Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Missions Trip Within, Challenges of Traveling with Twins

When people talk about going on a missions trip some think of a few weeks in a different culture, seeing new things and meeting new people. Well I would say that is what the Mubezi family did just a few weeks ago.

Isaac went to a hospital he has never been to and worked with internationals at a surgical camp. He worked on a number of different cases and learned some new things. The boys and I went with a missionary friend on her trip to the northeast of Uganda.

Our trip was a whirlwind!!! We stayed in a different town each night (except for the last two nights) for the week. We visited 2-4 schools, centers, or homes each day. We ate what we brought with us or could buy along the way. And we enjoyed the beautiful countryside.

Traveling with twins. Many of you will want to know about how our trip went with the boys. Well there were challenges but the boys did well and the friend we went with was amazing with them. (that's what I get for traveling with another special ed teacher, nothing challenges her)
Keeping sippy cup mouth pieces clean was a challenge, they also fall off the surfaces and boys drop or throw them but an essential task due to the animal dung (chicken, goat, cow) along the road.

Making sure they had enough food was also important. They lived off of bananas this is because snack foods for babies to eat aren't sold in shops in village settings. We also never knew where or when we would eat. This is not because our hosts, at each sight, were not hospitable but because most were and so food was not eaten before so that we could eat and enjoy peoples hospitality.

Traveling in a hot car was also a challenge. But keeping a cloth handy to wet and place on boys when temperatures are unbearable in car seats helped. Also I had a light blanket handy to place in the window to create a shadow so boys don't get too hot or sunburned.

The best part about the trip would be spending time with the locals. The Ugandan people (as a general rule) are so hospitable! They love to take good care of children. They took my children to play in the grass, under a tree, with the animals, fed them well, etc. It was so nice not having to wonder where they were and how they were. I knew they were safe. This gave me a much needed break.

Sleeping a different place each night was my biggest challenge! The boys have gotten used to sleeping alone. This worked to my disadvantage. It would have been so easy to sleep with one boy and have my friend sleep with the other boys (which she was very willing to do and was our original plan). But being the independent boys they are...they needed to sleep alone or nurse from mamma all night! Yikes. I was not ready for that!

The first night was hard. We slept in our tent on an air mattress in someone's front yard. I had the boys sleep on one side of the tent but they weren't into that situation. I'm not sure how many times we woke up to screaming and how long the screaming lasted. We were so happy that the sun came up so we could stop pretending that we were sleeping.

In the nights that followed we worked out a system by trial and error of sleep arrangements. The most difficult part of the sleeping arrangement was the mosquito net. For those of you who don't sleep under nets let me explain what might be obvious, you must not sleep touching the net or the mosquito can still bite you. But remember you're asleep so how would you know you were touching the net, especially if you were a baby! So we had to figure out a system to make sure they didn't roll into the net or off the mattress. This system included a mattress on the ground pushed up against the corner of the wall and placing something on the end and padding the other edge with pillows or anything we could find. At the end of a tiresome day the last thing you want to do is worry about your babies getting malaria. But this is my reality.

The woman who I traveled with kept saying, "You're so responsible". It was the first time I thought about it that way. I was being responsible... maybe that's why I'm always tired. I'm responsible.

Building our own House

It's been quite a culture shock for me with building a house. My experience growing up was walking around the neighborhood in the evenings with my dad going into unfinished houses and guessing which room was which. Dad would teach me about how to tell, plumbing, size of room, window size, etc. I would think about going to one of those open houses, eat the cookies provided and look around the house seeing if it was the one to move into. I never dreamed I would have to design the house and decide where the foundation was put on the land!

People keep asking me what I always dreamed my house would be like. "I have no idea" is my reply. And truly I never thought I'd be building my own house. Little girls in the states dream about their wedding day; about the flowers, the dress, the decorations not houses.

The builder, Crunchy is his nickname, walks me through the house and asks me if everything is where I wanted it. I shake my head...I really don't know and for that matter don't care. I will make do with what has been given, just like I watched my parents do in the house I grew up in. If they didn't like a wall there...take it out. If they wanted something bigger...put it in. I think with the way I was raised I will be fussing with the house even when we designed it ourselves.
What I'm most excited about is my neighborhood. The property is set in the quiet side of "town". When people are in village they say, "I'm going to village" to see our property. Let me explain. The village has a few shops along the main road, a primary school, and a bore hole. When people who live near that "city center" say they are going to go to our property they say "going to village" because compared to that area our house is in village, and I love that! You can hear the cow down the way rustling through the brush, the man on the bicycle coming down the road, and don't forget the baby goat bleating for his mother.