Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 1 Back in Africa

Landing in Entebbe after a flight we almost missed (think: family of 5 wakes up at 8:12am after a fitful night’s sleep to quickly throw things in bags, dress children and run to a 8:35am shuttle to run to the front of lines to get to our gate on the other side of the airport...) at 9pm, we filed a report for one missing trunk and met our taxi drivers who drove us to the Matoke Inn where we tried to enter quietly as the other missionary guests were sleeping (how quiet can a family of three young kids really be?!). At the breakfast table, a young photographer who was spending three months in East Africa reporting about missionary life asked if Aidan is our only child (L and P were still sleeping), “because if he is, from hearing him last night, he’s a doozy!” Hmmm, maybe time to move to a different mission guest house. After traveling through Kampala to a friend’s house to collect our left-behind belongings and our hopefully, fixed car, we drove to our evening’s accommodation at the MAF guesthouse. It is a little oasis of peace and space at the end of possibly the worst pot-holed road in all of Africa. However, our welcome here may be short-lived as our three kids took turns calling for us or crying because they could not fall asleep from 11pm nonstop to 1:30am. Ahhh, jet lag.

Observations made now that we are back:

`The scenes along the road in Kampala are less shockingly chaotic, but now a bit normal.

`I am used to women stopping their conversation or whatever they were doing to stand and stare at my three blondies, even making comments about them as if I was not there.

`Now I know how the Food Court at the one of two malls in Kampala works: I sit and am greeted by 8 different menu servers who patiently wait until I choose which type of food I want. I love it.

`Wheetabix for breakfast doesn’t taste like cardboard anymore.

`The all-night rave/revival doesn’t surprise me now; I even expect it wherever I am.

`My planning ahead means that I call my friend on the way to her house to tell her that I am coming for our things we stored with her and for the retrieval of our car. And I am not surprise that it is not there as the mechanic is driving it around.

`I may never get used to night time traffic convergence of pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles, cars, huge lorry/trucks, and our own 4 wd vehicle all smushed together, creating and recreating lanes, bumping each other on the way.

`Praying for the long, bumpy trip to Bundibugyo. Curious about the state of the last part of the road as we heard that it is all but completely washed out and we may have to take the alternate mountain road. We have taken that road once before, when my mom was with us and a fish truck was stuck in the washout...starting to smell, being unloaded by all the people with baskets on their head full of looted fish, with locals assuring us that it was fine to cross (with a smile on their face and a plan to be paid to get us unstuck!). So, we'll see...

`We are all ready to be in Bundibugyo, to see our teammates, to hug our dog, to sleep in our own foam mattress beds. To know that our days of sleeping in 11 different beds in 4 weeks is done...for now. To be home.

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