Judy and her sponsored child, MoreenWell, we are still following my friend Judy through her many adventures in Uganda for the first time.  Having the ability to talk with her husband most every night helps a great deal to help her cope with the unusual toilet facilities, roads, dirt, bouts with intestinal illness and colds, as well as the different types of food that is unfamiliar to us in the United States.  However, all things considered, she is quite the “soldier” and is having a wonderful time with the children and sharing and loving them all as only she can do.  Here, along with some photos she shared, are some excerpts of emails and Facebook notes she has written in the last few days:

“Still loving my experience and have managed to avoid the latrines by holding back liquid and chewing gum. Tomorrow my roommate and her computer fly back to America. I shall miss them both!!  Halina is in her 30’s but we have had a blast together and I’ve been blessed to share this time with her.  Dorcas doing the daily laundryHowever the computer has had problems with connecting so I haven’t been able to post or email for several days.  The Ugandan family we are staying with are sweet, fun and hospitable.  They insist on doing my laundry which is all done by hand and no wash boards.  Walking over here is an adventure since there are many potholes, ruts, mud puddles, cars, motorbikes and animals everywhere.  Crossing streets is treacherous with no lights, crosswalks or sidewalks for that matter.  I look both ways and run!   The road downtown is in the process of being paved slowly, very slowly so driving through town is a nightmare. Garbage litters the streets, between buildings, front yards and overflows the dumpsters. They do have garbage pickup occasionally. Once we leave the main street to drive to the house the roads are rutted dirt paths filled with vehicles, animals, and lots of people. There are no street signs and the pathways meander in all directions. I would be lost on my own. The other day we were downtown when it was pouring. I saw an interesting sight. The bicycles and cars that carry passengers on the backs use umbrellas that have extensions over the back so that the rider is also protected from the rain. Pretty cool! I could write more but better close for now!” Sharing the clothing given by friends of the school

“…In a few minutes I am heading over to do crafts with the orphans. We will be decorating small cloth bags. Perfect day in Uganda., Nice breeze, mid seventies, bright sunshine. A man is mowing the front yard with a weed eater. I just took pictures of the electrical box at our host’s home for my son to see. Our hosts our mystified as to why their electrical devices are so intriguing to me….”

“The children at the orphanage loved the craft project and even the boys were excited p about decorating little cloth bags I bought at Dollar Tree. They wrote their names with glitter glue and then added on colored buttons, ribbon, fuzzy pom poms and stickers. Tomorrow’s project will be less spectacular. I am so thankful for this loaner computer now that I am getting the hang of it. …….”

“There’s nothing like waking up in Africa to the sound of drums and singing, children crying, birds chirping, and the sun shining. Today our host, Rev. Rurihoona is graduating from Bishop Barnham University with a masters in divinity. He is an Anglican Archdeacon and one of the most spirit filled and joyous people I have ever met……”Judy and Archdeacon David Rurihoona

“I walked into the “bathroom”, a bird flew up from the floor, I screamed, the bird flew out the window! ( the window is about 5″ by 5″) That’s what happens when there are no screens on windows.  Just another day in Africa!””

“After many days of being unable to access my hotmail account I am back on!!! I have no idea what the problem was but today is the last day I will have use of Halina’s laptop  so I am very grateful. I have no idea how often I will be able use the internet cafe. With the electricity off most of the time and needing escort to go into town, it might be a bit difficult. Sadly I have not been able to download my pictures. There will be plenty of time for that when I get home!!
Now where to begin! I continue to enjoy getting feed back from many of you and to know that you are being blessed hearing about my adventure. Thank you!!”

Judy was asked on her Facebook page about the cost of seeing the gorillas when they visited the area where they live, close to the bamboo forest.  She responded:

 “Believe it or not, they charge around $700.00. They live in the impenetrable forest and do not move from that region.” 

“I bought my first African dress and really look the part now. Ha, ha!! It was fun shopping. I picked out the fabric at one shop and went next door where the dress would be made and I was  measured. Two days later I picked up the dress and brought it home. They forgot the sleeves, it was too tight in the hips and huge on top. The shirt had bulges of extra fabric in the sides. Took it back and almost miraculouly it was adjusted to perfect size but no sleeves. Oh well! I bought the headwrap too.
Good news, I have been loaned a lap top to use for the rest of my stay so with that I will close. It’s time to go to the orphanage!

Later, Judy”

Later on, she writes again:

“As I was saying about my dress….since electricity is so sporadic they use old style treadle sewing machines. They look like our old singers but they are actually manufactured for third world countries. The seamstresses, men and women sit in front of their shops and sew away.

I mentioned on Facebook the modes of transportation and the boda bodas that use specialized umbrellas to protect themselves and their passengers.. Thankfully they do not pollute but are dangerous to ride since the ladies all wear dresses and must sit sideways with nothing to hold on to. No, I do not plan to ride one!!Pollution is a big problem though because all of their cooking is done on little cooking pots that sit on the floor. Yes, it is back breaking work!

Smog also pours out of the big trucks and cars that roll  endlessly through the dusty city streets.

I have many more stories to tell but it’s taken me a half hour to type on my “new” borrowed computer. Mainly because of my typos.

I will conclude with this tidbit. The food is very spartan. I eat mainly bean and rice over and over. There is no chewable meat or diary product or much fat so I have lost weight which is pretty easy for me. I do fill in some with nuts. Another issue is that they eat dinner late, around 9:00 and I am famished by then. Nuts only go so far.  For me getting enough food may be my biggest challenge.

all for now, Judy” 

The birthday cake and children above are awaiting a birthday party for all the children at the orphanage.  Since the caretakers of the orphanage and the children themselves are unaware of their birth dates, they give a party for everyone at one time.  From the photos taken by April Dobbs, founder of Shepherd’s Love, the celebration seems wonderful and enjoyed by everyone!

And, in one of her latest emails Judy shares a little more about the diet of the people of Uganda.

“………I’d like to share about  the diet  here in  southern Uganda. Did I already mention  that the basic diet is very healthy, fresh food prepared daily and purchased at the local farmer’s market? A typical breakfast for me is fried potatoes and eggs. The natives in this household also eat lots of bread and jam which is store bought.  Delicious African tea and coffee  are also served. If I am not careful I will drink too much and need to use the latrines!. An average lunch includes plain and fried potatoes, plain and fried rice, some kind of tough unchewable meat, cooked string beans or cabbage and endless bananas. There are some variations but it’s pretty much the same fare every day.. It gets very boring and I truly miss my American food, the endless variety, and especially coconut  oil and milk, cheese and salads. The downside of the Ugandan diet besides the white bread is the soda.. They drink it throughout the day right out of the bottle with no ice (refrigeration is rare). Their otherwise healthy eating habits hopefully compensate for this indulgence. A  few  more comments before closing: the beans are fresh and do not cause gas, the babies do not wear diapers.

Diapers and deodorant are way too expensive for this upper middle class family to purchase even though they can afford phones, satellite TV and have a DVD player. The BO and the pee odors  offend  my sensibilities but then I just keep loving the people and soaking up the smiles and hugs of the children!”

Sounds like this is quite the experience and one she will always remember.  Even though there are some uncomfortable things there, I know that sharing her love for the Lord and loving the children will always be a highlight.  If you feel led to pray for her, I’m sure she would be most appreciative!

God bless you Judy!