Friday, July 31, 2009

"What was I THINKING!?"

Ever have one of those moments? You do something, realize how dumb it was and wonder what on EARTH you were thinking? If you haven't had this, please, stop reading now. You'll have no sympathy for me and I'd like as much as I can get at the moment. If you have, enjoy. You're not the only one in the world that does stupid things...and luckily, I know I'm not alone either. :)

Yesterday, I had my third driving lesson. Since we now know the vehicle that I will be driving the most, Brian and I headed to town in the Prado. The biggest praise? The Prado is an AUTOMATIC! PRAISE JESUS! Though I know that I will still need to know how to drive a manual, it will (Lord willing) not be what I will have to drive every day. I think I could have gotten used to driving it, but driving it PLUS dealing with the non-sensical chaotic insane traffic? Too least for right now.  I've been learning on diesel cars and they are different in their own way. When one starts the car, you have to half turn the key, wait for 10 seconds, and then continue. When you turn the car off, the car has a timer that keeps it running for about 30 seconds.Anyway, back to the drive. Since I need to learn how to drive in the non-sensical chaotic insane traffic, we headed to where the worst of it is. I was nervous. Very very nervous. Since I'm used to driving my little two door Honda Accord, the Prado is a monster in comparison. The hardest part for me is knowing where I'm at on the road, trying not to hit all the people walking on the road, and figuring out exactly how close my vehicle is to the one next to me. In crazy traffic, you're literally inches away from the car next to you. It's frightening. I managed it decently well, including navigating through some INSANE round-abouts. Holy cow. Those were scary. We got into the middle of Kampala and Brian needed to stop at a store. This meant that I had to parallel park on a major Kampala road. I thought death was near. A spot neared and I prepared to park. I started to silently pray. 

Somehow, I parked PERFECTLY.  It was amazing.

Brian remarked how good of a job it was and how he was jealous. I put the car in park. He then began a conversation about the locks and how though I may hit the automatic lock button, when I close the door, I need to hold up the handle in order for it to completely lock. He had me go over to his side to see this as I had already shut my door. As he was shutting his door, he turned to me and said, "Keys?". I said a quick "yes" and we went in. 

As we got in the store, I couldn't remember if I really DID have the keys. I've only locked my keys in my car once, and once was ENOUGH. I'm not one to do this so I couldn't believe it if I had. 

So...I searched my purse.
House keys? Check.
Office keys? Check.
Random keys for the States? Check.
Car keys?...NO WAY.

The keys weren't there. There was a pause in Brian talking to the clerk. 

"Brian? Um...about those keys..."

I went outside to check the car. Oh yes, the keys were the ignition...with the car STILL ON. 


I still can't believe that I did that. I must have gotten distracted with the locks. I was used to hearing the sound of the car still on as we exited, thanks to it being a diesel. What in the world. 

Unfortunately, AAA doesn't so much work in Uganda. 

Luckily, Brian was very calm assuring that it would all be ok. Once we confirmed with Kate that there was NOT a second set of keys to open the car, we had to try to get it open ourselves. By "our", I'm really meaning "him"...which turned to "them". As Brian tried to open a back window, about five Ugandan men came to investigate what the mzungu's (white people) were doing. Once they figured out that the keys were locked in the vehicle that was still ON (gosh, I'm such an idiot), they all pitched in. It truly became hilarious. I feel as though I learned more about the Ugandan culture in those minutes than I have in the past month. These five men tried to get one of the windows opened. The idea then came to get a wire to get into the car to unlock the doors. Scrambling occurred and within a minute, a large thick wire was produced. I have NO idea where it came from. As they were all on the driver's side (and in the very busy road), I was on the passenger side looking in, watching it all happen. People would stop, ask me what was going on and then say, "I'm so sorry". They'd stay for a few minutes, shake their head, repeat their apology and go on. A couple guys decided to try their hand at getting in where I was. One guy came with a thin wire and tried to get the lock to go up. At one point, there were about 15 people around the Prado, all trying to get it unlocked. 

Please. Picture this all in your head. 15 people surrounding the Prado. Brian on the hood directing them to the right button. Guys on my side sticking wires in through the door handle. 

And there I am, sweating, watching, praying and feeling like a VERY dumb mzungu. 

It was incredible to watch Ugandan culture happening before my eyes. Americans are very individualistic while Ugandans are HUGE on community. The community came around us in our time of trouble and did everything they could to help us. It was truly an amazing site.

It took about 20 minutes for them to get it unlocked but, they did it! Whew. Brian turned off the car, locked it again, handed me the keys and we were on our way to do some shopping. We then drove back to the Davis household where I dropped him off and DROVE BY MYSELF to the office. I remembered which turns to take, didn't hit anything (besides forgetting about one speed bump but what's one out of five, esp. when none are ever marked here?) and made it. Whew. That was kind of huge. 

All in all, it was a good driving day. I learned a lot and did better than I expected. And heck, this makes a GREAT blog, doesn't it!? Totally worth it...kinda. 

Let's just pray that I never do that again, ok? Ok. So, if you could all share your dumb stories, that'd really help. Really. Your turn...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So Much To Say

In wanting to update this, I've been trying to figure out what exactly to include. There's just so much that I want to share. This past week has been full of experiences but also lessons. Lots of lessons. I had another driving lesson which went really well. I took to the roads with the manual van which taught me A LOT. 

There's obviously a lot of differences in living here. I've gotten used to quite a few but then, sometimes, I go back to my American self and forget some basics. Thought I'd list a couple:
-I got on a boda boda, put my hands on his shoulders and waited to take off. The driver made this sort of noise that made me remember that I was NOT supposed to be touching him. At all. I quickly took my hands off him and put them on the metal bar behind me.
-Getting ready one morning, I flipped my hair straightener on to warm up and walked out to get something. I returned and the straightener was still cold. On each outlet, there's a switch to turn the outlet itself on. I had forgotten to do that.
-I piled all of my clothes into the washer to get some laundry done. Flipped the electrical switch on (I'm soo smart), waited for the water to then realize that it was after the time where they shut the water off. Dangit.
-We were out of milk so I stopped by the store to get some when I was already out. They were, not surprisingly, out of milk. That's not so much a me thing as everything here is just like that. Most of the time, when going to a grocery store, you can expect that half of your items aren't being sold that day. Yes, they could have been on the shelf yesterday but, today? Negative.

There's many more that I can't remember now but remember thinking at the time, "one more to add to that list!". Life here is obviously an adjustment. I think that this week made me realize even more that I'm LIVING here, not just visiting. I'm starting to get into my job more, meeting more people, realizing what a "normal" week might look like, etc. I've been developing all sorts of incredible friendships. God has truly blessed me and I am given far more grace than what I deserve.

Speaking of grace...that's one of the things that He's been teaching me. I finished my book on the Rwandan genocide which is truly fascinating. You need to read it. Seriously.

All of that makes me contemplate, why me? Why was I born in America? Why was I fed three times a day? Why was I allowed to get an education? Why was I not born in a poverty stricken country that called for my people's death?

Grace, grace...God's grace. Undeserved grace.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Random Thoughts

Here's some random thoughts for your personal pleasure:
-On the topic of boda boda's, Catharine told us tonight why, in fact, they're called boda boda's. When people used to travel from Uganda to Kenya, they had to go through two checkpoints, one on the Ugandan side and one on the Kenyan. The only way to get from each side was to take a motorcycle over, going from border to border. "Border to border" got shortened over the years to what we have now. 
-Today at church, the power went out during the worship time. They went on as though nothing happened and I swear the worship improved with it. It was just an incredible time of worship. I've always loved the sound of Africans singing and to be a part of it each week is incredible. I thought about the churches I know in America and what would happen if the power went out. We obviously have such a greater dependence on electricity that I wasn't sure if a service there would be able to continue (this obviously depends on the auditorium, time of year, etc). There was obviously no AC in the church this morning (I haven't experienced AC once in my time here and will be surprised if I ever do) and there were lots of windows. I prayed as the speaker spoke that their voice would be projected.
-I bought two books at a bookstore in Garden City this past weekend and I finished the first one today. "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" was written by Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier in Sierra Leone. It details his life before the war, survival during the war and his eventual being forced to fight on one side of the war at age 15. The most interesting part for me was his rehabilitation time. One would think, ah, you are rescued! You no longer have to kill people! You can be a child again! The process that him and his fellow army boys had to go through afterwards was...incredible. It taught me so much. There are some former child soldiers with Hope Alive! and I needed this to help me understand them. I would recommend this for all of you who have been burdened for these hundreds of thousands of child soldiers throughout the world today. The second book I bought it on the Rwanda genocide entitled, "We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families" by Philip Gourevitch. I just started it and am so interested to learn more. 

Now that I'm here, all of this seems much more real. I am in and near places where atrocities have occurred. Today, two of the big prayer requests that people gave at church were for the situation in the north with the LRA and the inhumane mess that they have left behind. I'm HERE. I'm meeting people that were there. Hearing their stories of fleeing for their lives. The fear that they lived in. Missing those that have been killed. This is right where I've been praying to be and it's still unreal that all of this has happened and is still happening today, only now elsewhere. It makes me hungry for more; more knowledge of the situation, more understanding of how to help people, more of a realization of the insanity that is often a blib on the news. I'm really excited to get to Gulu. We should be going in about two weeks and I'm so anxious to get there as well as the other sites. 

I want to see, touch and feel. I want to do more than pray at a distance but get my hands dirty in showing Christ. 

I am SO excited to be HERE. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Miracles: Big and Small

On Friday, I had to get to Brian and Renee's house from the coffee shop that I was at. I knew how to get there but didn't know how to relate it to a boda boda driver. They live off of a big road called Logogo Bypass. It would be like, in Lynchburg, telling a taxi driver that where you wanted to go was off of Wards Rd. somewhere or if, in Cedar Rapids, 1st Ave. They are such long roads that there's no way to tell how far one needs to go. I was concerned about conveying this as it would depend on how much he would charge me. I also wasn't completely confident in where the turn was. I would know it if I passed it but knowing ahead of time would be my problem. Nikola, my short term missionary roomie, had a number of a boda driver who drove them around enough to know where Brian and Renee lived. I had meant to get the number from her earlier but forgot. She told me to just ask the boda drivers for "Ivan" to see if he was there. I walked out of the coffee shop, called her to confirm where I was to look and she said that she would call Ivan to see if he could come to the coffee shop area where I was. I hung up with her as I was walking through the parking lot to get to the corner where the boda drivers were. Right then, a random lonesome boda started driving through the parking lot. I stopped him and asked him if he knew of a boda driver named "Ivan" and if he was close by.

He looked at me and said, "Yes, I am Ivan!"

I couldn't believe it! God had just answered my prayer! I told him that I was friends with Nikola and that I needed to get to Brian and Renee's. He told me that he knew exactly where to go. At the moment, his cell phone rang. It was Nikola calling.

Oh, and I now have Ivan's number in my cell phone as "Ivan boda".

God confirms His faithfulness, care and protection again and again and...again.

Experiencing An Ugandan Marketplace = Mosh Pit

On Wednesday, Renee (her and her husband oversee the short and mid termers) had me go with one of the mentors to learn the taxi system here. Now is a good time to explain these systems for you. There three main kinds of public transportation here: boda boda, taxi and special hire.

Boda boda's have been my main form of transportation. For those that didn't google image this, I give you this youtube video. 

For the most part, I've felt completely safe on these and they are truly the fastest way to get anywhere in Kampala. The down side is that you have to tell them exactly where to go and they may or may not know where it is. This makes it interesting as you negotiate the price beforehand and if you don't know where it is, it's hard to give a price. There have definitely been some frightening times as well. Today, actually, was probably the craziest boda ride that I've ever had. We went really far away (don't even ask me where) to meet up with Chris Biddix (a familiar face!!!) and holy cow, that boda. Kate, another mentor, was also on the boda so we had three on there (mom and dad, just stop reading now, ok? :)). We got into this crazy traffic and he started weaving in between cars and then we ended up driving on the SIDEWALK. But, we got there! They know what they're doing. Anyway, all this to say, they're the fastest way of getting somewhere. It's the middle of the three prices.

The second form of transportation is a special hire. This means that you call someone, they come to where you are and then take you directly to where you need to go. They know of more places than bodas which helps a lot. This is BY FAR the most expensive way to travel. So, Mom and Dad (if you're still reading which you SHOULD have stopped up there), if you want me to do this, then you need to send me LOTS of money. I'll give an example. The other night myself and two others went to a Thai restaurant probably about 15 min or so away from our house. We took bodas there and paid about 3000 schillings which is not even $2. Since it was so late when we finished, we called a special hire and paid 20,000 schillings to get back. Big difference.

The third form of transportation is taxi's. On Wednesday, I attempted to master the taxi system. Their taxi system is kind of like our bus system. There are certain places where they pick you up ( a very weird third world sense) and places where they drop you off. There's a driver of the taxi (which is a passenger van) and a conducter, who controls all of the prices, announces the end station that the taxi is going to and convinces people to get on the taxi. Once on, you have no idea how much he'll charge you until you're almost off. There is NO way of knowing when you're supposed to get off. There's no "Jinja Rd stop" yelled out. They just stop. You have to know where you're at to know if this is where you're supposed to get off. They also sometimes stop in random places for people but that's apparently just when the traffic police aren't around. This is by far the SLOWEST way of getting ANYWHERE. There's no definite time when they leave. They often stop and wait for more people to get on the taxi. This could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes. The traffic here is insane so adding that to all of the planned stops, unplanned stops, waiting for people to get on, etc. it takes forever. This is the cheapest way of getting around Kampala. 

Lonnah, one of Hope Alive!'s incredible mentors, took me on my first taxi ride to the taxi park in downtown Kampala. I don't even know how to describe taxi park. Imagine literally hundreds of passenger vans all scrunched together in a parking lot. Each one of these is going somewhere different and trying to get around each other. It's chaos. There's very few signs as to what taxi is going where. Insane. After we went there, Lonnah took me to a small market and then we went to the big daddy market of them all. It was literally like being in a mosh pit at a rock concert. Everyone was pushing to get through the tiny passage ways. I could barely look up at any merchandise because I was too concerned with where my next step would be. Lonnah held my hand throughout the day which is customary here...and probably saved my arms from being pulled off by merchants wanting the muzungo to see what they were selling. Unfortunately for them, the muzungo didn't even glance at their stuff. It was SO INSANE in there. After that, we walked to a craft market where they sold all sorts of Ugandan crafts. Lonnah said that she was tempted to buy so many things in the big market. I wasn't tempted there but got majorly tempted at the craft market! I've needed to add some life to my room so I bought a few things to make it more like home. We then took a taxi back and then boda-ed to the Hope Alive! office.

Thursday I spent going over the Hope Alive! database with Catharine. It was so good to see what I'll be spending so much time on! It will help me understand more of the intricate details that is Hope Alive! 

Friday is Catharine's day off and I will probably make it mine as well. With Saturday Club on Saturday's and then church and other ministry things on Sunday, our only day off has to be in the week. On Friday morning, I joined Catharine and Susan (another missionary who lives on our compound) as they ventured out to the oh-so-new Nakumatt! I've been to Nakumatt's in Kenya (think: African Wal-mart) but this one in Kampala is new. We ended up stopping at Garden City, a nice mall in downtown Kampala, before we continued onto Nakumatt. The night before our trip, I had a dream. On my list to get were a hair straightener (mine died! :( ), alarm clock and a pillow (I can't sleep on pancakes any longer). In my dream, Nakumatt had everything that I needed besides pillows. All they had were decorative pillows, not pillows to sleep on. I was super annoyed in my dream. We get to Nakumatt on Friday and I relayed my dream to Catharine. We laugh as we ask a manager to help us find the things that we were looking. It came to be that Nakumatt had NOTHING that I needed...besides a pillow, that is. Nakumatt made my dream opposite. We then headed to a different store which had everything that I needed. So random.

After our time at Nakumatt, Catharine and Susan dropped me off at a coffee shop where I grabbed a quick lunch before I headed over to Brian and Renee's. Brian offered to help me learn how to drive a manual car AND how to drive in Kampala. What a huge task! It all went so much better than I thought. After practicing on their manual van, he had me drive their automatic van out of their neighborhood, to a grocery store to get some things for dinner. 

Yes, I drove. In Kampala. In a van. 

Ok fine, so it was like 2 miles from their house. I had to cross this major road though which here is just insane. It gave me some confidence in driving here but hoooly cow, it is just insane here. Watch that boda boda video a couple times and just imagine driving in it with 100000 more cars on the road than that video showed. 

Thanks for all of your prayer for my driving! Keep them up! I need them desperately! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I thought I'd write a little PS to my previous note. Life in Uganda is different, very very different. Beyond the things listed below, there's things like wanting to buy milk but the grocery stores aren't selling milk that day. Or wanting to do laundry but never being home when the water is actually turned on (I seriously have a huge stack of laundry waiting for the time when I'm home and the water is on). It's different than anything I've ever known.


It's worth it. What are dirty clothes compared to persecution for Christ? What are bugs compared to what HE has done for me? Just as Christ left His culture to reach us, I have left mine to reach this one through Christ. He had much more culture shock to endure than I. I don't like that word, "endure". I'm not "enduring" here. I'm ENJOYING here. There is a firm confidence that no matter what, this is the exact place that God has me. I'm not out there searching and wondering what I will do next or pining to be fulfilled in my job. I am doing exactly that right now. I know that I'm one of the few that can say such things and for that, I am honored and thrilled. 

Another difference? I thought that when I came here, I'd eat no sweets since the Africans I know only have fruit for dessert. The other American missionaries have made sure that I have had my share of all sweets. I've seriously eaten more cookies and sweets in the past week than I have in the past month. Ridiculous. 

...but oh soo tasty.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

At last, a REAL update! :)

When we first went to visit some of the homes of the children, it reminded me of when we were in rural poor Kenya. The big difference was that Kampala is a huge city so these kids are street savvy living in poverty. The first place we went was apparently a place for the families of the police. When we arrived, we had to talk to the police to get permission to visit the families as they ran into some trouble last time because they didn’t know who they were. Go figure. Once we were “cleared”, we headed through the dirt and trash filled paths to the first home. There were only two homes in the police family area so after that, we didn’t have to worry. The “we” in this includes Nikola, a short termer who has been here for five weeks and is leaving next week, and Dorothy, one of the Hope Alive! mentors. Since Dorothy is Ugandan, that helped in numerous ways through language barriers to talking with the police. It was great to see how the system works with Hope Alive! and their mentors. In talking to Catharine, the mentor system is one of the distinguishing factors of Hope Alive! so it was great to see it first hand.

I thought I’d share a couple stories from that time as well. As we rounded the corner of these houses, this little girl about 3 years old, sees me and starts running towards me, arms open wide. Her mom starts to laugh as I picked her up and held onto her. I didn’t really need to hold her as she had quite the grip on me herself. Soon after, a young boy comes up to me, grabs my hand and goes to his knees. This is a Ugandan custom that shows deep respect. He was so sincere (not to mention SO ADORABLE). I teared up.

I’m trying to think of the best way to describe the similarities and differences of living in Uganda. I truly have little idea yet as I’ve been here less than a week and my week hasn’t been my “normal” life. There’s an American team here so I’ve done a lot with them. They are also painting and adding shelves to my office so I haven’t been able to go in yet. At some point this week, I’ll be having orientation. This means that my time to driving in Kampala is coming nearer. This brings tightness to my stomach. I can’t even put into words what the traffic is like here. How lawless the roads are. How incredibly nonsensical and absolutely insane it is. I’ve still yet to master driving a manual which will make all of that so much worse. I’m scared out of my mind.  Another thing is the dirt. The dirt is like a red clay, similar to Lynchburg. The biggest difference here is that the clay is EVERYWHERE. Since there’s no AC in houses, all of our windows are open to the air. Though there are screens for bugs (which somehow didn’t keep a certain mosquito from eating me alive a couple nights ago), it doesn’t keep the dirt out. It’s all over my stuff, clothes, shoes, body, etc. And that’s just the outside of my body. I can also feel it in my ears, nose, mouth, throat and lungs.  There’s some funny bits of America here though. Right now, our neighbors are having a huge party. They’re playing music pretty loud. At first, it sounded like they had a traditional African band. Now they’re playing random American songs like “As I Lay Me Down” by Sophie B. Hawkins, a couple country songs and more. The songs they play in grocery stores are about the same. I heard “Good Morning Beautiful” yesterday while shopping. 

I'm continuing this note at a local coffee shop called Good African Coffee. FYI, coffee has been a disappointment here however, it's good here (pun SO intended). The lack of internet has been the hardest thing to deal with. I wrote the above at home and then just added it in. I've only had a bit of internet here and none of it on my own computer yet. Ahh, I can FINALLY send an e-mail update to everyone! It's mainly been a quick blog update, check a couple e-mails and then done. It's SO great to finally catch up! You don't realize how much junk e-mail you get until you can't delete it every day. I ordered a strawberry smoothie and it just came. It literally tastes like I'm sucking down some Yoplait strawberry yogurt. Mm. :) 

To conclude though. :) Through all of the dirt, bugs, no internet and more, things here are good. I can tell that there's going to be a lot of really hard adjustments, but I also know that I love it. This is EXACTLY where God has me. So, please pray. I know that Satan's going to do His best at getting me to get annoyed at the big and little things. Like, for example, I just got bit by about 20 mosquitoes sitting here. 


Friday, July 10, 2009


Today we went to visit some of the kids in their homes. We walked through one of the slums in Kampala to reach many of them. Their houses varied. Some were circular metal ones, one was in this large building with basically cardboard in between each room, and so on. The poverty was so evident. It was so great to finally be out in the city. More stories and pictures later!

...AND I rode a boda boda today! Do a google image search on that sucker. It was CRAZY! :)

Miracles: Big and Small

I want to start a series where I can write out the different miracles that God does. I have to figure out exactly how to make a cool tab where they're all related (Jenna? Help?) but here's the first.

Liberty donated two computers to Hope Alive! and I brought them over with all of my stuff. With everything, I had two suitcases and two cardboard Dell boxes filled with the computers and some of my random stuff. It was pouring in Amsterdam for my five hour layover there. When I got my stuff in the Kampala airport, one of my suitcases and one of the Dell boxes was clearly soaked. I wasn't able to inspect the damage until I got to the house late that night. Although most of my stuff in the suitcase was in plastic bags, everything that wasn't was absolutely drenched. I could have wrung out the clothes and it wouldn't have even made a difference. Nothing was completely ruined but there was some damage. I then checked out the Dell box, praying that the computer would be fine. The box itself was so wet that it just mostly tore apart. When I opened the box, all of the content inside were completely dry. It was unreal. It all should have been destroyed especially since it was in cardboard but miraculously, God protected it.

Ah, this is just the first one... :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm heeere!

For the past couple days I've thought, "when I get internet, I need to blog about THIS". Unfortunately, all of that is completely escaping my mind. I did originally try to blog from my layover in Amsterdam but all of my buttons were in Dutch and then I ran out of internet time. The first couple days here have been good! My body has taken awhile to adjust so hopefully it does soon. I think I've figured out that it's going to take a looong time before reality truly sets in. I can't fully describe this. It doesn't feel like a vacation but it doesn't feel like real life yet. That will probably take weeks or months and at that time, culture shock will be insane. For now though, I've been having a blast getting to actually see everything instead of attempting to picture it in my head. I'm all settled in my room, with everything happily tucked away where it belongs. I've seen my office and met all of the office staff. A happy surprise is that all of the office staff is Ugandan! I was so thrilled! They all seem great and I have a feeling we'll be having a lot of laughs in these next couple of years.

I must mention the noises here. Currently, I can hear the honking of horns, the ringing of a school bell, the sound of a siren, people talking and a cow mooing. I haven't found the cow yet but I know it's at the back of our place somewhere. Oh, there's also these birds that when they "chirp", it sounds like an off key alarm clock but really really loud. I haven't found a snooze button for them yet.

Oh, I've also had really random songs enter my head. Most of them have been really encouraging worship songs that the lyrics mean so much in that time. I know that God has been speaking to me through that. Some have been more random like Alabama's "Roll On 18 Wheeler". I have no idea. It came out of nowhere.

Dinner is about to be served so I'll have to cut this short. Your prayers mean so much as I transition to life here. I already know that there are tough times ahead. I also know that GOD is here with me. He didn't desert me in Amsterdam. He didn't guide me here just to walk away. I know that through all the good, bad and frustrating, He has called me here. That is my comfort.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fragmented scatterbrained last minute thoughts :)

It's midnight and I'm flying out in 12 hours. The chance of this being nonsensical is very high. Here's some quick deals from this past week:

-4th of July in Cedar Rapids is one of my favorite things in the WORLD.
-I am SO SICK of packing and would like to wait a long time before I do it again.
-Speaking of such, I'm coming home for Christmas. YES! 
-This trip will include Lynchburg. YAY!
-I hate the size of malaria pills. I wish they'd make them smaller. I'm not looking forward to shoving that down my throat for the next two years.
-I'm still in surreal denial about this whole Uganda thing. When I think about it, my stomach gets all tight and scared. I'm doubting this is healthy.
-Somehow, in some way, I managed to pack LESS for Uganda than I thought. Go figure. I'm probably missing something majorly important.
-I'm really excited to use my headlamp. This is most likely not normal.
-I got to go to my home church this morning for their first Sunday at the new building. I always feel like I'm surrounded by my family when I'm there. I love it.
-I'm going to the chiropractor before my flight tomorrow. SO. EXCITED. My back is killing me. 

I know this was a riveting post for you all. I'm deliriously tired and have that sinking feeling in my stomach that I'm forgetting 1000 things...

...or maybe that's just the malaria pill hitting my stomach. Gross.

Next post written from UGANDA!!!!

Can you believe it? I can't. Craaaazy!