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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Glimpses into my Days

I begin to stir at 6:15 am when "Rabbit", the loud rooster / cock begins to crow outside my window.  I'm starting to continue resting through the noise as I would prefer waking up between 7 and 8 am.  Mustard the cat greets me with longing eyes... she's looking at the container full of little dried minnows and hopes that I will share a few.  Rabbit comes to the front of the house and knocks on the front door with his beek... but I haven't figured out why.  Does he deserve to come in the house too?  I think not.

Early hours of the day are a good time to go to the market.  The meat is fresh, it's not so crowded, and the heat is less.  (For the past few days, it has even been 83 degrees up til 10 pm).  I stroll through the market greeting a few friends and buying fresh produce.  The other day I was able to to convince some young boy to find me two green peppers after being unable to see any being displayed on the tables.  I was grateful he knew where to look because home-made tacos wouldn't be the same without one of my favourite veggies.  The market has lots of tables set up in the centre of the "sellers" area for baskets, fruit, veggies, and meat, but surrounding those rough, uneven tables are two rows, about a block around, of small metal lockers/storage units.  These units contain dishes, clothes, hardware, tailoring shops, mosquito nets, a few toys, and more.  Across from the beef butchery I have found my friend Peter's shop.  Already we are renewing my French as he is a Congolese refugee and I have brought to dresses for him to repair. 

There are about 9 "Supermarkets" in town, they are extremely small and very expensive.  At the moment, a tiny jar of peanut butter is going for about $6 and a SMALL box of cereal is going for almost $9.  There are some small changes since the last time I was here.  Feminine pads and sensodyne are now available.  The yoghurt is much better.  And the Indians are starting to bring in chicken fillets and good ground beef from Kampala.  Now, if only the luncheon meets and cheeses could arrive.  There are some things that are just worth paying for!

A daily trip to the post office is necessary because I am waiting for them to return my keys.  A mailbox was purchased for me last February, but when I went to see if the key worked, it didn't.  I had a receipt to prove it was my box, but it is taking the post office three weeks already to change the lock on the box.  I think they are starting to get my box number memorized, as they have to physically go to the back of the shop and get my mail.  So far I've had two pieces from CRWM, and three Christmas cards!

The rest of my day is spent biking around, visiting friends and aquaintances throughout the holiday season.  It has been good to share tea with people who I care about deeply and I know that God is opening a few doors for ministry in the New Year.  Soroti is actually quite empty at the moment since many "townspeople" have gone home to the village for the Christmas season, so that's why the ministry has all been put on hold.  Relationship building is key here to living and serving in Uganda. 

Once a week I meet with my team for an official meeting - prayer, sharing, discussions and business.  Throughout the week though, it is also nice to fellowship with the various families around the city.  Even though I have a house-mate, it's rare that she is home since she is in the village a lot, so it's nice for me to share meals with my team-mates in the evenings.  Now that I have been blessed with a car it makes it a lot more possible to go out after dark.

Other things that fill my days are: reading assignments - like "When Helping Hurts" and writing reports - like following up from that retreat I went to in Jinja.  Last night I sprayed all the shrubs in the yard since caterpillars are having a feast.  I took all of my Christmas decorations down.  Am thankful for my kindle, so I can read lots of books.  I'm slowly getting to know a few of my neighbours... I even had to borrow some cooking pots from one lady. 

Well, hopefully that gives you a small glimpse into my day.  How is your day going?
Two of our chickens sleep up on an open window.

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