Whew, Jet lag has been something to be reckoned with. When flying to Uganda there are typically two eight hour flights which cover 8 time zones. When we arrive we are 7-8 hours ahead (depending on daylight savings time). Currently we are 7 hours ahead of the East Coast.
That is a big difference to make up for internally. This time was no different. Thankfully we walked this road last year with the children and were a little prepared for what was coming. We knew that there would be sleepless nights for about a week so we decided to make the most of it. One night everyone was awake at 1 am, so we decided to watch Frozen on the computer. We completely forgot that it was the middle of the night when we all started belting out “LET IT GO!!!!!”
Cadance struggled with the late night wakefulness the most. It was in those quiet, dark moments that she sometimes became overwhelmed with homesickness, began crying and needed comfort. We had some sweet moments together. One night, we got up and had chocolate milk and called Gugi (Brian’s mom.) Other nights, we sat and told stories about great memories and chose to “give thanks in all circumstances.”
Jennifer also experienced some late nights as well, not only because she was bunked with my kiddos, but because of the jet lag. Toward the end of the week, I heard Cadance and Jennifer listening to music or talking. One night I stopped to listen a minute and rejoiced! God was redeeming jet lag. He used the late night conversations to allow Jennifer to start a discipleship relationship with her. She was challenging her perspective and pointing her to hope and good choices.
Some “fun” things happened during the day too because of our mental fog. Once we moved into the house, coming and going took a lot longer. The first several days it took us 30 minutes just to pull out of the driveway. We would forget to lock a door, or turn a light off, what we came to the house for or just plain forget the keys all together. One day, after the 30 minute process of leaving, we were actually pulling out of the driveway and realized we had forgotten something. Brian took the keys right out of the ignition in the middle of the road and got out of the car. Quickly I said…. “Are you going to leave the car here!?” Thankfully the Lord has allowed us to laugh in the midst of the frustrations.
One more fun story about our mental fog. Brian has been learning to drive, which takes your full concentration here. There are so many pedestrians, animals and children walking along and crossing the roads. There are motorcycle taxis weaving in and out of traffic and potholes. Actually, POTHOLES is a better description. We drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side. There are very few signs and very different driving rules that are more like suggestions. Pair all of these things with not knowing where anything is, and it makes for quite the experience. It has taken all of Brian’s concentration just to get around town.
One day we were driving back to Pastor Terry’s house and the car began making funny sounds. Brian was hitting the gas, but the engine wasn’t doing anything. Thankfully, we were on a slight decline. He was convinced it was the timing belt.
When we arrived at Terry’s they both opened up the engine compartment to begin the investigation. We were out of gas! Once the embarrassment passed, we all laughed.
Thankfully the fog has lifted and everyone survived!
Jen’s Jinja Journal
The following excerpt is from Jennifer Herman, a 14 year old friend who is spending the summer with us.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since we arrived. When we arrived at the airport, we were running a little behind. As I walked into the airport, the reality set in that I was leaving my family for two months and getting on a plane that would take me to another continent. Checking in our 25 pieces of luggage took awhile, which made us even later, so we were escorted to our gate. We could hear our names being called over the intercom and we finally made it to the gate with only a few minutes to spare. I didn’t sleep much on the first flight, but the Whites all slept some. Then we had a six hour layover in Amsterdam which seemed very long. When we finally arrived in Entebbe, the Whites were missing six pieces of luggage. (Those six pieces of luggage did eventually show up, so thank you for praying for them.) The remaining luggage filled up six luggage carts. Mr. Terry and Mrs. Debbie Nester came with some of their friends to pick us up. We finally arrived in Jinja around 3:30 in the morning & slept until one o’clock in the afternoon. It took us a few days to get over the jet lag.
I have noticed how bumpy the roads are here. This week Pastor Brian has been learning to drive here and learning where things are. We have had to rely on the help of others to get even the basic things done, like grocery shopping. Because of this transition and the jet lag, it has been a pretty slow week. I have been able to go to the market and help the Whites move into their new house. I enjoyed going to the church here and was able to meet a lot of people. The church meets outside under a covering. (The picture of me pointing to Virginia was taken at this church.). After church, we went to lunch with one of the families I met and then we spent some time visiting them in their home.
Tomorrow, I will be going with the Whites to Kampala, which is about two hours away. Pastor Brian will be applying for a work visa & dependent visas for Mrs. Jerilyn and the kids. Right now the White’s only have 3 month visas, so this will allow them to stay longer. The Whites will also be looking for a washing machine while we are in Kampala. It’s a larger city so they offer a wider variety of shopping.
Hopefully, we will be working at Sole Hope later in the week. Sole Hope is an organization that helps remove jiggers (a small insect that burrows into your skin and lays eggs) from people’s feet. After they remove the jiggers, they give the person a pair of shoes to protect their feet. So I am looking forward to helping at Sole Hope. You can go to www.solehope.org for more information.
My favorite things about Uganda are: waking up and hearing ibises cawing outside our bedroom window, seeing the red dirt, and the bright sunshine and palm trees. Also, just seeing the kids here with such big smiles when they see us mizungus, or white people. One thing that has stood out to me is how much Americans have that they take for granted. Because I see people here who are thin and whose clothes are tattered. It breaks my heart at how Americans have so much and the people here have so little. In my short time here, God has shown me that I should be more giving and thankful for what I have. I should be thankful in all circumstances.
Thank you for your prayers. I hope you enjoyed this update.