Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recap: Week One

We’ve been in Kampala for a week now, which is hard to believe. In some ways, we’re settling in nicely. In other ways, there are reminders everywhere of just how foreign we are—reinforcing over and over again that we are “looking for a homeland” (Hebrews 11) that isn’t anywhere on this planet. Today, I told my kids how excited I was after this week of crazy errands to be spending my first full day with them in a week, some of the most fantastic people in the world to me! And that’s when W. immediately piped up, “But what about your mom?” And that’s when I promptly turned into a little puddle on the floor.

At any rate, the high points:

·         We’re not in our house yet, but we’re very comfortable with that. We’ve been staying at the director’s house (who’s in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) with his wife and boys who are our boys’ age.

·         Their nanny/housekeeper has taken wonderful care of the kids while we’ve been gone, and the number of eMi kids in the vicinity in the same age has been fantastic. The kids are very happy thus far.

·         The only exception last week—and it became a biggie—was our youngest. He’d arrived with a cold and felt very insecure, which mixed with a healthy dose of jet lag resulted in him waking as frequently as every twenty minutes at night. I think God was giving John and I an opportunity to accept whatever He’d give with open hands. The kids kind of started melting down around dinner time. These seven nights became a good exercise in joy—! We were exhausted, but the trips all over Kampala in the bizarre traffic was enough to keep us wide awake.

·         J. is doing great now. We’ve had two nights of SLEEP with only about four wakes between the kids, and this has been amazing. Can I just give a woot-woot?

·         We’re learning a ton about how to live here well, from dealing with potential scammers (starting when we walked out of the airport) to where to buy whatever, which is never all in the same place.  A smattering of our other tidbits:

o   There’s only one store that accepts returns.

o   Thou shalt soak thy vegetables in powerful stuff before eating.

o   Water out of the tap is not your friend.

o   Dry your clothes in the dryer for ten minutes after they’re on the line to avoid mango fly burrowing into your skin. Drying them all the way is a lot of electricity, a pricey commodity.

o   Expect the power to be out every other night and about once every three days. (I must confess that we miss the relief of a fan on powerless nights.)

·         We just finished up purchasing our appliances today. Each one needs a voltage protector from the frequent surges. But contrary to what we thought would happen, we are now the proud owners of a microwave, washer, and dryer. This is a big source of thanks, and really helps simplify life here.

·         I’m getting excited about our little place, especially because of the local touches that I was looking forward to: locally-made furniture, a bit irregularly shaped terra cotta ceramic dishes from the craft market, African baskets we plan to keep toys in, and even sheets from local fabrics are a possibility. Way cool.

All in all, the weight of this week reminded me of the lyrics of one of my favorite worship songs.

The sun comes up

It’s a new day dawning

It’s time to sing Your song again

Whatever may come and whatever lies before me

Let me be singing when the evening comes!

Bless the Lord, O my soul…


ErinL said...

I have but one request....PICTURES!!!!! It's kind of crazy that your blogging from Africa makes me long for Eastern Europe but it does. I'm soaking in every single detail!

Jack Brown said...

We sang that song on Sunday. Now I will think of you guys when we do it!
Love and prayers...Jack

Anonymous said...

Hello to all the Breits from the Sims family! Janel, I'm an official subscriber! So excited to hear of your first week and God's ongoing faithfulness and great provision. You are in our thoughts and prayers often. Thank you, thank you for all the details. Love to all!