Tuesday, February 3, 2015


     Well, Im not in Africa anymore, but I did have something exciting to show a few pictures of. Bob and I are in the Dominican Republic. It has been 5 years since we have been here, after spending  many weeks, during15 years and nearly 40 trips coming here to do mission dentistry.  This time it is just to renew friendships and relax.
     Those of you that know Alfi, the Dominican boy who lived with us from age 9 to 18 (6 months with us in Wisconsin, and 6 months back in the Dominican)....well its been great to see that he has 2 business's going here. A Photography studio and a cafeteria snack shop, located on the school property for kids to purchase breakfasts and snacks.
     His father, Fidel, is currently President of the National Evangelical Association here in the Dominican Repbulic. He is also the National Leader of Operation Christmas Child here. He oversaw 28 ....40 foot containers of shoeboxes, that arrived here this January. Wow.
      We were able to go on a distribution once again. What a joy to see the faces of wonderment and delight in the children who receive the boxes.
      If you packed one this year............maybe we delivered it. Thanks. and God Bless.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


     I have been back from Uganda now for a couple of weeks, but not a day goes by that I don't think about the necklaces, the Mamas and the boys and the grasshoppers.

     So I'm just putting it out there that if anyone would like to purchase one of those beautiful necklaces (or earrings, or bracelets) for a donation (where  100% of the money collected will go to the mamas who live on less than two dollars a day), just contact me at


     If you are interested in seeing pictures of the handsome boys, the amazing Amani, or the red mud roads leading to the 34 homes I visited, call me up and we will share a cup of tea together and talk about it.  Maybe even get you excited to go on an adventure of a lifetime to play (some work I suppose) at Amani.

     OR come on over and I'll roast you up some grasshoppers, my mouth is already watering.......

      Until then, or heaven, this IS ADVENTURE Auntie Cathy saying over and out.

       Back to reality, life as wife, mom and grandma. Back to family.

     If I ever get the 50 hours of taped interviews into a book, you'll probably hear me a hooting and a hollering.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


     I DID arrive safely to the Entebbe  airport ready to fly home.

     I DID NOT enjoy the harrowing 5 hour trip through Kampalas insane traffic. (It made the Dominican Republic look peaceful.)

     I DID see what seemed like millions of Ugandians..walking, carrying heavy loads, resting, eating, working, selling, going about daily

     I DID NOT see one single white person until we pulled into the airport.

     I DID spend my last morning reading, reading, reading to the kids .... especially Going on a Bear Hunt (to giggles and screams)

     I DID NOT like having to tell the children good bye.

     I DID enjoy the African dance and songs the mamas preformed for me .

     I DID NOT try to hold back tears.

     I DID tell each of the mamas thank you for giving their life journey a voice that I was blessed to hear.    

     I DID NOT expect them to beg me to come back to hear more.

     I DID visit 37 Ugandian homes.

     I DID NOT get to 4 of the mamas homes (because of lack of time. ...and they insist to be first if I ever return)

     I DID see a breathtaking sunset on the way to the airport.

     I DID NOT get to see the sun shining on beautiful Lake Victoria.

     I DID wake up feeling excited to come back home

     I DID NOT feel excited to leave.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


     I have had too many INCREDIBLE blessings and experiences this past month here in Uganda, to list.  But as I begin to wind down, say goodbyes and reflect....here are a few...

     Incredible that I get to look out my window each morning to see an amazing African  sunrise.

     Incredible that my masters in Special Education, came full circle. ....to start my day off with the happiest blessing, of singing...You are my sunshine....to Rukia each morning, as she always scoots to be in the doorway, in the sunshine.

     Incredible to think I have changed about 600 diapers, and that's just a drop in the bucket to how many are washed by hand by the mamas.

     Incredible that the newest, barely over 1 year old, boy in the cottage.....can drink hot porridge out of a cup, put his own plastic chair away, carry his wet diaper over to the pail, and do all his pooping in the potty chair, and attempt to help sweep.

     Incredible that a mama I visited for lunch lives in a mud hut that was nearly as muddy inside as outside, after a night of heavy rains.

     Incredible that although this IS the rainy season, and it has rained OFTEN and hard during MANY nights, it has only rained a few times, during the day.  And it has never rained while on a boda ride, and I've often been on 4 rides a day.  However, one time, we did have to delay an interview when the rain beat so hard on the leaky tin roof that we couldn't even hear ourselves until it subsided.

     Incredible,  but a bit like being in a zoo, to see little kids come running down the street to smile, and show off for a mzungu  (me)

     Incredible to know how many hours a mama puts into making a paper bead necklace,  that she sells for 1.60

     Incredible to have been blessed with amazing health this trip. Not a day I wasn't 110%, despite all the local food I delightfully ate. And from the below picture of fish for sale, it's practically a miracle.

     Incredible that the calendar says that I have been here a month, but it seems like a week.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


     WELL, my son Will always tells me the culturally polite thing to do is eat whatever your host puts in front of you.  So while I will NEVER eat bat soup like he has, I actually did enjoy crunchy, salty GRASSHOPPERS.  It is the season for them here in Uganda. 
  It has been an awesome week FULL of rich experiences.  Take a peek....

     African Children dancers putting a special show on for me. They are saving for costumes,  but it was touching anyway.

     Wearing an African gomez, and gifting Mama Santa (yes that is her name) with one of my dresses that she kept admiring. We posed as TWINS.

     Spending lots of special time with my boys, playing, running and reading.

     Watching the bead making, and mat weaving process first hand. I will be bringing back many necklaces.  If you want to purchase some as Christmas gifts, I will be sending profits back to Amani. Contact me via email if interested. cathyschroeder47@hotmail.com
What a great way to gift with a purpose.
     I will enjoy these last 5 days at Amani to the fullest, and visit with the 4 last mamas.

     I may even eat GRASSHOPPERS again.  Lane, do you want me to bring some home for you to try?

Friday, November 21, 2014


     I feel like I could make a Visa commercial.   Boda ride to Mama's house....5000 shillings  (that's 2 dollars...and was really far), gift bag including toothbrushes (thanks Dr. Matt), cookies....1000 shillings  (40 cents), needlepoint 23 psalm thingy (made by our PM church ladies.....I think Westview) Benton Bible Church pen....1 dollar, homemade fabric bag, and 50,000 shillings....20 dollars  (thanks donors of the BLESS THE MAMA'S project),

     Smiles from mama's. ...PRICELESS

     29 interviews down, 8 to go, which is perfect for the one week I have remaining here in Uganda.

     Wanted to show you the great roads I travel on, and the gas station we stopped at. (see below)

     Had a fun week with the kids.....pool time, lots of book time and story time. They are similar to my grandchildren when I skype,  I hardly get to say hi before they always say......STORY! STORY! STORY. , Princess party in honor of Caroline and Josephine s 4th birthday.  Hair cutting week.

     I told one mama that I felt like I was in a zoo walking through a village and everyone running out to see the white Mzungu.

     This experience is PRICELESS. Thanks to everyone who encouraged and gave prayer and financial support.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


     The definition of hospitality is this. ....

                                                                                 The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests.

     I came to Uganda to volunteer at Amani Baby Cottage.   Well, that was part of it.  Ever since I was here last year, I could not get the Ugandian Mama's that work here, out of my heart and mind.  Their strength and resilience intrigued me.  I thought often about how materially poor they were, and yet how spiritually rich they remained.  I wondered....what IF I sat and listened to them, would they open up to me about their lives and speak from their hearts?  Would a few of them invite me to their home? 

     You can only imagine my surprise upon my arrival to find out every single mama here at Amani wanted to have me be a guest in their home! Me, a mzungu!  And come to find out, for about 98% of them, I am their first white guest. But open their hearts, their homes, their lives....they have.

     Years ago, I had the privilege of spending nearly a week in an Old Order Amish home.  I enjoyed that experience so very much. It gave me a better understanding of their culture and ways. It was kind of payment for me accidentally being the woman to deliver Catherine's 9th child. (Another story)  Well , this experience is like that. I am being welcomed into their homes in a way I couldn't have ever dreamed.

     And open they are. 26 mamas visited to date, hours and hours of recorded stories, probably 10 additional pounds, and a clearer understanding of who they are as Ugandian women.

     Hebrews 13..22 says...entertain strangers for by doing so, some people have entertained angles.

     I'm not one to rewrite the bible, but I think I have been entertained BY angels.