Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ugandan Adventures: Days 3-4 (trip 1)

2/2012  Due to the nature of adoption in Uganda (and, frankly, the occasional craziness of the Ugandan adoptive community), I chose not to share any details about our adoption while we were still in process. But because this blog is the story of our lives... I want to go back and fill in those empty spaces.

 To see all of my adventures in Uganda (or at least the ones I've posted so far), click on the "Ugandan Adventures" tag at the bottom of this post.

Here's the message I posted to my secret/private facebook group describing life at the babies home and my first few days.

  • Days 3&4... (part 1)
    Hey Everyone!! Doing well here... Typed a LONG message here and then the internet shut down...

    THANK you for all of your sweet words and messages, they've meant the world to me!!

    My meeting with our lawyer went really well, I really like her! I'd appreciate your prayers for her, as so much of our case depends on her! I'd like to give you some other things to pray for as well - things that won't mean much to you and that I hardly understand enough to explain, but that our case hinges on... Will you pray for:
    - Our affidavits to be completed and filed quickly
    - The short and long certificates to be obtained quickly and easily
    - The police involved in our case to be found and cooperative
    - the probation officer assigned to our case to be honest and easy to work with (this is a BIGGIE.)
    - The judge to which our case will be assigned.

    Matt was interested in the schedule at the babies home, just to know what I was doing when I'm there, thought y'all might like to hear that too... I am 8 hours ahead of those of you who are central time.

    The morning shift is 9-1pm and the afternoon shift is 3-7... We can go early to help getting everyone up or help feed the babies at midnight or 4am - I haven't done any of those things yet, but plan to a couple of times.

    In the mornings, they start with prayer, and then have "class." I was in M's class yesterday. I did like his teacher, but she left the room several times, leaving me and one other volunteer with the older kids. They listen to the mamas, but not the volunteers - they kept escaping and when I tried to get them back in kicked and hit me, and would have bitten me if I hadn't been watching for it. My friend Anne (Dutch) got bitten... after 1.5 hours of chaos, they have a very organized snack, go to the bathroom (or have there pants changed, since they've all peed everywhere by then...), and if you're our M, pee on themselves again immediately - twice. Then they have free play outside until noon and lunchtime. After lunch, they all get washed and changed again - which means naked wet children running everywhere. You just grab them as you catch them and put clothes on them - which explains the mismatched, genderless clothing - and ask a Mama which bed they go in. It's pretty crazy, and yesterday felt like the longest 4 hours of my life! But it was fun, and I spent the whole time with M's class, which I loved.

    They nap 1-3 (and they mostly all sleep), play outside from 3-6 (crazy time) and then have dinner at 6ish. After dinner we replay the naked wet children running away game . It's wild, but it's my favorite part - because once I catch them, dress them etc., then I get to cuddle them and pray into their little ears before putting them down. Delightful.

    Then I go back over to the guest house for dinner, prepared by the guesthouse manager, Joel, who is lovely. Dinner last night was African food, complete with Chipati and pineapple. LOVED IT.

    Part 2: Yesterday I got to have my first outing with much fun! Some of the other volunteers were heading into town to the western mall, which is where I needed to take M to get passport pictures (our lawyer will start on those as soon as our case is filed as the passport sometimes takes a while.) I took advantage of the company and shared cab ride and M & I went with them.

    I got to pick Marvin up after nap and take him back to the guesthouse to change him (and take a few pics!).

    He was nervous - he kept pointing back over to the babies home and looking at me questioningly! He was amazed in the car - with BIG EYES looking everywhere and holding tightly to me. He was awed by the mall too, and especially loved the escalator, which we rode several more times, just for fun. His passport picture is HILARIOUS. I had to sit him on this high stool, then the guy moved big reflectors around him and got right in his face, turning his head this way and that to get the right angle. He looks TERRIFIED n the pictures, open mouth, wide eyes, furrowed brows (like Tobin!) He relaxed a lot after that (I put him in my sling to shop and walk back to our driver), but still the Ugandans all asked, "Why is he not happy?" because he was so serious.

    It was precious time with him, and hard to take him back home. I did the church nursery wait-until-they're-distracted-and-sneak-off move because I knew he would freak and cry when I left. I haven't seen him yet today, but plan to spend the afternoon over there... But this morning, I had one more adventure... my first boda ride!! (Boda = Ugandan Motorcycle Taxi)

    I needed to go down to the US embassy to get a form for the medical appointment I need to take Marvin to for his eventual visa. There was a girl here for a few months who took bodas to work every day, and she left a helmet, so I wore that - whatever you can get, right? It wasn't nearly as scary as I expected, I didn't even have to close my eyes once. Although my arm did cramp up from holding on for dear life - one arm to the boda, the other clamped around my purse, or, if necessary, grabbing on to my driver's shoulder (which isn't the usual thing, but he told me it was OK :D). His name was Eric, and he was very nice. I told him it was my first Boda ride and I was nervous and he went slow and carefully for me! We actually had a conversation on the way back, he asked me if I was a Christian and born again! It was fun to talk about faith with a Ugandan, and he told me all about his family (2 kids, a boy and girl) and asked about mine. I felt very brave and adventurous, and also thankful that several hundred friends are praying for my safety .

    Love you all dearly!! Would love to hear from you - I should be back on the internet on Friday (it's Wednesday 12:40 for me)...