One Day at a Time - Manic Monday

Not to try to ruin the picturesque image I left with you with yesterday of us lounging by the pool, next to the beautiful Nile river while birds chirp and monkeys play, but OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  Can I just say how thankful to God I am for our day of rest and family time that we had yesterday, and the fact that we went to bed early because WHAT A DAY IT HAS BEEN!!!!

Let's get right to business...........
7am- wake up to the cries of Pierce and our cat (called kitty meow meow) for milk.  Seriously, the cat can be sound asleep until she hears the word milk and then I swear her cry mimics Pierce's!

- get breakfast for the kids and try to sneak in some quiet time.  I know, I know, I should be waking up before the kids to truly have 'quiet' time with Him, but my eyes just won't cooperate these days!

- we usually try to start school around 9am, but this morning we knew things would be crazy so we started early.  Karson is doing 2nd grade, Everett 1st and Hadlee kindergarten work.   Pierce hates to be left out so I have some pre-K stuff that I try to do with him.  Being 100% transparent here though, Leap Frog Letter Factory, more often than not, becomes his lesson for the day!  You have to give me some breaks though, I am only human!

- Here in Uganda there is something called your Local Chairman (LC1).  You could equate it to a neighborhood mayor, without the HOA fees!  Well, we knew that we were supposed to officially register with the LC when we moved into this house.   We have been putting this off due to many reasons.  One being that it would inevitably come with a request for money that he should not be asking for and then a decision for us to make.  Do we a) pay the bribe and get on with life or b) refuse to pay the bribe, remind him that he should not be asking for this money in the first place, and hopefully stand firm that we are not to be bribed in the future.

   Well, due to circumstances that we will get to at a later time, we could not put off registering any further.  Jason and I head off on foot to the LC's office to become officially part of the neighborhood at 11:45 (after getting all paperwork finished up and running into town to print do I miss having a printer!).

Along the way we almost get plowed over by one of these ugly things, no lie!
Apparently we stood between him and the local dumpster and that is not a safe place to be!  And don't ask me what that grotesque thing is hanging from it's neck, because I still have no clue!  Just disgusting !

- We arrive to the LC's office just to find out that he is not home.  We call to actually set up an appointment (I know that would have made sense to begin with, but it is not customary here).  He asked us when we could come back, to which we replied 2:30pm.  He replied " Great, so I will see you in 30min". (yes, you read correctly, it was 11:45 at this time)

 So, we rushed home, got lunch ready for 9 people (meanwhile I am also changing out of my 'appropriate' Ugandan attire into clothes that I wouldn't have a heat stroke in, in this weather).
Jason and I literally piled some noodles on a disposable plate, shoveling it into our mouths as we walked back to the LC's office, tossing the plates in the maribu stork infested dumpster along the way, and arrived for our appointment.  
The LC welcomed us to chairs on his porch, aka office, and I used my best Lugandan to make a good first impression "Oli Otya, Moojabale" (How are you?  Thank you for your work/job).  The problem was that there was already a guy there with business that we sat through for 45min while they took care of business.

 I had Luganda lessons at 1pm so by this time I had to figure out a clever, yet respectful way to excuse myself and not offend the guy that we are hoping to build a relationship with (for very important reasons!)  Luckily, there was a small break in between his helping of this other man so I took my leave, ran to the nearest boda boda (motorcycle taxi) to get home asap.  My instructor was waiting for me at the gate so I made my apologies and ushered him in (only after guaranteeing him that our dogs wouldn't attack him....Ugandans HATE dogs).  I don't think it was a mere coincidence that his first lesson for me was how to properly tell someone that you are sorry for inconveniencing them.  It is Nsonyiwa, just in case you ever find yourself in a similar experience! (surely it was coincidence!)

 At the end of my hour long lesson, Jason still wasn't back from the LC so I went to our driveway to wait for him, to let him in the gate, eager to hear how it went.  Little did I realize that a herd of cows were grazing on our patch of land between the fence line and street and I was plopped down in the line of fire.  Long story short, after a 20,000 shilling ($8) 'fee', our registration was complete.

- We are at roughly 3:30pm at this point and I realize that I haven't even made my Monday market run and needed things for dinner.  I asked a close Ugandan friend of mine if she needed anything from the market and needed a ride so we loaded up and headed to my weekly run. 

I pulled in to the same parking lot I always do, every Monday, only this week it was late in the day instead of early morning, like usual.  As we pull in this VERY angry security guard starts waving a machine gun at us, yelling something I couldn't understand (if only I was past lesson 3 in my Luganda!).  I asked Apio what was wrong and she reassured me that he was probably just drunk. (how is the fact that this angry guy with a gun was only drunk supposed to be reassuring????).  
He would not let me park and I had no other options.  I quickly looked at my list, decided what I had to have for dinner and asked Apio if she would mind getting it for me and gave her money for a boda back home, because I had to leave quickly (at this point the armed man was beating on our van.)

- A little bit frazzled, but safely home, all was well!  I got to skype with a friend that I dearly miss and (one of the perks of living here) got to eat an amazing dinner fixed by my dear husband.  We are able to get the BEST cuts of meat from our butcher.  Seriously, I was able to cut my meat with my fork, it was so tender and we paid about $2/lb for it.  Such a treat.  Please don't get me wrong.....even on our worst days here, I would not trade a day of it for anything.  God has given us such a peace through it all and we are truly blessed.

Ahh just another Manic Monday...

Matthew OrtegaComment