The mood in Uganda last week was very celebratory as Uganda celebrated its “Jubilee” – 50 years since independence! The city was decked out with decorations celebrating Uganda – banners and balloons at the roundabouts, and banners with the stripes of their flag on the telephone poles:
They had a huge celebration service in town that was attended by 15 different presidents and other VIPs.
We didn’t feel like battling traffic, crowds, and heat with young children, so we celebrated the Jubilee at home. We spent a great day talking, laughing, singing, and dancing with friends. Here is Natalie wearing her cool sunglasses and dancing:
In other news, we took our first family road trip in Uganda last Thursday. One of the best things about my job is that it is very family friendly, and the children can come with us whenever we need to travel. However, one of the stressful parts of my job is that the children can come with us whenever we need to travel 🙂 Traveling with young children is both a blessing and a stressor! I am trying hard to view our travels as “fun adventures” instead of exhausting feats of patience and perseverance. We have a lot of “fun adventures” coming up – we were in Northern Uganda last Thursday, will be leaving very early next Wed to go to Zambia for a week (we have to arrive at the airport at 2am!!), then Southern Uganda the week after we get back, and then Kenya for three weeks in December.
So last Thursday was our first adventure when we went to visit one of our partners, Stella Matutina, a Catholic girls boarding school in Northern Uganda. Stella Matutina was originally started as a school for girls who were coming out of captivity with the Lord’s Resistance Army.
It was supposed to take 3 hours to get there, but because of traffic it took nearly five hours each way, making a total of 9 1/2 hours in the car in one day!
I was crammed in the middle back seat between the two car seats, and I have perfected the art of leaning over Nathan’s carseat to breastfeed while we are both still buckled – a very important skill for long car rides with a baby! Amazingly, both kids did very well during the car ride which gives me some hope for our upcoming adventures.
We had a very nice visit and returned home with a full car – we had 44 oranges that we bought for $1.20, about 40 pounds of peanuts in a huge sack that the Sisters had given to us (they grow peanuts at the school) and 4 live chickens for our newly built chicken house! The chickens were in the back of our Surf with their legs tied together – several times when we hit a bump we heard “cluck, cluck” and the sound of wings flapping wildly. I was concerned the chickens would fly over the seat and land on me or the kids, but thankfully they remained in the back. We almost came back with a kitten as well – Natalie spent most of the visit playing with two kittens at the school, which the Sisters insisted we should bring home with us. However, we already have a kitten plus a dog and some chickens, so we decided that is enough animals for now!
In the next post I’ll explain a little more about Stella Matutina and the good work they are doing.