Thursday, January 7, 2016

Back to Africa

Have I been back two weeks already?? Did I actually leave at all or was that just a vivid dream?  It feels so weird being right back into the routine.
I stopped over a few days in Kampala before heading out to Soroti because my good friend Ronnie waited for me to come back to have her baby. :-)
I didn't spend as much time with them at the hospital as I would have liked but I spent lots of  hours with their older two kids.
It also proved more of a challenge than I expected to get my truck to Kampala. I had left it in Soroti for the duration of my furlough and there are plenty of drivers who could be hired to bring it up but it was having several mechanical problems and then I discovered that no one wanted to travel around the holiday (which here is a full week).  Anyway, finally got it worked out and on Jan 2nd began the trek back to Soroti. The house was pretty dusty but overall not bad. I got sheets out of storage and decided I just needed to sit down for a few minutes. I thought I was mostly over the jet lag but after driving all those hours, well, I woke up from my rest six hours later. Hadn't yet even unpacked the truck. Discovered that neither of the fridges in the kitchen were working. (I have two at the moment because in the weeks leading up to departure my regular fridge sprung a Freon leak.  This is a complicated problem to fix in Soroti. But finally, after at least six different visits from the repair man, and several things ordered from Kampala, including a freon tank, it was working again. In the mean time I had borrowed a small one from friends. Had not yet returned it before I left as they didn't need it anyway. So now I have two fridges and neither of them work). I had a strange mishmash of foods for midnight dinner, finished airing out the house, unloaded the truck, pulled a few clothes and other things out of storage and headed back to bed. Was woken in the morning by kids banging on my gate. It was Ken and Janet asking for money. I'd been back in Soroti roughly twelve hours and it was already beginning again.
Headed out to church where I was overwhelmed by the dust, heat and noise. After that headed into town to get some groceries and discovered the ATM wasn't giving any money. So back to the house and tried to make dinner with what I had, when I discovered after I hooked the gas back up and turned the oven on it smelled overwhelmingly like burning rat. Turned that back off and discovered a large mouse house between it and the wall. Once it cooled down I opened the back panels and found two more nests. Full of now cooked baby mice. Welcome back to Soroti.
Anyway, here it is thursday and I've talked to the fridge repairman several time but he has not yet showed up. I've cleaned the oven and removed all the rotten insulation. I can still use it but am finding that it doesn't heat nearly as well, which isn't actually that big a problem as I don't really have any food to cook anyway.  I'm trying to find something in Soroti that I can re-insulate it with but it seems like I'll have to get something in Kampal next time I go back there. I've brought the truck back to the mechanic and he has ordered parts to hopefully by next week it will be back to normal.
In much more positive news I've re-acquired all my pets. Mbwa (the dog) seems very happy to be back. The cat has eaten at least six mice, probably more as I've heard lots of running and slamming into things at night.
My little duck has finally decided to hatch some eggs. She is sitting on a nest of seven and though the transition from one home to another was a little tricky I think we managed. Also, I've added a new male bunny and he and my female hit it off. Little ducklings in 20 days and more little bunnies in 31 days?!

Anyway, the next few weeks are going to be busy. The VHTs have already called asking for medications so I am planning a trip up very shortly. But I've learned that CLIDE is having their quarterly meeting next week so that may throw a wrench in my plans. I'm in a rush because I'm headed down to western Uganda (three days of travel) to meet a team coming from NC. I'm looking forward to it but I'd managed to forget how long it takes to do anything here.
So, thats the low-down. Probably a bunch of information you didn't really need but I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things.

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