Why Uganda?

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Recently I was asked what my ultimate goal was in traveling to Uganda, what I hoped to accomplish while I was honest. And to be honest it’s really quite simple. But before I tell you let me tell you a little about Uganda.

Uganda is home to 2.7 million orphans – more than anywhere else in the entire world. The reason there are so many isn’t entirely because they have no parents. The reason there are so many orphans is mostly due to the fact that 85% of women in Uganda are abandoned. They’re abandoned by their husbands which is “shameful” to their families. In turn this leads their families to abandon them. On top of that most businesses will not hire women with children because they are considered unreliable. There are no babysitters or childcare here and if you have no family there is nowhere to watch your kids. The result: no income. With nowhere to turn, after having been abandoned by everyone they love, the widows then abandon their children.

When the director of missions for HEAL ministries came here in 2012 she thought she was coming to start an orphanage. But during that first year she realized that it wasn’t an orphanage that Uganda needed. Uganda needed something that was going to help the abandoned women – help them find a job or start a sustainable business. She wanted to empower the women, she wanted to give them hope, she wanted to help them. So she started going into the slum and teaching a bible study twice a week under a big tree. She taught the women about Jesus Christ and his redeeming love. She listened to their troubles and shed light into their life.

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Before long she opened the James Place which was founded on James 1:27 “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the widows and orphans in distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by this world.” Which now has developed into the most beautiful place. When you walk through the gates the first thing you will notice is all the children running around. Currently, the James Place provides free childcare to 50 children. But it’s more than just childcare. Did you know about 40% of children in Uganda are malnourished? HEAL combats that by feeding the children 2 healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. They give them a bath everyday to not only keep them clean but also HEALTHY! And if a woman has her child in childcare she has to have a full time job. On top of all that all the childcare workers are abandoned women themselves who HEAL has cared for.

If you walk to the back of the property you’ll find the women. HEAL offers both English and Business classes free of charge. English is the official language for Uganda and in order to find a good sustainable job you must be able to speak it. The Business Class teaches women how to run a successful business. The first Business Class that graduated came up with the business plan for making rugs. Rug making is another program that HEAL sponsors. HEAL provides the ladies with all the material they need and then helps them sell their rugs! Did you know 1 rug sold can pay rent for a whole month, a semester of school fees, or a month of groceries? These rugs are providing for them. They’re keeping their family together. Jewelry, pottery, sewing, and farming classes are also taught at the James Place. And Friday all they Ladies come together to have a bible study.

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So now to the question, what is my ultimate goal? Really, it’s quite simple: to love and help wherever I see the need. If I’m being honest there’s not a ton I can do in just 2 months. I’m not going to change the world. These ladies have faced years of brokenness and I cant come over here and just fix everything. But fixing was never my intention or goal – which I’m thankful for because these ladies here don’t need me to fix them. They just want and need what every human desires: acceptance and love. Here, love can take on many different forms. “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. The feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That’s what love looks like” according to St. Augustine. And ultimately that is my goal, to love as unconditionally as humanly possible.

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Green Giant

Green Giant

Happy Thirsty Thursday!

Today it’s Green, Green, and more Green.

Yes, I know it doesn’t look like it would taste good. After all, when was the last time you ate a salad and thought it was the most delicious thing in the world? I get it. But y’all- the smoothie is the most delicious smoothie in the world.

Yesterday, I made a huge batch of it. I made 5 cups. FIVE. One for each of my grandparents, one for my parents to share, and two for me. I know what you’re thinking… I originally made one for each of my parents but they were at work when I made them and I got a hankerin’ for some more juice about 3 hours later, so I drank one of theirs. I wasn’t sorry but I know they were because they all loved it- and they were reluctant to drink it too!

Not only is this smoothie relatively cheap (about $9 for all 5 servings) in the world of juicing its also has about 3 servings of vegetables in one glass. You get to drink your vegetables and actually enjoy it! Don’t be afraid of the color, close your eyes and drink it if you have to because it’s DELICIOUS! It’s just the right amount of sweetness!

Here’s how to make it:

1 Cup Spinach, Kale, Chard Mix (from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 Large Cucumber (about 5 inches)
2 Celery Sticks
1 Cup Frozen Pineapple
1.5 cup Water or Apple Juice

Just put it in the blender and you’re ready to go!

Juice “Beets” Wine

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Happy Thirsty Thursday Lovers!

I’m sure many of you, like myself, are getting ready for Valentines Day tomorrow! So, why not get ready with some juice! This dark red juice can trick anyone into thinking their drinking wine… that is until they taste it of course but why not make the switch? Why not try sitting down to a romantic glass of juice instead. I know I know, I sound like I’m describing a valentines date we all had in kindergarten but promise me you’ll at least think about it.

This juice isn’t too sweet. It still has a sweet aspect to it but because about half of the juice is made up of vegetables the sweetness of the apples are canceled out but don’t get me wrong: its not bitter by any means. I think this is one of the most enjoyable juices I’ve had to drink in a while. Β The awesome part about this juice is that it is PACKED with nutrients from the spinach and kale (scroll down to see the nutrition facts). So, instead of facing a hangover Saturday morning, you’ll be feeling great from drinking this juice all night long!

Here’s how to make it!

Juice "Beets" Wine

2 Large Green Apples
1 Bunch Spinach
4 Kale Leaves
1 Beet with Leaves

A little helpful hint: When buying kale and spinach don’t buy them from the salad section where they’re already boxed up. It’s much more affordable to buy them in bunches from the produce section!

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Thirsty Thursday: Avocado Pineapple Smoothie

Happy Thirsty Thursday Y’all! It’s smoothie time. Last week I was talking to my aunt and she told me how she secretly snuck avocados into my cousins smoothie’s in the morning and they never even notice. I decided to give it a shot and see if you really couldn’t taste it and *drum roll please* YOU CANNOT TASTE THE AVOCADO. To me, it’s like a non-dairy replacement to yogurt. It make’s the smoothie super creamy. It’s like magic. Β Here’s how to make the magic:

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3/4 Cups Pomegranate Juice
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Cup Pineapple

Β Make sure you pit and peal the ripe avocado. For the pineapples you can use frozen or fresh. I used frozen pineapples because it makes the consistency thicker and its colder. After you’ve gathered your ingredients just put it in a blender and go! I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

avocado pineappleavocado pineapple

Thirsty Thursday: Cold Buster

Cold Buster

Good Morning fellow juicers and happy Thirsty Thursday! As the weather is starting to shift from warm to cold, I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a little congested. This week I decided to make a juice with lots of Vitamin C to help fight away any cold that might be coming my way. This was the first time I made this juice but I can tell you it won’t be the last. It’s super tasty and so nutritious!

Here’s what you’ll need

3 Oranges - Peeled 3 Cups Grapes 4 Carrots 2 Red Apples 3 Kale Leaves

3 Oranges – Peeled
3 Cups Grapes
4 Carrots
2 Red Apples
3 Kale Leaves

I decided to add the apples after I had finished the recipe to add more juice and make it a little more sweet. If your juice ever turns out too tart try adding an apple! They’re the perfect sweetener.

When I’m getting ready to juice I prepare all my ingredients first. For this juice I would peel my oranges, cut my apples and half, and measure out the grapes before hand. This makes juicing fast and easy! I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚ see you next week!

Cold Buster Nutrition FactsCold Buster Nutrition FactsBased on a 2,000 Calorie diet