How have we been here for a MONTH? My brain hasn’t processed a thing! I’ve cried out of sheer homesickness, laughed through miscommunication, fallen in love with woven baskets, and forgot to post this a week ago.
We have a house! We have a yard! We have a kitchen with all the appliances, step-down converters, and correct voltage outlets. In the morning I roll off our air mattress, turn on the tea kettle, and rest my pregnant bum on our new rocking chair with cinnamon tea and lemon biscuits (cookies) in hand. Our living room is a fancy pants display of camping chairs and boxes. The place is a mess –we don’t even own a broom–but it’s ours, we’re in, and learning the sounds of the house. There’s the water tower that ticks like a giant grandfather clock outside our bedroom window. There’s the airport’s 10pm flight and vrooming takeoff. My favorite is the nightly downpour and thunder that coos me to sleep beneath our safely tucked mosquito net. John’s least favorite sounds are the too-early morning birds that laugh an obnoxious HA HA and pluck their breakfast from our lawn.
Ugandan “Rules” of the Road
We are an hour’s drive away from Kampala which is a total beehive of boda bodas (motorbikes), matatus (ma-tah-toos: taxi vans), and people selling bananas and sticks of gum across traffic. The city’s chaos and pot holes have sharpened John’s driving skills into a fearless force of aggression and bulldozing maneuvers. In short, he drives like a rhino (:
Below is a snippet of our unofficial driver’s ed course:
- Traffic is a game of chicken. The bigger the vehicle, the more right-of-way you have.
- Focus on avoiding the cars. The boda bodas will figure themselves out.
- Traffic lights are a new phenomenon and are slowly being enforced.
- Locals are more likely to cross the road if the driver is white/foreign because they know we won’t hit them (:
- Dusk doesn’t mean it’s dark enough to turn on your headlights.
- Speed bumps are sneakily hidden and unmarked.
- Sometimes there’s two-way traffic. Sometimes not.
Praises & Prayer
Moving to a new country can be stressful, but I believe God always wants us to seek Him. When I write about Him, the stress steps back into its box and I can see Him more richly.
- We had two back-to-back 10 hour flights. The first was from LAX to Amsterdam, then from the land of wooden shoes to the pearl of Africa. At the sight of my belly, the ticketing agent checked in all our luggage without the extra cost. Bless her.
- We stayed in Entebbe for less than 48 hours and then flew to Eldoret, Kenya for John’s flight training. Under the weight of travel fatigue and some serious jet lag, John put on his new work uniform and left for South Sudan. He passed his check ride and can officially fly for Samaritan’s Purse. What a victory! Below is a video to better understand his job. Lately they’ve been loading the plane with building materials to help assist SP projects in South Sudan.
- God has blessed us with community. There are five MAS (Missionary Aviation Services) families that have reached out, offered advice and assertion on what’s culturally normal, and are showing me how to barter at the market. They’ve even given us a bed while we continue to mattress shop.
- Our shipment of goods and baby supplies has made it safely into the house. Not a single item was broken.
- John’s sister, Jane, gave birth to a gorgeous and healthy baby girl August 31st. Audrey, you are so loved ❤
- I’m writing you from a very pregnant perspective rounding 7 months with a can-can dancer inside. Baby Pak’s growth is on track (yay!) but please do pray for my placenta to rise. If it doesn’t rise by next month, the probably of a c-section is much higher.
- There are three MAS babies due in October, November, and December. Oh 2019, what a grand finale!
- All those babies means less daddy pilots and a busier flight schedule. Please cover John and the team with protection, wisdom, and health in your prayers.
- Please lift up the women and pray that God reveals a work that we can all help together.
- Please pray for one wife who is experiencing headaches and stomach pains in adjusting to the country.
- John’s friend, Sam, will be visiting mid-October AND he’s going to bring our dogs!! Hallelujah! hahaha Please pray for Blitz and Rogue’s paperwork and journey. It’ll be a sweet reunion indeed.
I already know this next month is going to be filled with mistakes and lessons learned. There shall be loneliness and joy, exhaustion and excitement, frustration and forgiveness, a puny backbone and bravery, and many more cha-cha days. Two steps forward, one step back…wherever you are, keep going.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.