Ugandan Rice + Beans

Happy October, everyone! We are so excited for this month because we are sharing photos and stories of adoptive families cooking meals from their child’s birth country together!

Why? Well we believe that it is important to keep a child’s heritage alive after adoption and one way to do that is through authentic meals from their country!

The first family we bring to you is the Hamby family! Dacia and Josh moved to Uganda independently and met each other in 2013 (sidenote, the founders of T.A.P witnessed Josh totally hitting on Dacia before he confessed his love). After fostering a little girl named Leya for a couple of years, the Hambys became her legal guardians a little under one year ago and still live in Uganda together.

Recently they were visiting family and friends in the States and I had the pleasure of meeting them. As I walked into the house where they were staying, I immediately felt welcomed, if anyone knows Dacia, you know she is incredibly hospitable. And after a few minutes of getting used to me, Leya warmed right up as well.

Kendyle: So what is your favorite thing to do with Leya?

Dacia: Leya loves music and dancing. It was the only way we were able to bond with her when we first brought her home. It’s how we connected with her and it’s how we continue to.

Kendyle: Why do you desire to keep Leya’s culture alive and relevant in her life? 

Dacia: As her parents, we loved her culture and we loved Uganda before we even met her. There is something about that place that captivated us enough to make us move there and we want her to also have that deep love for her country. Uganda is who Leya is. Beofre she is anything else, she is a Ugandan. We want her to be proud that that is her culture and her people. It would not be fair to not allow her to know about it.

Kendyle: What are some of the ways you incorporate Leya’s heritage in her daily life? 

Dacia: One thing for us that is unique is that we were able to learn the language. It was very important to Josh and I that she also continue to learn the language so that she could communicate with her people and her birth father who does not speak English. We just embrace the whole culture. We want her to know something as simple as how she introduces herself in Ugandan culture. It is very appropriate for children to kneel and we have taught her that kneeling is a sign of respect in Uganda. We want her to understand both cultures.

Kendyle: What is something you hope Leya always knows about her heritage? 

Dacia: We hope that she always knows that there is nothing wrong with where she came from. There is nothing wrong with coming from a village and into a babies home. There is a lot of brokenness and hurt in Uganda but you can also see how receptive the people are to the Lord there. He is so tangible in the suffering and the hurt. I pray that she sees her country as a place God has redeemed and restored. Her people always seek the Lord in everything because they know what it means to want. I pray that she is proud of that and where she comes from.

***Recipe below***

Ugandan Beans & Rice

24 ounce package of dried pinto beans

1 onion

3 carrots

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups of rice

4 tomatoes

3 tablespoons of Curry

4-5 tablespoons of beef flavored bouillon or spice mix, (Sseko Designs recommends “Royco Mchuzi Mix for authentic Ugandan flavor”)


-Boil dried beans until they are soft. (That can take hours so plan ahead!)

-20 or so minutes before you are ready to eat, cook the rice. Use 2 parts water for one part rice, once the water is boiling, cover and turn down the heat to a simmer. Let cook until soft.

-Chop onion, garlic, carrots while rice is cooking

-Brown the onion and garlic with oil

-Add tomatoes and carrots, cook until soft

-Spoon the cooked beans (without the water) into the pot and stir

-Then add quite a bit of salt and Curry

(Add some of the water from the beans if more soup is needed)


You can follow the Hamby’s adventures in Uganda on Josh’s blog here and Dacia’s Instagram here

And to order a ‘Little World Changer’ shirt for your little one, click here

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