Normal life

Graysen dressed as Jack Sparrow for a Pirates and Princesses birthday party a friend threw. (We brought this costume back with us from the States in February). In this picture, Graysen is eating a fried grasshopper - the first in our family to try one of these local treats. Even though he thought it was ok, he may be the last of us to try one too!

The last few weeks have felt very 'normal'. No major sickness, no major problems - just typical life stuff. We did go away to Jinja for a couple of nights since the boys were off school for their 2 week Easter break. We went with our neighbors the Kelly's and another family (the Stride's) here who are a part of a small group of families who we hang out with. We had a fun time, visiting the Welcome Home orphanage (we love going by and checking in with the kids and goings-on there), letting the boys swim, going to see Bujagali Falls where I rafted last Summer, and mountain biking (my neighbor Brian and I went for the morning) through a rain forest.
Last Sunday, Alisha and I also ran a 10K here in Kampala. It was terrible! The first 2K was all downhill so you started out too fast, then most of the rest of the run was grueling uphill. We were surprised at how fast we'd run it given the terrain (me-41 mins., Alisha-51 mins, second for women ages 20-39) - until our neighbor Lynne told us her GPS clocked it at only 8.9KM! Hilarious that the race organizers could be off by more than a full kilometer!
Anyway, enjoy some pictures of these last few weeks. Work-wise, this coming week we will be finalizing the design report for my Spring project. Two weeks from today, I'll be setting off for my Summer trip to Tanzania. We're going to try to take the ferry across the lake, though it's a 19-hour boat trip on an old boat and that lake can act more like an ocean during storms. I say 'try' to take the ferry because it depends on when it arrives - there is no set schedule so we have to check a couple days before to see when it's coming! The backup plan is to take the bus, which will be 18 hours! Both cost about $50 round trip, which is a lot cheaper than the $500 round trip plane fare. I'm praying against any motion sickness, whether on land or sea!


Alisha, with friends Jenny (hot pink), Lynne (white tank top), and Dawn (yellow visor) before the 10K race. The race started 40 minutes late and was 1.1km short of 10K...but it was still a lot of fun (Alisha would disagree witht he fun part), despite the intense heat and gruemsome hills!

Me, Alisha, Lynne and Jenny before the race - the asphalt we're standing on was some of the only paved roads we'd see that day!

Stephen, eMi's Head of Security, was stationed at our house for the day. His 2-year old son named Bless-You came by, so he borrowed a pair of swim trunks and all the boys took a dip in these bucket pools.

Neighbor Brian and I went on a 25km mountain biking trek through the Mabiri rainforest between Kampala and Jinja. It was probably better suited for a walking trail with all the roots, but it was a lot of fun. It was very humid and dark in the jungle!

This clearing was at the destination of our trek, a waterfall in a nearby stream. The Mabira Forest can be seen in the background.

The waterfall was a little dissappointing actually. The stench in this little river was so bad we didn't get within 25 feet of it. It smelled like fermented fruit, and wasn't exactly the pristine water you'd expect flowing through a rainforest. We found out later that the sugar factory upstream dumps their byproducts into the stream. Sad - it actually gave me an appreciation for the EPA back in the U.S. that I hadn't really thought of before.

This was one of our bikes - note the brand name: Panasonic. We thought that was pretty funny. I haven't googled it, but I think it's safe to say there's a 0% chance that this is actually a bike made by Panasonic! ha! If so, they should stick to electronics! The seat was so uncomfortable our rears were killing us after only 15 minutes.

Our neighbors - Brian and Lynne Kelly. Brian is the pastor at the Calvary Chapel Kampala church we attend downtown. They've lived here 7 years and are great people. Having their family live next door has been a big blessing to us, and a big answer to prayer.

Our kids and the Kelly kids playing in the pool at the Kingfisher Safari resort where we stay in Jinja. The prices are pretty cheap and the kids love the pool.

The bottom of Bujagali falls (the first class V rapid in the Nile River rafting trip). The person in the water is one of the local guys who brave the rapids with nothing more than their swimsuit and a jerry can (a 5 gallon, plastic jug). There are a number of them that do it all day, every day as their job. The going rate is usually about 5,000 Ugandan shillings, which is about $2.50. It's pretty dangerous - one of them died a few years back.

Family photo at Bujagali Falls

Alisha and the boys with Lynne and her 3 kids: Judah (2nd grade), Julia (1st grade) and Liana (almost 4 yrs old).

Visiting Welcome Home orphanage is always one of our favorite parts of coming to Jinja!

Alisha and I thought little Veronica was so precious - and we loved her even more when we found out that she used to follow our new niece Becky around everywhere before Becky came home to San Diego with Alisha's brother's family.
Veronica says 'hello' Becky!

Comments

Traci Morrow said…
Oh my gosh, i'm in LOVE with Veronica. I just wish she'd smile more. ;o)

LOVE seeing the snippet of the life you're living! :)

Miss you guys!!
xoxoxox
PS we also got to see Chivas play a couple weeks ago in box seats (KC is the President of the soccer league here in Glendora now - can you say "SUCKER"?! ;o) But it comes with perks! Drew Carey owns the team Chivas played against and we were in the suite next to his, so we got to see him. He wasnt a happy guy as Chivas won, and he thought the officiating was not in his favor. Just a little soccer Cliff Claven for ya. Your AIG shirt jogged my memory on the subject. xo
Anonymous said…
Graysen is amazing. Now "smile, Graysen" really means "close your eyes and squint". Hilarious!
Grandpa
Anonymous said…
News flash! Strange but true - do the Google. Panasonic actually does (or did) make bicycles. Their USA division closed in 1989. So your bicycles may have been 20+ years old?
Dad B.
Anonymous said…
Love seeing pictures of you all! Love you all tons!
Stacia
Amanda Baca said…
friends make all the difference in the world! so glad God has provided for you all in this way, what a blessing. loved the pics of the boys in the water-i haven't ever seen stephen's boy! mt. biking looked incredible too.

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