Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Family in photo, part four--with additional family

Our times with family feel like thick slices of chocolate cake: unspeakably sweet, even melting in our mouths. And then, of course, gone. With simply an indulgent taste lingering on our tongues; a wide, lazy smile; a delicious memory with appetite for more.

Chris and Jenn flew down for two weeks from their home in the UK, where Chris is a doctor and Jenn teaches art. My kids reacted as if Chuck E. Cheese had suddenly docked in our home. (You know, without the sleep-robbing overstimulation, unsettling life-sized mechanical figures, and generally bad pizza.)

Chris and Jenn have an admirable ability to truly savor and explore a culture, especially its art. So it was that much more fun introducing them so many of the beauties we've come to appreciate, and some new ones for the first time, like Sipi Falls up near Mbale. And a little Twister, Guess Who?, and Dominion with a selection of crossword puzzles thrown in certainly didn't hurt, either. Add some face paint, sorting candy by color with chopsticks, a visit to a local babies' home, and a little Kampala traffic, and who wouldn't be having fun? (Well. Leave the traffic.)

If I really had the time and energy, maybe I could get these photos in the right order. Instead, I am relying upon your common sense, and quite possibly your imagination, to decide what goes with what. My hope is that rather than some kind of exhausting travelogue, you'll get a forkful of life here.

The lovely Oliver tagged along for the ride on some of our crazy outings.

They brought over Guess Who? which they'd dug up at some thrift store. This meant a week of peering at little illustrations to judge their amount of facial hair, etcetera.

Jenn, C., and I loved killing a couple of hours at a local beading shop full of African beads--many of them handmade.
Chris and John went abseiling (rapelling) 100 meters down the length of a double waterfall in Sipi. Can you see John on the left?

One of my husband's great ideas, after a full week of family time with the kids, was to get away for three days with just the two of us and Chris and Jenn. I don't think we'd realized how tired we were until we got away...and the Ugandan scenery as we stayed in a hut below the waterfall was even more stunning than usual.

John returning from abseiling in the mist of the falls at Sipi.

The Ndere dance troupe was an incredible evening exploring the tribal dance of major regions of Uganda. The music and movement were nothing short of captivating. I love how God displays Himself through culture!

Part of the troupe's feat: dancing with ceramic vases stacked up to nine high.

We picked up our spirits on the sad journey to the airport with a few stops, like Entebbe's botanical gardens--where Tarzan was filmed. They capture what much of Uganda had been like before colonization.

The botanical gardens were literally crawling with vervet monkeys. They occasionally got a bit close for my kids' comfort, but overall, it was amazing.

Can you see the sleeping baby she's cradling?

Someone at eMi mused that they rarely see my kids without weapons (of the Nerf variety). Well...yeah. That's pretty true.

At the local reptile village, where my kids were postively ecstatic to meet some of the creatures they'd been poring over in their local wildlife guides. You know it's a great joint when the bathroom is "just past the forest cobra".

This lizard quickly turned, well, blonde.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Family life in photo, part three

Shaped pancakes--a salute to Grandpa John.

This is where we found J. this week (sigh). (See Daddy spotting behind the van.) This is the day before his Super Glue Incident. I'll leave it at that.

A donated chin up bar now serves as our in-house jungle gym. The kids shimmy up the doorposts and then hang on! We've promised a reward for their first chin-up.

Three guesses as to the real identity of Spiderman. Hint: He's the shortest superhero in the family.

Found this antique side table at a craft market. (It's the one on top.)

Tossin' it around with Dad. Color coordination optional.

B.'s really growing up. He'll be nine in three months!

Meet Betty, our resident eMi lizard. Betty, a rock agama or tree agama (we're not sure which), may be a "he", but this works for now.

W.'s seventh birthday party--and a clone trooper cake in his favorite color.

Our red bananas will be ready soon! This one's from the office. They're creamy yellow on the inside.

One of our guards, Yokaneh, retrieving a Nerf sword from our roof. (I think our family may be a bit high-maintenance.)

The guard from eMi often climbs the avocado tree there to chat with our guard, who climbs the ladder at our place (see earlier photo), over the wall. We'll hear them at any time of night, which is great for them keeping awake. John and I sometimes pass stuff through the razor wire throughout the day, from a ladder leaning on the eMi side, too. It's a little like Romeo and Juliet. Kinda.

Paper airplanes on the back deck with friends!

African women here often wear plastic bags (called caveras) on their heads to protect their hair, in lieu of a (more expensive) umbrella. My daughter's catching on...

Easter cookies at our co-op egg hunt!

This was Oliver's first time to dye eggs!

You can tell that Oliver and J. are pretty much best friends.