- posted by mika
6:00am - Tuesday
It’s 6am – beginning our third day here in Kampala. The day is already a long one for me, since I have literally not slept a wink since midnight! Jet lag is killing me! I was doing pretty good until yesterday afternoon when I had a chance to take a nap… not a very smart choice. Poor Judah has been awake too since 3 am. But he is being very agreeable about it. He and I did some schoolwork together, and right now, he is playing very quietly with some toys in the bathroom. other than wacky sleep, we are really enjoying ourselves and taking everything in. there is so much to take in!!!!
Some first impressions: Kampala is a mess! I’ve been in other dirty, crowded cities with crazy drivers…but this one tops my list. Subbi Village, on the other hand, (where we went Sunday and will be staying most of our time here) is just beautiful! It sits right on top of a small mountain outside the city. There is a lush, green view and a gentle breeze blowing all the time. We move out there tomorrow and can’t wait! We’ve already met several Ugandan pastors and youth workers. They are so very welcoming and eager to get to know us. Haven’t had much opportunity yet to interact with the Watoto children – another reason we can’t wait to move to the village.
Our kids are doing great! Reynah is getting SO much attention! All Ugandans love children, especially babies. She is doing a good job being very friendly to everyone. The Ugandans comment: “oh, she is so accepting!”
Today we go shopping for the first time to buy food and other supplies for our apartment at Subbi. I’m honestly nervous about meal planning and preparation. I’m not sure yet what will be available and how well I will do with cooking from scratch – no cans, sauces, and packages.
I could write on and on… we’ve already learned so much we didn’t know about Watoto. Our brains are in over-drive trying to process stuff!
10:00pm - Tuesday
Today's shopping adventure was very productive! we have a wireless modem we can use to get internet, and i was pleasantly surprised that there is one real grocery store in Kampala. (all i had seen so far was roadside stands.) i'm still not sure that i'm prepared to feed our family for a week, but i'm feeling more optimistic about figuring this out. they do have a few American-brand products here, but they are outrageously expensive!! - like $7 for a box of Kellogs Cornflakes and $6 for a small jar of Ragu spagetti sauce. yeah, that's not happening.
This was a very enlightening day for the boys. they were confronted with some harsh realities for the first time. while driving through town this am, we were stuck in a traffic jam where our vehicle didn't move for several minutes. a few beggar children surrounded our van the whole,entire time. Pastor Doug explained that the children are from a tribe in the northeast. their parents send them in bunches to the city, along with one adult. whatever money they get for begging, they have to give to this adult. i kept watching the boy's faces as they watched the children tap the glass and wave and beg in a different language. we gave them a banana, which was all the food we had with us. Josiah asked me if i had any more gum we could give them.
Later this afternoon, we visited Watoto Bullrushes, their home in Kampala for orphaned infants. babies ages 0 - 2yrs. stay here before being moved to a village home. what a beautiful place! it is a clean, bright, organized home for about 50 babies. we first saw the preemie babies, about 5 of them. it was nap time, so we walked through the rooms and looked at all the others lying in their cribs. some looked perfectly healthy, but most had some sort of obvious medical need. we spent most of our time playing with three 4yr. old boys who live at the Bullrushes because of their special needs. Joseph - i'm not sure his whole story, but he is developmentally behind. Kenneth is severely malnourished. i couldn't believe it when they told me he is 4 - i was guessing 18 mo. his arms and legs are pencil thin, and he weighs no more than Reynah. but his eyes! - they are so beautiful and perfect. Judah sat in the floor and pushed a car back and forth with him for half an hour. then, there was Kevin who loved T to hold him and cuddle him. he is deaf, mute, and can hardly see. he esp. tugged at our hearts. we prayed for him while we were there and again tonight when we put the boys to bed. Judah is naturally my compassionate child, so i would have expected him to respond sensitively. but Josiah surprised me with how eagerly he played with them also and wanted so much to see them happy. part of me doesn't want my children to see (yet) that the world isn't innocent and just, but all of me thanks God for these opportunities before them. i am praying that they grow a desire to serve and a strong certainty that God's love is stronger.
This weekend will present many more venues for this. we leave early Thurs am to drive north 5 hours to Gulu. anyone familiar with Invisible Children will recognize Gulu as the location where for many years children (30,000 of them!) were abducted by a rebel army and forced to serve as child soldiers. the army has now moved into Congo and southern Sudan. so, don't worry! - it's ok to travel there. :) but there are still many broken and displaced people there! Watoto has opened a village there in Gulu as well as another church campus. the kids and i are going to help out with a clothes distribution, then return on Fri. T will stay through Sun. to help launch "Father's Heart," a mentoring program with the men in the church and the children in the village.
if you've stuck with me through this incredibly long post... thanks. i keep thinking of so many of you family and friends i wish i could sit and talk together about all we are seeing. i wish i could introduce you to all the beautiful Ugandans i've met so far. hopefully will post some pictures soon!