Monday, January 28, 2013


As I'm in Karamoja more and more I've been getting sick of posho and beans and I'm all out of granola bars and packages of oatmeal so I've needed to get creative on meal ideas. The only vegetable I can get up there is cabbage and meat is pretty much non-obtainable without skin still on. So,  I'm pretty proud of this most recent project. I went to the market here in Soroti and bought every vegetable they have- carrots, green peppers, onion, tomatoes, and eggplant and added a few from my garden- spinach and zucchini and made a vegetable marinara that has enough vitamins in it to knock your socks off. Then I added half a kilo ground beef for protein so when I cook up some pasta I have a meal that is better than anything I can get up there.  But no refrigeration  So.... pulled out my canner.  In just a few hours I managed to create 6 meals that will be ready to eat in shortly after I get the fire lit and a bit of water boiling.
Sadly, I've not managed to figure out how to warm it on my manifold yet but I'm trying.
On that note- headed up again today!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Catering a wedding of 4,000+ (last wedding post. I promise!)

I spent a lot of my time on the days surrounding the wedding in the "kitchen" (a giant space under a shade tree with fences build around it to keep people from wandering in and out) helping out where I could with these wonderful ladies. There were almost 50 women making it all happen from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.  These 5 oversaw the controlled chaos. 

Peeling pounds of potatoes. 
Always several cooking fires burning. 
Cutting up 20 freshly slaughtered chickens
OK, it wasn't just ladies. One man worked. Cutting up two bulls. 
Another of the ladies cutting chicken but you can just see the mountain of cabbage on their right that needed to be cut when they were done with the hens.  

You can't even imagine how hot it was in the sun around these monster hot pots. Easily 120 degrees .

Around 6 am two bulls were butchered for wedding day. This was about all that was still to be cut up by the time I arrived at 9am.
Just two "small" pots of beans for those that don't eat meat. 

I tried to take a picture of all 10 cooking fires....
There were so many dishes to wash!  This was just the cups station. 

My favorite part? Serving! Long lines with food served out of trash buckets but no one complained! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More about Val's wedding

 I've learned lots about what you need to do to have a successful wedding in a remote village!
Bring along people who can arrange flowers for you. The flowers had to come from Kampala on an airplane and kept in a cooler packed with water and ice to have them fresh. 
Also bring along people who can modify dresses on site. 
Get A LOT of cooks (more on this in my next post!)
You need at least 16 choirs. 
Prepare for people sleeping EVERYWHERE. This is the clinic. People slept inside and outside. People also slept in and at the school. Also in homes of locals. And in Val's hut. And in another 27 tents pitched all around. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding preparation!!

*I’m back in Soroti for a few short days to gear up for the next Karamoja trip. I have a few minutes but am pretty brain dead so I’m just going to copy a few journal entries for now.

1/17 Somehow we successfully managed to get all 14 wedding cakes out to Nakayot today with no casualties.  A few look a little battered and they have another day to sit in my 120 degree truck (we can’t bring them out as there is nowhere rat proof enough to store them except the tents and they are even hotter than my vehicle) but I think we are going to have pulled it off.  Didn’t think it was possible. Val better appreciate that she is going to have some very beautiful and some very tasty cakes in a very remote Ugandan village. (Though not all the cakes are beautiful and not all are tasty. Most are either one or the other but this is Uganda!)   

On the morning of the 16th I was supposed to go pick up the cake before heading up to Karamoja. A Ugandan baker was responsible for 6 of them and he had baked them a week before and left them in the sun to dry out. He was supposed to have them done but he had some decorations to finish and they all needed to be wrapped so I sat and waited while he finished. 

This is his little workshop.  These cakes weigh a ton and are hard as rock. They taste like the are two weeks old with cement for icing. But they look awesome!
Some of the packed cakes waiting in my truck while he finished the rest. 


Finally, cakes finished and truck packed for the three hour journey north.  9 people and all of their stuff for living in the bush for 3 days, plus 6 cakes and a keyboard. I was pretty heavily loaded. 

Here is the road to Nakayot that the cakes had to survive. 

Jim, a teammate and pastry chef, followed in his van with his family, more wedding cakes and  supplies to make  more once we reached my home in Kangole.   Their wedding cake deliver adventure  is here

1/18 Sitting this morning at the Moroto Airport (seems funny to even write that as it is a tattered windsock next to a dirt stretch that small planes can aim at) waiting to pick up the last few arrivals for the wedding. I know that we still have two hours of driving ahead of us because I did this trip several times yesterday and though the road is “open” it is still far from good. But today is the traditional wedding with the giving of the dowry and tomorrow is wedding day!! I need to get out there are there is still much to do!

Girls helping me decorate the cake stands
The final cake table with 5 of the display cakes. 
American cake and Ugandan cakes together. 
The dust was so bad that for most of the day the wedding the table had to be covered  but it still looked nice!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Busy in Karamoja

I hope you had a chance to watch the video of the last post because as I talk of the next 4 weeks that is where most will take place. There are several big events that will keep me in Karamoja until mid feb.
Introduction ceremony
First and primary is Dr. Val's wedding. I can't believe that I haven't written about this yet as this is going to be the event of the century in Karamoja. Val met an american while visiting the states but she has lived in Karamoja so long that they decided to have a tradition wedding in the peace village and pay the bride price to her clan here. There have been 3,000+ people invited and it will be a 3 day event in a remote village so to say that it is a massive undertaking is a huge understatement. Especially when you think about getting water for that many people, building latrines, gathering firewood, clearing land for pitching LOTS of tents, security, food, transport, you get the idea. On top of that there is the usual wedding stuff- cake, music, dancing...
A few weeks ago they had the introduction ceremony when Val's fiance meets her "family" here and agreed on the number of cows that he has to pay to marry her.
A number was agreed upon by both sides eventually, though there were a few other men who stepped in and said they would pay if her fiance wouldn't agree to the higher price. There was celebrating and wedding planning could begin. 

I'm sure next month I'll have lots of pictures of the wedding so stay tuned.

Very shortly after the wedding, in the neighboring villages we will be doing outreaches and some medical care with a team of Americans. It will be good but it always stresses me out to think of that many mazunogos (foreigners) hanging out in villages for extended periods of time. These next few weeks are going to be an adventure!!

Will you pray?

  • That God will be honored in ALL that is done and said while we are there. 
  • For patience and peace and safety and health and patience and courage and love and patience
  • For words to say to communicate TRUTH in many different situations
  • For Dr. Val and her fiance as they begin a totally new chapter in their lives
  • For the CLIDE staff as they try to pull all of this together. 
  • For all of the american visitors, both for the wedding and for the ministry teams, that they would be able to see how God is working!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Video of Nakayot.

Here is a video that shows really well the peace village that I work in. ADRA, the folks that filmed this, are a Seventh Day Adventist organization that really are doing some good work in Nakayot.  I don't believe they are doing quite as much as this video presents and they are very legalistic, presenting a very confusing "Christianity" to people but between them and CLIDE Nakayot is a much better place to live.

At about 2:10 minutes in the filming is right in front of the hut I sleep in and several of the ladies you see carrying water are ladies who I spend time with when I'm up there. The panoramic view around 1:40 is the hill I most like to have my morning quite time on.

The video does a great job describing some of the Karamojung issues. At one point it mentions that cows are not allowed in Nakayot to keep the peace but in the last 9 months that has changed. They are now back to keeping livestock. Please pray for peace!

And if that last song doesn't make you want to be a missionary....