Many wonder at our days here. Why do we have to be here so long, what do we do, we must be so busy.
I would love to answer some questions that people actually have, so if you have them, comment on this post, I will try my best to post a FAQ (as it pertains to our family) next week!
For today, I’d thought I’d give you a run down for our day. Today was our first full day at our apartment. We really enjoy this place, it is new and fresh and clean. We are on the 3rd floor, so there aren’t bugs like there were at our last place. It is much closer to downtown Kampala, but is in a quiet, safe part of town. We have a kitchen, with an oven (that we are assured will be working by Saturday for Micah’s birthday). We also have more then one toilet for the 6 of us :). We have a full set of dishes and a nice sized fridge. We have more beds for the kids (2 instead of 1) and space to really unpack for the first time since arriving in Uganda. We are no longer living out of suitcases! They are put away under our beds for now! We also have consistent, fast wifi, which was lacking at our last place and is such a blessing with keeping up with friends and family back home.
We miss our friends (the 2 other families) that are still at the lodge. We will actually go down there tomorrow for church, lunch and pedicures with the girls (girl time!) and to let the kids play. They are happy for that! We also miss the outdoor space. This is more of an apartment (though they still come clean every other day!) than a guest house/lodge, so the bottom floor is parking and paved, no green space right here.
So today we had NO PLANS. Usually during the week we are waiting to hear if we need to go into town for something, and we have our schooling, etc. Before, on Saturdays, the kids played all day outside. We would maybe go to the grocery store or go visit the Kirabo Seeds kids. But every trip took time, driver, etc. The grocery store was 2.5-3 miles away, one way, so walking there was a chore with 4 kids, 2 of which want to be carried. So we’d have to pay a driver to come get us.
Today, we had no school and a day to explore. Since the first day we found this place, the kids wanted to go to the ‘workout room.’ I’m all for increasing interest in exercise, so I promised them after breakfast we would head down there first time. We were given pancake mix before we left that we brought. We used it once with all 3 families and it was such a good taste of home. I had planned our first big breakfast to be pancakes and eggs! I missed the batter, turned the gas on, hit the pilot light, and nothing. We tried everything and couldn’t get it to work.
So, we made do with toast, fruit and juice and called it a meal. We have bought a few stuffed animals/dolls here for the kids to take home. This one is Anna’s, but she was being ok sharing it with Judah this morning (or, that may be while his smile is so big, he had taken it from here, LOL). He immediately put it on his back like al the moms carry their babies here. I thought that was so funny because the first time I put him on my back he was like ‘what are you doing!’
One of our other priorities was covering this big window above our sink. It looks out into the hallway of the building, and there is a thin curtain in front of it, but you can see through it. Especially at night when we have lights on. Some of the other apartments have butcher paper up, but we don’t have that, so we did what any good Texan college student would do, and used foil!
After that, we headed down to the workout room. It has 2 bikes, a treadmill, and this equipment. It has another one still in pieces in the corner, and a bar with a few weights, but nothing to hold them onto the bar. All very safe ;). So I spent some time on the treadmill while Eric was on a bike. Cara and Micah took turns trying to be strong on this thing (below) and Judah just followed everyone around. I ended up giving Anna my phone to have 5 minutes of peace while I walked :). She was going to hurt herself.
After I walked/ran (I say that loosely, it’s been so long I think I only did 3 times of 90 seconds, and that was rough!), I tried out a few exercises on the machine. Cara and Micah took turns walking on the treadmill and Eric carefully did some bar exercises. Judah was tired of not being held, so he joined me for my last rep. And just so you know, do you know what’s hot? Working out here with one window open and no breeze :). We were mighty toasty when we were done!
After that, we decided to hit the road. We needed to find a rolex stand nearby. This was a staple at our old lodge. When it started getting to be dinner time and we had no idea what to do for dinner, Eric & Andrew (and sometimes all of us) would head up the hill to the rolex stand. Rolex is most similar to a taquito back home, but different. It is chapati, which is a staple here, with a fried egg on top with some tomatoes. Chapati is like a thicker, whole wheat tortilla, but better :).
Chapati costs 500 shillings (about 20 cents) each, and Rolex cost 1,500 (about $.60). So, we can usually feed our family for $2. They are also huge, so Anna and Judah will share 1 rolex, most of the time the big 2 will as well. We always order extra chapati (and now we are so happy to have a microwave to reheat them). They make great holders of PB&J, butter with powdered sugar, or our favorite, the off-brand nutella!! It tastes like a chocolate donut almost.
We started walking up the hill and found a guy! Eric told him to make us 10 chapati and we’d be back in an hour. We rounded the corner to the Capital City shopper’s village. It is similar to the Quality shopping village down in Lubowa where we were staying. The grocery store though is bigger, two stories, and has more of a walmart or target feel. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still in Uganda, but it has office supplies (Cara was so excited to get a big piece of manilla paper!), kitchen supplies, clothing, bedding, along with food.
We got a few supplies and stopped at the counter for some quick samosas for lunch. Samosas are typically 2,500 shillings for a pair (about $1). My kids typically only eat one. They are similar to an egg roll or empanada. Our favorite are the beef ones. They take seasoned meat and veggies (this varies, sometimes it’s carrots, onions, peas, tomatoes, just what they have on hand) and then bake or fry them in a thin dough, like an egg roll type, in a triangle shape. I just assumed they fried but I heard a lady today that was ordering ask if they were baked or fried, and they said baked!
We went to check out and realized we had walked and we might have bought too much :). We did buy a basin though. Our old lodge had a large bath tub. This place has 2 showers. So we bought a basin (less than $2) to put water in to bathe Judah (PS – he LOVED it tonight, knew right what to do verses in the bathtub when he thought he was in a swimming pool). So, we put Judah in the Ergo on my back, each kid carried a bag (before they eventually handed them to us) and Eric carried the basin with the rest of the items in it.
I’m sure we were a site to see walking the 3/4 mile back to our apartment. We stopped and got our chapati and headed home. The picture below looks like Cara is going to be hit by a car. I assure everyone it was just the angle and all was fine. Only Anna we have to keep out of the road :). I downloaded this picture earlier and told Eric it was going to make people nervous!
After our excursion we came home and had a little snack (we ate the samosas while we walked) and then put Judah down for a nap, around 2:30. He slept passed 5! I took a shower, played with Anna a bit and then vegged on the bed posting pictures online. Eric let the big 3 watch Disney Jr for an hour and they were in heaven! We didn’t really have tv at the lodge. There was one in the main house where we ate breakfast, so it took an army to pull them away (because the lodge staff always turned it to Disney or Nick Jr. when they saw us coming) to go start school. Our apartment came furnished with DStv, so we hope to use it as reward and not have them want to be glued to it all the time. But it was nice today, we all had a little quiet time.
After nap time we started cooking dinner. We had the lady here show us how to do the stove (she actually couldn’t figure it out, she had someone else come show us – so it wasn’t just us!) and we decided to do pancakes and eggs for dinner. We don’t cook on gas much (we have an electric stove at home) and we didn’t have a non-stick pan here, so it took awhile before we got the hang of things, but it worked and the kids loved it.
We have 3 balconies here and Cara hd been planning a tea party/picnic all day for us to go outside and eat. After dinner, the kids colored and played and Cara wrote out our menu. We pulled out 2 chapati, heated them up, slapped some nutella on them, sliced them into finger foods and she served us on the balcony :). She was so happy!
After that, we took baths and got in PJS and then we hooked up my computer to the tv and facetimed our moms. The kids were a bit crazy because they could see themselves on TV, so it was a little hard to hear :). We got to see both our moms, then it was bedtime. Their room has a king and a twin. Cara gets the twin, the little two are on the king normal and Micah lays across their feet. Here is what it looks like when we start. I went in to check an hour or so ago and they are all over the place :).
I’m up in the middle of the night again. I got a rash on my leg that itches on Wednesday, today it was bothering me. Also, we’re out of pullups so though I crashed almost immediately after the kids, I woke up worrying about Anna peeing in the bed! So I took her potty, put some cream on my leg and then couldn’t go back to sleep. I have no idea where my glasses are, so if this post is full of typos and misspelled words, i apologize :).
Tomorrow we are actually going back to the lodge. Gilbert, our driver, always heads down to take the Svalesons into town to their church (they found an Acts 29 network church to attend before they left online and have really enjoyed it). We are catching a ride down to the lodge with Gilbert and then will attend Watoto south with the Browns and Kirabo Seeds. After, we will walk up to Quality for lunch and then Marissa and Brittanie and I are going to get pedicures while the boys take the kids back to the lodge to play. We are praying that their process speeds up and this might be one of our last times to hang with them, well except Monday. We are planning a semi-going away party at the orphanage for all the kids there (well, for Uriah, Judah and Jude Daniel).
Thank you for reading and loving us through this process! We can’t wait to hug your necks!