Sunday, May 30, 2010


I've gotten the scoop from those in the know- the day out in Obalanga with the ICC overall went well. But let me back up a little. The ICC is the International Criminal Court. (It is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes- thank you Wikipedia). They are in Uganda due to the situation with the LRA (the satanic militant group). A gathering of delegates were here in Soroti for the day yesterday. International Teams, in partnership with FIDA, works with kids that are affected by the rebels (as former child soldiers or other traumas). This selection of the court came to spend a couple of hours at the mass graves, meet 150 escaped LRA abductees, hear a few of their stories and see their homes. The 12 delegates will join back up with all the rest of the Heads of States in meetings in Kampala over the next several days where Tim will be given an opportunity to present to them more about what is going on here and Beckie will host a booth for more information. For the past several days preparing for their visit and the following conference seems to have consumed all of our time as all of this was all thrown together on very short notice (for us, not the ICC- they knew about it, we didn't.) And we were reminded regularly that this is Africa: the kids all had to be reached- and not just with a quick phone call to their parents, presentations had to be created- but not with a quick stop to office max, transport had to be arranged- really rough roads and some pretty significant distances, and so much more had to be done. I'm not going to go into the food prep for 170, reaching and mobilizing the CAAF (Children Affected by Armed Forces) committee members, running all over Kampala to get security badges and proper documentation, assembling packets to hand out, DVDs to make, and none of it as straight forward as in the states. The power fails, the internet quits, phones don't work and no one in the city carries card stock. It makes me tired again just writing about it. Anyway, Tim and Beckie (and the delegates) are all off to Kampala. We are praying for their continued interactions over the next several day. (maybe Beckie can speak with Kofi Annan) I think life here will settle back down...

These seem to be good articles to explain a little more , and

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kids are messy creatures

Just coming off of a 10 hour shift at Amecet and was reminded again of just how tragic these precious little one's stories are. And how really not precious and tragic their messes are. Nap time is nice though.

We are still waiting on the return of the rest of the team who spent the day with LRA kids and the International Criminal Court. I'm sure I'll post on that shortly. ( Beckie blogged yesterday about our prep work there for today- )

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Racing in Entebbe?

I've been mulling this over for a week or two now. I have not really decided but I'm thinking about doing a triathlon here in Uganda in Sept. There is a woman from Canada who works with World Vision and she was telling me about a tri in Entebee. Right away I said I'd love to train with her and shortly thereafter I came back to my senses. This is less than 4 months away and usually by this time of year I have a solid month of training already under my belt. On top of that there is really no swim-able water in Soroti and the bike I use here doesn't have a derailleur in the front or the back. But I love the thought of managing these challenges and racing in just 12 weeks. Really, at this point the biggest thing holding me back is time. I know that training can't be taken lightly and it takes time. Is this a commitment that I'm willing to make? To be tied up for several hours a week and be less available? But just the thought of creating this years training plan makes me want to lace up my shoes. So I guess here goes nothing....
Back in Soroti! So good to be home. Here are the pictures of Job and Lazaro I promised last post...

One other quick request- we have some very busy days ahead of us as the ICC (International Criminal Court) is coming to Soroti this weekend and because of ITeams' work with kids affected by the LRA we have some cool opportunities to talk with them, show them around, introduce them to the kids, and share what is going on here. Will you pray for these conversations?  Most of all we want to bring glory and honor to God.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday we left Soroti for the long trek to Kampala to bring some visitors back to the airport. We broke up the traveling by stopping for a night in Mbale and slept practically under a waterfall in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  

We headed the next day to Jinja and the source of the Nile and decided to spend the next night there instead of in the city. It was also so restful and beautiful. A very nice two days. Which was good considering these long days going to and from the airport and treking all over the city to get supplies and sitting in crazy traffic and just generally spending too much time in this crowded dirty city can kind of bring you down. I'm really ready to get back to Soroti.

We are picking up two more short term people tonight then back home tomorrow.


So this is a little  a lot delayed but our trip out to see Lazaro, Abraham and Job last week was a really good one. The chairs we brought them fit well (once we added a little extra padding) and I really feel like will improve their quality of life. I went back again the following day because I was concerned that Lazaro's family would stick him in the chair and just leave him for hours. He is just not strong enough for that.  He works so hard to breath when sitting up and his neck muscles are so weak he can't even hold up his own head. But he did really well in the chair for about 20 minutes. The following day when I went back I put him in the chair for 20 minutes again and then took him out and tried some passive range of motion then back in the chair for 20 more minutes.  He didn't really like it but it didn't seem to cause too much pain and I really think over time it will make a difference. Pastor Steven and I talked to his father and an older brother about doing it twice a day but I'm not sure they will. You can tell that no one ever interacts with Lazaro. He doesn't reach for anything, he won't look to either side, he never smiles, he won't bring anything to his mouth (I brought a whole package of cookies just to tempt him- his siblings enjoyed them though). Honestly this is so discouraging for me. I just don't know how to help this little guy. It really isn't a solution to take him from his home and bring him into mine but that is the kind of time that he needs.  And his little brother... his head is more swollen all the time. He'll never be able to hold his head without significant neck support. On a more positive note Job (and his mother) seem to love the chair. He smiled more than I've ever seen and laughed and laughed. His mother expressed excitement that he doesn't have to just lay on the ground all the time now. I think Steven was encouraged too but I'm also afraid that he told Job's mother that with help Job will walk....
 Abraham on the left at 9 months and Lazaro on the right at two years old. (See 4/14 and 4/16)
Pictures of Lazaro and Job in their chairs coming shortly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank you!!

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to all of you who posted comments and e-mailed yesterday. You all are so encouraging and it is so much fun to open up my computer and see your comments and support- even yours Chip- though I will not be calling Consumers Power about our intermittent service and I have this feeling that Dave Ramsey will not have the cultural crossover that I'll need. But keep bringing the suggestions! Speaking of suggestions: Dusty- we do really want to have chickens but we have to get the garden fenced in first so it may be a few weeks yet...

Today we're headed out to see Job, Lazaro and Abraham again and bring them support chairs that were made for them. (see the posts on 4/14 and 4/16 for more on them.) PLEASE pray for this time and what we can do to support this family and most of all to communicate God's love to them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Economics

So right now a lot of my time is filled with all of these young girls in my house. They need money for school fees and I need them to have SOMETHING to do. So out of these needs we have developed some projects. Abella has seen me cook banana bread several times and a week or so ago she asked to make some herself. Somehow the idea was suggested that she could sell it. Well, eventually the two of us sat down and I helped her figure out what she needed to get started. For flour, sugar, banana and eggs she needed 4,600 shillings. So I loaned her the money and then taught her to use an oven, a mixer, a timer (she still doesn't get this part), measuring cups and spatula. With only a little help she made 12 muffins and 2 mini loaves. Then she and her friends took them out and sold them. I was pretty impressed- they sold all of them in about an hour. They proudly showed me their earnings- 3,600 shillings. Oops. So back to the black board. How much did we spend?  Do you understand what it means to be in the red?  So, I think she (and now several of her friends too) have got it. We head back to town for more flour and sugar with the money she made and I loaned them a few more shillings to get eggs and bananas.  Yesterday afternoon they made a double recipe and by dark they had sold them all. They still needed a lot of assistance in the kitchen. Abella gets the general idea but now she has all of these willing helpers who are possibly TOO helpful. So with another quick talk about measuring and following the recipe fairly closely I'm pretty sure they get it. (But still are completely unable to figure out why the timer is necessary.) So this morning when they came back we took a look at their profit and... only 7,300. “But Jennifer” they say “you told us we had to make 4,600 shillings to be able to do it again. And look we made seven thousand!” “But you made a double batch! You needed to make 9,200!” Blank looks. So.... shortly we are headed back into town for more flour and bananas. Stay tuned for the ongoing saga...

They were so proud of their work!
*Some slight explanation- these girls have only ever cooked over a fire, never in an oven. My oven only has two setting- on and off so the longer it is on the hotter it gets. But they don't really understand this, a fire only gets cooler the longer it burns if you don't add fuel. They have never used a recipe because nothing these guys eat requires close measuring. Their homes don't have electricity so they don't have clocks and no one owns a watch and time is based on the sun so timing something is a pretty foreign concept. When they put beans on the fire they are fine for hours and when it is time to eat you take them off. As for rice, it is finished when you stir it and it is soft. Well, banana bread doesn't really work like that.It is amazing that we really haven't burned any yet- well, burned any too badly to sell or eat anyway. 

It's like that.

Whoa! Tuesday already?! Ummm so what to write about now? 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Job description

Over the last few days I’ve sat down countless times I write my newsletter. And then I get so frustrated with myself. What to write about? What have I been doing? I am a doer. I love making lists then checking done things off. I knew while preparing to come that I would have to slow down, to not be driven by accomplishing things and not be worried about checking things off “the list”. I needed to be relational, to see where God was working and join Ugandans in that work. Well, I knew it would take time but evidently I feel like that time is up . I know in my heart that 6 weeks is not that much time at all but my head is saying that so many are hurting and could use nursing help and I spend the day hanging out with kids! I had a really good reminder yesterday (thanks Dede!) that I’ve committed my time to God and asked him to use it as He sees fit and now that time is filled with preteen/ teen girls trying to figure out who they will be in this world. Maybe this is what God wants me to be making a priority right now. The funny thing is that this is NOT the work I would have chosen for myself. I don’t feel good at this at all. I’m not a mother (as a matter of fact how many of you have heard me say “I’m never having kids” ?) I don’t have a ton of patience and I feel so unprepared to befriend these girls and help them see the truth of God in their lives. But, maybe that’s the point. If I was good at it I wouldn’t hit my knees before God so much acknowledging that He has to work through me in this. I wouldn’t turn to Him as often saying “what now?”. I want to point these girls to Jesus and His overwhelming love but if I don’t soak in it myself all the time I just can’t do it.

So, right now I’m not nursing. There are several doors that are closed for now in that. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in the near future. But at the moment I’ve got a purpose. There are several young lives that walk through my door every day (several times a day) and they spend lots of time with me. We cook together, go to market, work on reading skills, eat, we ride on the back of my bike (well- them on the back, me on the front) all over town. We talk about culture- theirs and mine, we talk about the future- theirs and mine, we talk about politics and weather and life. And most of all we talk about what I know to be true of my Lord and Savior. It doesn’t really seem like a job description. But it is. For now.

Betty, Abella, Dorcus me and Juliet

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So many kids!

I’ve wanted to blog for several days now but when there are kids around all the time it is just too hard. I fire up the computer then suddenly I have at least two sets of eyes over my shoulder. They ask to see pictures or have me explain what I’m doing constantly. They even demand to watch movies (well, only two make demands and I’m trying to teach how rude that is but the word rude seems means more like abuse so things get lost in translation and I’m not sure if what I’m saying penetrates … anyway, I’m trying.) It surprises me how quickly I feel stressed. I just sent home Rebecca, Edwin, Elle, Marvin, Betty and Dorcus. This is a pretty small group considering Abella and neither of the Juliets were here. Betty and Dorcus didn’t actually leave- they both think they are above the rules of the others but I need a few minutes and so I’m just pretending that I can’t see them. They have seemed to figure out that if they just stay really quiet and out of my way I’m too weary to reprimand them. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the right response on my part…

Rachel and Bobby have very specific times that their house and yard are open to all of these kids. But kids here (adults either) have no idea of specific times. And I don’t have books and toys like they do. So I’m not sure how to make that system work here. Today started off so well but they all make so many messes and I feel like know that I have to watch them constantly. Earlier I heard the lid of the back of the toilet come off. What the heck?! And things that shouldn’t tend to wander around. Like when I look up and three of the girls are taking pictures with my camera. When the first few arrived today we worked on letters of the alphabet and putting together simple words. Then a few more joined and they were writing letters. As long as they have my nearly undivided attention it can be fine. But I try to hang laundry or put away dishes and suddenly Beckie’s good paper is being cut to bits and there is marker all over the table. Usually it is Betty who has instigated the problems- like bringing out the markers and craft paper. And the digital camera too now that I think about it. I feel like I’m scolding her all of the time and in front of the others. I have to remind myself that these kids have never used markers or scissors before. They think my camera is the coolest thing ever. I want to let them experiment and learn. Some don’t have mother who taught them manners. Practically none of them have fathers who taught them anything. Their homes have nothing.

And food- this is a whole other problem. Betty often always comes hungry. She has taken to helping herself to anything I have out. So then others do too. Yesterday it was the bread that I had drying to make bread crumbs. I reprimand her but then I think- she is so hungry she just ate a stale piece of bread. I remind her that she has to ask, but then I remember yesterday she asked for beans and I said no. I didn’t want her to make a big mess in the kitchen. I have let them cook several times but they need such close watching. They are not used to gas stoves, dish soap, Teflon pans, measuring cups, the list goes on and on. I really want to offer them opportunities that help them learn but it is so hard. They are hungry and I want to feed them but I don’t know when to say yes and when to say no. Do I stop what I’m doing and prepare food? (There are few simple snack foods here and fruit doesn’t last more than one day before it has all been eaten. I practically go to market daily.) I think one day I’ll stand before God and he will never say “you fed them too much” but I wonder where to draw the line.

Alright enough processing… just a little glimpse of one of my daily struggles…

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


It is the rainy season here and I love the sudden storms that come. The sun will be pounding down and so hot. Then there is a smell of wet dust and you look to the north and the sky is grey and getting darker by the minute. Suddenly the temperature drops 30 degrees. (And I’m not exaggerating. It will go from 95º to 65ºin a matter of minutes). The wind picks up and the lightening becomes frequent. The thunder gets louder and louder and there are so few other sounds to compete. Little traffic, no washing machines or air conditioners. Just thunder. Then the rain starts. Just a few drops but practically the size of 100 shilling coins. And slowly it gets faster and suddenly it is pouring. Then, as fast as it comes up it is done. The sun comes back out and it starts getting warm again.

"I'm fine"

Life is good. Life is not good. Life is beautiful. Life is not beautiful. Life is rich and full and free. Life is not any of those. For some, indeed for many, maybe even for most, life is poor and empty and not free, anything but free, everything but free – confined, imprisoned, controlled and unjust.   - Marlin Vis
I just read this and I think it sums up what I feel here. Life is good and hard and challenging and fun and depressing and tough and exciting and tiresome and pleasant and discouraging. People all around me are hurting and frustrated and full of joy and faith. They are tenacious and discouraged, struggling and surviving.

So how is it going? “I’m fine.” Life is good. But there are so many that are trapped.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today’s dilemma? What to blog about! How about collecting, cooking and eating fried termites for breakfast?

Or about discovering I have a flat tire, changing to the spare, trying to take the flat into the shop only to discover I need to jump the battery first.
So getting the keys for the Sharda’s car only to find that theirs has a dead battery too. So waiting for someone to drive by to get a jump, then driving downtown Soroti to find a mechanic.
Or about waiting out the rain for hours in the afternoon with this group.
Nope don’t really have the energy to blog tonight. Sorry.


For the most part we haven't had much problem with power. Occasionally we lose it for a couple of hours but it comes back. But over the last couple of days we have gone without a lot more. We have had to eat everything out of the fridge because it gets warm then goes bad quickly but that isn't a big deal.  The hardest part is that the sun sets so early in the day and the evenings are dark. That "candle holder" is the bottom of the carton that we get our milk in. We have lit the holdere on fire before so when it seems to be getting a lot lighter you need to check it quickly!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


We've managed to post pictures into the posts! Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

So- I'm not sure how to post anymore... in order, out of order, all at once, a few at a time... whatever. Here is my life rougly in the order it happened/is happening. It's a lot to read all at once. But there is it my life and thoughts all jumbled. 

Today I’m happy that I’ve been able to provid a few nursing services around the neighborhood. Akello cut off the top of his toe nail with a weed whacker, (I didn’t even know you could do that!) so he got a nice bulky pressure dressing. And a guy from one of the organizations that we work with got run into by a bike and had a large, deep shin abrasion. And Betty had one of the worst slivers I’ve seen in a while (but when you run around in bare feet all the time and have skin that is like iron on your soles it takes a pretty impressive sliver to penetrate and lodge itself in there). None of these people would have gone for any type of treatment so it was nice to be around to provide. And the carpenter finished my “medicine cabinet” today- Thanks to all of you who helped furnish it!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

village burial

Beckie and I want to a burial today… check out her blog for an account of it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


A little frustrating today. I went to nursing lecture at the hospital (CME) again but due to a sudden death of one of their staff it was canceled. No problem. So I ended up meeting with the SPNO instead (Senior principle nursing officer- kind of like PLC, keeps track of nursing for all of the patients in the hospital. Only she has a tack board behind her desk with patient’s names written on scrap pieces of paper and stuck to the board under ward headings. But same idea.) This meeting didn’t go great. I wrote a letter two weeks ago to the medical administrator requesting permission to attend CME and observe on the wards. There was a cc of it as well to the SPNO. Well, I discovered that she never got it (no surprise there I guess). She says that I need to have additional permission from the national board of nursing in America before coming back. Ummm, so now what?

But… we had pizza for supper tonight! Really nice. We made the crust and sauce from scratch, used pineapple, onions and green peppers from the market, cheese from Kampala and pepperoni that was packed in from the states. A little more work than just calling for delivery but it sure tasted good! We had Bobby and Rachel over invited Annieke from Amecet.

Back to blogging!

Wow, so we have been here 4 weeks already! It doesn’t feel like it at all. And now we have internet!! Still on a borrowed computer but the new ones are coming.... I want to catch you all up on what has been going on so I’ve taken parts out of my journal and I’ll try to post them all over the next few weeks. For now I’ll leave them in order for confusion’s sake. If I omit things just ask- I'll try to answer questions...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


To Mbale again today. Bobby and Rachel need to renew their visas so we offered to drive them and just spend the day. And we hopped to get internet… success!! I’m pretty excited about being able to be more in touch again. Success also with their visas… though it could have gone differently. Getting into the country a visa costs $50.00 (200,000 shillings for both of them.) The man stamping their passports now in Mbale mentioned they would need to pay again to renew for 3 more months. Then he told them that they actually expired a month ago. So he could back date it but they would lose a month. When we asked he said he could stamp it again so that they still would have until July to renew but he would need something extra. And they needed to pay for both stamps. They were willing to pay the $50.00, thought the past ITeams missionaries didn’t pay so they were hoping they wouldn’t either. And they really didn’t want to pay extra for a month they had already paid for as they should have gotten 3 months at the airport though this man said they had only gotten 2 months. We were trying to sort it out when Rachel asked for a receipt. He couldn’t give one. What?! $100 + and no receipt? Ummm… so with further clarification (his words) “These monies will not go to the government. They will go to me and others so there is no receipt.” “So what you are asking for is a bribe?” Yup- that is what he was asking for. When that wasn’t going well he asked for a wedding gift- seems he was married in January. Well, long conversation short, as they were already stamped we just left. Beckie and I have to go back in two months for ours so we’ll see how that goes…

Monday, May 3, 2010


Another day of interesting experiences…. We met a man a few weeks ago who is a tailor. To give him a little business Beckie and I went to each have a skirt made. His “shop” is in the midst of the market, right across from the butchers as a matter of fact so the smell of bloody beef kind of permeates the air. After we described what we wanted we walked with him to the other side of the market to purchase the fabric. Then back to his place to discuss/barter price. $2.50 later we will pick up our skirts later this week. While in the market we shopped for enough food for guests coming over for Tuesday-game-night. But this sounds easier than it actually was. First we needed nice big potatoes, so we tried three vendors before I got what I wanted. Then on to the chickens. I wanted “fresh” which translates to “live”. What do you look for when picking a still squawking chicken? And we had to get two to have enough meat to feed everyone- chickens here are scrawny- so the feet were tied together and tossed over the handlebars of my bike. And a pineapple for dessert. But not too ripe as it has to last until tomorrow. Now, to figure out what has to be done to get those chickens into the pot…
*This post has some great pictures that I really want to attach. But no luck. So picture me with a pineapple in a basket on the front of my bike and two live chickens tied to the handbars, me in a skirt, trying to ride. Pretty funny stuff.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Well- we went to a Ugandan birthday party today…. I don’t even know where to start to describe it. Birthday parties are not very common here but “upper-class” Ugandan’s can afford it and so they are slowly making it more widespread. Anyway, this one was for the 1 year old daughter of our neighbor, Betty. Betty and her sister Natalie are the neighbors that have the house help (Ruth) and the little village girl (Monica) to watch Betty’s child while she is at work all day. We were told the party would start around 5pm. We had seen them putting out chairs and cleaning all day. In good Ugandan fashion (we are learning!) we headed over to the party at about 5:45. The child’s mother (there is no father) and grandmother were there along with two uncles and the aunt that lives there. We were invited into the formal sitting room (the only ones in there). The birthday girl’s mother mentioned that the place where they ordered the food from had called and told her it was ready but she didn’t have a way to go pick it up. So Beckie offered to take her to get the food. (I found out later that she also asked Beckie to take her into town to get some other things also.) So I stayed and found myself playing with the birthday girl and a little boy (Isaac I think he said his name was but he was only maybe 3 and I have no idea who/ where his parents were.) The aunt was mopping the floor and the others were sitting in a room down that hall that I wasn’t invited into (and as I could hear they were speaking only ateso anyway so I decided not to just barge in.) About 40 minutes later Beckie and the hostess get back and unload the car. We are invited out into the courtyard where there are chairs set up in very orderly rows all facing a table. It looks like a lecture or sermon is about to take place. By now it is nearly 6:30 and only one other guest has arrived. But there are nearly 30 chairs set up so we are really beginning to wonder. We are talking with the other guest and it is getting darker and darker. Nothing seems to be happening; I have no idea what everyone else is doing as we are just sitting outside. And it starts to rain again. A person introduces herself to the group arranged outside as a co-worker and friend of Betty’s. She seems to be a self appointed MC and is giving directions. So we quick picked up our chairs and recollect in rows on the front porch. A few other guests have arrived and we have noticed that the family has re-emerged from the house in formal clothes. We are pretty sure something is about to happen. But the family re-busies themselves with who-knows-what. Well, the sun has set and it is dark and there are a few more guest and it is 7:00 and nearly done raining and still NOTHING has happened. We are all just chilling on the porch. The Self Appointed MC gets back upfront and talks for a while about that this is a birthday party for Natisha who was also baptized into the Christian church on this day and we are here to celebrate her life…. And on and on for a while. Then she asks for the god-mother of the child to come forward and pray. But after a quick quiet conference with the child’s mother she asks for Rebecca to come pray. After a second or two we realize she is talking about Beckie. So she stands and prays. She did a great job on such short and unexpected notice. Then the self appointed MC tells us we have to introduce ourselves. She is looking right at Beckie and I. So we start and a few others also introduce and then it peters out- seems like no one really wants to. Everyone just sits and talks quietly. There are a few more guest- I think by now we are up to about 10 people not counting us or the family that was here 2 hours ago. The porch is full and the rain has stopped so the rows of chairs are re-established outside and it seems like maybe something is going to happen. (I know we said that before, we said it many more times to ourselves through the evening.) A photographer arrives and that seems to be who we were waiting for! Up front again is the MC. She tries one more time to get new arrivals and others who have not introduced them selves to do that but again is pretty unsuccessful. The MC is talking from the front again but we aren’t really paying attention. All of a sudden I catch the phrase “our white friends”. I tune in quickly to discover that she is saying that because we are “of the church” that we will be giving a talk to encourage the family and about how to raise children. Beckie and I just look at each other. Oh, boy. Beckie starts composing in her head what “we” are going to say. We point out to the MC that we have no children of our own and we really don’t have much to share. But this is Africa… we’ll go with the flow. We still have not seen or heard much from the hostess or her family. But, happy day!, plates of food come out and we all sit in the dark outside eating and talking softly. It is 9:30. This party started at 5. Well, now the very fussy birthday girl, who was woken up about an hour ago, is brought to the table in the front that all of the chairs are facing and a cake is produced. Some time, by now it is very dark, and I can’t exactly tell when it happed, but several more quests have arrived. Nearly all of the chairs are filled. Beckie and I are called up to the front. It becomes clear that they are trying to take a picture. The uncles emerge for the first time I think and we all stand at the table in front while the other guests watch. Then someone (keep in mind, it’s quite dark) sprays this while foam up into the air. I think it is supposed to look like snow (?) but it seems more like shaving cream. We are all pretty well covered in it and I have no idea how the pictures will turn out (old school cameras here only- no digital). We looked over at the cake- also covered in this shaving cream substance. I have learned that cakes around here are banana bread with thin white frosting. And they often sit for several days before being sold because they are not thrown out and a new one isn’t made until the first one sells. So we honestly were not really looking forward to it. But it is a pretty little cake for what is now a pretty good sized group. So when they passed out pieces the size of communion bread it wasn’t a great let down. We had our bite of cake then sat for a few more minutes. It became clear that we were to take our gift up to the child sitting on her mothers lap up at the table. We had been unsure of brining a gift but bought a few little things that were suggested to us by other Ugandans and wrapped them up. There were maybe 6 other people who had brought gifts also. They were presented to Natalie then taken away again. Let’s just say that this made the already fussy child have a melt down. The gifts were collected and taken inside still wrapped so I still don’t really know what is appropriate to give. The MC began to talk of the child having a dance with someone (not sure what that was about as all the other children were asleep already) and then the rest of us dancing. There had been a very odd collection of 80’s music, ateso songs and some gospel playing for the past few hours from somewhere in the house but I wasn’t sure about dancing to any of it. So after a quick quiet conference Beckie and I quietly slipped out of the yard and back to our own house. The hostess was still not really part of the party so we didn’t really know how to say goodbye. We decided we would talk to her the next day. It was 10pm. And that is how our first Ugandan 5 hour birthday party went.