Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Street smart...

This summer season is so fun.  I have been hosting two wonderful volunteers at LCH and we have been women on the move doing everything from painting half a building blue to hut-to-hut evangelism.  So, I have not had much time to sit down and blog.  But I do have a guest blog for you from one of my friends, Valerie Snyder, who recently moved to Mbale to work with another mission group.  Hope you enjoy.

Laughter instead of tears
As I watched Natalie chase several street boys away from her car with an umbrella I couldn’t stop from laughing.  She was screaming about the fact that she “JUST” washed her car, the car that they were all hanging and kissing on. She had warned them to get away or she would "beat" them, apparently they didn’t take her seriously. I must say, neither did I for that matter. This was until she whipped herself out of her broken-down car and hurled herself at the disrespectful boys who were hollering at us….

You see, the night started with a group of us wanting to share a meal with Miss Emily Daw before she headed back to the States. Our plan was to go out and eat at Emily’s favorite Indian restaurant.  As four of us sat at the bottom of a hill, on our way to town, we listened to Natalie’s car rumble as if it wasn’t getting sufficient amounts of gas. We were stuck. We couldn’t move forward, we didn’t know what to do…..

Revving the engine seemed to help.  So we brought the RPM’s up and were able to speed our way up the hill to the main road.  Laughing the entire way as we speedily zipped over the potholes, scaring everyone else on the road…..

After stopping for gas we eventually got to the restaurant, ate and had great conversations. As we were leaving, hoping the car would make it home we had no idea the night that was to come. 

Oh, the car was able to start alright, however we weren’t able to move even a centimeter before we stalled out. This is when the street boys started collecting around the car. The growing amount of street boys begging for money and making comments was not what broke Natalie. The frustration and worry of her car not working, the gradual increase of rudeness by the boys were only minor frustrations.  However, once the boys started kissing on the windows, oh yes, that was what eventually broke Natalie. She was screaming at the boys to get off her car, she had just washed it!  She continued to warn them, if they did not leave her car alone she would beat them. The four of us just started laughing. We did not believe Natalie’s threats, because that’s just what we thought they were, threats. 

Much to our disbelief however, Natalie was not bluffing. She catapulted out of her car, umbrella in hand, running after the street boys trying to get them away from her newly washed car. The rest of us left in the car could not help but to burst out in uncontrollable laughter.  While Natalie dealt with the annoying street kids we were all laughing about the situation. 

Even as we were attached to our friend’s truck, being pulled by a tow-strap around Mbale town, we couldn’t stop from laughing.
Oh what a night. 

It was an interesting and entertaining night.  To defend myself, the reason that I was concerned about my newly washed car was because early the next morning I was participating in a wedding of a Ugandan friend and my car needed to look "smart" but I knew I would not have time to have it washed again before the wedding.  And the situation with the street boys was portrayed by a "newby" in Mbale and not as grave as it sounded.

And, my car is now very fine.  Our mechanic friend replaced the plugs and my car was delivered to my house before I even had time to call and check on it.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just another weekend...

I realize that there are many things things that happen within a day that I count as normal, but would be quite unusual to the average person.  So, I hope I can start capturing some of those moments for you.

Last weekend was one of the first that I didn't have a wedding to attend or a schedule to keep.  So nice.  I slept in without being woken by the sounds of roosters crowing.  I had plans to try a new recipie for "mango crumble" so I started peeling the mangoes we had in the kitchen.  But, I found that I didn't have enough.  Luckily, we have two big beautiful mango trees in our backyard.  
I went outside and asked our guard if he could help me knock down some from the tree, expecting him to take the long pole to reach them.  Instead, he took off his shoes and started climbing.  The top of the tree is where the sweetest ones are anyways, right?  So, wanting to pull my weight in unexpected mango picking adventure, I strategically placed myself below him to be in the proper place to catch each mango that he threw down.  Instead of the four I requested, I ended up with about a dozen.  And the mango crumble was delicious!! 
Later that afternoon, the guard comes to our door to see if I needed any milk because the Milk Man was outside, delivering milk on his bicycle. 


And although buying pasteurized milk from the supermarket is convenient, there is something organic about having to boil your milk after collecting it from the milk man.  But you can't leave the milk unattended, unless you want a big mess.
The phrase, "There is no use crying over spilled milk" has a whole new meaning.