Saturday, August 11, 2007

curt's journal from Uganda-Aug. 9

Today was kind of a rest day. We did some cleaning around our place in the morning, then Hillary and I headed out to use the internet. It’s amazing what a grand excursion this is each time we want to simply check our emails and post on the blog. I definitely took it for granted before. Here are some other things I took for granted:

Consistent Electricity…it seems like several times a day it goes out. The lights are on a different system, so sometimes we have lights and no electricity and sometimes the other way around. The lights don’t ever work during the day. By the way, if you turn the coffee pot on, the refrigerator stops working. I really wish my friend Bob was here (otherwise known as McGuiver). He’d have this whole apartment complex rewired by now and he’d probably find a way to use a frying pan to bring in a satellite signal for internet. I’ve said this several times on this trip. If I ever come back to Uganda, he’s coming with me. End of discussion. (See you at Starbucks in three weeks from today, my handy friend)

Hot water…We have a hot water heater, but none of us has ever figured it out, plus it’s about the size of the coffee pot, so when we do get it, it doesn’t last too long. I don’t think I ever realized when I was home, just how many times I use hot water to clean things. It’s handy to have around.

Drinking water out of the tap…I’m getting used to the taste of our boiled water, but I definitely miss being able to just go in the kitchen and grab a cool class of water. There was a recent article in the local paper claiming the water here was deemed safe by the World Health Organization, but there was another article refuting it. All I know is they used the word feces in both stories, so we’re not about to take any chances.

Easy internet access…In recent years, it’s become such a part of my everyday life, like this morning, when we were trying to remember some really important information (“What movies has John Cusack been in?” We came up with three, but know there were more). It’s also such a quick way of communicating. But, when you have to plan your day around it (a boda-boda to Mateo’s Restaurant, a walk down the street to buy an hour’s worth of internet time…$6, logging out whenever possible to save time, multitasking every second online, calling our driver to pick us up, waiting for him to make his way through traffic, then back to the apartment, whew!) you start to wonder if it’s really worth it.

Washers and Driers…It took me about two hours to wash three pairs of socks and some underwear tonight. Okay that’s a slight exaggeration, but it is quite a process. I think I remember struggling as my mom grilled me over and over again on the difference between the “perma press” and “delicate” settings.

A quiet night of sleep…why don’t Ugandan dogs sleep at night? Every time I see one sleeping during the day in the hot sun, I want to scream, “WAKE UP! AH-OO-OO-OO-OO-OO-OO! RUFF RUFF! AYE AYE AYE!!!” Next time my dog at home gently woofs at 3am to politely tell me that he needs to go outside for a bit, I’m going to hug him and give him a gigantic slice of bacon.

Okay, before you think I’m just being a typical, spoiled, whiney, American. I’m just saying I took those things for granted, not that I can’t live without them. It’s been surprising how easily we’ve adapted to this way of living and our apartment life is way nicer than most of the people in this neighborhood or those who work for the organization we’re here with. In fact, much of the world lives without all of these things and doesn’t even know the difference. Tomorrow, I’m spending some time with Hannington at the place where he “digs” (the Ugandan word for farming). He took out a fifteen-year loan to get this piece of land, so he’d have food for his family and a source of income so that he can afford to be the assistant superintendent of the schools. I can’t wait to see his home.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Today I got a haircut at a place called “Dark and Lovely” that doubles as a video rental place. Almost every business here dabbles in something else. I don’t know about the video selection, but for haircuts, you can’t beat the “Dark and Lovely.” It cost $2 and was the most detailed, spoiling haircut I’ve ever received. At home I can buzz cut myself in the dark if I need to, so I’m not really used to this type of experience. It included a shave and several steps including scalp massage, ear hair removal, and Hillary’s favorite, the forehead shave. (I didn’t even know I had any hair there.) When he started in on my eyebrows, I politely put an end to it. I’m not really into the perfectly tweezed look myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… It was all Hillary could do to keep from laughing. After every step, I would say, “That’s great, thanks.” And then he’d go into another part of his routine. I now feel both darker and lovelier.


Stacey said...

OK, cracking up on this one Curt!! You certainly have not lost your sense of humor amongst your many challenges - and may not think the exhaustive internet trip is worth it, but we, back at home certainly do and appreciate it very much. Lots of love and prayers! Stacey

Stephanie said...

They shave ur forehead!? haha that is great! From now on u will be referred to as Mr.Dark & Lovely :)

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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.