Thursday, June 22, 2006
By Donita Ortega
The trip was amazing, exciting, adventurous, hilarious at times, overwhelming, breathtaking, emotional and mind boggling. Getting to see all of the animals, the view from the top peak at Lake Mburo, catching the Nile Perch, big and small, finally seeing the Namirembe Library and meeting all of the people I felt I already knew, was what was so amazing, breathtaking and very exciting. Going to the schools for next year, seeing the poverty, dealing with the electricity on and off was overwhelming and emotional and a little mind-boggling. Being able to laugh at the van in a cape buffalo wallowing hole, Paul frantically trying to stop his lure from getting away, and running home in the dark in the rain in Mbale gave us great laughs. The rain storm on Lake Victoria, getting stuck on the rock in the lake, having a hippo eat dinner a few feet from us, being charged by a cape buffalo, driving through several herds of long horned cattle, riding a boda boda bicycle taxi in Mbale, sideways, in a skirt, trying not to flash all of the people on the street was quite adventurous. Being a part of seeing the library transformed from a room full of desks, dirty walls and floors to a beautiful, functioning, modern library was overwhelmingly amazing. Click to see finished library.
At the Canaan Orphanage, the presence of God was so incredible. You could tell that He was the one truly running and supplying the needs in that place. It was remarkable to me, when Paul pointed out that, we had wanted to do the library first, and then do all the fun stuff. We were really quite disappointed that it didn’t work out that way. Thanks goodness God is in control and His plans are always better than ours. If we had gone to Mbale first, we would not have gotten to do anything else. When we arrived in Mbale the second week, the men from Wilber’s church were outside sanding and staining the first set of wood. If we had had it our way, we would have been there with no wood! Again, God is so amazing!
In our free time, we got to spend time with the children. They were so happy to have us there. Many would not go home until we left. Some of us had planned a couple of days of Children’s Church. We got to sing with them, showed a video, and did a puppet show. Many of the kids came walking in from the rain. So different from here in America, if it rains, it is a good excuse not to go to church. I spent lots of time at the school blowing bubbles for the kids and singing with them – the excitement of the children was so amazing, I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear.
The last night we ate at the Diplomat Hotel. The eating areas here are on tall peaks overlooking all of Kampala. It was – WOW! With the entire city lit up at night and the sun setting behind it, it almost makes you forget about the poverty, the dirt roads, the people cooking on the side of the roads and the public transport vans, boda boda motorcycle taxis and the hordes of people walking along the side of the road all jockeying for space to get by to get home.
The whole trip was marvelous. I was excited to get home to see my girls, but I can’t wait to get back and help bring more joy to the wonderful children of Uganda.