After our visitors left, the next course of business was to procure supplies from a town called Mbale, located about seven hours south of Kaabong. A friend from Kaabong, Sister Mary of PAG church, was also traveling to Mbale and we hooked up with her for the trip. We left on Friday morning and arrived in Mbale by 5pm that day. During the weekend, we spent our time pricing supplies, buying and loading them on a truck coming north. The work wasn't very restful but we did stay in a nice hotel and got several hot showers. You can tell where our priorities lie. :) Being that this was a new experience for us (buying hardware supplies from Mbale), Mary was gracious enough to introduce us to people and give us a hand. Mary owns a small shop in Kaabong that does quite well and she travels to Mbale monthly. We shared a lorry (10 ton truck) with Mary to haul our supplies up to Kaabong this time. The truck was loaded and on the road by Saturday afternoon. Mary traveled with them to oversee the supplies while we stayed on in Mbale, waiting for a mason to arrive from Kampala. The mason (who is working on our house in Timu) arrived on Sunday evening and we started our drive back to Kaabong then.
We looked forward to an evening drive as the air is cooler and we wouldn't get so dehydrated. We usually drive during the hottest times of the day and feel sick by the time we reach a destination. So, we started driving and had an enjoyable ride until passing a place called Soroti. At this point, we still had six hours to drive. What we forgot about night driving is that you can't see the potholes as well until you're on top of them. It was a bumpy ride, to say the least. It took an hour longer than usual because of road conditions. Going through an area called Amuria, we had some more complications. A lorry was stuck in the mud (thankfully not our lorry). We went around him (from the other direction) but found that the road got more narrow and several other lorries were behind him as well. The trucks were too big to turn around, the road was too narrow, and the mud was a danger to them. So, the drivers were all sleeping and waiting for the first lorry to get out of the mud...most likely in the morning. It was 12am at this point. Terrill stopped the vehicle and we all got out to assess the situation. It was almost impossible to pass the other trucks because they were in the middle of the road and the road dropped off about three feet at the edge. We decided that the passengers should stand along the edge while Terrill attempted to pass the trucks. He was inches from the other vehicles and inches from us....but he did it. Spectacular maneuvering! We all breathed easier when the ordeal of passing was finished. The rest of the journey was uneventful except for being surprised by the number of rabbits we saw along the road. We were home by 4am and in bed by 4:10am.
The next day our focus was to find a truck to take our supplies from Kaabong to Timu. The other truck had broken down along the journey and had barely made it to Kaabong. We transferred all the supplies into the PAG church while finding another truck. The Lord was on our side and we found a truck willing to travel on Tuesday.
Bright and early on Tuesday morning we were loading a truck with windows, doors, timbers, bags of cement, water tanks and a few other miscellaneous objects. The road to Timu isn't very good either, but it was a piece of cake compared to our previous trip. We found about 100 Ik waiting to see us. As soon as our doors opened, greetings and requests started coming our way.....medicine, air time (for cell phone use), clothing, honey, food....the list goes on. The truck soon arrived and was unloaded by some Karamojong who were with it. The Ik were perturbed that we didn't hire them to be unloaders. They forgave us but told us not to do it again. ;) We did our business and paid for some honey that we were taking to Malaika. We got the masons set up for work and gave instruction. I delivered groceries to the cook and discussed her salary. The menu was beans and corn mush (atap) for lunch. We were almost ready to leave when the elders called Terrill over to a corner of the compound for a special meeting. Twenty-five men sat in a semi-circle and looked right at Terrill. He called for Pastor Jacob (PAG church in Timu) to come and translate the proceedings. The head elder presented two issues: the community of Timu needed a grinding mill and a clinic for pregnant mothers.We told them that we would prayerfully consider these things and this seemed to be a good enough answer to appease them. At this point, they allowed us to embark on our journey home. It's time for a break!