April's Blog
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September 1, 2011, 12:51 PM

01 September 2011 - Movie Night!

01 September 2011


Last night was one of those nights – 100% humidity.  I picked up something off the floor and a worm of some sort crawled out.  I smashed it.  Then a mosquito flew in front of my face.  Rick brought the mosquito zapper in but of course all the mosquitoes disappeared and he was only able to zap about 3 of them.  I had been suffering from a touch of  “Montezuma’s revenge” for two days.  Usually, it gets better after one day, but this time, no.  And, of course, it only strikes on days when the power goes out and you only have about 5 flushes of the toilet before the water quits running.  I was lying on the bed in our room feeling the soggy sheets, the soggy pillow, my crampy stomach, but somehow almost laughing.  I had just heard on my weekly FA conference call a statement, “If you’re going to laugh about it later, might as well laugh about it now!”  I’m going to use that often.  I was also struck with, again, such absolute awe at the bravery and dedication of the missionaries who came here 100 years ago.  They had a four-month trip by ship and then trekking overland.  They had no insect repellent, no way to communicate with home, no friends here already, no medicines – just a passion to share Jesus with people who didn’t know Him.  I know, they weren’t all so honorable, but most were.  The people here who are Christians are still thankful to them.  So who am I to complain because I only have power every other night, or have to eat the same rather bland food day after day, or go to endless ceremonies with endless speeches in a foreign language? 

One wonderful thing I have discovered this trip is Skype.  I put $10.00 credit on it about 10 days ago.  I have been on my 90 minute conference call twice, an hour arguing with Western Union, and about an hour just calling friends back home for various reasons, and I still have almost $4.00 credit left!  I’ve also had some video calls with a few friends who have Skype on their computers also, and those calls are FREE!

Also, I have learned some valuable words in Rukiga.  One is the word for “all gone.”  So now, when kids ask for balloons, or “sweeties,” and we don’t have any with us, we can say “zahwa.”   I also learned the word for “you give me money,” so when someone asks me for money now I just say “no – zumpey!”  I also learned how to say “you’re welcome,” which translates roughly into, “thank you for saying thank you.”  And a lot of other words I hope I will remember until next time I come here.  Rick and I were saying that if we both learned Rukiga we could talk to each other anywhere in the world but here and no one would have any idea what we are saying.  It is a language so completely alien to anything we learn in the U.S.  There are no Latin, Greek or Teutonic roots.  Every word has to be memorized and there is nothing familiar to relate it to.  I guess it’s a lot like learning Chinese.

This morning there was a terrible bus accident about 40 miles out of town.  A bus tried to pass a truck and ran off the road.  Many people were killed, including the truck driver who was a guy from Bugongi that Rev. David and his family knew.  I was walking to town with Isaac to take care of some business.  On the way there we were walking down the hill on a narrow stretch of road with fence plant on both sides.  A large dump type truck was coming up the road.  Here, the pedestrian is not sacrosanct like they are in the U.S.  The truck never even slowed down.  Isaac and I had to back up INTO the fence plant to avoid being side-swiped by the truck.  Unbelievable!  And that’s the second time that has happened.  We heard sirens, an unusual sound here, of the ambulances rushing out of town to the bus accident.  It was already at least 30 minutes after it happened.  A while later, when we were on the way home, Isaac pointed out a steady stream of people walking up a hill across from town.  He said they were on the way to the mortuary to identify bodies.  I felt like crying, and like going up the hill to see if I could comfort anyone.  But, here, without really knowing the language or all the customs, I am helpless.

Later today, we went to another Give-Away.  It was for the daughter of our President of the Board of Good Samaritan’s Orphanage Care, our NGO here that administers the orphanage.  It was very nice and it only rained part of the time.  When we got home, Isaac was setting up the projector in the courtyard.  It is the first night there has been both power and no rain.  We invited a bunch of the neighborhood kids over and they are out there right now watching Yogi Bear (the one with Rukiga superimposed over the English L)  It’s fun though to hear them laughing and enjoying themselves, and they will have an experiance to tell other kids about that will make them important for awhile.

So, I decided this would be a good time to come inside and type this blog entry!

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