We’ve been so busy the past few weeks! We had our rabbit cages and some rabbits on display at the National Agriculture Expo – where the President spoke and it was a lot of work getting everything ready. Of course it was kind of last minute that we were asked to have them there. The feed store we have gotten food for our animals asked to have the display since they sell rabbit feed. And to get interest in raising rabbits. We’ve had many calls since from people wanting to buy one rabbit or a pair of rabbits, which was not our intention but we did sell about 20 rabbits. We’ve had calls from people wanting to “partner” with us but for now we are just focusing on our community. It was a good experience to see people get interested in raising their own rabbits. We sold one set of cages but have some other people interested. The cages are not inexpensive – especially since we have to pay the “mazungu” prices on materials so we won’t make money from them but it gives income to the men that make them and gives them new skills. We tell them that if they can get better prices on the materials they can make a pretty good income. We try and explain to them that every time we get gauged on prices, that is money that could be used for other things but they don’t get it.
Our rabbits are growing, we have around 300 babies – that isn’t including the 200 adults! It’s a lot of work, even with our three workers. We have orders for meat and sausage and are pretty excited about it. There are to rabbit breeders that would like to work with us on selling the meat, they already have a couple restaurants in Jinja that order but they can’t keep up with the demand so it would be great to work with them. Our five for five program is to help our community to be able to have meat to eat but also can provide income for them, so helping to open markets for the meat will be a help to everyone raising rabbits. Our village isn’t quite sure about it yet but we plan on having a cook off soon with grilled rabbit to find good cooks who want to open a stand in town and have their own business. We want to help get them started and then they will be on their own with their own business. That will also help our community members that start raising their own rabbits.
We are preparing for guests from the States coming this weekend. Everyone is so excited and working hard to get everything looking good! It’s really not that much extra work – we have great help and they keep the farm looking good all the time. Personally we are excited to have fellowship and people to strengthen us, pray with us and play with us!
We got our car back after two months of not being able to drive it and we are so glad! I was quite nervous in Kampala and the trip home but we made it without incident. We had a crowd come to the house as soon as we drove in, you would think it was a community car as excited as everyone was that we got it back! We were getting congratulated and hugged by everyone! It was a good day!
Every time we come to Kampala it seems we “need” to get play dough. But the play dough gets everywhere, and most times doesn’t even make it back home. If it does make it home it gets everywhere. I mean everywhere, stuck to the floors, tables, chairs. And every time we go through the “I promise this time I won’t get it everywhere” conversation. But, as my husband says, I am a sucker when it comes to play dough in Kampala. When we come here it is our time to have a break from everyone and relax. That is…everyone except Raelee! Don’t get me wrong, we love her! She is most times the entertainment and joy we need on the bad days we have. But as a parent you know that sometimes you need a break, quiet time or dinner without being interrupted two hundred times! This is where the play dough comes in! She will sit for hours in the hotel playing with it. She watches YouTube videos with people creating cakes out of play dough, or clothes for Barbies. So even though every time before I have said “This is the last time if you don’t keep it all together” I give in! I decided this time that I won’t even say it anymore! I think maybe it’s a good thing to just limit it to Kampala trips so it keeps her busy every time – and then leave it in Kampala! “What happens in Kampala stays in Kampala”!
It’s been a little over a week since my last post, hope family and friends in the States had a happy 4th! We have had a pretty calm week, still building cages, working on crops – the sunflowers are about ready to cut down, much to my dismay! But since the rains have still been coming pretty steady throughout the week I think we are going to go ahead and plant more. They grow so fast!
I was not feeling well last weekend so Christian and Raelee did the cooking for two days. She loves to cook, he not so much so I was very appreciative that he did it with her! Chicken strips and french fries – so good! (Even better when I don’t have to cook them!)
We have been having a “situation” with the parking ticket lady. Whenever you go to town, you have to pay for parking. This does not apply to the bank parking lot or the supermarket we go to that has their own parking lot. But, if you park anywhere else on the street you can expect to pay. It’s not much but, if you park on one side of the street, run in somewhere and then park across the street you will get to pay both times! In Jinja we buy a handful of little tickets at a time and give those out. I think much of the money gets pocketed because the ticket takers are all the time begging us to buy a handful more! So, we have in the past bought a monthly parking sticker for 30,000 shillings a month. (Parking one time is 3-4,000 shillings). But since March we have not bought parking stickers because 1) the truck hardly goes to town since we got the car and 2) since buying the car we hadn’t gone to town except to the bank. Then in May our car was wrecked. So why pay 60,000/mo for two vehicles that aren’t even going to town? Make sense to you? The parking sticker lady has called Christian about every other day for over a month now “demanding” we pay her for the missed months and get caught up. She put her supervisor on the phone the other day because they don’t think we are understanding what they are telling us! We understand. We understand that buying a monthly sticker is voluntary, we are under no obligation to buy one every month. We understand that now whoever gets the previously “owed” money will pocket it. So we were at the bank on Wednesday and the supervisor (do they have spies watching the bank?) came to the truck demanding the money we “owe”. Christian explained we are not paying money for something we haven’t used. We have not had the car for over a month, and the truck has only come to town three times in the past month. To the bank and the supermarket – no pay places. When someone here is not happy with what you are saying they either say “So what do we do now?” The supervisor kept saying “So, what is your decision?” This went on for ten minutes, he wasn’t happy with our decision and I guess thought he would change it if he just persisted. He even went so far as to say that because his people know we have a sticker each month that will confuse them and they won’t get money from us. THEY CAN’T ANYWAY…WE.HAVE.NOT.COME.TO.TOWN in three months! Chris stayed involved in the conversation a lot longer than I did! He asked the guy “If you weren’t using the sticker would you pay almost 200,000?” Finally, we told him that when the car is fixed we are going to get our monthly sticker again (even though we won’t need it) but we aren’t doing that for the truck since it will barely leave the property.) Appeased and I guess finally resigned to the fact we weren’t going to give him any money he finally left. We were waiting to meet someone at the bank, and no sooner had the supervisor left than the woman came to the door! Christian cut her off saying the supervisor had just left and we had talked to him about it but she still tried to go through the whole situation again. We told her we had to go and couldn’t sit and talk to her about it. When we get our car back we will pay for a sticker. It may not seem like a lot of money, but who would pay for something you aren’t going to use? And especially knowing that the “back payment” is only going in someone’s pocket? I have to say though, the lady has been pretty persistent in trying to threaten us!
We are in Kampala getting some supplies and to finally sign insurance papers for the car. We got a quote from a shop other than Toyota (they wanted almost as much as we paid for the car to fix two doors!) and it is a little scary handing our car over to a garage here. We are praying the doors open and close and are the same color as the rest of the car. (You laugh but one or the other is so likely to happen!) We are praying that it is all fixed and ready to go before our mission team comes the first week of August. We are cutting it close! (They don’t have rental car companies here – actually they do have cars for “hire” but you may as well buy a car rather than pay that cost!)
Hope you have had a good week and happy holiday!