As we were preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, we thought that it would be a good time to incorporate a service project. Another one of our neighbors has a mud house that is falling. He had begun gathering poles and reeds to build the basic structure for another hut. Our children have always enjoyed helping to mix and add the mud, so we offered to help. We also found out that several of our other neighbors had some projects that they could also use some help to complete. We decided that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving would be a great time for our students to help us serve our neighbors. We also decided that it would be a great opportunity to share a meal with them. Below you can see the photo of most of our students before starting to work. (A few of our high school students had an anatomy test to complete before joining the rest of us.) You can also see the big pot of matooke (a cooked, mashed banana) that we were preparing for lunch.
As we began we divided our students into four main work crews. One group was digging a pit for a latrine at an elderly couple's home.
I was so thankful for the way our students worked and really blessed our neighbors! We have some amazing kids who know how to work hard. At the end of a hard day of labor, the field that our students were digging was almost done, but the rain had begun. Instead of heading home, they decided to stay and finish the job, even in the rain!
By the end of the day, the group of 3 students dug the latrine pit over 5 feet deep! And the students who were helping with the mud huts, really made some great progress! We are letting the bottom half of the wall dry for about a week before adding the top part.
I mostly supervised, but in my short times of digging I joined many of our students with blisters that tore.
I thought our sore hands might be a good reminder for us all about how much we have to be thankful for.
While Wednesday's work helped us to be thankful, the time together with the other Global Outreach missionaries in Uganda also reminded me of the people I am thankful for here who have become family. Here are some of my team and family here in Uganda who all ended up wearing similar colors for the day.
It was another full day with more gifts than I could list here. After a bit of clean-up, my family had time for a family game. Well, most of us, Zeke was sacked out on the couch.