Monday, March 2, 2015

Monthly Update January 2015

Our First Chicken in Uganda

We purchased two live chickens from a local farmer and named them Supper and Dinner. Our local friend Marion came out to instruct us in the proper way to process a Ugandan chicken. Turns out it is just like it is done in the States. For about seven dollars you can have a fresh chicken dinner, if you are willing to do the messy work of killin' and plucking. There may be other tastier homeschool lessons but most other anatomy lessons don't allow you to finish with dinner. We ate "Dinner" that night and sent "Supper" home with Marion to surprise her family. Buying local will have to be a special treat until we can get our own flock going. One of our goals for 2015 is to raise our own chickens for eggs and meat production. We have some coop building to do before that (if you'd like to contribute towards our first African chicken coop let us know). The local breed, called a kroiler, is for eggs and eating and is supposed to be quite delicious, we'll keep you updated.

The Mzungu Midwife Gets Busy

Jeri and Dora found the pregnant people! If the Ugandans who live far out in the villages want to have babies in the town hospital, they often have to travel out of the jungle sometimes on the back of bicycles to the crossroads where they get a taxi. They have to travel on a road that has more potholes and obstructions than pavement which is not fun for a laboring mother. Good Samaritan Birth Center was raised up out of a need for these women to get care in a more obtainable location. Really just a spare room in her home, Christine has delivered up to ten babies in one night! Her story began when she inadvertently delivered a baby during a routine taxi stop where the driver wouldn't let the mother on because he was afraid they wouldn't make it to the hospital in time. Christine, a young Ugandan woman had just finishing her midwife training so she got off and delivered the baby. She later learned this was the hub for mothers heading to town and decided to come back after her residency was completed and established her clinic there. A widowed mother of three children she usually works alone but has accepted the assistance of Jeri and Dora with great happiness. These mothers would not get any prenatal care without Christine's services, exactly what God told Jeri she would be doing in Uganda—helping Ugandan women have safe and healthy births. There may even be opportunity to bring in western midwife students to further their birthing experience. This is a growth opportunity for development and life saving assistance. If you have any burden for mothers getting better care during pregnancy, don't hesitate to reach out to Jeri. She has a lot of ideas to support Christine and her calling and would love some prayer and financial partners. Christine gets very little money to run her birth center and Jeri has lots of ideas of ways to improve their care. Dora has also written about her experience at the birth center. You can read her post at 

The Clarks Take an African Holiday

Our oldest daughter turned 16 in Africa. Unable to give her a sweet sixteen party or buy her a car (a common gift at this age according to MTV) we opted for a safari trip at one of the many wildlife parks here in Uganda. The Queen Elizabeth Park in the southern corner of the country has elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles, hippos, lions and 90 other species of animalia. We saw our share. In one section of the park we watched as another party drove off the beaten path to a outcrop of bushes that our guide told us was a known place for lions. We couldn't follow because that party had paid extra for "special experience." We continued to come across antelope, wart hog and buffalo until our guide came across a park employee who gave us some privileged information. He jumped back into the van and off we went into the savanna. A couple of twists and turns and we also found some lions. Being mid-morning they were halfway to settling in for their daily siesta, but they were right there. We've been closer to the king of beasts in several zoos but to see them free was a "special experience." Later in the day when we saw the hippo, buffalo, and elephant all associating by the river's edge with no guardian watching out to make sure they were behaving, it gave us pause to realize how powerful and awesome God's creation is. What an honor to enjoy some of the richness this country has to offer. Of course because Zoe's birthday is also Christmas day the expedition needed to be a special day for all. Thankfully the trip above and beyond compensated for being away from all the usual holiday traditions and fellowship that we missed not being in the States... mostly (we miss all of you dearly). The only tradition we were able to observe was our annual picture with Santa. We sought out African Father Christmas on a hunch and he didn't disappoint. I doubt he had any clue about why we were so excited to find him but he was enthusiastic nonetheless. His inclusion made a fine addition to our 15 year ritual (to see the collection check my Photo Albums). A year ago we declared our intentions to represent you and do something bigger in this world. So many folks came alongside us and supported us, without you none of this is possible. We are only just beginning. We have big plans and dreams not only to improve the lives of our Ugandan community but to deliver some new lives as well. These posts will hopefully keep you connected to us and the work you sent us to do.

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