Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Visit Too-Soon Over

Arlin on Kaabong Hill: 'Veni, vidi, vici!' (I came, I saw, I conquered:). The dark green patch to the right of Arlin's left knee is the compound where we live.

Velma with some Ik children in Kamion.

All of us on the Ik escarpment bordering Kenya.

Sitting on a 'di', an Ik place of gathering, counselling, philosophizing, watching.

Terrill's parents, Arlin and Velma Schrock, were able to come over for a long-anticipated two-week visit. It was wonderful having them around to share in our daily lives. Our visit was over far too soon! Wazazi, karibu tena!

The Roads of Karamoja

Friday, October 3, 2008

Birthday on the Nile

Terrill & I both turned 28 this year and we're not ashamed to say it. Just yesterday I celebrated my birthday in a memorable way. We stayed at a guesthouse called The Haven. It is located on the banks of the Nile and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through Jinja, Uganda. The Haven overlooks some serious rapids (see above) that the Nile offers to brave white water rafters. Before dusk, Terrill & I decided to 'get our feet wet' in the Nile and be able to say we've done it. We took a small, rustic canoe in the opposite direction of the rapids. It was nice to watch the sun set over the water and spy on birds of all kinds. We spotted the African Open-billed Stork, the Fish Eagle, the Little Egret, the Long-tailed Cormorant, the Great Cormorant, an Olive-bellied Sunbird, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Stint, an African Pygmy Kingfisher, a Pied Kingfisher, a Yellow White-Eye, the Common Bulbul, a Speckled Mouse-bird, and a Vieillot's Black Weaver...just in case anyone is interested.

(Little Egret)

Another interesting thing about our stay was when we felt earthquake tremors for the first time. It felt like a big truck was driving by with the radio turned up and the base booming; the ground and buildings were all shaking for about five seconds. Our friends in Entebbe (100km away) said they also felt the tremors.
A nice surprise yesterday morning was when the manager brought a cake out for us after breakfast. Terrill had told him that it was my birthday, so he decided to have the cook make something special. We finished our stay at The Haven while eating cake and drinking coffee on a cloudy morning as a drizzle fell over the campground and river. It was definitely a first for a birthday celebration. I suppose I have to get used to being away from friends and family during special occasions, but it doesn't make celebrating with strangers any easier. I thank God once again for a partner in life who holds my hand during those special days and makes life feel a little less lonely in this big old world.

Growing our grub

As many of you know, there is something very satisfying about eating produce grown in the soil of your own garden. Jacob and Georgia Reed, the previous inhabitants of our house, started a garden that has provided us with more lettuce than we know what to do with (the Karamojong don't care for it, apparently). It's been wonderful to be able to cut a fresh salad whenever we want one!

Revolutionary New Diet!!!!!!!!!!

Bodily beauty is somewhat culturally relative, as this ad in Kampala makes clear: