Jamie’s folks have arrived! Some big hugs were exchanged, bags were piled into the pickup, and then parents stuffed into the backseat of the truck – we had them out of the airport and sweating in the Uganda humidity by 11pm. Five minutes later we were unloading ourselves into the guesthouse where we’d stay the night. Of course we managed to put them up in the only room without a working fan for the night. Sorry guys.
The next morning we got up early, had some breakfast, and booted our way up to Mpigi. Jeff & Shannon are in Mpigi right now with the team from Peace Portal Alliance Church… the team are mainly doing construction projects which include a new chicken coop and rainwater harvesting system, installing water tanks and gutters to direct the water for storage for the kids later. It’s always a pleasure for Jamie and I to visit the kids in Mpigi, see the Mamas, and reminisce as we look back towards “the hill” where we were engaged (the cell-phone tower jutting out of the hill serves to mark the occasion for years to come). A quick tour, quick hello to the kids, and then back into the truck for the rest of the drive back to Kibaale. Driving here is always a chore. You eventually get used to being run off the road, dodging potholes, and swerving around the hundreds of ambling 3 year olds on the shoulders of the highway, but every now and then the trip just leaves you wasted. This was one of those times, and it was good to get back to Kibaale, unload bags and parents into our house, and do a lot of nothing for a few hours.
This morning we were set to build a kitchen for a family of one of our students, Emmanuel. Rain had other ideas of course, which made for a different experience than planned. Rather than slinging mud outside and helping to finish construction on the kitchen, it ended up with the four of us huddling into Emmanuel’s living room with his family. The rain continued for over an hour, and passersby would come sprinting off the road and into the house in an attempt to stay dry. Eventually, sitting in this 7’ x 9’ room, were 12 adults and 6 children, talking very little as the sound of the rain drowned out all conversation, each person contemplating the gradual loss of feeling in their legs as they squatted and huddled just out of the wind. Definitely something to make you think. Definitely a unique and very Ugandan way to spend a morning.
Above: Jamie’s parents with a few of the younger kids at Mpigi, posing with Mama Rose. Also, Emmanuel and his family, and Deanna wondering how on earth she’s going to sneak this little package home in her luggage without Cliff knowing.