“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
We did it, with hope in our hearts that we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves or our host we went to Shafik’s house for dinner. We took along Sharifu to interpret, he is some kind of relative. (I hope to get into relationships in my next post!) It was a nice evening, we arrived at 6 pm and I think dinner was served around 7:30. Sharifu had told me earlier in the day that he told Shafik that mazungus eat dinner around 6, so that was the time set for us to come. There were so many children running around so Raelee went to work on them. I swear she is the Pied Piper, it only takes about five minutes and every child within a mile is following her, obeying her every command. Doesn’t matter what color or nationality or if they even speak the same language! There were goats everywhere, and she spotted a baby right off the bat and had five or six kids running to catch it for her. Now, her holding and babying that goat was hilarious to those kids because they don’t have pets. They have dogs to guard, cats to kill rats and goats to eat. They don’t pet them or baby them. She is considered strange because she babys everything that is even just a little smaller than herself. She even passed up the human baby for the goat! After about ten minutes I was freaked out enough so I made her put it down. It didn’t look all that healthy to me, and I was already a little freaked out at our surroundings, the dirty snotty children and the dinner that was being prepared outside! She put the goat down and within minutes we saw her walk into someone’s house by herself with ten or twelve children egging her on. As I started walking that way she came out of the house with a cat! Jeesh kid, leave the animals alone, you are getting quite the reputation as the crazy mazungu girl! You can see by the picture below the triumphant look on her face and the joy and amusement on the children’s faces!
We didn’t do much talking beforehand, except Shafik trying again to talk us into moving next door to him! His family has many acres of land and he has decided that he doesn’t want us to ever leave Uganda so he wants to give us land and help us build a house. We told him that if ever there came a time that we have to leave it is because God is moving us and we can’t tell God no. He asked if we could say no to moving! He has a very sweet personality, that shows through even though we don’t speak the same language. It is very pretty land all around, but they live right off the highway.
Finally dinner came, by that time it was dark so you know I was more than a little panicky to eat what I couldn’t see! It was very good, I have to say there are good cooks here to make the little they have to work with taste so good. Rice and gravy, matoke (which looks just like a banana and grows on trees that look just like bananas. I get confused all the time!) and chicken. The matoke is baked and then mashed like potatoes. It is very dry and I do not like it. Christian and Raelee eat it so I piled a lot on their plates to make up for my not eating it! I slipped my chicken to Christian and ate the rice and gravy! Free range chickens here are pretty tough and even though I had gotten the breast it was very hard to even pull it off the bone. They had fixed enough food for an army and told us it was all ours. I told them we don’t eat like Ugandans and they laughed. Shafik and Sharifu joined us in eating.
When we were finished eating, Shafik’s father came out to visit. He asked many questions about America and Australia. Not sure about the Australia part but apparently he knows someone who went there and I guess thought the two countries were close. We told him about America but said we don’t know much about Australia. He wanted to know if we had things in common with Uganda and we told him there were a lot of things we have in common. Yes, people farm and have livestock. Then about the weather, Christian told them about hurricanes and they were amazed. He told them how people have to evacuate their homes and the father couldn’t believe it, he wanted to know how you would eat, and did you take your cows and chickens with you when you leave home. We told him no and he was so shocked and wanted to know what happens to the animals. Funny how they look at things and what have the most importance here. If you are blessed to have cows and chickens (like they do) it would be out of the question to leave them behind. Thankfully they don’t have to worry about evacuating because of a hurricane. We did enjoy talking with him and he told us (through Sharifu) that all the work that has been done by Mandate has meant so much to the people in this community. And he added that especially what we (Christian and I) have done since we got here. Then he hit us up on educating ALL the children in the community! I know it’s hard not to be able to send your children to school, the government schools are not good, supposed to be free but they aren’t always. Then there are the private schools (some not much better than gov’t schools) but they cost so much. We told him that is something we pray for but at this time it is too big for Mandate to try to take on. One step at a time! He also asked about getting a bore hole (water well) over there. We told him that we just put one in and it would be about six months before we put another in and the Chairman is the one who decides where it goes. We would put in a suggestion but it was up to him.
All in all it was a good evening, nobody got sick, even the one handling all the germy things! I am thankful to God for watching over us and giving us the courage to go into the awkward and kinda scary situations and talk about all He has done for us.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8