Sunday, December 28, 2014

First week of December

 My cuties in their Christmas outfits
 We put up our Christmas tree.  I just love it.
 I finally earned my associates degree and my parents sent me these beautiful flowers.
 I kid you not, that on December 6th it was 50+ degrees and we were at the park.  It was weird.


 We made gingerbread houses at Debby's.  The kids had a blast.



The Rest of November

It took me about three days after I got home from Africa to feel human again.  I was a zombie for a while.  I had to go back to school a day after we got home, so no time to rest!
 Chloe always looks like a cutie pie when we go out.
 Shelby and Keaton started Jr. Jazz basketball.  They both are loving it.
 We had my family over for dinner.  I love these three cuties.  Paige, Chloe and Lyla.
 Keaton was the start student at school.
 Right before my diversity final Keaton decided to take a dive into our coffee table.  I made sure he was fine, gave my presentation and then took him to the instacare for stitches. 
 All of the Steed grandkids on Thanksgiving.
 We went to a Jazz basketball game.
 November was very mild, so we were able to still play outside a lot.
We also had to rake up a million leaves.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Coming Home from Africa

Friday night my parents dropped us off at the airport.  It was sad to say goodbye.  I missed them the second we left them.
 I had a 4 hour layover in Amsterdam.  We HAD to eat breakfast in these cute little teacups.
Ebelskivers!  They were SO yummy!
I loved these big chairs and long table.
 
 Funny story...Alysia and I had a serious 1/2 hour conversation about where Amsterdam was at what the Netherlands were and where Holland was.  I'm sure if anyone heard us they must have thought we were the biggest American nerds ever.  We even texted Tyler at midnight(his time) to see if he could help us.  We luckily figured it out and had to take a picture next to this Holland sign.  Just so you know, Amsterdam is in the Netherlands and Holland is also a territory of the Netherlands. 
 Alysia and I parted ways in Amsterdam.  She had another 3+ hours of waiting.  I was sad to leave her because this was my longest flight.  It was weird to fly back into the night after it was already morning in Amsterdam.  This picture was taken over Greenland.
This is a mountain range in Canada.
 Look at this torturous flight path.  I was looking at the flight tracker every 5 minutes.  10.5 hours later, I arrived in Portland and then a few hours later onward to Salt Lake City.  I got the third degree in Portland about Ebola from customs.  I was SO excited to see the kids and Tucker.  They met me at the airport and it was the best hugs that I have ever had!
 
That's it!  That's the best trip I have ever taken in my life.  My parents were so generous and it was beyond amazing.  I am so grateful that I was able to experience this.  Someday I want to go back...
 

Africa Day Nine

Friday was our last day in Africa.  We woke up in Jinja and packed up all of our stuff because we wouldn't be back before we went to the airport.  On our trip to Africa I had managed to hit my head over and over on the truck as I was getting into the car.  It was weird.  I was going out of my parents gate and had been warned probably 30 seconds earlier to not hit my head on the gate...Obviously I managed to hit my head...The guard thought it was funny.  Here is my recreation of that.
Alysia came out a few minutes later and also hit her head...the guard that it was doubly funny.  Here is Alysia's recreation.
 
My parents view out of their front door.
Alysia and I really wanted to go help out at the orphanage so my parents made that happen.  It was so sad and amazing to be there all at the same time.  The kids would just climb onto your lap wanting some affection.  We got to hold these sweet babies for a while. 
Alysia put this sweet little baby (Joy) to sleep.  They woke her up shortly after by splashing water in her face.
Alysia was put in charge of feeding all of these toddlers.  This picture is only of half of them that were on the bench.  
My mom and I were in charge of feeding and changing the small babies.  I wanted to take them home so badly.  I just know I could give them a good home!

This little boy was so dang cute!  His eyes would follow me around and beg me to pick him up!
This was the view from the orphanage overlooking Kampala.
As we were leaving, they had just gotten these 2 TINY twin babies...they were probably only a few days old.  
 
After the orphanage we went down to the equator.  I had never been in the southern hemisphere so I was pretty excited about it.  
 

We obviously had to do an amazing photoshoot.
Halfsies!
It's like these guys are on two different hemispheres sometimes.

 
The women and children carry everything on their heads.  Lots of heavy stuff too.  Their water jugs are huge and they have to carry them from the water hole to the village.  I liked this picture of the lady carrying all of these sticks. 
On a side note, The traffic in Uganda is absolutely insane.  It would give me terrible anxiety because there are no rules or lanes or rhyme or reason to how people drive.  Sometimes it takes hours to go a few miles.  It's mostly boda-bodas (motorcycle's) and taxi's everywhere that just weave in and out and cut people off.  We only got stuck in a few major traffic jams, but getting anywhere took a lot of time.  One night as we were coming home in the dark, a soccer game had just gotten over and there were people everywhere.  It was a madhouse.  Some guys with rollerblades grabbed the back of the truck and rode with us for the longest time.  We were going 40+ miles per hour!  
Before we were dropped off at the airport to go home we went to eat at this amazing restuarant.  It was fantastic.  
My baaba.
It's all fun and games until someone gets a lime in their eye.
This sandwich was delicious!  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Africa Day Eight

We got to sleep in a little bit this day.  It was wonderful after waking up so early for many days in a row.  We had a yummy breakfast and got to visit with the mission president and his wife for a little bit.  They were incredible people and I was happy to have the time to hear some of their stories.  Sister Chatfield gave Alysia and I a cute rock hippo when we left.
We were going to be driving back to Jinja so we stopped at a store in Kampala.  They had lots of yummy fruit.  This was a very westernized store.  My dad bought about 3 dozen coke zero's.
 
 After we got back to Jinja we went to the source of the Nile which is really close to where my parents live now.  The Nile is formed by an underground spring.  You could see ripples of where it was coming up.  It seems crazy that that much water could come from one spring.  They had an interesting monument about the discovery of the source.

The locals would give boat rides in those little canoes.  We didn't partake.
 After that we did some shopping and found some amazing unisex quality garments.
 My dad took us to a place that he said had yummy steak.  It was surprisingly good.
 Here are some more pictures of the scenery.  It's so green!
 The women all carry massive amounts of things on their heads.