Sunday, May 30, 2010

hello blogger friends - I know it's time to update when I get emails asking me what we're up to. So here we go:

Joe and I have a had a bumpy month. Things are going super slow and made even slower by having to re-adjust the whole tailoring team. So we stepped back and tried to see the bigger picture of tukula and although we started this journey with the desire to help small businesses flourish it's turning into something I never thought I would be the slightest bit interested in...sustainability through sanitation and health. As much as we love that we get to help a handful of ladies grow their tailoring businesses we also love the idea of getting to help whole communities grow also.

A couple of weeks ago I watched some very young girls carry large amounts of LAKE water in jerry cans back to their house where their mother (their only parental figure) was in town looking for money to pay for medicine because she was sick. As I helped the oldest carry water back to the house I thought about how if they had access to clean water maybe the mother wouldn't be sick and the children would for sure not be walking to the lake at night to fetch water. And instead of using the money on medicine they could use it on things like a garden so they can grow their own food and even sell it if they have more than enough.

My thoughts became faster and faster and I knew in all reality I was being completely idealistic but I began researching Rain Water Harvesting and Humanure anyway. I learned the benefits of having these systems and how people were thriving by using them.

In September with the excess profits we make this summer (from selling bags made by some lovely ladies in bukaya and jinja town who I will update you on in our next post) we are hoping to do a small scale pilot project to see if in the future we can actually make this happen for larger communities.

Please keep these plans and our current tailoring team in your prayers and please e-mail me if you have any helpful thoughts on any of this! (

grace and peace,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I get asked very often what I do and why I am in Uganda.
My answer to question number one is: I own a business.
My answer to question number two is: I'm following Jesus.

I am not in Uganda because I own a social business that works with young tailors - I am in Uganda because Jesus called me to be a disciple and I said yes...then he called me to leave everything again and I said "I'll go" - reluctantly but I said it. THAT is why I am in Uganda.

BUT because people are usually interested and I get asked to "elaborate" a lot I will fill you in on "what I do"...

I wake up around 6:30 am (or in today's case I wake up at 1 am and can't go fall back to sleep - fingers crossed that as soon as this blog is finished I will!) I wash my face, make tea, check all the many accounts I have on the world wide web (internet works best in the morning). around 7 am I usually get bored of writing emails and stalking my friends and family back home so I wake up my husband. I then make us breakfast (which usually consists of eggs or oatmeal or like yesterday a banana because electric was out and I didn't feel like lighting the charcoal stove) and we usually chat a bit. After that I usually shower (the shower part only actually happens about 3 days a week) and get dressed. Joe and I then coordinate schedules and decide if we want to go to town before lunch or after (we try to be back in bukaya for lunch [which consists of leftovers usually] to save money). When we're in town you can find us carting large amounts of fabrics or bags of materials or groceries or sometimes (only one time really) a broken stove top that needs to be fixed. : ) - Currently all tukula tailors work in town or around town so we visit them a lot and make sure things are going well and no one is running out of any sort of material. You can also find us in central market (main market in jinja) a lot - buying food or random materials like the burlap we just purchased for a very special project we're working on.

When we are home during the day we are usually doing research, screen printing bag pockets, dyeing fabrics, making receipts, schedule planning, chasing chickens, cleaning the house, doing yard work, going to bukaya market, editing videos for amazima and shc, etc. etc.
Usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays if we don't have anything planned in the afternoon we go to Masese to hang out with our friends at Serving His Children.

We really aren't too extremely busy and usually let things wait until tomorrow if we really need to - because first and foremost we are disciples and that means taking time out of our schedules to help a little girl carry water, stop & chat with a complete stranger, or hold a baby who just needs some lovin'. : )

Monday, May 10, 2010

quick update

Meet Carol...

Carol is currently working as a bead roller for SUUBI but is also doing some piece meal work for us while we receive applicants and interview future Tukula employees. She is very humble and does great work and we are happy that we get to work with her for a small period of time.

We currently have one bag design that is pretty popular and we are working on some smaller pieces as well. I'm really excited about everything and hoping to get a package sent to America by the end of June.

We are still enjoying Uganda. many hilarious things happen on a daily I got called Auntie Mombasa by a little girl in Masese.. bless her heart - my name is just too hard. I often get Auntie Musa or Auntie Molesta...My motorbike driver once called me Mwanza and kept insisting it was the most beautiful name ever...haha : ) We sometimes have people walk through our gate and come right up to our door selling bread or avocados or all kinds of different things - It usually ends with us being really confused because we have no idea what they're saying and them leaving bummed because we didn't purchase their goods. We had a chicken die in our yard a couple days ago - not quite sure what killed it but it was our neighbors chicken and I felt awful. It's pretty hilarious though because we are constantly have our neighbors chickens walk around our yard and we insist on locking our gate every night- I'm assuming if a chicken can get in a person can figure out how to get in too. A couple of weeks ago I was need to transport two book shelves to our house from town and so we strapped them on a motorbike and the driver said "OK now you get on.."so there I was smooshed between two bookshelves and my driver - I laughed the entire way down the bumpy old bridge path home. I really enjoy the simplicity of life here and sometimes can't imagine my life anywhere else - but I sure do miss people in America and sometimes can't imagine living away from them for long. If only I could have the best of both worlds. (Oh, Hannah Montana how do you do it?!) : )

Keep us in your prayers as we are making some important decisions this week.
much love,