Monday, June 29, 2009

Life in Mutungo

The view from our room at the Ranch Home

Diane's bed

Making coffee in the morning (before we fixed our hair)!

Sarah with the kids

Dancing and singing!

Silly Frances and his million dollar smile!

We arrived at the Ranch on Jesus Children's Home in Mutungo safely on Friday night. Wendy drove the car from Kampala to Mutungo Uganda style! The steering wheel is on the right side and you drive on the left side of the road! On our way to the village, we passed boda bodas with several people riding on each one. One boda was carrying an Honda generator on the back (yes, full size)! We also passed cows, chickens, and goats in the road!
As we pulled up to the new orphanage building, we were greeted by some of the older girls from Ranch. They helped us take our bags to our room we are sharing in the new orphanage building. Once we were settled they walked us to the temporary building where the children are staying until the building is complete. The girls instructed us to greet the children by saying "oli otya", which means "how are you?". The children ran to us shouting greetings and yelling "Muzungus" (meaning white people) and offering hugs!
The rest of the weekend was spent getting to know the children and the Ranch staff. We attended Mutungo Community Presbyterian Church, pastored by Sam Kisembo. The church is in an open air building and you can hear goats and roosters while people are praising the Lord! At the end of the service Pastor Sam asked if there were any first-time visitors (we guess we three Muzungus weren't obvious enough). We raised our hands and he asked us to come to the front. We introduced ourselves and told our purpose for coming to Mutungo. We were given a warm welcome from Pastor Sam and his congregation! Theopolis and Sarah Kamara invited us to their home for an African style lunch of Irish potatoes, white sweet potatoes, seasoned rice, avocado, pineapple, boiled chicken, spicy peas, spaghetti-type noodles, a banana dish that was similar to potatoes, and cabbage. We visited for several hours and went back to Ranch to play with the children and were entertained by their singing and dancing. The night ended with the teenagers leading prayer. At Ranch, the older children have the responsibility of leading the prayer and worship. Maurice and Phiona let worship and their prayers were those of someone beyond their teen years. It was a wonderful day!
Monday (today) was spent at the Ranch on Jesus School and the coordination center. Upon entering the classroom at Ranch School (there are no doors or windows), the children immediately stood to their feet and shouted out "good morning, Head Master"! We were then introduced to the students by the headmaster, Daniel and we received a thundering applause with cheers in each class. We left the school feeling like rock stars!!! Sarah will be working at the coordination center. We will update you later on her job duties once those become clear...
Now that we've been oriented to our jobs, we are looking forward to seeing what this time in Mutungu will hold.
Goodnight from Uganda!

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