First, I would like to apologize for the length of time since writing. We have not had a chance to use the Internet, as we have not been in Kampala. At present, I am in an 105-degree Internet place hoping the generator continues running.
I will write things backwards from yesterday, but will not be able to cover much, as it is a long walk back to the school and I need to be working.
Wilber described Mbale this way: You are in a third world country, Uganda, and then Mbale is even more of a third world country. So true.
In a hurry - this is a picture of the last few days:
On the way from Kampala we stopped at two orphanages, one being the Archbishop's. (He visited us in Texas last month.) More about those later. I am sitting on a board at the top of the Internet place and the whole thing is shaking. I hope I don't crash!
Here is life: First the great news! The library is fantastic, beautiful, outstanding, classy looking, and amazing! We still have some shelving to go, but the books are in order and ready to be placed. Most of the decoration is done and the computers are in. You will think it is awesome! (I am sweating to death trying to type!)
Here are odds and ends, which is the best I can do with my time counting down:
Try to picture this:
- Using a squat pot in the night by candle (just remembered - that is just me ... the others are at an Inn)
- Constant load-shedding so we seldom have electricity. Cheers for lanterns!
- We arrived late at night and guys from Wilber's church were in the yard, remaining until midnight, staining our lumber.
- We couldn't get the stain in Mbale - off for a 3 hour trip to Kampala.
- The lumber yard didn't have enough lumber - off to Jinja Town.
- We stored the lumber in a school room but the windows were all broken out so we have prayed for the rains to stop.
- We walk everywhere down the dirt paths and roads - trying to ditch the huge puddles and bicycle taxis.
- The team left Wilber and Sarah's in the pouring rain last night - it was the only way to get "home."
- One of the Ugandan guys took Paul's hand last night as they left. It is normal for them as a sign of friendship. We were cracking up!
- We all took bicycle taxis home from church Sunday - a long line of muzungus, which the natives thought funny!
- The church service Sunday was so wonderful. There is nothing like African worship - singing and dancing, along with Wilber's preaching.
- We did a two-day children's church (an hour each day) Sunday we had about 200 kids even with a bad rainstorm. We had Veggie Tales movies, songs and puppet plays.
- Ugandan teachers show up in the library, stop us from work by singing - we join and dance with them!
- The children are in every square inch of space peering in the library windows and door with their big beautiful eyes.
- Mary Lou and Celeste are the queens of the non-fiction! Julia and Donita tackled the everybody books. Mary Lou is our caretaker. Her bag seems to have anything we have forgotten!
There is so much I want to write but I am down to 12 minutes and 20 seconds ... so I will hurry!
Guys from Wilber's church have practically lived with us helping with the carpentry. Children at the school have helped shovel books between rooms. Two ladies from the church have stayed at Sarah and Wilber's until late, when we have trekked in dirty and tired, to serve us suppper and clean up as well. There cannot be enough said about the Ugandan people and their kindness to us.
The library's opening ceremony will be tomorrow for 2 and 1/2 hours. Every important person in the surrounding muncipalities, including parliament and the mayor, will be in attendance. Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo has agreed to be our guest of honor, so that will be great!
The group will be returning to the States on Friday. I will see them off and then decide my plans for sure. I have to go back to the school to train the teachers and students.
I have to go! Love to you all! I am so sorry I can't write more. Perhaps I will send my journal home with Donita and let her type it.