Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sketches of Jinja--1

At the request of some of you, today I will share some things that are unique to life in Jinja, Uganda:

1. I will start with the MILK.

I have already explained in past posts that we get milk straight from the cow. Today, I am proud to say that I have adjusted to the "animal" taste and no longer find it necessary to buy a separate milk for myself from the supermarket.

Just to refresh your memory and add a bit more detail to your understanding of our milk, I will explain the process:

Each morning a man rides up to our gate on his bicycle with a large can of milk tied on the back. If we want to buy that day, we take a pot or a large bowl out to him and bring along a hand-held strainer. We specify whether we want one liter or two and he begins to measure out the milk using a large plastic cup. He scoops the milk from the can as we hold the pot up with one hand and the strainer in the other hand. He pours from the cup, through our strainer and into our pot. The strainer catches anything like dirt or cow hair that might still be in the milk. We then take the pot inside to the gas stove where we boil it.

There is an "art" to boiling milk, I've learned...

You boil it only until the top begins to bubble. Then, QUICK! OFF THE HEAT! Let it go a moment longer and that milk will boil right up and out of the pot! I've learned this from experience... numerous times. I can't even count how many times I've had to rescue a growing and foaming pot of hot milk, only to have to clean dried milk off the stove and counters later on!

After the boiling (however traumatic it may have been on that occasion) we allow the milk to cool again. Then, I use a spoon to skim the "cream" off the top. If you've never lived on a farm, you don't know that this cream is thick, white and yellow stuff, very oily, and nothing like what pours out of a carton in America! I never seem to get it all off so there are always remaining "floaties" even after one last attempt to strain them out as I pour the milk into the pitcher, pop the lid on, and into the refrigerator it goes!

Milk... it does a body good.

***Stay tuned for Sketches of Jinja--2, coming soon to a blog near you***
(next blog subject: MOVIES!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Our "Rock of Remembrance"

Friday evening, Sept 5, 2008
our baby passed through to eternity.
The peace of God was so surrounding
and His grace was undeniably with us.

We named her Jinja which means "rock"
and Rosemary which stands for "remembrance".

We made a memorial jar... wrapped our child in a beautiful watercolor silk made by our dear friend Kirsten... filled the jar with rocks and rosemary and olive oil, flowers, and notes and prayers, and beautiful things... We took a small boat out onto Lake Victoria to the place where the Nile River begins. It is called the Source of the Nile and there are large rocks there. We put the jar into the Source and floated colorful roses on the water. On our way home, we enjoyed Coca-Colas and a cigar we bought on the night we conceived little Jinja. We looked up and saw two rainbows in the sky. It was beautiful. We felt God's peace and God's promises surrounding us. The driver of our boat was named "Emmanuel".

Thank you to all who have been praying and know that we can feel the love and are looking forward to what God has for us in the future. We are full of joy and hope!

Love to all!

Jinja Rosemary Tharpe

You are our Rock of Remembrance
In you we know the faithfulness of God

You are the growing in rocky times
You are the evidence of beauty in pain

Your life is the promise of things to come
Our hearts are full to have carried you for a time

Your purpose goes on and will stay with us
We celebrate you as we sow this seed

Be fruitful, Baby! And drink from the Source
Your life flows forever, wrapped up in mystery

Emmanuel is steering our boat... "God with us..."

We saw two rainbows in the sky...
And I held two roses in my hand.