Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to his roots. Uganda part IV

My husband and I have little in common. 
I'm white.  He's black.
He's east, I'm west.
I like rice krispie treats.  He doesn't.
You get the picture.

I always knew that we were very different, but visiting his childhood home made it even more clear.

We had someone drive us out to the village where Mike grew up.
Notice there is no road.
That's a path that's about a foot wide.

We drove through weeds that were taller than the truck we were in.

They drive on the left side of the road in Uganda.  When there is a road.
So the steering wheel is on the right side.

Mike pointed out places and things.
Like huts.

And birds?  I don't remember what he was pointing at here. 

And plants.

And more birds.

And then some of his childhood friends showed up. 
As if out of nowhere. 

They walked with us to see Mike's childhood home.

Some more childhood friends showed up.  Out of nowhere.

Then we saw Mike's childhood guava tree.

I tasted it.  It was delish.

We also saw Mike's childhood well.
We would call it a spring I think.
But they call it a well.
It's still the water source the people there use today.

Like these little boys who followed us around.

And this woman we passed on the road carrying water home to her family.

But the animals use the same well for drinking water too.

The cows just walk right in.

And the animals poop in there.  And people get sick.

Does that bother anyone else?

Anybody want to help this community get a clean water source?

Like next summer?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's in my pocket? volume 1

Welcome to the first Trophy Mama edition of 'what's in your pocket?'

I've been meaning to do this for a while, but just hadn't found the right moment.

But today I've got a doozie.

Have I mentioned that since I've become a mom, I'm about 5 times grosser than I used to be?

I've never been accused of being fanatically clean.

But these days I'm bordering on guh-row-dee.

I've been suspecting this of myself for a while,
and today I found the proof in my pocket.

C and I went to a baby shower today. 
Tonight I found the above pictured napkin balled up in my pocket.
A napkin with two chocolate dipped strawberry stumps (which I ate)
and a cantaloup chunk that C worked on for a while.
Instead of discarding the refuse, I shoved it in my pocket.
You know, as temporary storage until a trash recepticle was located.

In case you doubt that my lack of couth (cooth? kewth? kooth?) is legitimate,
I give you exhibit b.  (No picture.  You're welcome.)

After finding the napkin in my pocket, moments later I found a hunk of granola bar in my bra.
And I haven't had a granola bar in at least three days.

Glad I got that off my chest.  And out of my pocket. 

What's in your pocket?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Carolyn's own personal paradise

My daughter is a people person,
to put it mildly.  We always knew that,
but we didn't see the extent of it until we were in Uganda.

Uganda was a dream come true for her.
Because EVERYONE wanted to talk to her. 
A) They LOVE babies.
2)  They are fascinated by light-skinned people.

Not that she's ignored when she's state side.

It was fun to watch her personality develop even more,
right before our eyes.
After a few days of being Miley Cyrus popular,
she preferred to be carried like this:

so she could greet her people.

And if one got by without returning her greeting,
don't think she didn't notice.

Water off a duck's back.

Her specialty:
Meeting someone who's not sure if they like her or not.

And making friends with them.

It melts my heart.

I've always thought it was important to take kids
on family vacations.
But now I see how magical it is.
I can't really put a finger on it,
but C is a little changed since our trip.
I guess we all are.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Flying with a baby

As I mentioned before, I took so many pictures of our trip that I don't really know where to start.  But since two of my lovely readers (Marta and Rochelle) mentioned the flight, I'll start there.  Commenting pays.

It is commonly thought that taking a baby on an international flight is quite a challenge.  I will dispell that myth right here and now.   The truth is, taking a baby on an international flight is like going to Six Flags with someone in a wheelchair.  We got pushed to the front of the line the whole way- customs, airport check in, airplane bording, etc..  You can't beat that.  My little charmer even managed to get us bumped to business class on each leg of our flight.  (Apparently they can just put you up there if they want to.)  

Of course it wasn't all fun and games.  But it was about 45% fun, 45% games, 9% deep breaths, and 1% being totally embarrassed when C spilled A TRAY of orange juice on a non-English speaking stranger one hour into a 10 hour flight.  Talk about awkward.   BTW, did you know passengers under the age of two can fly as a lap baby on international flights?  They can.  It's not totally free like on domestic flights, but it's just 10% of an adult ticket price.  We plan to take advantage of this again next summer.  If the carseat fanatics don't ruin it before then, that is.

It was after the flight that things got interesting.  I knew that we were going to have to drive from the airport town (Entebbe) to the town Mike is from (Bukedea).  Before the trip, he kept telling it was 120 miles and it was a really tough trip.  I didn't buy it.  How long can it take to drive 120 miles? 

When you share the two-lane road with bicyclists, cows, turkeys (both literal and figurative), ducks, military-ish people collecting bribes, and jillions of pedestrians carrying water on their heads, 120 miles can take 10 hours.  Especially when the vehicle you are travelling in breaks down for a while.  But after 5 hours you are pretty much ready to stretch your legs, take some pictures, and meet some locals anyway.

Driving in Uganda is not like driving here.  For one, they drive on the left side of the road.  For two, they honk about as often as they blink.  Here is a list* of reasons to honk the horn while driving in Uganda:

1) someone is ahead of you
2) someone is behind you
3) you're passing a pedestrian
4) you're passing an animal
5) good song on the radio
6) it's been more than onemississippi since you last honked

*You should  probably print and laminate that list.  Keep it in your wallet.  Just in case.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Uganda trip highlights

I'm finally going to blog about our trip to Uganda.  C and I were only there for a week, but I took about 8 million pictures (Mike went too, of course, but he stayed longer).  

 Here's an overview of topics to be covered in upcoming posts,  in no particular order:

20 hour plane ride

10 hour van ride

van breaking down

family trip to the zoo

C's 15 minutes

a visit to Mike's childhood home

the hotel

big bugs

lunch at the pastor's house

animals riding bikes

kids I can't stop thinking about