Safely in our new home
Hello to everybody who's following along on our trip.
We are safe & sound in Mpigi. We arrived yesterday tired but in good spirits. Uganda TV was at the Entebbe airport to film a short piece as we arrived, and we soon drove from the airport in three specially hired Matatus (and a truck for our luggage.) After a long drive through Kampala to reach Mpigi, we received an amazing welcome as we drove up to the church. Many of the schoolchildren and members of the church lined the driveway, singing songs and dancing as we approached. Some women performed a traditional dance, and the children sang, all the while drums pounding out a solid African beat.
The rest of the day consisted of unloading our gear, taking a tour around the site, and generally getting settled. We got our first look at the new Children's home and the facilities that have been built over the last few months in preparation for our arrival. We cooked our first meal as a team (mmm... beef stew) and set up our tent city inside the church. In the late afternoon a fantastic, powerful storm blew in. It was a solid wall of water that quickly draped the surrounding hills in a solid, impenetrable grey wall. The pounding rain went on for several hours and baked the ground in sticky red clay.
A lot of our time is spent doing the normal things of life, much more than at home. The rain makes keeping the place clean a particular challenge. Cooking and moving dishes & meals between the guest house and the church (a solid jaunt up the hill apart) and staying hydrated are all new experiences. Everything requires planning and preparation... there's nothing 'pre-packaged' in this environment.
As you can probably gather, getting internet access has been a bit of a challenge. At the moment I'm sitting in a truck in Kampala waiting for Pastor Michael. I'm hoping to find an internet cafe soon to post this, after exchanging some team money and picking up bags from the airport...
...On arrival into Entebbe we found 10 of our bags didn't make the last hop from Nairobi to Entebbe. Two came in late last night, and the remaining eight will hopefully come in on the 2:30 flight. The people missing bags all came prepared with a few extra clothes and the essentials, so no-one is too put out.
Otherwise, the team is well. We had a good sleep last night, falling asleep to crickets and the sound of the generator (pumping water 24/7 from 200 feet beneath us to a cistern up the hill). You can pray for health & strength as the team adjusts to a new clock and a new environment. Also pray for continued bonding of the team as we adjust to new quarters and a much more intensive way of life. And pray for the week coming up, that our experiences will be impacting both for us and for those we come into contact with.
I've been taking lots of pictures. Since this time around I've got a high-speed connection, I'll upload a bunch so you can get a feel for what we've experienced so far. Thanks for following along.