Monday, July 30, 2007

curt's journal from Uganda-July 29

Today before church I decided to cook breakfast for everyone. I don’t quite have the tools I have at home and so I improvised. Bad idea! Everyone was nice about it, but those were the nastiest poached eggs and toast I’ve ever made. I know it’s hard to ruin such an easy dish, but I managed just fine thank you.

We walked into church at about 10:00 and were ushered to the front where seats were saved for us. The church is a large building with rustic wooden beams and a Ugandan red dirt floor. The floor was hosed down the day before during the kids choir practice to keep the dust down. That was something you don’t always see. We didn’t get out of there until after 1:00, but if it were up to me, it would’ve gone longer. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t understand much but it was very moving. It’s a bilingual service so everything that is spoken in English is translated into Luganda and visa versa (and the speakers switch back and forth between the two making it mental gymnastics for someone like me). I’m finding that, although English is the official language, Luganda carries the weight of this country. The music was extremely moving even though I didn’t understand much of it. When the choir went into the Luganda version of “When We All Get to Heaven” I was moved to tears. I found out later that it affected Leslie the same way.

At the end of the service, one of the pastors, Dithan, called Hillary up to the front. She had been working with the kids like she always does, so she didn’t sit by us. When she came up to the front everyone clapped for her and Dithan went on a long, description of all that Hillary had done for their mission work. He said he want to keep her there, “so if any of you young men would hurry up an marry her…” She was, of course, rolling her eyes and embarrassed but covered it well. He then had her introduce us up on stage. He asked us to say something and I was the only one that would at first. I proceed to completely BUTCHER two of the only words I know in Luganda. I was going to be SOOOO smooth, but I got nervous and blew it. At least I didn’t say a swear word.

After church and lunch, we took a two hour van ride to Bugandi Falls and also the source of the Nile river. The roads were under construction quite a bit, so there were some interesting maneuvers. I have no idea how people don’t get killed every day on the roads. It’s really something I can’t even describe. Lines and road widths mean nothing. Our tourist destinations were really beautiful. We paid a guy to risk his life by floating down Bugandi Falls…not sure how I feel about doing that, but…eh…it’s a living! The Source of the Nile, where Lake Victoria spills into the Nile River was beautiful. We took a few photos and then paid some gymnastics guys to give us a demonstration. Pretty much everywhere you go, people are trying to sell you something but this was pretty unusual. This guy shimmies up this pole that is not in the ground at all, then does all these fancy moves while his buddies drum and sing. It was pretty cool. I especially liked where he put both of his legs behind his head. That dude was limber.

On the way home, we stopped at a “rest stop” which is where you pull over to the side of the road and a whole bunch of people surround your car and try to sell you something. My sliding window was cracked open for a breeze and this young lady just took it upon herself to open it up wide. We bought some friend bananas, which were interesting. Some of them were the non-ripened variety, which tasted a bit like a tart squash. Others were mature, large, and very sweet and rich. It was a very interesting day all around. We were all really tired and came home and crashed. Leslie is sleeping hard as I write this. Tonight I’m going with earplugs to see how that works. (not for Leslie, for the dogs and Karaoke)

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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.