I never imagined that I would be again living out of a suitcase, moving from place to place like a nomad. While in the states my parents took Isaac and me on a one month trip around the states, we lived out of our suitcases, washing laundry as we went. December here in East Africa has been no different, except the lack of a car and my parents. ;)
Our journey began on Dec 7 as we flew to Uganda. Once in Kampala we traveled from friend’s houses, guest houses and hotels looking for the best deals and the best location for the things that needed to be accomplished. Days were spent meeting people, dropping off things that were donated for specific ministries, verifying paperwork at immigration and many other activities. It was a very busy 3 days.
We then went through our luggage and selected only the essentials to travel with us to Burundi. Our suitcases were filled to the weight limit with nothing but quilts donated by Something Deeper Ministries quilting group. Everything that Isaac and I needed for the week in Burundi had to fit in our carry ons! Wow.
Time in Burundi went by so quickly. Isaac and I were so relaxed flying into the airport. We knew where to go and what to do. There was an issue with my visa and I quickly spoke to the officer in Kirundi (the local language) and explained the problem. It was so great being able to express myself and not worry about language. Thank you God for giving Isaac and me the ability to learn Kirundi while we lived there. Once in Burundi we knew where to go and what to do. It wasn’t long before we were out of the house and moving around our old stomping grounds. We were able to stay at a friend’s place which kept cost at a minimum. The day after we arrived laundry was done. Almost every meal was booked for a visit with friends and ministry partners.
One of the best parts about visiting Burundi was surprising people with my growing belly. It was funny seeing the difference in reactions from our western friends and the Burundians. The westerners would skirt the issue and hint here and there that they had noticed while the Burundians and other East African friends came at me with two hands straight for my belly and would hold either side and tell me how excited they were for the baby. Many of our friends would remind us of how God was so good and how concerned they were back in March when I had the cyst surgically removed. God is good and what a blessing it has been to have a healthy pregnancy so far!
Once back in Uganda we traveled to village for the Christmas week. Again we repacked our luggage with the essentials for our visit to Isaac’s family. I thought packing for an airplane trip was difficult, try packing to ride a bus! Isaac and I allowed ourselves one small suitcase and a backpack each. An extra bag was thrown in at last minute to accommodate other essentials. With my swollen ankles Isaac decided that we would splurge and go for a more comfortable ride to Jinja on a bigger bus (a 25 seater). The ticket was about $4 a piece instead of $2.50. It proved to be a bad choice though. The whole ride I kept telling Isaac that this for sure was a missionary story. Once out of the capital city the bus experienced some mechanical difficulty and we had to wait for a replacement bus to come. Two people decided not to wait and walked off to look for other transportation. When the bus came the driver wasn't content sitting in the Christmas Eve traffic so decided to travel out of the way down the dustiest road he could find. The woman in front of me refused to close her window so by the end of the trip my right arm and all my face looked as if I put on too much fake tan cream. On top of the dustiness of the roads were the pot holes and dirt mounded speed bumps added by the locals to keep traffic slow. The driver had taken this path to improve his speed so no little, or big, bumps were going to stand in his way. With no regard to the shouting passengers he barreled down the road bouncing us out of our seats up to 2 feet in the air at times. I took to standing and holding on for dear life most of the time. It didn’t help that Isaac, being a doctor, was sitting next to me worried for the baby bouncing within me.
Once we arrived time in village was wonderful. It was like being on a retreat. One day I took three naps! A much needed time of relaxation and putting my feet up. Maama fed us well and made sure we were treated to as many showers (bucket showers) as we wanted each day (she insisted on 3 per day).
Again we are here in Jinja living out of our suitcases looking for a place to live. Isaac and I can’t wait to be in one place with all our things so that we can spend our time on other things.