Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sar: We Made It!!!!

Greetings from Uganda!!!

After two flights, 18 hours, and thousands of miles, Frank and I have made it to Uganda! After all the praying, planning, and waiting - I can't believe that we're finally here!! It's so surreal to be back in Africa. I've missed it : ) It's even more surreal to meet my in-laws for the first time (I'll be meeting them this afternoon!) and to see Kels again after so long. Here are some pictures of my travels thus far:

Checking in
who do you think is more excited?
Turkish Air airplanes are so brightly colored that they will blind you.
The view from where we're staying.
random animal skull
I'm so happy to finally be here. My husband is over the moon. Let's hope the excitement will shield the jet-lag!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kelsey: Sar is coming!

Sarah is in the air right now. RIGHT NOW!

Everyone in Uganda is thankful that they will no longer have to hear the phrase, "When Sarah gets here...!"

Eating ice cream in Ohio
Barely able to contain my excitement. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kelsey: How-to Friday! How to kill a chicken.

This is for Stef Wisbrock who is sitting at home with her chicken just waiting for a "how to" so she can cut him up and eat lunch. Sorry to keep you waiting Stef.

This post is not going to be pretty. Consider this your warning. Or maybe you should consider the title your warning. I mean you chose to read a post about killing chickens right?

The first time I saw this happen I thought it was disturbing. I got over that fast. I really do think that in America we are too separated from our food source. When I see a chicken I dont think food. When I see some plastic wrapped deboned, deskinned, clorox rinsed meat, then I think food.  Its just so wrong. You should watch Food Inc. Thats all I'm sayin.

Meet the victim. We named him Fred. He seemed nervous. Like he knew something...

It is highly recommended that you bond with the chicken and feed it snacks. If there is more than one chicken then definitely get them to race each other or put on some kind of fashion show competition. When I was a kid we used to do that with lobsters in new hampshire. We would name them, race them, and the winner got to go into the pot first. Lucky little lobster.

Give the chicken a knife for defense. I mean its only fair, you have a knife after all. It must be a fair fight.

Deno came out the victor. Wrestled that knife away from Fred like a pro!

Grasp the wings to prevent flappage.

Step on the feet if you dont want to be clawed. 

Pull feathers out at the neck where you will be cutting.

And start cutting

And this is the kind of sad part. Let it bleed a little bit before you continue cutting. Then keep going until you get all the way through the neck.

Clean the knife on the birds feathers. Hopefully it gets a more thorough cleaning later. Also Deno wanted it noted that he did feel very bad for the chicken and that he was only doing this for the sake of the blog. (lies)

Soak the headless chicken (poor Fred) in hot water to make it easier to pull out the feathers. 

Start pulling feathers. Dorcus had put on no pretense of feeling bad and was purely excited to eat Fred. Apparently the bonding time meant more to him than her. 

Then, and this is important, make it do a little dance.

Stand on its head. No dignity.

And then have it play dead. 

Finally lull the chicken into a false sense of security by having it lounge in a pot of water as if it were a bathtub. 

Then cut it up! (That was said in Mitch Hedberg's voice, anyone else remember that bit?)

There seemed to be basically no rhyme or reason to the cutting except for the removing of legs and wings it was sort of just chopped. So I am going to trust that you can cut up your own chicken. Do not let me down. 

Here was to be inserted a picture of finished cooked chicken. But it was eaten before I got the camera. Use your imagination. Can you see it?

My final piece of advice. If your chicken can do this then do not cut it up...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sarah: On the Cool List

For a while, I have had a dream. And that dream has finally come to fruition. I now have instagram (which also implies that I have an iphone). I have been a fan of instagram ever since I learned of it. Every time I was around Kels, I would always sneakily (that's a lie. I'm not a very sneaky person.) slide my hand into her pocket or purse to grab her phone, so that I could take pictures. I know that Kels just shared some of her instagrams yesterday, so I hope you guys aren't sick of them...because there are going to be lots more pretty soon! Here are some that I've taken so far:

My Plants by the window - it's a jungle
the view from our balcony
a sunny Sunday afternoon
the rug in our bathroom-pretty colors
i love drinking out of mason jars!
You can stand under my umb-er-ella
ella ella
lunch time
my anniversary gift to frank: an authentic manchester united
soccer jersey with his name on it. 
Our closet is OOC (out of control)
Not to be confused with OCD.
Frank and I finally feel like we're moving up in the world. I mean, getting an iphone is the epitome of adulthood in my book. Isn't it in yours? Who's in charge of the "cool list"? 'Cause we better be on it. F'sho.

p.s. Do you want to know something a w e s o m e? In the pursuit to make my instagram dreams come true, we got our iphone for FREE. That's right. free. Many thanks to the random IT guy at Judson : )

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kelsey: A week in Instagram

Oh the randomness of phone pics. How I love thee.

Hanging on the porch. This neighborhood kid calls me Kass in an attempt to say Kels. Sometimes she forgets to say the K. I think she might have all the neighborhood kids thinking my name is Ass.

I want to take this baby goat home and snuggle it. People here frown on that. It would have to be a secret snuggle.

Watching Deno play soccer. I frequently get distracted by the beautiful hills surrounding the pitch. Sometimes (all the time) I miss important plays and then later pretend I saw the whole thing.

Testing at the hospital. Sneakily taking phone pics. Must take some pics at work so people think I do actual work. Must keep up appearances.

My mother sent this card and said is reminded her of me. It is VERY me when I was 12. I love that to your parents you are not just you at your current age but you are you at every age. I think my mom picks the age she likes best and sticks with it. I was a great twelve year old. Things went downhill in the teen years. Sorry mom and dad. When Gladys saw the card she picked it up and said, "my pussycat!" in a loud whisper and then walked away with it.

Grace rolling chapatti. My manna. My lifeblood. The only food I could eat for the rest of my life. Lord you can make this fall from the sky anytime. I will leave a plate on the porch tonight.

Ok I understand bricking up the door so people can't hang out in your empty house. But whats with the giant unbricked windows? I mean I want to climb in just to prove a point.

Planting sweet potatoes in mounds.

Bags of grain. I feel so sneaky taking pictures at the market. I look at my phone then snap the pic and then put the phone to my ear and say hello? are you there? I am having bad reception I am not sneaking pictures of your produce. I would never.

Apples are tiny and freakishly expensive. I lurv them. I also love that I can read books on my ipad. I read the Hunger Games, very entertaining, and then wanted the next book in the series and bam 10 minutes later I had it. This is more impressive if you know that I am at least 2.5 hours away from a bookstore. 2.5 hours on a sweaty bus with chickens and children peeing on me. Seriously a child peed on both me and Deno last time we were on the bus.

He sinks like a rock but gosh he looks good on the side of the pool.

Oh the tough life we lead here in Jinja, the vacation capital of East Africa. After this picture was taken we suffered through some delicious Indian food and then endured hours of floating and splashing under the palm trees and the warm sun.

Do I live in Paradise? Yes yes I do. You should join me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sarah is Currently Enjoying...

For those of you dear readers who appreciate gazing upon exceedingly handsome and dapper men, I beg you to look at this website.

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

I have squandered the better part of an hour giggling and admiring this website. I hope you like it too.

p.s. This post made me giggle especially hard.

Sarah: Collegiate Reflections

Someone asked me if I was going to miss Judson at all...I gave the polite answer of, "Not really, but I'll miss my friends there." But their question caused me to stop and reflect on how I really feel. When I graduated in May, I was worried that, come time for school to start again, I would feel sad or depressed or overly nostalgic about college. And while I do kind of miss that back to school nervousness and excitement for a new school year, I'm not sad or depressed or nostalgic in the least.

If I'm feeling anything (other than excitement to continue on with my life) it's definitely relief. Relief that I'm done with school (forever if I want to be), done with certain people, and done with Judson itself.

I did not have a fun, easy-going, party-it-up kind of college experience. My experience was full of anxiety, conflict, and walking on eggshells. During my last year at JU, I barely even felt like myself most of the time. Because of some mistakes that I had made, there were certain people and certain professors that I just hated having to be around. I walked around campus fearful. I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing, did the wrong thing, was the wrong thing that someone (in particular) would go out of their way to prevent me from graduating. In my last semester, there were very few places on campus, and even fewer classes where I felt at ease to be myself and vulnerable. I was going through all the correct Judson motions just so I could come out in one piece on the other side.

I would say to myself, "You only have to do this a little longer and then you're free." Isn't that sad? It's sad that at a Christian school, where I should be able (and encouraged!) to be myself, I felt like if I wasn't fitting into the cookie-cutter mold they were trying to cram me into, I wasn't going to succeed. It also saddens me to look back on my college experience and realize that the feelings I experienced most were anxiety, anger, and bitterness. I told my friend Meghan the other day that the most valuable thing I learned during my time at Judson was how to handle and manage my anger and bitterness (which I'm still not very good at doing, btw).

Wow. This post has been super depressing so far. Sorry about that--I'm not one for sugar-coating things. But, you should know, that along with all that crappiness above, I still value my time at JU. I don't regret going to school there, because:

1). Because of all the crap that went down in those 4 years, I have grown tremendously. I am not the same person I was when I was 18, just coming to college.

2). I have had some truly amazing, life-altering, affirming experiences through Judson that I otherwise would not have had if I didn't go to school there. I have travelled across the world to Kenya, Haiti, and China. I have had my dream of doing missions work affirmed in my life by professors and mentors who I respect and look up to.

(Left to Right) Margaret, Kimberly, Kels, Sarah, Molly, Tiffany, Meghan
The kiss that sealed the deal
3). I have met good people who I know will be in my life forever. I have made some of the strongest relationships I have ever had by going to JU. I met my husband, my best girlfriends, and some strong and present mentors there.

But all in all, now that I have my degree, I feel FREE. Free from the anxiety, fake-ness, and the people. I feel free to move on with my life. And I'm not looking back. So, no. I'm not going to miss Judson.

Not even a little bit.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kelsey: Littering is good for the earth.

If you only read one blog post... read this one. But I mean if you only read one blog post then what are you doing here? Is this your first time? Welcome! Get ready to see some pictures of garbage.

I truly believe that littering is very good for the earth. I may have come to this conclusion one day just so I could disagree with Sarah and start a fight (I don't know why i do that...). But since that time I have come to fully believe it. Here in Uganda my point is proven. 

Wikipedia (oh yes I am going there) says "To litter means to throw (often man-made) objects onto the ground and leave them unremoved, as opposed to disposing of them properly." Sounds about right. My problem is what is "disposing of them properly"? If that is recycling them then I am ALL for that. Please recycle. But many things are not recyclable. Disposing of them properly would be to throw them in a garbage can. That garbage can will be collected and the garbage transported to a landfill. And then it will magically disappear and cause the earth no harm at all! 


The only difference between littering and "proper disposal" is aesthetics. If you throw your trash on the side of the road it looks bad! Its an eyesore. Its bad for the community. But its the exact same for the earth. If not better! When all of our garbage is collected and put in the same spot the things that should be biodegradable cannot biodegrade when compressed between tons of garbage. Garbage lasts longer when it is with other garbage. 

So I propose we litter. 

Because if we litter we can't ignore it. 

This is the path I take to get to the hospital. It goes through a field next to our house where the local council has placed a dumpster. The local council used to pick up the garbage that was thrown here but 5 months ago they quit. So the garbage comes. 

Cows graze here, kids play here, I walk here. The garbage that has piled up sucks.

The worst part about walking through the garbage is finding things that you are sure came from your house. From far away I can look at this mess and shake my head condescendingly at my neighbors and all of their garbage. Stupid messy neighbors.

But walking through it I see things I recognize. 

That might be my Royco wrapper, maybe that is my old plastic bag, that is definitely my tuna fish wrapper from America. Suck. 

Seeing my garbage in front of me every day makes me very conscious of what I am throwing away. If I can't recycle it (I can't recycle anything here) then I should find a way to reuse it. We keep salt in pringles containers and tea in old jars of spaghetti sauce. Old plastic bags can even be crocheted into handbags. They sell them at Urban Outfitters, super cute. At the same time not everything can be reused. When we were kids we were taught "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" but its like only recycling stuck. Why do people gotta hate on reduce and reuse? They feel bad about themselves, low self esteem and such.

Reduce! Consume less, a concept that is completely foreign to most of the western world. I think it is a choice we actually might make if we were faced with a front yard full of garbage. 

Also garbage/litter will totally ruin your pictures. If that isn't a motivation to Reduce Reuse Recycle I just don't know what is.

Ok I was trying to find the School House Rock song about recycling and this was the closest I could find...

Its like a mutant School House Rock. I dont know how I feel about this.