Monday, July 30, 2007

curt's journal from Uganda-July 28

I promise not to always let my posts turn into novels, but right now I’m just overwhelmed by everything. The first night in our new home was a very interesting experience. I think at about midnight the local dogs began to howl like I’ve never heard dogs howl before. It sounded like wolves from all over wailing at the top of their lungs. The sounds filled the air for a long time and were nearly impossible to sleep through. I say “nearly” because our exhausted group of young girls heard nothing! They then continued to bark off and on all night. At about 1:30am Leslie and I heard this loud rattling on the gate below. I thought maybe it was the wind, but I couldn’t feel the slightest breeze, though I longed for one desperately. The loud rattling would go on for about 20 seconds and then stop for about five minutes, only to start up again. Then the rattling became banging, lasting progressively longer. It definitely had a human feel to it. I looked down and couldn’t see anything. Finally after about twenty minutes of this, the gatekeeper woke up and let the man inside. Resty told us that this happens every so often and sometimes they then argue for another 20 minutes. She wants to yell, “Argue in the morning! We are trying to sleep!” I’m currently cursing the invention of Karaoke. From our location we can hear a lot of loud, BAD, singing into all hours of the night.

Today we exchanged our money for Shillings. I was not aware traveling would require so much math. I’m sure I’m going to mess up and spend 20 dollars for a pencil. The good thing is that while we were waiting at the bank, I discovered a wireless network was available, so I was able to get on the internet to make that last post.

We all drove around with Moses and Hopkins and went to the store to pick up a few things. We drove by the square where Idi Amin dumped Moses’ father and a bunch of other men who dared to preach the Bible despite Amin’s warnings not to. They were imprisoned for a long time and starved to the point of almost dying and then put on display in the square. I was struck at how casually he talked about this…as if it happened all the time. So many in this country were persecuted and killed for their beliefs. They are true heroes in my book. This area is now undergoing massive landscaping for the arrival of the queen of England. There is a lot of construction and road and sidewalk repair going on as Uganda readies itself for this historic occasion.

This evening we ate dinner and Moses came by to talk further about the schedule we’ll be following while we’re here. We are all flexible and don’t really care too much what we do here. But he assures us we will be busy. He knows that Americans like to come and feel like they’re accomplishing something, but Hillary and Courtney have taught me through their experiences that it’s more important just to be here as an encouragement to the people and just flow with their schedule. On the other hand, we have some things we need to accomplish in order to properly promote the arrival of the choir in America in January. Hopefully, we’ll get the promotional video-taping done quickly and then spend a lot of the rest of our time in the schools, both here and in the bush. Balance is going to be the word. We need to allow ourselves to rest too. We are still feeling the effects of jet lag and Hillary has come down with some kind of flu, so getting our strength is going to be important. He told us that two weeks from Sunday is “our Sunday” at church. I think that means our family, with Mary, will be running the service. I’m not sure if that means ALL of the services or not. That would be from early morning until 7 or 8 at night. I might need a week to recover after that! I really don’t understand how Moses does all that he does. Everyone says he’s ALWAYS working. This weekend, he’s going to Eastern Uganda to preach in the bush. He told us that their church has 100 different ministries around Uganda, so unless we stay for 100 days we won’t be able to see them all. When he visited our home last year, he sat down in one of our chairs that has a wire frame and comfortable padding. It took all his effort not to fall asleep. He LOVED that chair, so we brought him one that my mom had and gave it to him the first night. He sat down in the chair and said, “I can tell this is an American chair” so we said, “It’s yours.” He looked at me in shock and then got down on his knees and grabbed my hand and thanked us. He was so excited. So mom, it was a big hit. Thank you from Moses.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the choir will perform for us (after school…they “only” go to school half days on Saturdays!) and Sunday we’ll be going to do some sight seeing for the afternoon after church. Monday we’ll start to do some filming and possibly some school visiting. We’ll see how the schedule goes.

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the latest on the sells

As of May 27, 2009...

Wow, it's been almost a year since we've updated this. Our family had a wonderful experience traveling to Uganda two summers ago, which prompted us to keep a journal on this blog. You can read our daily journal from our month long trip

This year brings new adventures. Our eldest daughter, Courtney, after graduating from George Fox University with honors, left for her third trip to India to spend nearly a YEAR to work at Happy Home for the Handicapped in Shimoga, India. You can read about her first trip to India and the impact it had on her life here. She'll also give us new updates from her current trip on this site (here). As of this writing, she is just starting to settle in and is very excited to be there. She has been looking forward to this for a long time!

Meanwhile, Hillary spent all of last year
touring the western U.S. with Matsiko, the choir of children we grew to love as our own in Uganda. She journalled about her experiences in Uganda if you'd like to see what that was like. At some point during this tour, she felt led to join the U.S. Army. Quite a big decision, and one she didn't take lightly. After moving through Basic Training with flying colors, she is now at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio training to become a combat medic. It's a very intense training, but we're sure she'll do well. Our whole family was able to travel to South Carolina to watch her graduate from Basic Training. What an awe inspiring experience!

Leslie is having a great year of teaching 5th graders. She's also in a Master's program, which takes a good chunk of her time. She's still finds time to read a TON of books. Literally, a ton!

Curt was overwhelmed by his experience as a first time overseas traveler and kept up his journal here (you can also read his random posts on everyday life here). The busyness of life and keeping track of his traveling kids has slowed down his writing, but he hopes to begin writing on a regular basis again soon.