I've been wanting to update and let everyone know how things are going for a few days. The problem is that there is so much to share. So I think I'll just jump in and try to share what comes to mind. I will try my best to explain what we see and experience.
We traveled on Aug. 31 from Dayton airport, to Atlanta(2.5 hr. layover), to Amsterdam(another 2.5 hr. layover), to Kigali, Rwanda(let people off and pick people up), then to Entebbe, Uganda. All said and done it took over 26 hours from Dayton to Uganda. God answered many prayers by having all the fees for 27 checked in bags waived, no delays, all children and dog(Buckets) did very well, and all bags arrived at destination. On top of that when we arrived in Uganda we were greeted by another missionary co-worker who took wonderful care of getting us transportation on a bus(also called coaster)and a house to stay in for that night. The next morning we visited the Game store(dept. store) and supermarket to buy some things before heading to Jinja. Needless to say we were all anxious to travel to our home in Jinja which is a two hour ride from Kampala, the capitol of Uganda.
Friday, Sept. 2 we arrived at our new home. What a home!!! God blessed us with a beautiful home that was lovingly prepared by many who serve here in Uganda. All the kids rushed in the door to see their rooms and Aaron and I stood in the living room in awe of how beautiful it is. We quickly were going in one room and then another trying to take in all we were seeing. All I can say about our home is that it is beautiful not only because of the furnishings, but because so much love and hard work was poured into it by many of our fellow missionaries. After lunch everyone left to allow our family time to be in our home by ourselves. However, plans changed quickly (as they often do here) and Aaron had to leave to do an errand. So I started unpacking some things so we could at least have the basic necessities.
In the next few days I worked at getting all bags and boxes unpacked while traveling hither and yonder to get things in Jinja. Some of the most memorable things thus far for me was my first trip to the market. Wow!!! What an experience. There were so many people and things smashed into small places that it was so hard to move. It is amazing what you can find at the market. Things you wouldn't think of like caulking, plungers (called toilet pushers), bolts and screws, any vegetable I think you could imagine, live and dead chickens, goats, fish, and the list goes on and on. Trying to get around Jinja was not so easy at first. The biggest issue is that everything is backwards in comparison to the US. You drive on the wrong side of the road, the steering wheel is on the right side of the car, and everything but the brake and gas are opposite. God help me if we purchase a vehicle that is a stick shift since I've never driven one:) I asked the missionary who took me to the market how long it would take me to get around and find things in Jinja and the central market. Her response was that there is alot more traffic now, then when they first moved here over 20 years ago. Oh boy, I thought. However, two days later I had visited the market two more times, I could navigate around Jinja, and I had actually driven a couple of blocks to drop Nick and Dylan off at they youth Bible study. So now this little town is becoming home.
The children are all doing very well. Nick and Dylan have spent time making lots of new friends. Marie and Joey have new friends of their own and have already been to a couple of birthday parties. The church we are attending is wonderful. Hate to tell you Urbancrest family but Marie said it may even be better:) I think it's because we get to sit outside under a tree. Everyone here has been so supportive, encouraging, helpful, and loving. God has blessed immeasurably. Buckets is doing well and getting along with our German Shepherd, Misty. We do have a few gecko and frog friends that live in our home with us. So far no snakes or rats, but I'll keep you posted:)
Life here is very different, hard at times, but without a doubt an adventure. When things are absurd it is referred to as TIA(This Is Africa). For example even though we drill into concrete walls screws pull out, the power strips are not grounded, if it's new it doesn't mean that it will work for more than a few days, ants overtake your home in a matter of hours, water in bathroom floor because of clogged drain, huge gaps around new windows where critters can easily enter, and the list could go on and on. Even through the many inconveniences I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. A huge blessing that occurred was that Aaron didn't get shocked when drilling into the wall to hang a fan. The drill bit hit the wires but instead of going through them, the black and red wires just moved apart. Thank you Jesus!!!
Thank you to all that pray for us and encourage us through emails. I will have pictures and possible videos soon. I've been so busy trying to get our house in order that I haven't had time to enjoy Uganda yet. Today we did get to have lunch overlooking the Nile River and believe it or not we ate pizza:) It was really good too. God has been our strength through the small trials that have come and will continue to be and through it all we pray that we glorify His name. I am going to have the children post soon, so they can share their experiences thus far. Please continue to pray for our family as we transition to this new land and this new home. We wouldn't be here if it were not for the many faithful supporters and prayer warriors that we have. Thank you all.