There’s no easy way to get to Uganda. The only tactic that works for me to be able to endure the 24 hours of travel is to arrive at the airport completely spent so the only thing I feel like doing is sleep and watch movies. I have been trained to believe the international flights are as punctual and efficient as the Japanese train system. By the time we land in Entebbe we’re ready to stretch and jump into the fun.
Oh the welcome was sumptuous. There’s no better feeling after this journey than to see all the luggage come up first on the belt, and then to wheel it out to the open arms of Phiona, Robert and four of our children. Those who have the best behaviors get to greet us at the airport! They ran through the line and hugged us so tightly. Honestly, it felt like I was seeing my own children again….I am of course, but the deep sensation in my heart of seeing them convinces me I am mama to them. I felt a surge of relief and a simultaneous relaxation as if I had just returned home. I have.
Our friends we know from our time living in Arizona, Jim and Vicki King are sharing their 30th anniversary with us for this week. They are celebrating some time in Europe with a stop in the middle to work with our Kirabo Seeds family. They sponsor two of the children, and they’ve been involved in our labor pains with this ministry, so we are honored to share this experience with them. Arriving home at our apartment after midnight felt like college days as we all settled into our beds beneath the mosquito nets. Kira came to life the minute we entered the airport. She sang songs of the top of her mind, danced circles, and continued to perform for hours. She’s a traveling miracle child because she doesn’t complain at all or cause a fuss and she sleeps a lot. Traveling is her favorite thing to do. She hid behind me at first, but within minutes she was in the laps of everyone talking incessantly. Phiona sighed, our little baby Cherish has grown up into a big girl. (Phiona played with her in the baby home long before I met either of them. Kira was “Cherish” and her favorite baby in the home at the time. We were meant to be together!)
I apologized for the “instant immersion when we said goodnight at 2a.m. with an early morning departure for the crafts markets. My role as a buyer for Kirabo Seeds is a significant part of our fundraising, so I’ve got some shopping to do. I love our apartment and being here makes me feel so relieved. I hate to leave Kevin home, but his high school career is more demanding than Craig’s professional career. Kira told Kevin, “Andi will take care of you”. Andi is the big sister in our family, nanny for Kira but really the big sister for all and yes, she is there to keep Kevin from being lonely, without a ride and well fed. Three vital needs of his at this age.
The children have spent the week preparing for our arrival. Our apartment is perfectly arranged and cleaned for us, and the fridge is even stocked. I’m drinking Ugandan coffee and thinking how fun it will be to walk over to greet Auntie Julie. Everyone here is fast asleep. I can’t do that, I filled my sleep quota on the plans so I can begin my sprint here at work. I am so thankful to be here, and to share this experience again with my husband. My camera is strapped around my neck permanently, my notebook is in my bag, and I’ll be here blogging the entire visit. I hope you’ll join our fun.