Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Update From Summer

Hey Everyone,

I was thinking about writing about the false allegations that have come up against the McCourtneys in the last few days, but since Summer has already written a short update on it I decided to allow her to explain it by copying it to my blog :) Please continue to keep all of us here in Kitgum in your prayers!

Dear Faithful Partners in the Great Commission,

Greeting from Kitgum, where we are all loosing a pound a day just by way of sweating; the heat continues to reach well into the 100's {115 degrees on average}.

The children have been learning about Paul and Silas and their imprisonment in Phillipi; accused of harm when they were actually doing good. What struck me as amazing is that Paul and Silas, beaten and bruised, after being falsely accused, were able to pray and praise while that sat in prison!

Today, false allegations surfaced again that we are; starving our children, denying them both a proper education/socialization and imprisoning them within an unsafe compound. Accused of harm when we are actually doing good. There happens to be a Christian government official who caught wind of all of this and contacted a fellow missionary to inquire if these accusations were true. She silenced him right off and called me straight away to inform me of all that was spoken. Once we got off the phone I called the official, who we have not yet met, and explained to him that this was not the first time these lies have surfaced {spoken by people we have never taken the time to actually come and "see for themselves"}, and that he is welcome to come and visit our home and meet our children. He agreed and will be here on Thursday to, Lord willing, be a voice for the truth.

We live in an area ravaged by war and witchcraft. Darkness reigns and it hates the Light. We understand all of this. That Christians will be, its promised, persecuted for their faith. And, like Paul and Silas, we desire to respond in prayer and praise {although I confess this was not my response today}.

Please pray for us. For strength. For love for those that falsely accuse us. To endure and withstand.

Thank you for your ongoing love, support, intercession and encouragement. Please let us know how we can pray for you.

Fellow Ambassador's,
The McCourtney's in Northern Uganda

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Day in My Life Part 4

Dinner has been served
Now it is on to “the good stuff”

We do one of two things

Either we go on a walk
Which is quite an experience
Everyone gets their walking partner
We link hands
And off we go

Wandering your neighborhood
Is amazing
When you live in Africa
You never know what you will see!

Plus everyone gets a kick
Out of coming out
And watching us walk past

They always ask where we are going
And just laugh
When we tell them nowhere
We are just “footing”
Silly us

When it is time to come back
It is always the same thing
“Oh please!
Can we go a LITTLE farther”

I am pretty sure we could walk
All the way to Gulu and back
And they would still
Want to continue walking

All good things must come to an end
So all of us turn around
And walk back
To “Lil’ Village”
As we jokingly call the farm

The second thing
We do just depending on our mood
Is “Relay Races”

This is always an experience
Plus there is a “bore hole”
At the end of our dirt road
(Where we do the relay races)
And all the women and children
That are there gathering water
Get quite the kick
Out of watching us

I won’t lie
I love watching us too :)
The kids are hilarious!

There are all kinds of racing
Foot racing

Of course with Balancing
It is either
With a bowl on your head
Or a tomato in a spoon

And my personal favorite
The hurdle

Our hurdle
Is a Jerry Can
Laying on its side...


I love Africa

So the kids are split into “fair” teams
And the races begin

Love it!

After that
It is bathing time
So the kids all go
Get their pajamas
And wait for their turn

Most of the time
This goes pretty easily
They just bath
Brush their teeth
And go to bed...

Then it is time to relax...
It is probably about 8:30

Peace and quiet :)

I normally
Get online for a bit
Then bath
And go to bed

Sweet sleep...
Or at least
That is what I think

Lately I have been waking up
Because there are field mice
Who live on my hut wall

Now don’t panic
They can’t get to me
Zane put up chicken wire
Around the tops of all our walls
Praise the Lord

For some unknown reason
These mice
Love the wall

I named the first one
Cause he makes me so angry!!!

To top that off
At about 5:30
Or 6 A.M.
One of the goats
Wakes up...
And Baah’s...
For 30 minutes!!!


The other night
I was sitting
Watching the kids
And Eryn came
Sat next to me
And said
You look tired”.
I told her I was kind of tired

She paused
Then she said
“I don’t know
Why you are so tired.
All you do
Is lay on a bed
Most of the day
And watch the kids
Do their school”.


Go figure :)

Then again
I wouldn’t trade it
For the world

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Day in My Life Part 3

This is the continuation
Of a day in my life
Not that I am an ego-maniac
But I have a blog
And I figured I haven’t written about it
So I hope you continue to enjoy it
My life cracks me up...
I hope it does the same for you!

It is now 2 PM
Which means
Back to class we go

On Mon., Wed., and Fri.
That means it is Geography
Which I am teaching right now
We are studying South America

Let me just say...
I love South America
For so many reasons
One of my favorite
Is Spanish is so much fun!
And all their names
Are awesome

As a second side note
One of the kids favorite movies
Is “Nacho Libre”

Which means
In their minds
All people from Latin anything
Speak like Jack Black...

All this to say
I get to have an outrageous accent
And the kids mimic is

Words can not describe
How awesome it is
To have all of them repeat
You would just have
To be there

So yeah
Geography pretty much rocks
I don’t know how much the kids like it
But I have a blast :)

Geography normally ends about
3 or 3:30
After which
The kids scatter to do various things
Most of the time
(Depending on heat)
We end up outside
Play on the trampoline
Or chalking on the pavement

Ah the simple pleasures!
All the kids love outlining shadows
So we try to get it
As close to the person as we can

The kids are so good at it!
I can almost always tell
Whose shadow it is!
Oh why
Was I not given an artistic side?
Oh well
These kids make up for it in spades!

4:30 hits...
And Summer and I realize
It’s time to think about dinner

My favorite thing to do
Is ask what the kids want
They come up with some good ideas

Once WHAT we are having is decided
Then it just has to come to pass...
Easier said than done

Although Zane is putting forth
A valiant effort
Our actual kitchen is...
Alllllmost done...
So for now
Summer has a propane burner
A table to cut things on
Mother nature to contend with :)

So come rain
Or stray footballs
That meal has to be produced :)

Thank goodness
Many hands
Make light work!
The kids are generally running around
Fetching things
Stirring things
You know
Helping Mom
And another miracle
Food always shows up...
God is good!

Everyone washes there hands
And we sit

It is 6 o'clock
More to come

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Day in My Life Part 2

This is the continuation of my life...
I believe I left off at school
It is 10 AM
The kids have been running around
Playing and getting their energy out
Now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty!
Everyone is given their assignments
(Depending on the day we have different subjects)
And we settle down to “serious” schooling

At least we try

It is really difficult to focus
When there are two kittens
Wrestling and rolling around
In the middle of the floor
Then there are the goats
Our goats this time
Outside foraging for food
I had NO idea a goat made


The first class is done
Snack time
One of my favorite times...
You never know what it will be
Sometimes it is Papaya
Sometimes it is Bisquits
(Kind of a sweet graham cracker)
Sometimes it is fried casava
(Think along the lines of fried potato slices)

My fav...
Home made peanut butter
And depending on the time of year...
Quite possibly HONEY
Boiled from the comb!
Be jealous :)

Snack is over,
Back to the grind...

Oh wait...
What is that?
In the corner of the room!
Are those poisonous!
Anarchy in the class room
Go get the dust pan
Sweep it up
Take it out to the workers
Who laugh at me...
And kill it

Then again...
No one killed it with their bare foot
So I feel a little justified...
I didn’t over react...
Not if the locals are a bit scared too!

Man with all these distractions!
I can’t believe anything gets done :)

Officially back to school

The second class proceeds
On Thursdays and Fridays
We have our Acholi lessons...
Now THAT is funny :)
The way they teach here
Is ALL about repetition
It makes me laugh...
I can’t imagine
What everyone is thinking
Who is outside and can hear us!

After the second class it is lunch time
Ah lunch
Some days you love it
Some days...
You are just thankful you aren’t starving :)

Lately we have been “mixing it up”
So to speak

Lunch has either been

Beans (Yummy!) and Posho
The Posho is a mix of
Millet/Sweet Potato/Sorgum
Which is generally good
But thanks to a rather unfortunate batch
Of Sweet Potato
It tastes moldy...
Which is basically
Penicillin... right?
It can’t hurt you :)
I’m getting...
Healthier eating it?

Or the other day
Rice (Yes!) with Cow Peas
Which would be fine...
The Cow Peas seem to have acquired...
A bonus of protein?
The bonus being disguised as
Weevils !!!
Oh dear...
I just tell myself
If sailors could do it
Back in the day sailing the ocean blue
I can do it too!

Thank goodness for Tabasco...
That is all I can say :)

And of course either of these is accompanied
By either fried cabbage...
Which are basically glorified weeds
(Don’t tell anyone but these weeds taste good!)

Lunch is over
It is time for the
“Group trip” to the Pit Latrine
You wouldn’t think this would be
That big of a deal
But when you have 13 children
Between the ages of
3 and 9
Everything takes longer

So off we go
Across the compound
To the Latrine
The cry is let out
“Find your shade”
And each child runs to his or her
Papaya tree
And waits for their “turn”
To ascend to the “throne”

I LOVE my life :)

30 minutes later
We return
And school resumes

Holy Moley!
It is only 2:00 in the afternoon...
I am thinking this is going to be
Another post or two!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Day in My Life Part 1

Well the move has been made official.
We now live around 5 minutes from town,
On a papaya farm,
In grass thatched huts,
Using composting pit latrines,
Feeding Goats, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs,
One slightly disgruntled turkey,
Chickens, Pigeons, Guinea Fowl,
Dogs, Cats
And a very elusive field mouse
Who likes to eat our bananas!!!

I love my life!

There is always so much I could write,
But when it comes down to writing it on paper,
For some reason I always draw a blank.
For now,
I guess maybe it would be best
To let you know what it is that amuses me
About my daily life.
If you know me at all,
You know that I am very easily amused...
I hope that my amusement
Is as entertaining to you as it is to me!

I have become a bit of an early riser
Don’t tell my parents!
They will expect me to be up early
When I come for visits! :)

What amuses me about being an early riser
Is the puppies have decided
They are allowed in my room...
So when I stumble out my door
Wild haired and blurry eyed
I generally trip over at least one of them
As they excitedly jump up
Off my door step
And into my room...

So after washing my face
And brushing my teeth
I return to my room
Where “Five Bucks” promptly
crawls into my lap
And starts snoring
(Yes... apparently dogs snore)
While I am TRYING to read my Bible
By flickering candle light no less!
Poor thing...
He doesn’t realize
He isn’t a lap dog...
His sister Lady meanwhile
Is laying on the rug against the wall
Shredding some treasure she discovered
During the nights exploits

By candle light
I am generally hoping
Her “treasure” isn’t anything gross

And all this...
Is before 7 AM

Then there is the walk past the goats pen
Where the guinea pig always sets up a ruckus.
It might only be 7 AM
But he wants food!
So he and the two rabbits get water,
grass, leafy greens...
And huge chunks of papaya...
Who knew that rabbits and guinea pigs at papaya?
Not me till I lived here...

By now, the kids are up
And the day begins
Coffee is brewed
(Which may not be exciting to you...
But to me it is a daily miracle :) )

The brewing of the coffee always leads
To the inevitable conversation
With at least one of the children

Normally it goes something like this...

“Wow Bri!
Your coffee smells reeeeeaaaallly good!”

Long pause

“I wish I could drink coffee...”

Another long pause

“Bri... how old do I have to be
When I can start drinking coffee?”

My answer always...

“15 ”

Don’t ask me why that is my answer
It just is and I am sticking to my guns :)

Then follows the mental calculation
Figuring out how many years that is

Deep sigh

“That is forever...
I can’t wait!”

Yep, we are making coffee addicts here
And they can’t even drink it yet!

Following this
Breakfast is served,
Dishes are put away
And school is ready to roll...

But wait!
What is that?
A heard of cows
Or quite possibly goats???
Crossing OUR farm?

Oh no they DIDN’T!!!
The cry is let out

13 children,
3 dogs,
And myself
Start running
Throwing rocks
And in general
Raise a great hullabaloo...

I am sure life must be more entertaining
Now that we live here
For our neighbors
I know that when I send the children out
It amuses me to just step back
And watch them spread out,
Waving their arms
And yelling
Really, there is NO replacing that image

The farm is now secure
School can proceed
It is 10 AM

Wow, that is a lot!
This is shaping up to be a long entry...
So for now I think I will just post this
And add to it later :)

To be continued !