Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Trip (Part 5)

On Saturday, we headed to the Kingfisher Resort for the day. We spent a lot of time in the pool (had to make up for over six months without swimming) and in the process got ridiculously sun-burnt.  Kasana and I had lots of fun making fools out of ourselves with our "water ballet" routine.  Meanwhile, most of our siblings pretended they didn't know us... We also did some pretty nifty jumping photos.  The adults and Tiegan went on a boat ride, Kynan and John disappeared somewhere to play football, and the teenagers swam and talked about all sorts of happenings at the Kingfisher.  For dinner, we went to Two Friends.  Jensen, Catriona, Kasana, and I shared a small pizza and some Indian food. Mmm... At this point, half an hour before dinner, I am salivating thinking of all the delicious food we ate on our trip.  Going to Two Friends was an adventure because we spent most of the meal trying to figure out who was the very important person who warranted a more serious security check at the gate and all the soldiers around carrying AK-47s. By the way, the AK-47s are normal, the soldiers are not.  Usually it is just a couple of security guards. We never did figure it out though.  But that and the huge group of people (25 people) that got there before our huge group of people, caused our meal to come quite late. Meanwhile, we watched rugby and football on the television. But when the food came at 9:20, we enjoyed it all the more.  

The next day, we packed up to leave.  The Mortons went to a brand-new church in Jinja which has been started by a man who used to work at New Hope.  We were blessed to be able to attend the first service.  It was an open structure with a tarp as a roof.  To tie the tarps to the roof, Uncle Godfrey and a couple other men clambered up the ten-foot logs and tied them down.  A pretty impressive acrobatic act.  We enjoyed worshiping there as well as getting to see Uncle Godfrey and Auntie Florence's family.  Then we began the journey back to Kasana and reached there in the late afternoon.  This March will be very memorable to me.  It was lots of fun!

Our Trip (My 15th Birthday!)

On Friday morning I woke up and Catriona and Kasana informed me that I would be receiving a gift every hour.  For breakfast, I had a banana muffin which was a little over done because I had forgotten to tell my mum they were in the oven the day before when I left the house.  But they were still very good!  I was also given a little inspirational speech by Uncle James about how my life was like a tea bag package.  The outside was like the first fifteen years of my life with all the writing on it but the inside was blank because nothing had happened yet.  It was very profound and I was impressed that he came up with that on the spot. 

Now I should try and explain the plan for my day so that you can understand when I explain how it didn't turn out as planned.  My dad had to finish doing some work at the camp so Catriona, Kasana, and I were going to go with my parents in the 5-seat, air conditioned car at around lunch time.  Meanwhile, the rest of the Andersons, John, Uncle James, and the auditors were going to go in the 14-seater, not so comfortable, non-air conditioned car.  They would leave the camp around 9:00, go to Lugazi, drop off the auditors and Uncle James, and drive to Jinja.

Unfortunately, Auntie Tiff got sick so after a lot of deliberation up until five minutes before the 14-seater left, we decided that the girls would go in the first group and Auntie Tiff would stay with my parents.  On the drive to Jinja, I received more little gifts and we talked about all sorts of things.  And Kasana and I, and sometimes Catriona, played "car games." You may know the alphabet game where you look for all the letters in the alphabet.  We play it a lot on trips here.  But on the way out of the camp there really aren't a lot of signs so instead we looked for things that started with each letter of the alphabet.  For example, anthill, bird, cow, dog all the way up to zipper.  We also had a debate about whether the last letter of the alphabet is "zed" or "zee."  We took a vote and since we actually had seven Canadians and Ugandans and only six Americans, and the two youngest Americans said it was "zed", a decision was reached.  And of course we came to the conclusion that it was "zed", didn't we Kasana?  

We got to Jinja around 12:30 and ate some snacks for lunch, relaxed on the swings, and talked.  I also received more gifts.  My parents arrived a few hours later and Uncle Tal went with Auntie Tiff to the clinic.  We also called in our orders to the restaurant we were going to.  By the way, trying to order in food for 17 people can be complicated, but Catriona handled it very well.  She was also asked if the food should be ready on African Time or American Time to which Catriona promptly said "American Time."  

It paid off, and the food was ready when we got to the Keep.  The girls split three meals.  We had a meatball sub, a chicken sandwich, and a Caesar salad.  Then the people at the Keep came and sang happy birthday and gave me a giant piece of chocolate cake which fed all 17 of us!  I also received my 14th gift which was from my parents there--a necklace and a book.  

We went to pick up Auntie Tiff from the clinic and headed back to where we were staying.  My parents came to the girls' banda to watch my birthday slide show.  Thank you to everyone who sent a message. I really appreciated it!  Then my parents left and we watched a movie.  After that, we went to bed.  And that was my 15th birthday!  I had lots of fun and was so glad that I was able to spend it with my friends and family.

And besides encountering some imposing knights, it was also very peaceful! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our Trip (Part 3)

We left Kobwin on Thursday and began to travel down to Musana Camps.  We once again enjoyed gonja and chicken-on-a-stick.  After travelling to Lugazi, we turned off the tarmac and headed over the dirt roads.  The roads were pretty bad this time.  There were lots of ruts and potholes, but thankfully we made it to the camp guesthouse safely a little before 1:00.  

Some of us went down to the beach which is on Lake Victoria.  The view and breeze is lovely down there and we played games on the beach.  Then we began the hike up the hill.  When we reached the top, we played a few games of Bananagrams. 

After that, Catriona, Kasana, and I went down to the main campsite to play carpet ball.  If you don't know what that is it is basically a long, narrow table with a bucket at each end.  Each player stands at one of the ends and arranges their balls on the carpet.  Then you roll a ball down the table trying to hit the other person's balls into the bucket.  Whoever knocks all the other persons balls in first wins! We had lots of fun, even though I'm not very good at it.  

Then we went back up to the guesthouse to relax and help with dinner preparations.  We had some delicious fresh fish from the lake with rice and guacamole.  After dinner, we watched a movie and went to bed.

The next day was my birthday! Post coming soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our Trip (Part 2)

Kobwin, as always, was lots of fun.  A majority of our time was spent cooking and cleaning up after meals with eighteen people! Some of the meals were cooked at Auntie Constance's house where many of us stayed but Kasana, Catriona, and I had the privilege to cook with Auntie Christine, one of the family group mothers.  She is one of the most joyful and hospitable people I know.  I don't know too many people who would be genuinely excited to invite eighteen people for dinner when you already have twenty children you are responsible for!  We enjoyed cooking ebo, rice, atapa, and pork with her.  We also extremely enjoyed eating it! Ebo is a mixture of cooked leaves and g-nut sauce and atapa is one or a combination of millet, cassava, and sorghum flour boiled until it is firm but sticky.  It's sort of hard to describe but it's good!
Me and Auntie Christine


Kasana, Catriona and I also had fun doing our school work up on the big rocks (got to love homeschooling!) We also decorated one of Auntie Constance's walls with a Bible verse.  In the evenings, we played games and went up to the rocks.  Wow! The stars were very clear and beautiful!

One of the rocks. We even saw some monkeys on our last day there!

Kobwin is truly a beautiful place with beautiful people and it is always a joy to go there.  I'm looking forward to our next visit!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Our Trip (Part 1)

Two weeks ago, we started our journey to Kobwin, Musana, and Jinja.  My dad and Uncle Tal and Uncle James (accountant) and the auditors were going to work at Kobwin and Musana.  So our family and Uncle Tal's family decided to tag along.  We then planned to stay a few days in Jinja.  Our family was the advance party and the Andersons were going to leave Kasana after church on Sunday and pick up Uncle James and the auditors in Kampala.  Catriona stayed with them because her worship team was having a worship night on Saturday and leading worship on Sunday.  

Dad, Mum, John, and I left Kasana on Saturday morning to drive to Mbale.  We had to stop in Kampala to shop. We picked up some yogurt for lunch and then got back on the road.  Before you go into Jinja, you can stop to buy chicken on a stick.  You drive up and your car gets surrounded by people trying to sell you chicken, gonja (roasted banana), and drinks.  We bought some chicken and gonja and were on our way again.  By the way, it is delicious! 

We got to our hotel in Mbale around 6:30.  We were going to eat dinner outside but after a total of three minutes, my legs and feet were covered in mosquito bites so we chose the muggy indoors to the buggy outdoors.  It was a good decision because it meant that we could set up our Settlers of Catan game and play (in the light) until our food came.  Since our food didn't come until about 9:00 I was glad we came inside.  The food was delicious though--goat stew with matooke and rice. Mmm... After we finished our game, we went to bed.  The next morning, we went to an OPC church.  It was a different service from Kasana.  We sang from hymnals and it was much smaller, but it was great to get to see another church in Uganda. After eating lunch at the church, we got back in the car to drive to Kobwin! We were welcomed by Auntie Constance and many of the staff members and children.  

Part 2 is coming soon!