Showing posts from 2008

Ugandan Christmas 2008

Our Christmas tree, complete with Jonah's Lego 'Holiday Train' and tunnel we had built for him here! Small presents mailed from Grammy and Grandma completed the ensemble!
If I had to choose one word to describe our Christmas this year, it would be ‘different’! Everything from the weather, the people, the events, to the absence of livelong traditions made for a very bizarre holiday. But, though missing family was at an all-time high, there were some bright spots. Here’s a picture story of how our Christmas went down, 10,000 miles from home:

Christmas Eve started as a typical day, with me heading to town to pay our (astronomical) electric bill and Alisha and Dani baking 15 loaves of banana bread to pass out. But as the day wore on, it became more Christmassy. We started by driving around to pass out some of the loaves to a few local neighbors we've come to befriend one way or another...
Christine, who runs a nearby shop that we frequent a few times a week to get such staple…

*Visa Update*

Well, God has answered another prayer, as we are now in possession of all 6 passports with legitimate visas!! I went to immigration this morning right as it opened and no one else was there. So I went in and the lady who had me take a seat was trying to set the time on a little clock her boyfriend (who was working in the same room nearby) had given her for Christmas. I didn't want to appear too obnoxious, so I kind of nonchalantly offered to help, which she was grateful for. So she found the two passports and gave them to me while I 'fixed' her clock. After I handed her the clock, I explained the dilemma and showed her that Alisha's new Special Pass was expiring today, telling her that we were leaving in 4 weeks. She said, "Oh, then I'll give you a visitor's pass for 30 days." I said, "Can you do that?" So she stamped her passport and verified that 30 days was enough, I said, "that would be great", she signed it and that was that. …

Immigration Dept. Blues

Before we arrived back in January, we had the paperwork submitted into the Immigration office here to get my work permit approved. However, eMi’s registration here in Uganda was set to expire in July, so the office had to prepare a pretty extensive application to reapply for NGO status (non-governmental organization) – includes a financial impact study, a report of what we’re doing and the local staff we employ, amongst other things. This NGO renewal was submitted in May. Consequently, when I applied for a 2-year work permit in February, I was told that I could not receive a work permit that outlasted the NGO permit so after months of delay, I was granted a 6 month work permit that actually did extend beyond the NGO deadline into October).

Graysen has turned into Mr. Make-Believe. He loves to dress up like he's Peter Pan, or Cap'n Hook, or Santa Claus. The funny thing is, the difference between any of the custumes he chooses are virtually indistinguishable from each other! He u…

Where do you stay?

In Africa it's customary to say, "Where do you stay?" instead of "Where do you live?" I (Alisha) got to thinking about that a bit. Back home it seemed I just expected to see the same people at the boy's schools and at church week after week.

We're really missing my niece Traci now that she's on her way back home. (Traci - Dani's sister - is on the left) She was here about 6 weeks and it went by too fast. She was great to have around and it was a big treat for Dani as well. But here it is a little different. Many families come here for a commitment of just a few months or maybe only a couple of years. Then one day, they are off to another country or back home to start a new chapter of their lives. That's what made me realize: while people may "stay" in one place for a time, there is no guarantee that they will "live" in that place for very long. Accepting this new sense of "normal" has been a big challenge for me.O…

Random November updates

A Family shot at the rock quarry, just before dusk
Brief, random updates over the past few weeks:

* We're very much enjoying having my niece Traci here for these 6 weeks. She is a great person and a lot of fun to have around. It's been a lot of fun for Dani too, as the two of them have been going out on the town some - karaoke, a concert, walking to dinner, etc. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to her on Dec. 3rd.

* Our water has been turning off for longer periods recently. It's mainly because the lines are so bad they keep breaking, but they are also trying to do some bigger repairs. This past week it was off for 2 days, so for the first time since we've been here we actually ran out of water in our storage tank. Unfortunately, Traci was in the shower all lathered up when it ran out, so Alisha had to bring her some water from our drinking water cooler to rinse off. It ran out at 1pm in the afternoon and the city water didn't turn back on until almost 10pm. T…