Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Great Ugandan Soil

Thought everyone would enjoy seeing latest thing grown from the garden at GSF. The zucchini below was not the largest one picked!

It was a great opportunity to have some of the girls over to teach them a few cooking skills. We made fried breaded zucchini.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

hanging out at the veranda

Sometimes when the veranda of our house seems to be the happening place (which seems to be almost daily), one of us will get out the camera and take a few pictures. Here is sampling of those pictures:

Mark giving out bananas

The kids love sugar cane

Mark and some friends

Chloe reading a book. They love to borrow books and puzzles but they must use them on our veranda. They will get lost otherwise.

Lily, the star of one of our previous entries (The queen and baby Airy) and most likely will star in other entries to come.

What a great smile, Henry!

Super Heroes

My friend Laurie sent Titus a super hero kit from her son Thomas. It was a book all about being a super hero and included a cape, 3 punch out masks, 6 punch out armbands and stickers. Titus decided he wanted to share with his friends at GSF. So he eagerly ran to get his friends while I pulled out some of Mark's t-shirts for capes. Here is a picture of the Super Titus, Captain Geoffrey, Amazing Brian and Wonder Will!

They took off to save the day!

Checking on Uncle Bob to make sure he didn't need to be saved.

The Super Hero Craze has now taken off here and everyday now, I am passing out Mark's T-shirts and making masks and the kids are loving it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ugandan Driving Games

Our ride into Jinja, although long, is neither boring nor uneventful. Our kids have never asked to take something with them to do in the car, nor stated that they were bored. Two reasons they do not get bored are the pothole game and the crocodile hunt.

During our trip, we eventually come to a part of the road which is unlike 90% of the roads in Uganda - it is paved! However, it is full of potholes littered along the way. Mark and Titus have made it a game to see how well Mark can navigate this thoroughfare without hitting the obstacles. The goal is to hit a minimal number of potholes, while avoiding pedestrian, vehicle and animal traffic. Like Super Mario Kart for the Nintendo DS, there are levels in this game. Level 1 is on a clear day without any oncoming traffic. Level 2 would be a clear day with only a few small cars or motorbikes. Level 3 - cloudy day with a large oncoming truck. Levels 4 and 5 include rain or dark. We have not achieved level 10, which would be a dark and rainy night, with cows, goats and pedestrian traffic moving in addition to large oncoming trucks flashing their high-beam lights at us! Yikes!

Soon after we leave the pothole game, we approach the Nile River and begin our new adventure, the crocodile hunt! As we traverse the bridge going across the dam, we immediately look to our right for the float where many birds and monitor lizards congregate. We have even seen otters swimming here a time or two. After counting lizards and bird species, we turn our attention to left side of the dam where two crocodiles are sometimes spotted. If it is a particularly hot day, we have a better chance of seeing them sunning on the bank of the river below. Titus has learned to sit on the left side of the car just so he can have an advantage for sighting them. Unfortunately we have only seen them a few times, but when we do it is with great excitement.

Soon after the crocodile hunt, we arrive at our destination. Our games were fun, but we are glad to get out of the car.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Our ride to the main town, Jinja, is a 30-45 minute drive depending on how many cows are in the road and if we get behind a trailer overloaded with sugar cane. As we go, we must also dodge the chickens which dart across the road in front of oncoming vehicles. But the most endearing part of the trip is the many children who start to jump up and down when they see us coming. They begin to wave with huge smiles on their faces! "Mzungu! Mzungu! Mzungu, bye!"

Mzungu in their language means "white person." Yes, our white skin stands out and can be seen far away. Sometimes we think that the word gets out that there are Mzungus coming even before we get there, for there will be children watching in expectation just to see the bright white skin coming.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The tooth rat

A few weeks ago, Titus lost his first tooth! A big deal of course and especially since he had watched his big sister lose 5 or 6 during the 6 months his tooth had been loose! The next day, he proudly showed our helper his gap in his mouth. With this she replied, "Here in Uganda, we tell our children to put their tooth in a special place and a rat will get it and leave money for it."
Hmmmm. Not sure what that says about each culture. Tooth Fairy in America; Tooth Rat in Uganda. But we all got a great laugh at the difference.