The morning was relaxing…besides my first glance into the bathroom. I had closed the door the night before to prevent any friends joining me in my sleep. I turned the light on…creaked open the door…whew. No bugs. I’m still wary of the bathroom. Breakfast that morning was nice. We sat outside on the veranda, drank fresh juice, ate my Spanish omelet and enjoyed the cool breeze. God and I continued our conversation from the night before, mainly with this verse: “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:3). Huuuah. One more sucker punch from God. The sucker punch was finished off with v14: “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world”. I wondered what it looks like when the world has been crucified to me. How is that fleshed out? And what does it look like to boast ONLY in the cross? Wow. Imagine…
Catharine had a meeting that left Kate, Calista, Stephen and I to our own fun. We decided to walk around Gulu and explore. Kate thought that I could maybe find some mascara somewhere. I was glad at the thought but had already worked through not finding my identity in make-up the night before so I was good without finding it. We wandered through the streets of Gulu and ended up at the Gulu market. It was so nice to experience a smaller town market! The Kampala markets are so chaotic and insane. The Gulu market was so nice and calm in comparison. The night before there was a horrible storm and the mud on the streets and in the market still showed evidence of it. Our search for mascara took us to a few places and landed us back at the market at this random stall. Where else can you pay $0.75 for mascara?
We then decided to just walk…and walk. We went through parts of town, got to a roundabout listing various NGO’s and followed the signs. I’ll interject here to say that I, Sarah Pisney, have renamed Gulu. Gulu will now and forever be known as Gulu: NGO City. Our first morning here I attempted to count the number of NGO vehicles that drove by our hotel. I lost count after 10 minutes and gave up. Back to the day. We followed signs for the UN and WHO as Calista wanted to see their offices. We followed the arrows to the street and walked…and walked…and walked. We past their offices and hoped that we would happen upon some awesome short cut back to where we wanted to be as we were meeting Catharine and Alfred for lunch soon. The hope of a short cut kept us walking along with Kate’s somewhat certainty that “at the next street” there’d be one. No such short cut came and once we stopped for directions, we realized that we would have to retrace all of our muddy tracks to get where we needed. The cool morning had turned into a very very hot day. We were all pouring in sweat and getting tired. Kate called Catharine to see if she’d be able to pick us up and (praise JESUS) she was! We started the trek back and met up with Catharine along the way. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated an air-conditioned car as much as I did when we entered. Ahhhh, it felt amazing.
We had lunch with Alfred and then headed to the Hope Alive! Feeding Centre (not a misspelling, things are spelled British style here). We met up with Shem, the Assistant Site Director whom we had met the day before. We checked out where they’ll be raising chicks in order to make the center have income generation making it all less dependent on Western money. There were some kids from the IDP camp that came in. They spoke zero English so we communicated in other ways. Tickle spots are great ways to communicate, I’ve discovered. This also reminds me of when my brothers (read: Jeff) would tickle me until I couldn’t breathe as I child and I hated it. I hate being tickled to this day. Hence, I feel kind of bad about this form of communication but it gets smiles out of these kids and it’s fun…and I don’t tickle until they can’t breathe. I’m kind and merciful unlike some others (read: Jeff). After that, we headed back to the hotel. Catharine had a meeting at the hotel and though Kate and Calista joined, I opted for a nap. Mmm, it was nice. When I awoke, I joined everyone in card games, dinner and our nightly watching of an episode of “Chuck”. I had never heard of it but Kate got a season for her birthday last week so we’ve watched that every night here in Gulu.