Friday, August 12, 2011

A cheapskate goes to Africa...the follow up!

Well, I'm back! And I know everyone is ready to hear about the "big trip," so here goes.

I had originally thought I would do a recap breakdown of activities and places visited day by day, but not only could that get tiring to try to do in just one post, my friend Lauren actually posted on her blog several times while we were in Africa, and it's ten times better than anything I could ever you should go check it out here.

Instead I have decided to just post a TON of pics (since that's really what everyone wants to see :) but also try and sum up what I learned from this experience. This too, was extremely overwhelming to me at first, but after leaving church Wednesday night, I finally had clarity on what I had been trying to put into words over the past few days. I've always known that it's funny the way that God works. That you think He's trying to teach you one thing, only for you to go "Ohhhhh. I get it now." and it's completely the opposite of what you thought it was about. That's exactly what my "aha" moment was like last night.

I went into this trip thinking I would go and show love and be loved and come home happy and grateful for all that I am truly blessed with here with my life in the U.S. While that is perfectly true, I did do all of those things, I also realized that still wasn't the big picture. I still felt like something was missing. I felt like those kids I saw, especially at Canaan's the last few days, were just so happy and content. I have so much more than they do, I have seen this, I know this, so why am I still struggling? Then we read this verse at church from Rev. 3:17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." Boom. Done. That was it. I had been thinking the whole time that I was going so I could know first hand how lucky and blessed I am because I had good food and a job and more than one pair of shoes. And I do get that, but I think overall that I realized those exact blessings also keep me from realizing just how much I need Him. Those blessings come from Him and are only temporary, so IF I have those things only, well, I am truly in trouble. It was an eye opener for me and makes complete sense to me in this moment, and I can only hope the same for you readers as well.

Ok, I'll quit the intense discussion, but one other quick thing. I also thought I would come back all liberated and "above" this world and things in it and not care about fashion and would feel guilty about blogging on such "trivial" matters when I had seen more of the world and its problems. My photographer and I even joked about it. Well, guess what...again, not the case! Which I am excited about, of course. Instead, I am so excited to keep trying to find more ways to save money, especially on clothes, accessories, beauty products, etc so that I can send that money I am saving elsewhere to a much better cause. And I hope to encourage my readers to do the same. So get ready for lots of good upcoming posts, but be patient, I'm still trying to get back into work mode.

And here goes the pictures. Enjoy!
(disclaimer: Fashionplate Cheapskate does not approve of 80% of my wardrobe choices in my photos. But hey, I was on a mission trip in Africa, what more do you expect?)

The whole team outside our hotel.

I painted a LOT of tiny little finger nails that day!

The kids were fascinated with my feathers. They asked if I was "produced" (born) with them. Hilarious.

Cutest picture of the twins eating.

Precious boys at M1. 

Part of the amazing donations our team gathered together.

I only thought I was going to lose weight...turns out I had no trouble eating in Africa. 

Miss Abigail teaching me a thing or two in her classroom.

Playing "red light, green light" with the kids at Royal Hope.

Adorable children at Royal Hope. 

Me with the little "Princess" I picked up

Beautiful sky and trees at Kingfisher Resort

Adorable children at Canaan's school

Just one glimpse of how the women do it all in Uganda. 


As my friend Lauren noted on her blog, "children taking care of children. it takes a village"

The beautiful women of the Karamajong tribe we visited.


One of my favorite pictures I took.

Part of the amazing ministry at Amazima.

That's a whole lotta beans!

I hope Lauren doesn't kill me for this, but I think she rocks the African fashion like no other.

Sweet baby boy and the airplane I gave him.

Beth and I take time to goof off while sweet Sarah is fast asleep.

Miss Florence prayed hard for all of us single ladies...I think she has her work cut out for her! 

The "real world Uganda cast." Love these ladies. 

Our safari driver Ahmed was hands down THE BEST. God definitely provided. 

Hello African sunrise. 

Just a little piece of Africa.

Hippos and boats at the fishing village.

Hungry, hungry hippo?

This elephant means business.

Beautiful sunset.

Zebra! (photo: Lauren)

Funny little buffalos. (photo: Lauren)

Ahmed took matters into his own hands and we finally see a lioness! 

I still laugh that we willingly went into a forest with a man we don't know and his big gun.

Hey baboon.

The most amazing view from our hotel the last morning.

Hallelujah, the Bham ladies make it back safe and sound to sweet home, Alabama.

If your heart is feeling torn and you'd like to give or want to educate yourself about ministries and projects in Uganda, here are just a few places to start. I know this is only the tip of the iceberg:
Amazima ministries
My Father's House
Sixty Feet
Canaan's Children Home
Return Ministries
The Voice Project

I also uploaded a ton of videos to youtube that you are welcome to check out if you have some time to kill. Click here.


Kelly said...

Lovely photos, what a blessing your trip was! For you and the children you were able to share for. Amazing!

MLS said...

Love your photo captions! You are so clever....well done, friend!

emily said...

Ahhh I love it. I looked at all your photos on Blake's FB and read every single caption. I giggled to myself for about all 128 of them! I feel like I learned so much just reading about your trip and looking at photos. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey!