Sunday October 15th, 2007 - Kampala Uganda
I’ve made it. What I’m doing here I just don’t know. Last night in Kampala we stayed at a guest house. It was a nice guest house but I wasn’t prepared to stay there. I slept with my clothes on and a flash light around my neck. I locked the door and put a chair up against the lock. We kept hearing weird noises all night long. I woke up at 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep.
This morning we got up and got ready. I was so thankful that Kristin hung out with me last night. We came up with an excellent plan in the morning and we got out of there just in time for breakfast and packing up the van. We loaded up and headed to the church of Kampala. It’s an Anglican church at the base of the hill where the president of Uganda lives. Lots of wealthy people go there and worship. There were so many incredible ensembles. The ladies had sequins and drapery all over their bodies. The men had nice business suits or slacks with a traditional shirt on. But everyone looked outstanding. Even the kids’ church was in top shape.
The worship was incredible. They started off by singing the old Ron Kenoly song (ancient of days) but they totally styled it up. Then they also sang some hymnals which sounded so beautiful. We sang so many good songs. The choir was so good. They brought the house down. They had a traditional organist too with the tall pipes to the right of the pulpit. She kept everyone going too. The service was a healing service. The message came from Luke and James. And he called out those who needed a physical healing in their body to stand up. So different people around the church stood up. But they never mentioned AIDS or HIV. We asked Rena when we got back in to the car why they didn’t mention a healing for HIV/AIDS. She basically said that the stigma(s) still exists in the midst of them. I had communion for the second time at church while in Africa. It’s such a special treat.
After church we went to Garden City. This is the huge mall of Uganda. They have tons of shops and a food court. So that’s where we had lunch and then ventured out to Lira. Lira was an 8 hour drive over the worst roads I’ve ever seen in my life. Nema was suppose to join us and then called and said that she missed her flight. So the whole team was really bummed beyond belief. But now I can see why she probably didn’t even want to come out here. The CRWRC office is only in Kampala. There partners (marika & dale) are the ones out here. But CRWRC isn’t in Lira. They’re actually trying to full time staff someone. The place that we were suppose to go isn’t staffed either but Rena had lived there and knew the area better, and thought we’d have a good time there.
(Excuse me, I had to kill a bug while typing. It had gone down my shirt.)
The reason we didn’t go out there is due to the rains/floods and bad road conditions. Not sure why we drove to Lira either. The roads were deadly dangerous. I’ve been on bumpy car rides in 3rd world countries before, but these roads were especially bad. The hills were so flooded at the basin that they car kind of just floated for a bit until it found footing again. It rained so hard that the cars/vans/semi/matatus/ were sliding across each others pass. In the midst of this I ask if there is an airport in Lira. And guess what? There is. It’s a 1hr safe plane ride for $100 US. Not 8 hours in a death vehicle. I’m really bummed out.
Along the way I did find myself thankful for some of the adventures. I saw many villages full of vitality. Lots of kids laughing and playing in front of their homes. I saw many folks around the local café just handing out and talking. So lots of action in repair shops and furniture makers spots. Saw many people walking up and down the road or riding their bikes on errands. I saw so many kids with yellow jugs either bringing home or going to get some water. I saw other kids at the basin of the flood trying to scoop up the flood water into barrels. Every time we passed a new village there was a child who was dancing up and down and waving hello to us. The children of Africa are precious.
I wouldn’t give up this trip for anything. Even if it was just to say hello to the kids I passed alongside the road today. All of them fresh and happy with a new hope. Their older family members were sitting in door frames looking at us but not smiling/waving even though they really wanted too. They were just slightly more hesitant.
I honestly can’t tell you how many villages we drove through. I know it was in the 100’s. We passed by indigenous huts, apartments, conference centers, homes, and the like. Tons everywhere.
And then one of the coolest things of all time happened. Ali the driver told me to get my camera ready. To put it down on the ground but to have it ready. When he said go…I take a picture. Not a minute before and not a minute after. He said that there is security everywhere guarding the bridge. They don’t mind if you take a photo of the water but they always assume it’s of the bride or them, and that could fall into wrong hands. So what river did I cross? Do you really want to know? Do you?
I crossed the GREAT NILE RIVER…if flows into/out of Lake Victoria.
I can now cross that off of my list too.
So I guess if I had taken a plane to Lira, I wouldn’t have seen those beautiful faces or the Nile.
We are now at the hotel in Lira. We got here super late and way in the dark. We drove the last hour in complete darkness. I couldn’t find the moon and the thick rain clouds had covered it up. They only thing I could see were the trees highlighted every time thunder struck the ground. It’s was majestic. Thunder and lightning in the jungles of Africa. Who knows we were but the natural sights were so captivating.
(Sorry just got bit by a flea had to scratch)
So I have the nicest room in the entire guest house. I shouldn’t complain. Just when I came in I had over a dozen lizards and spiders the size of my palm on the ceiling of my bathroom and bedroom. Marika, I don’t know how you do it.
I sprayed my room down and settled in a bit. The guest house and private bungalows but they weren’t any better than this room. However everyone else is outside in a bungalow. I’m the only person in the hotel from US. Not a very safe feeling, but hey, it’s a journey right.
I’m borderline miserable. The town is in bad shape and we still don’t know what we’re doing. If I knew what we were doing, then I’d feel better. But I keep getting this feeling that no one knows what the hell to do with us. And I’m not walking out into the streets of Lira by myself to start praying & anointing people. My trips to TJ Mexico were 5 STAR compared to this spot.
I’m currently sitting in the corner of my room with all the lights on. Feet and pc on table. Crazy reality show in the background and trying to figure out how to fall asleep.
(I’ve got to take my malaria pills)
Maybe the journey has worn me out and I’ll sleep just fine.
I wish I could write about the greatness of God but these last few days have been interesting. I can sense Him. And I’m thankful truly that I’m here and can witness what is going on for myself. Pray that some kind of plan takes place tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to seeing dale & marika.
I have goodies from home for them.
I’m also going to take photos of this room so you can see it.
I’m partially ircked that we’re not at the other hotel down the street.
Sorry for the delay in writing. No www for two days in counting.
My love to everyone.
(sorry bug flew into my hair)