Monday, December 29, 2014


2014 has been an amazing year.  There have been very exciting and happy times and sad, frustrating, and discouraging times.  But through it all, God has been working.  I don't know what 2015 will be like, especially the second part of it.  But I know that God is in control and he knows what is going to happen.  I hope you enjoy these pictures from the year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from "cold" Uganda.  Well, cold by our standards, meaning the temperature is less than 30 degrees.  Yes, very cold.  Are you jealous? Hopefully, in the next few days I'll be able to catch you all up as to what has been going on.  

Today, we enjoyed a great sweet potato casserole for breakfast (the potatoes were from John's garden).  We opened our presents and then delivered gifts and cards to our neighbours. At 10 we went to church.  Catriona and I sat with the children from the baby house to help them out, until Catriona got pressed into service as the keyboard player (with absolutely no warning)! After the singing, Catriona joined us again while we listened to the sermon. The rain started soon and so we were temporarily stuck with the babies at church until someone gave us a ride back to Hope Family.  Then I and one of the staff members went looking for food, which turned out to be a rather long process.  But eventually, food was delivered and I returned to the church for a great lunch of matooke, rice, cabbage, meat, g-nut sauce, Irish (potatoes), and chapati. We were stuffed.  

When the meal was finished, our family went to Kasana village to visit our sponsor child's family. We were welcomed into their small house and sat on the mats and chatted.  Then they brought out chai and bread.  We spent one or two hours there and are now back at home. Our stomachs are feeling very full, so I think we'll have crackers and a couple Christmas cookies for dinner in a while.  I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas with your families.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lost in Translation

On Friday night, I was talking with a nine-year-old boy in our family group.  The primary school kids had finished exams and were spending most of the school day playing.

So I asked him, "What did you do at school today?"

"I played football," he responded.

"That's fun," I said, "who did you play with?"

He looked at me and responded, "The ball." He said this as if he was in disbelief at how ignorant this girl was. Didn't she even know how to play football?

"I know, I meant who did you play it with?"

"Ohhh," he said, "the children in my class."

Obviously, who and what got mixed up somewhere.

Friday, November 28, 2014


My most recent adventure involved traveling down to Kabale in south-western Uganda (very close to Rwanda) for a burial.  Auntie Susie's dad was killed last Sunday in a car accident.  Auntie Susie worked at Hope Family for about a year until she left in July to get married.  She has a couple cousins who still work at New Hope. Early Monday morning last week, Uncle Richard, one of her relatives, came to talk to my dad, and told us that his uncle had died and he was going to Kabale for the burial.  Later that day, plans were made to send a car-load of people down for the burial.  I asked if there was room for me to go along.  Uncle Stu, the Hope Family manager who was organizing the trip, said I could go.

Since we wanted to go and come back all in one day, we had to get an early start.  We got up at 4 am and began the long car ride.  First we headed to Kampala, a familiar road, before turning south towards Masaka.  I had been a little ways along this road when we went to the equator.  We reached Masaka at about 8:30 and as Auntie Sarah said, "You think you should be there but you have only come half-way."  Our next stop was Mbarara.  After passing through Mbarara, we headed towards Kabale.  This stretch of the road was very beautiful, but once again, it was a long way.  Finally we got to Kabale town.  

But this wasn't the end of our journey.  We still had to travel out of the town about 10 km to get to the place where the burial was.  We had been told to go to a resort and then Uncle Richard would give us directions.  When we got to the resort, Uncle Rogers talked to Uncle Richard on the phone who said he was able to see our vehicle.  We looked around expecting to see him, but we didn't see him anywhere.  At this point we were on the edge of a lake.  "Maybe he's on the other side of the lake." We laughed at the joke.  You can probably tell where this is going.  We followed his directions and came to a place where the owners of boats ran out to try and persuade us to come in their boats.  "No, those ones will take advantage of you," said Uncle Richard over the phone, "get a boat further down." We all looked at one another. A boat!

We all piled out of the car and climbed into a little canoe.  I won't tell you whether or not we had life jackets, and I won't tell you whether or not we made sure the motor worked before pushing off from the shore.  Thankfully, everything worked out and in about five minutes we had crossed to where Uncle Richard was waiting for us.  Then we began the hike up the hill.  It was quite a ways and I was very thankful for my Keens when I saw some of my fellow travelers struggling to climb the steep path in dress shoes, flip flops, and high heels.  

At the top of the hill, we met Auntie Susie and her sister.  After giving them hugs, we continued to the home where the service was to be held.  We met Auntie Irene, another former Hope Family staff member.  We then went in to see Auntie Susie's mother.  The crowded room was hard to get into.  After we had seen her, we went back outside and were led to a bench under a tarp.  Uncle Stu and I were the only white people in a group of hundreds.  Needless to say, we felt like we had signs stuck on us saying, "Please look at me."  The service soon began.  Although I had never met Auntie Susie's father, I could tell he was a respected man.  There were many church leaders there.  Many speeches were made.  In nearly every one, some reference was made to "the whites."  Since they were speaking Rukiga, I had no idea what they were saying but frequently, someone would motion to me to stand up.  After an hour and a half, the wind began to blow strongly and the cold rain started to fall.  They ended the service so they could finish the burial.  

We then went to eat our food.  We stood in the line, rain streaming off our jackets, waiting for food.  We were given posho, rice, g-nut sauce, meat, and beans.  We then stood off to the side, trying not to be too noticeable (impossible).  While we ate, everyone around watched, curious to see if the bazungu (white people) ate like them.  

After saying our good-byes, we headed down the slippery, muddy path to the boats along with many other people.  It was a little embarrassing to see little old jjajjas (grandparents) hurrying down the path with their sticks, while we slowly picked our way down, trying not to slip.  Once we got back to our car, we began the long journey home.  We got home at around 2 in the morning.  I was very tired, but glad that I was able to go.  

Bringing You Up to Date

It's been a long time since I've posted.  Sorry for that.  It's been difficult to have a time when I'm not busy, have Internet, have power, and am in the mood for writing.  But since I've had a few exciting adventures since returning from Canada, I've decided to write.  The past month we've been back has not been an easy one.  Lots has happened.  One of New Hope's secondary students passed away the week after we got back.  That was very difficult for many people at Kasana. Please be praying for his family and friends.  

I have been trying to keep up with school as well as helping out at Hope Family and Special Needs, and hanging out with friends.  We also took a trip down to Musana Camps, enjoying the waterfall, the view, and the cool air. The past few days we have spent lots of time with our American friends celebrating Thanksgiving! Another post is coming soon telling about my latest adventure!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Home Alone

Catriona and I were "home alone" for 5 days while my parents and John went to Kobwin. We were disappointed that we couldn't go but we had other commitments. As it turned out, we had someone over or went somewhere else every night. The first night, A. Wesley and A. Beth came over for dinner and A. Wesley spent the night. The next night, I went to David Family for devotions and dinner, Catriona went to worship practice, and then we went over to A. Kimberley's house. Saturday night was worship night. My friend Hadassah came for dinner, and then we went to worship night. After worship night Catriona and Kara came with Hadassah and I back to our house for a sleepover. Sunday night, we slept at A. Kimberley's again. So our home alone turned out to be "home with friends" or "home away from home at someone else's home with friends." During this time, Catriona and I were still working at Hope Family so we were pretty busy too. We also had to keep the house under control...
Me and Hadassah
Kara and Catriona

Hope Family

Another reason August was so busy was because Catriona and I were working at Hope Family for 4 weeks. They were short on staff after the assistant manager left to get married and three other staff members left as well. This left them with only two full time staff members. Since Catriona and I already knew the kids well, Uncle Stu, the manager, asked us to help them out. Another girl, who did an IY placement at Hope Family last year came for a couple weeks as well. As you can see from the pictures there's a lot of personality in the abaana (Luganda for children). We learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Catriona and I were also able to build relationships with the staff members. Hope Family has some wonderful staff members who love the children so much. After spending so much time there, I'm missing those kids. They are special gifts from God and I am so blessed to know them. 
This little guy arrived in June weighing 1.2 kg.
Thankfully, he is getting much bigger now.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A "New" House

August was a busy month for the Mortons. One of the reasons for that was our move to a "new" house. I say "new" because although it is new to us, it is actually one of the oldest buildings at New Hope. No one has lived in this house since last December and it hadn't had any fix-ups for even longer. This made it a little more difficult. To help you understand our trouble I'll give you a few examples of the problems. When we flushed the toilet, the water literally poured out on to the floor. And when you turned on the sink, the water just poured right out the drain into the cupboard underneath. And the bathroom sink cabinet was extremely mouldy (it had been leaking too). And there was a bad jackfruit (meaning the fruit was bad) tree outside that allowed no sunlight in the house, and dropped giant, rotting jackfruit on the roof (and potentially on people's heads as they walked by). And there was no furniture, no stove, and no fridge. Don't get me wrong. We are very thankful that we could have this house in a great location. We just needed to get a lot of work done on it which took a lot of effort on the part of my parents and Uncle Brian. Anyway, we (the famous "we"--I really didn't do much of anything) fixed the toilet, fixed the sink, replaced the other sink, cut down the jackfruit tree, bought furniture and a stove, and repainted. When we were finished, we (I was very involved in this part) lugged our tubs up the hill from the Vogts house. John and I were very thankful for our friends, Sam, Toby, Acacia, and Kevin who helped us out. Finally, we moved in, and fell asleep on our very hard mattresses. (Most mattresses you can buy in Uganda start out as hard as rock, but they are softening.) We love the house a lot now. It's nice to have our own place without having to worry about breaking things. We are very close to David Family and church, and much closer to Hope Family, Secondary, the office, and Treasures Class. We also have very close neighbours now. The house is a duplex so the Mwanjes live in the other half of the building. It was an adventure but I definitely think it was worth it.
Our half of the house goes to where you see the wall come out a bit.
My room (and Catriona's) is the one on the far right. John's is in the middle and the living room is on the far left.

Our door and porch

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In Entebbe

I'm sitting in the Airport Guest House in Entebbe. At 1:00 in the morning our flight for London will leave and at 8:00 at night we'll arrive in Calgary. We are going to be there for 5 weeks before coming back here. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything since July 29. I have been super busy recently but I hope to catch up while we're back in Canada. In short, moving, working, home alone, washing clothes, packing, and saying good-bye. Hopefully, I'll be able to elaborate on all these things in the next few weeks. Pray for us as we travel and as we deal with minor culture shock and MAJOR weather shock. (Calgary got 10 inches of snow in the past two days and we're coming from 30 degree temperatures.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Recently John and I have been enjoying a lot of football (soccer) matches in the field behind our house. We've been playing with some of the other missionary kids. On Sunday, we played with some of the other MKs, almost all of Jonathan Family (the family group nearest to us that has about 20 kids), some of Pacific Family, and some of Ebenezer Family. Let's just say it was crazy because there were about 35 people all trying to get one ball and shoot it in one of the two nets. Then to complicate matters some of the people are Ugandan 18-year-old boys and some are 14-year-old Canadian girls (okay that's me) but there are very different skill levels and that makes it sort of confusing. But it was fun anyway. I enjoyed spending some time with my friends in Jonathan Family.

Friday, July 25, 2014


"You are welcome, Auntie Christina."
This is what I hear every morning for the past few weeks as I have been helping at the primary school. It has been very interesting to see how things compare to a Canadian school. When we were visiting here in 2010 and 2011 I was able to go to some of the classes as a student which was fun.

In P.5

Now I get to see what things are like in the lower primary. Both of the teachers of the Primary 1 class (about Grade 1) are very good teachers. But it is very different from a school in Canada. No carpet time, no colourful workbooks, no whiteboards, no computer class. But there are blackboards and little exercise books, and lots of posters hung up around the room.

The class has 25 children of different ages. They are anywhere between 6 and 9 years old. And I have remarkably managed to remember all their names. They are all lots of fun. I have enjoyed helping in this part of New Hope.