Hello friends and Happy Thanksgiving from Uganda! Chase and I are thrilled to have successfully completed a full day of cooking and fellowship with the West family. During the month of November I have seen a ton of thankful Facebook posts and it made me think of many things that I took for granted before moving to Uganda. As Americans, we have so many things to be thankful for! Humility is something that I am learning everyday as we live in another country. I have been spoiled and sheltered by American conveniences without even being thankful for what I have/had in America. So, here are my top 10 things that I am thankful for today!
1. I am thankful for having a supply of water! – This might seem petty, but it is true. Until I moved to Uganda I never fully realized how much we need water on a day-to-day basis. I now know what it is like to run out of water at our house even with three huge water-holding tanks. You see, the city of Gulu only supplies so much water each day, but not everyday. Run a few loads of laundry, take a shower, wash some dishes and flush a toilet and poof the water is gone! We have gone two days without water and had to flush only when necessary, shower with a water bottle, and wash zero clothes. Gosh all mighty I never knew how spoiled I was when I would complain about not having hot water for a full hour shower.
2. I am thankful for clean water. Drink the water out of the facet at our house in Uganda and get sick, or better an ulcer. I feel like I waste a gallon of clean water to brush my teeth and rinse my toothbrush on a daily basis!
3. I am thankful for good roads. Wow, this one tops the list for sure! I thought I knew bad roads before moving to Gulu, you know, the one road with the police officer that sits on it, or that has that one light that takes forever to change to green. But, after living here for just four short months I know to be thankful for that one stretch of road on our 45 minute commute from town to Abaana’s Hope that is smooth for about 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes of pure smooth joy I can assure you! Chase and I almost threw a party when we saw a truck coming to grade the dirt road in front of our house!
4. I am now thankful for the unthinkable, Wal-Mart. There, I said it. I am more of a Kroger’s or a Target girl but, now, I would be ecstatic if a Wal-Mart opened up right in front of my house. I would leap with joy to know that I could get all of my grocery needs met and at one store! I would have given my right arm for some sour cream or even some heavy whipping cream to make sour cream this Thanksgiving! Just last week we went to Kampala to get some supplies for AH and I saw the first container of grapes since moving to Uganda. I wanted them so bad! But, I could not justify paying $14 for a small box of grapes. Be thankful for your American grocery store, even if it takes forever at the checkout!
5. I am thankful when it rains and when the sun shines! I have learned that there is a season and a time for everything! I appreciate when it rains right now because we are entering the “Dry Season” and every little bit of rain helps keep the dust down on the roads. I am also thankful when it does not rain so that I can dry cloths on the clothesline. No dryer here and even if we did have a dryer, we would hardly be able to use it because we are out of power so much.
6. I am thankful for power! Kudos to ALL power companies in the US for they do what is unthinkable here, keep citizens with power 98% of the time out of the year (this is just a guestimate). Power goes off here just about every day. I loathe a cold shower, but even more, I loathe boiling water on the stove for washing dishes!
7. I am thankful for good health care. Oh’ my goodness this is a big one! After visiting AH workers in the hospitals here I am beyond thankful for the US Health Care System. If everyone saw how people are treated in hospitals here, they would NEVER complain that a nurse did not fluff their pillow before he or she left the room. They would be thankful to know that if he, or she is working in a US hospital as an R.N. that they are well educated and have been trained to help people physically.
8. I am thankful for my family. I have the most supportive family in the world! It is not every year that you get married and move halfway around the world. But, their love and support along this journey has been incredible! Most people would have just called Chase and me crazy, but after a lot of prayer and expressing where we felt the Lord telling us to go, our family accepted with a few tears, but with great joy to support us. How blessed we are to have such a great support system!
9. I am thankful for my awesome husband! I knew I was blessed when he asked me to marry him, but after experiencing life with wonderful women whom are taken for grated and treated as property by their husbands, I am so thankful for my husband treating me as a different, but equal spouse!
10. Last, but most certainly not least, I am thankful for a forgiving God when I am totally unappreciative of what He has provided me with! 1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; His love endures forever! Amen to that!
Chase and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of fun, food and fellowship! It is my hope that in this next year, I am more aware of what I truly should be thankful for!