opportunity to visit Davis’ family in the village. They were keen to host us to thank us and Maranatha Health for sponsoring Davis through medical school. Davis grew up in a very remote part of Kamwenge and his family remains poor; however, they were incredibly generous and received us with open arms. Of course, seeing a foreigner in this part of Uganda was very rare and we attracted a lot of unnecessary attention. Not only did they put on an amazing feast for us (they even bought and killed a goat!), but they also showered us with many gifts – matooke, dozens of avacodo, sugar cane, oranges, other fruits, and of course our very own rooster (which reminds me – another installment of ‘Kamwenge’s facinating chickens’ is coming soon, bought to you by our very own rooster!).
All in all, it was a great week, made all the more fun by the fact that we had electricity for the WHOLE week!! I’m not going to get too excited about that though – its already been off almost 3 full days this week….
* I just wanted to acknowledge that the photos in this blog are not mine – almost all are taken by Davis (or his relatives) with his camera. (Michael wanted me to make sure I acknowledged that HE took the photos of Andrew and I!)