February! How are you already over?!
Here are a few highlights from my 5th month in Uganda!
A few weeks ago I decided it was time to remove the almost waist length faux locs from my head, and trade them for an edgy tapered kinky cut! It had been about 5 years since i'd worn my hair short. With it being black history month and all, and with the luscious diversity of black hair styles in Uganda it felt more than appropriate to return to my "roots" & rock my natural hair for a while! These new popular black movies & Netflix shows Black Panther, Nappily Ever After, and Lion Heart gave me the extra courage to cut.it.off. && I absolutely LOVE IT!
BLACK LIKE AUNTIE MICHELLE
This month I carved out time to listen to Auntie Michelle read me her story in her phenomenal book Becoming. (If you haven't yet, get.this.book!) Needless to say I have been inspired by my forever First Lady's beautiful life. She encourages me to tackle my days with bravery & integrity, to never despise small beginnings & to go after big dreams. I particularly loved the part when she shared what it felt like traveling to Kenya for the first time with Barack. Her experience in Africa was similar to mine!
This month I had the honor of sharing my own experience living as an African-American in Africa in a new conversation on the online platform Iridescent Women. In this article Belonging: An African-American in Africa I talk about my black hair, the freedoms & struggles of my blackness, and my journey of identity. One of my favorite yet most vulnerable pieces to write! :)
Please, Take 3 minutes & READ IT HERE!
OVER HALF WAY THERE
Only 3 months left in this academic year! Teaching has been a newly discovered joy of mine. This is my first time having my own classroom. Although these children aren't mine, I feel like a proud mother between the hours of 7:30- 3:30pm haha! I am loving all the fun projects, and learning opportunities we create each day! No matter how many times I repeat my name, one of the sweet little students can't help but call me, "Ms.Lemondy" it melts my heart each time I hear it! haha.
Also this is my first time assistant coaching a middle school girls basketball team. Basketball had a special place in my heart when I was in school. It's where I grew in confidence as an athlete, made friends and started to feel proud of who I was. Hearing these beautiful girls call me, "Coach Mel" has been a full circle experience! To this day I still remember my favorite coaches and teachers so vividly. They all left such encouraging impressions on my life! I pray I am doing the same for the students at Heritage! (Also both teaching and coaching makes me feel super old! haha! )
THE COLOR RUN
Another cool thing! Early in the month my roommates and I stumbled upon a 5K Color Run happening in Kampala! We were blessed with free entry into the happy event! This had been a personal bucket list item of mine to run the streets looking like I had bursted out of a florescent rainbow :) The sunny, partly cloudy weather made it the perfect day! I had to wash my hair like 10 times to get the purple out, but the memories were so worth it!
The months have seemed to fly by, and God's favor has been SO present. I've met some incredible people here who have already become like family! It's obvious this is where I am supposed to be- at least for now :)
As always I am forever grateful for the people who support me with their prayers and hard earned money through donations. Serving as a missionary teacher requires I live off of way less, however I still have financial obligations in the US to cover while abroad (ie. student loans boooooo). YOU are the reason I am able to continue partnering with Reach Up Reach Out loving vulnerable children an women. YOU are the reason I am able to continue teaching at Heritage International School. Your contributions go a long way and bless not only me but those I come in contact with here in Kampala. To start or continue giving read more here!
Please feel free to ask questions, leave comments and if you aren’t already- follow me on Insta @melody_davis! I make daily IG stories & weekly posts about how things are going! I love your interaction & support!!
Until next time!
Xoxo Melody Amber