Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another week in review...

After four long & restful days in Kaabong, we returned to Timu on Wednesday evening. The first thing that greeted us (besides Lorjore who watches the compound while we're gone) was a new carport and storage area. Two Ik men went out into the bush and cut several trees down to serve as the walls of our shed. The next step will be to have women make and 'throw' mud onto the polls to make airtight walls. We also hired someone to put a tin roof over the carport. Hopefully in the near future, we'll rig up a system of catching water on the tin roof and helping it drain into our water tank.
The Patrol almost fits. We'll have to measure next time. The carport is mainly to protect the Patrol from too much sun exposure.
Terrill & Lojore often chat around sunset. Lojore either comes to return tools to our house or we go and visit his building site. He's relocating his village to a place on the escarpment near our compound. He'll be our closest neighbor...probably with benefits.
Lojore's daughters, Rosemary & Jennifer like to hunt me out and try to teach me Icetod. We always end up giggling at my mistakes. I mostly giggle because I tell them I don't understand...and they just repeat themselves louder. We were huddling because it gets cold in the evening.
These two huts are the beginning of Lojore's village. They look much like the storage unit on our compound currently. His wife will make the walls out of mud soon.

One chilly night, Terrill put up our Wycliffe sign to officially mark the site and declare who we are.
Did I mention it was chilly? Come on...I'm in Uganda and it's 50 degrees outside.
A friend of mine, Nangoli Esther, wanted to pose with her son, Godwill.
Yesterday we had the great privilege of a visit from our MedAir friends. MedAir is a Christian NGO who specializes in water & sanitation projects. They came up to see the place and make us lunch. No complaints from me. Sarah has been around since early this year and we've had many good times in Kaabong. Sadly, she is leaving Uganda in December. This is one of those hard things about being a missionary and having a transient lifestyle.

MedAir's team leader, Phil, has been around since last October. He's a great volleyball expert in these parts.

Right before the MedAir visit, a friend of mine asked me to go visit his wife with him. She had just given birth to a baby girl the night before. He wanted to take her some pain pills. My friend, Francis, hadn't seen the baby yet and wasn't allowed to until a week later. I packed up some Ibuprofen, soap, sugar & tea bags and we headed down the escarpment about 1/2 an hour walk. Beth came with us and we were trailed by Ik children who had nothing better to do.
I found the baby and mother in excellent health, for the most part. An auntie is holding the baby here. The mother appeared much too tired. When I ducked into the small mud hut, the room was filled with older women and children...all admiring the baby. The air smelled of wood smoke and dust. I gave the mother some pills to swallow right away but was told that there was no water in the village. The older children had not returned from the borehole (well) yet. It was 11am. When I asked what the child's name was, they told me she hadn't been named but that they might call her 'Nakuwam'. Just in case you don't know, the people call me 'Nakuwam'. Naming the child this would probably secure them some gifts from they might be hoping. After we left and started the journey home, Francis proceeded to ask me what my other names were since he'd have to give the baby a Christian name also. One day far off, someone is going to ask the Ik how they ever got the names Terrill & Amber. Our parents probably never knew how influential they were being when naming us.

On the way back, we met up with these older children coming from the borehole. They carry the gift of life (water) to their village. It probably takes them an hour and a half for one trip to the borehole. They live on top of the escarpment and the borehole is located in the valley.
Our first Sunday morning in Timu has just passed. At 9:30am, we trekked up to the small mud church and participated in the worship service with Pastor Jacob & his congregation. The winds blew strong outside, but the people sang and clapped, undaunted by the elements. Jacob read from Ephesians about the armor of God. He read from his English Bible, and then translated into Icetod for his people. Terrill was pleasantly surprised to realize that he could understand a lot of what Pastor Jacob preached. Working on the dictionary is really helping him to memorize Ik vocabulary. I picked out a few words here and there but am still relying on Terrill for translations. After the church service, which lasted two hours, we held a community meeting. Pastor Jacob said that many more men came to church today so they could participate in the meeting. We started the meeting by explaining who we are and what we're doing in Timu. We also talked of some problems we're facing, such as people coming to our fence at all hours of the day and begging for medicine. We've decided that I'll see people and distribute medicines on Tuesdays only, unless an emergency arises. We also talked of issues concerning our vehicle, the transportation of goods and people to Kaabong, problems with children hanging on our fence, and the possibility of having a house warming party next March when we return.
The only comments that the group made were that they're happy we're here, they want a grinding mill in Timu, and would we PLEASE talk to MedAir for them and bring a better road to Timu. MedAir sometimes helps communities to build roads. Unfortunately, MedAir isn't allowed to build a road up here at this time.
This is our main language helper, Philip, who translated for us most of the time.

Pastor Jacob and his associate Pastor Vincent are posing by the church.

They wanted a close-up while reading the Word of God.

These two are random acquaintances who wanted to pose together just to be in a picture. You can't see it very well, but this woman has bigger muscles than most of the men in Timu.


The Reeds said...

Yay! I love this post so much! (here I go with the exclamation points....)

I love seeing some of your daily life. I see the new "sign" on the church too. Lookin' good Cutter.

Sounds like we should buy you wool socks for Christmas? :)

Our calendars are marked and we can't wait.... (I have to pull out another exclamation mark here) We're so excited!

Have you guys heard about Jakob?

velma said...

delightful blog. thanks so much!

Tammy On the Go said...

you look so beautiful Amber

Cassidy said...

Thank you for posting, friends. I loved the details that meant a little to me, and I know mean more to you, like the new church sign, Nakuam the baby, wondering if she was born in the same village where baby Terrill was this past July, etc etc. I am praying. Keep posting. Continue persevering. Continue on under his great grace and mercy. All my love, Cass