Hello! My name is Mary.

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I love God. I am in awe of His beautiful creation and am humbled every day that He loves me so much. I am so undeserving but so grateful to be His daughter and that I get to call God my Father.

I love people. I’m not afraid to talk to strangers, dive into their story and love on them. I believe that we are all brothers and sisters and in this together, so why not take advantage of every second we have together. It’s our job to encourage, support and love one another.

I love timing. I believe it is no coincidence that you are here on this blog right now. You have been led here for a reason. We are all in each others lives for a reason, whether it’s lifelong friends or a small two second greeting. I am often floored when people come together, strangers who happen to have SO much in common that make you say “what a small world” but really, it is God and He has had this planned before we drew our first breath. His timing fascinates me immensely.

I love traveling. When I travel, I not only get to see new environments but I get to see a different part of life that God has uniquely created. Even if it’s two hours from where I reside…it’s unfamiliar and to me so beautiful. The people, the landscape, the culture…I love being thrown into the unknown and learning not only new things about the world but also about myself.

“I could not have known then that everybody, every person, has to leave, has to change like seasons; they have to or they die. The seasons remind me that I must keep changing.”  ― Donald Miller- Through Painted Deserts

I love stories. Books, pictures, movies, music, television, art and any other form of story telling. I am fascinated with peoples lives, experiences and the gifts that God has given them to bring it all to life to share with others. I get to do that with my camera and writing. Fortunately that allows me to share the stories that I come across with you.

I love Uganda. If you have been following my journey than you know where my second home resides. In 2012, my whole life radically changed when I was asked to document my friends adoption in Jinja, Uganda. During that 10 day trip, I fell in love and knew this was a community I had to devote my life to. Through out the last 4 years, I have traveled back and forth between Los Angeles and Uganda. In January of 2015, my husband and I decided we would have to say goodbye to this beautiful land for some time as we desired to grow roots and pour into our community. Little did we know, God wanted us to do that right here in Uganda. Alas, in November of 2015, we left our home in America to create our new home in Africa.

I love being On McLeod Nine. In 2013, I began a life together with my forever. His name is Jonathan although I am the only one who calls him that, he goes by J.P. It’s the classic story of when a wedding photographer met the wedding DJ. Can you guess where? At a wedding of course. My world has been rocked upside down since he walked into the picture. He is the main source of my writing as it is truly a story of redemption. I won’t say too much about him here but if you would like to know more, simple check out the category On McLeod Nine.

August 11, 2014 // Big Sur, California

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all images by Studio Castillero


It’s safe to say that 2015 was the craziest year of our lives. We specifically set out to create a very calm, less adventurous year and were laughed in the face by God. Here is a brief recap of our story that shares why we are currently living in Uganda, Africa.

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To answer some common questions:

Why?

When we knew we weren’t going to be returning to Uganda for quite sometime, we felt it in our hearts to look into what a specific girl needed. We had known her for a couple of years and knew her story. Our biggest desire was to find her a family member that she could live with and we could help pay for her education. Alas, everything dwindled down to us caring for her. So in November of 2015, we moved to Uganda to begin the process in fostering our sweet girl.

How long?

Oh goodness, we have no idea. Most people in this community either live here for good or plan on only staying for X amount of years. We on the other hand, have no plan whatsoever. We will stay, care for this sweet girl, work, grow our family and live our daily lives as well as well can! When God calls us to move forward, we will surely follow Him.

What else are you doing in Uganda?

JP and I are story tellers. I do it through photography and writing and he does it through videography and creating music. We have had the very fortunate honor of working with some amazing organizations in the area helping them out with their media needs. We are so passionate about telling stories that help spread the word on the amazing work people are doing here!

What is everyday like?

Well, just like you we force ourselves to wake up early to get the day going. We rush our little one off to school and continue on with our work days. I may be working at home writing, editing or possibly in a nearby village capturing the story of a local Ugandan. JP is usually editing, creating music, practicing DJing or out documenting a great story for an organization. We pick our little one up from school, help her with her homework, have a dinner, help with bath time and tuck her into bed. Once in a while we can sneak in a date night or cuddle up to a movie once she is sound asleep. Not everything in Uganda goes smoothly and there are definitely cultural differences in our daily lifestyle but we have loved this place for a long time…we are so happy to be here.

 

  • February 12, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    The Wanderings of Mary « 4SocialGood - […] Mary will not give up on you. Even when things are especially hard or over her head, she will learn how to love. Mary spreads the love by believing, creating, dreaming, serving, befriending. She spreads the love through social good, social media, and her nonprofit. Mary spreads the love through tickles, holding babies, volunteering with Arise and Shine, and by providing job opportunities for women. Who is Mary you ask? Mary is a recently engaged, twenty-something who loves people, story telling, and traveling. […]ReplyCancel

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