It is sometimes difficult to be so much on display here while we are in public. I get a small dose of it when I’m at home because my daughter is so dark, there’s no way she could be a blend. But here, I’m a pale mzungu with bright red hair and one of their babies on my back! I hear everyone whisper as I pass by on the street words like… mzungu…muwala…and their faces are visibly full of wonder. Muwala means baby girl. But what I love about Ugandans is they almost always return my smile. The friendliness of the people here is endearing. It prompts crazy thoughts like perhaps I ought to stay so much longer, and plan to split my year at some time in the future. It is probably crazy thinking to you, but where I sit I regret my trip feels short, and yearn to extend it by weeks and weeks.
The early morning is fresh with bird song and distant roosters. The nightclubs in the area have finally closed down their music and the call of prayer is long finished. The air is crisp and the sky is pink. I feel like the birds are gossiping about the day before. If they were discussing our day they would be jealous. We made some memories.
Whitney and I walked to the dress shop in the early morning so she could choose fabric and a dress design. I brought some patterns for a tote bag and aprons to be made so I can sell them for Kirabo Seeds. I love the African fabrics so much! The colors, patterns and designs are wonderful. We shared a girly fantasy worthy of Pretty Woman shopping, but in Africa instead of Rodeo Drive. Jordan accompanied us as our body guard. The boys are diligent about not allowing anyone to walk alone. Since Jordan has four years of Karate and a good instinct for danger, we were in good hands. I am not afraid here. I think the worst thing that could happen is that they could pick pocket, or we could be somewhere that a riot breaks out. The riots however, have decreased and fizzled to a faded fury.
When we arrived home we waited for the morning arrival of Craig’s brother, Don and Emily, my niece. They arrived fresh from the airport eager to begin exploring. We hired the driver to take us to the Railroad crafts market. Every Friday they transform the railway into a massive market where the artist come and sell their goods to the shop keepers. As we began to drive the heavens opened and it began to pour down rain. Not to be discouraged, we parked and ran to the nearest tent where surprised Africans were huddled inside covering their things. They stared at us silently for the entire hour we laughed and talked until the sky cleared and the shopping could begin.
I bought A LOT. I am stocking our website store with Ugandan items so I can raise money to help pay for food costs at the orphanage. And these kids can eat so much as you could see in yesterdays post. I have oil paintings, African fabric shoulder slouch bags, hundreds of beads, and dozens of baskets. Maybe I will stock up on those cute dolls with the baby tied to the back. The market is also a field day for photography. I might have to return on my final Friday and do it again.
The bead makers spread their necklaces out on tarp and there are dozens of them in a row for as far as I could see. They all wanted my business. So I went from one seller to the next, buying twenty thousand shillings worth of their goods. I basically bought everyone dinner for their families that night. It felt good to spread out the blessings. They all smiled at me because they could see I was being fair as I stocked my store.
We were starving so arriving home to Harriet’s buffet of delicious home cooked food was really a luxury. I would like to bring Harriet home with me, and she would come, but she needs to be here with Herb and Ellen Cook for their guest house ministry. I can’t wait to blog about them, they are so interesting.
We relaxed in the afternoon, walked to the fresh food market, and chatted and played. It felt good to rest and have a little fun. At bedtime the van came to deliver the group to the hotel where we have arranged rooms on the same floor. Herb and Ellen Cook are staying on the floor there with the team and I am here in their room, with a few of the team members. It’s only a few minutes away, and it’s the best solution for a team this large to be able to shower!
I slept on the couch waiting for everyone. The bus drove up at two in the morning and I was pinch faced and sleepy standing on the porch welcoming them all. They unloaded in a boisterous happy way which woke up Kira so she spent the next hour crawling over me in bed. We got everyone settled into the hotel and with strict instructions to sleep and be ready for breakfast at 8:30 and the wedding at 10:00! They didn’t believe me. They have no idea what kind of a schedule we plan to keep these eight days. They may never want to be on my team again, or they may love it so much they won’t want to leave Uganda. We’ll see who has what it takes to keep up with me.
Our relaxation is over! The work begins today, and for me that means arranging my photography gear so I can play photographer at my friend’s wedding. The whole team has been invited to come to the wedding and reception. When you think of me know I’m having so much fun shooting pictures, when you think of the team pray for them because they haven’t had much opportunity to rest and we have hit the floor running.