Monday, February 15, 2010

Hot Showers

There were questions following our last post about the shower on the island.  A ladder leads to the top of the shower where water is poured into the black barrel.  The heat from the day's sun warms the water throughout the day.  Prior to taking a shower, heated water is poured into the barrel and the shower head delivers a toasty warm shower.  This is definitely a necessity because there is lots of dust and dirt.  Actually, we've never been as dirty as we've gotten during a day of walking on the island.
Missionary George is an engineer and he has creatively made the island accomodations relatively comfortable.  We have solar power so we have lights and can even use our computers. 
The dirt and dust is everywhere.  To the left is a termite mound.  Termites are everywhere on the island and pose a continuing problem in maintaining the buildings on the compound.  The buildings, unless they are brick,  will need to be replaced after about 4 years because of termite damage.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

“Wusuze Otyanno”

Luganda for “Good morning”, literally means, “How did you spend the night?”

We have been in Uganda for one month. Many things have occurred since our last blog but we are adjusting to our new home, community, culture and country. James has had the opportunity to preach/teach, with the aid of a translator, each Sunday since arriving in Uganda. He has preached within the State Prison twice and has taught several Bible studies for men and youth. Sonya has been involved in teaching women Bible classes and ministering to children. She has worked with the team leader to assist in the organization of the ministry’s medical clinic, planning for upcoming volunteer groups and with other administrative duties. We have seen six people come to faith in Christ.   Pray for two orphans on the Island who are homeless.  One has been a good student, in the past, but might not be able to complete his education because he has no family or support. Both children, about age 13, need to go to boarding school but there is no money for school fees.

We have had to make many adjustments since arriving in Jinja. James had his first auto accident the same day we received the 1998 Toyota RAV. I am happy to say the push mower survived the crash, and the automobile was undamaged. When we first got on the streets of Jinja, James used only the 1st and 2nd gears. He is now able to drive in 3rd and 4th gears but hasn’t driven fast enough to utilize the 5th gear.

It is difficult learning to drive a manual transmission automobile while also learning to drive on the right side of the road with no marked lanes, dividers, few stop signs, or street signs. The biggest challenge with driving here is that automobiles share the roads with, numerous buses (fourteen passengers vans filled with people), boda-bodas (motorcycles with passengers); piki-pikis (bicycles with passengers and crates), along with pedestrians all sharing the same narrow, rutted streets at the same time! A trip from Jinja to Kampala is approximately 97 kilometers (60 miles) and takes over 2½ hours, with an hour of stop-and-go traffic. (While in O’Fallon a trip to Springfield, IL was approximately 90 miles and took about 1½ hours to travel). Any extensive travel is very taxing physically and emotionally. This is why very little travel takes place after dark. There are few street lights and the driving and road conditions are dangerous.

We are learning how to get around in Jinja, our new city. We are now driving to the markets and negotiating prices. Food and other items here are very expensive, comparatively speaking to the states. The local supermarkets are often poorly stocked with foods with extremely long shelf lives and questionable expiration dates. Anything made in the US is especially expensive. Produce purchased at the open air markets are affordable and abundant. Thank God for that, so we can afford to eat!

We have started language lessons. We are “speaking” Luganda as toddlers. “Tuyiga Oluganda mpola mpola”. We are learning Luganda slowly, slowly. God Bless.