By Team Member - Carrie Strahl
Thursday, October 9th
I woke up to another beautiful day in Uganda. I did wake up in the night because there is ALWAYS lots of noise! Kampala never seems to go to bed but I do, so I fell back asleep again.
I always seem to be the first of our team downstairs because I like my coffee first thing in the morning. I have been working on bracelets to give as gifts to the ladies who work with Fashion & Compassion so I was able to almost finish those this morning.
I met our wonderful team ladies and we had a good breakfast...fruit, sausage, beans, bread; it's been good every morning.
We had planned to go to Jinja in the morning but plans were changed so we went to buy Bibles for our ladies but again our plans were changed because of guess what?! It's Uganda's Independence Day! 52 years of joy! The streets, usually quite chaotic were not as bad as usual. We went home and waited for our lunch. Finally, after almost 2 hours later, our lunches arrived. We also met a nice young girl named Sharon who we had breakfast and lunch with. She is here working with our Collaborative Partner, ALARM (African Leadership And Reconciliation Ministries).
Finally after another good lunch, (Dawn and I have now learned to buy one meal and split it because the portions are huge!) we set out with our driver, Peter, to Jinja.
The drive to Jinja was so beautiful with sugar cane farms and beautiful tea farms. We also passed through a beautiful forest. I notice that so many of the exotic houseplants in the USA are growing here, everywhere we go.
Our guide, Jane, and I sang some hymns on the way and the younger of the group, Alex, Ande and Jane's daughter, Martha, shared stories and laughter.
We finally arrived at Rhoda Nambuya's house (oh yes, this was the whole point of our trip!) and heard her story about losing her husband and having to support herself and her 4 young children. She sews adorable stuffed animals of which we selected and bought many large and small giraffes and elephants, made with bright African fabric. As we went out on her veranda to leave, we were greeted by many adorable bright-eyed children. Ande had been taking their pictures and Alex was just plain showing them a wonderful time. Dawn and I took more pictures and Celeste and I ended by singing Jesus Loves Me This I Know which they all knew!
We got back into the car with our skilled driver, Peter; you have to be as skilled as a Nascar race driver to navigate the streets in Uganda with no stop signs, no stop lights, and boda-bodas (motorcycles) weaving in and out and people crossing everywhere!
We went back through the beautiful countryside, tea farms, sugar cane farms, the forest and also, we saw the source of the Nile as well. Finally back home to our hotel, Minister's Village.
We all ordered dinner, with Dawn and I sharing again; she and I ate spaghetti with a curry meat sauce and a wonderful fruit salad.
Then I went upstairs to finish the last of my bracelets as our gifts for the ladies at the jewelry project and I had a good nights sleep.