God Bless America

Living in another country has opened my eyes more to how blessed I am to have been raised in land of the free because of the brave. I love and miss my native land, but I am thankful I have a new found respect for what it means to be an American and for all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that America can be the land of the free. 

We might not be able to celebrate holidays with our families and friends at the lake or beach. But, we do have a fantastic time comforting our selves with yummy food and fun fellowship with our missionary family on the ground. This past Independence Day was no exception.

Here in Uganda, when there is an American holiday, we pull out all the stops and the grill. Comfort food has a new meaning to us and I understand it in a whole new way! Our 4th of July cookout was fantastic not only celebrating our amazing home land, but also Myron and Little Chase’s birthday’s complete with a Captain America themed party.
We have a small grill that we co-own with the Wests family. Yes, you heard me correctly, co-own. When you live the way we do as missionaries, sometimes you co-own a grill. And boy am I glad Chase and Myron made this purchase! The charcoal here is legit, homemade from trees in the bush. Sounds real organic and fantastic right? WRONG! It is the hardest stuff to get started. And this past 4th, something went wrong with the charcoal and the grill could not properly cook our burgers. Words like smothered, smoke, and hours were thrown around.

For some reason hick-ups while cooking have become completely normal to me. And I am now realizing how I did not flinch a bit with the men came in from outside and said, “we have to put the meat on the stove.”

Pause for a detour to Thanksgiving 2013… Our first Thanksgiving in Uganda the men were frying our turkey according to code outside and could not get the oil hot enough because of all sorts of things that I do not know or remember {because, well, it is me}. We contemplated our options for a while and then decided if we wanted a turkey on the table for our Thanksgiving dinner, we had to take the bird inside to be fried. So we went against all of our better judgement, pulled out all of the stops because WE WERE GOING TO EAT TURKEY! Even if it meant burning our house down. And guess what, we lived! Our house is still standing and we ate one of the most fantastic thanksgiving dinners I have ever eaten {high five Holly}. This set the precedent that not all things that apply in American can or will apply in Uganda, especially when it comes to cooking. Now  you have a better understanding of our food shenanigans that happen around most holidays.

Back to the 4th {not to be confused with the force}

Fear not, the burgers were cooked extremely well on the stove. For lunch we had good ole American comfort food! Plenty of mac-n-cheese, deviled eggs, Paula Deen’s okra, baked beans, rotel dip with FRITO’S {sent from the USA} and yummy American hamburgers {with homemade buns}! I had hid a pack of Oreos and white chocolate bark for making Oreo balls for our Forth of July celebration. Julie also made some amazing Reeses bars.


Despite our almost burger mishap, we had an amazing day celebrating the birth of our country and two of our teammates. We ate, fellow-shipped and even played several rounds of badminton. All I can say is God Bless America, our traditions and scrumptious food! Thankful for a great day.


“God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.”

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