Saturday, October 15, 2016

Our first few days......

I have been waiting to post for a few days because the internet at the mission home was not letting me load pictures.  We are staying in Mbale tonight and as luck would have it, the internet is lightning fast, so I am taking advantage of it and am going to get caught up on blogging.

On Wednesday night after making visits at the office we went to a nice dinner at a place called Mediterraneo.  It was very elegant food.  Tracy says there are lots of places to get good food in Kampala.  We even felt safe eating a green salad with our meal.  Sometimes that could be dangerous because we have to wash all of our fruits and vegetables in a bleach solution to make sure they are safe for consumption.  Even pineapple.  
We decided to give ia salad a try and we were just fine.  We also started taking our Doxy pills (Doxycycline) which are supposed to help fight against Malaria.  If we are taking the pills and an infected mosquito bites us than more often than not we will not get sick.  The problem is....the pills can make us sick.  Many missionaries stop taking the pill because it makes them feel nauseous.  To combat that it is suggested that we take the medication with food.  That has helped us.  Neither of us has felt any side effects from the medication. (Is this boring info?  I'm not sure how much to write.  I guess it will be good to remember these little details in twenty years when we come back to reminisce.)

That night Tracy and I stayed back at the mission home while the guys went to the airport to pick up another senior couple.  That was nice because I was really tired from jet lag and Tracy had a lot to get done before we left the next morning.

On the way to the airport Rick saw two weird things.  These guys on roller blades hitched a ride on the back of this taxi and 'rode' it for about a half mile.

Then he saw a guy leading these two camels down the street....

I guess I should take this opportunity to talk about what we are seeing here in Africa.  If you read Sister Collingses blog this will be a repeat of some of the things that she mentions.

First and foremost let me say that the people here are very kind.  They love God and seem to be happy.  The people I have met seem to have good hearts.  The women dress very modestly which is refreshing and I would say 98% of them wear dresses or skirts. Most people don't wear any deodorant from what I can tell so that will take some getting used to:-0  It's gonna take some time to get my "African ears" because I'm having a hard time understanding what people are saying.  I hope all goes well for church tomorrow and I don't offend anyone because I'm not quite following what they are saying.  I hope I can learn soon.

The living conditions here in Uganda are very much like that of Mexico.  The standards here are very different than what we are used to.  Of course, there is a lot of poverty.  Many of the men here just cannot find jobs.  Even if they get a good education..... there are no jobs.  The women are often out working in the fields, selling their wares on the side of the road, or cooking over a small fire outside of their living quarters or shops.  The women wear their beautiful colored dresses with big headpieces often of the same material.  It is very beautiful to me.  Many times they are walking around with big baskets or buckets on their heads selling some kind of food.  It is amazing what these women are carrying on their heads.  Sometimes they are carrying huge bags filled with who knows what and they look really heavy!   

The traffic is really crazy!  Lots of people on the roads edging their cars into traffic trying to get from point a to point b.  Lots of van taxis FILLED to the brim with people.  Lots of people walking on the sides of the roads as well as crossing the roads.  Along with this are thousands of motorcycle taxis called bota botas carrying as many as up to four people on it dodging in and out of traffic.  Pretty crazy!  And to top it all off everything is on the opposite side.  Steering wheel on the right and driving on the left.  I must say Steve (and Tracy) have really gotten the hang of it since they arrived in June.  I feel very safe with them at the wheel.  Rick and I will be getting a small pickup truck next week to have for our transportation.  Rick is excited to drive.  I'm not too nervous.  I know he will get the hang of it really quick.  He has had lots of experience driving in different countries (Rome was one of the worst) and even practice driving on the wrong side of the road (Australia, St. Thomas, and England)  It won't take long for him to get in the groove.

There is a lot of red dirt and there is always a smell of smoke in the air because people are always burning stuff.  I'm not sure what but I'm thinking they burn their garbage.  Just a guess.  So there is always a smokey smell outside especially in the evenings.  Along side of the roads are lots of cement shops painted in bright colors.  They sell all kinds of wares in these shops from clothing to cell service to food.  It is fun to see the people outside cooking and selling their food.  There are are a lot of produce and vegetable stands.  I'm excited to check those out.  I have not taken any pictures of everyday Ugandan life but that is on my agenda in the next week when we get settled in Mbale.

Yesterday we left the mission home early to get to the Mukono Zone Conference.  We got there a little early so while Tracy and I sat in the car President and Rick did a little street contacting.  They met a man name Mohommad who said he would like to come to church on Sunday.  The missionaries in the zone are going to follow up with him.  The zone conference was really good.  Sister Collings spoke on having a good attitude and the difference it can make on our mission experience.  President spoke of God's grace and the meaning it has in our lives.  They both were excellent!  Then the zone leaders did some teaching with a learning based activity.  It was a great conference.  I had no idea that  it was going to last for four hours!!  It was a long one.  Afterwards we gathered as a group and went to Mohammad's restaurant and sang I am a Child of God to the workers there.  Unfortunately Muhammad wasn't there but the workers took a video.

Here are the missionaries gathering to sing at the restaurant.

Afterwards we ate at a little cafe not far from the church.  It took  FOR -EV -ER to get our food and we were all sooo hungry by that time.  Here we are at the cafe.  I enjoyed getting to know the missionaries.

After lunch we hopped in the car to head to Jinja where we stayed for the night.  We met up with Jinja's Stake President, President Mbiru (with his wife and baby) and John (an investigator) and his wife and child.  We were able to spend time visiting and then ultimately talk to John about the Book of Mormon.  It felt good to testify of truth to him.  He is an interesting character and he has committed that he will come to Stake Conference in a couple of weeks.  We stayed at the Nile Village Hotel.

Me with John's little girl.  I wish I could remember her name.  She was really sweet.  She was full of smiles!  I wonder if she had ever seen a Mazunga (white person) before.

Our group without John.

John and his WHOLE fish.  He ended up taking it home to eat.

The Nile Village Hotel.....

The next day was more of the same.  We had a double zone meeting with the Jinja and Inguru Zones. More teaching and meeting of new missionaries.  It's hard to remember all of their names.....expecially the African names!  All of the missionaries seem to be top notch!  I was quite impressed with their insight these last couple of days.

 I feel for President and Sister Collings.  They have so much to do and so many missionaries to know and take care of.  One hundred and twenty right now.  Tracy is the nurse for all of the missionaries so a couple of times a day, missionaries will call for advice if they are not feeling well.

I will finish up for tonight because it is getting late.  We are staying at the Mbale Resort and it is very nice.  Our room even has carpet and a bathtub!  Shaving my legs in the shower has not been too fun:(  

We are going to go to the Mbale branch tomorrow and then drive the four hours back to Kampala.  We have a project on Monday that we have been invited to so I will post about that next time.  We should be in our house by Wednesday if everything goes well.  I am excited to get settled into our home but it is not quite ready yet.  It is having some repairs done but I'm hoping to at least see it tomorrow so I can start purchasing things that I need for the place.  I'm hoping that the internet is good in our living quarters or it might be a while before my next post.  Signing off for tonight!!

1 comment:

  1. What a SUPER INTERESTING Post!! Wow--Thanks SO MUCH for telling us all these things! It truly IS good that you put all this down in print so you'll be able to look back on it and remember all these little things--after you get all "used" to everything!!
    I commented on every single little thing the other day, but LOST all my comments--so--suffice it to say--I really enjoyed reading all this!! Love, Karen