Thursday, March 28, 2013

Food court drama

Today is March 28 and we have been here now for 6 weeks! It has flown by yet at the same time, it feels like we have been here for longer than that. We have settled in fairly easily as Kampala is not that different from what we know in least the differences that are there aren't too traumatic (ie: insects are a small enough size to handle and you can get most food here and it is a good temperature etc). That being said, we are still "newbie's" here and if we follow the typical transition track.....we will hit our low in the next 6 months.....but for now, we are really enjoying our time here.

Phil's brother and his wife stayed with us for a week which was so nice! Nice to have family around and just people who know us....comforting and relaxing. We played games, had lots of chats, stayed up too late and just enjoyed each other's company. They also showed us a bit more of Kampala as they have spent time here before....and one day we ended up downtown at a mall called Garden City Mall. After surviving the drive down there, we were pretty hungry so we headed to the food court....which I was surprised that such a thing existed in Kampala.....but sure enough, we entered a court that was surrounded by different restaurants. David warned us that we were going to be swarmed by employees of the various establishments....all hoping to sell us their food. That was an soon as we sat down, we had 8-10 guys around our table shoving menu's in hands and all talking at the same time about what we should order from their restaurant. At one point i think i was sitting there just observing all the chaos, which maybe confused the guys into thinking i was really taking in all they were saying (at the same time) about their food. David finally half yelled (you had to yell to be heard above the noise) "Thanks guys, but can you give us 5 minutes?". That seemed to work and we had about 1 minute of silence before another round of guys came over (who hadn't heard David say that) and they started suggesting food for us.... fortunately, we had decided what to order at that point so we placed our orders and we were left in peace (and quiet). No more than 2 minutes later (seriously faster than Wendy's) Phil was sitting in front of a gourmet meal of butter chicken. Wow. They really have the food court efficiency thing downpat!! The rest of our food came within the next 10 and it was delish and super cheap too. All in all, that was a crazy food court experience but a funny story to tell.

The infamous 'food court'.
On the way to Garden City Mall, we missed the turn and had to drive a little ways up then do a u-turn (but not really a u-turn cuz their was a cut out in the median and lots of cars were turning using this route) and after we did that, a policeman waved us down at the side of the road. Phil asked him how he was doing and the Officer said "not good". Uh-oh. Gulp. He said that we did a bad thing by turning around at that point like we did and that we were going to have to pay a fine of 500,000 shillings (about $120). We went back and forth about how we were new in the country, how there was no sign and that we were following others etc. and David piped up from the back seat "look....there's another car turning there....and another.....and another...." David kept on updating Phil about how many cars were turning at that point, trying to help him prove the point that there is no sign. Was it really illegal to do that or are we being pulled over because we stand out? Phil told him we had lots of time, and that we could go down to the court to pay the fine if we had to (not something the policeman wanted to hear....he was looking to get some cash in his pocket). Finally the officer said that he would forgive us but that we had to buy his fellow officer a pop. Phil said thanks for teaching him about the traffic laws and for forgiving him but that no, we couldn't buy the officer a pop because we do not pay bribes. The officer just shrugged and waved us on. Whew! Phil did a good job of talking his way out of that one. I kept on thinking about how this kind of thing would never happen in Canada.....and we have heard a 'bookfull' of stories about the police pulling people over here.....most are hilarious and some are just frustrating, but that is just a part of life over here. One that will take some serious time to get used to.

Dr. Allie checks out Kaitlyn's ear....
.a major ear infection = antibiotics,
strange thing is you can just walk in and
buy prescription needed.
Poolside at the "American Club".
A cupcake for the birthday girl.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tea and a tour

I recently realized that I have not given you a tour of our home here in grab a cup of tea (I'd serve you some Typhoo if you were here!) and enjoy a visit with me!

Here is the front view of our house.....we were pleasantly surprised at how nice our place was.  We have a little front yard, perfect size for two little girls playing 'after dinner games' with their daddy.

This is the kitchen that has everything we need to cook and eat properly for the next three months (except there is no mixing bowl....just an 8 cup measuring cup....try making two loaves of bread in there.....a little tight!!). The stove is gas and when the power is out, you need to light it with a match......only thing is that the matches here are so short which makes for fun times trying not to burn my fingers off while lighting the stove. Other than cooks great!

This is the bathroom complete with shower AND hot water!

This is the dining room where we eat our meals and also where homeschooling takes place. The girls enjoy their morning routines and look forward to circle time and school.

The girls loved their pink curtains! We have gotten used to bug nets but somehow the girls seem to get tangled up in them during the I don't think the efficiency of the bug nets is exactly 100%.

Phil and I enjoy a room with a bathroom attached to it which includes a bath tub. This was very important according to Lily as she LOVES taking baths.

The living room is nice and fact the whole layout of this house reminds me of the Prairie housing we used to live in.....not crazy big but big enough and very functional spaces and storage. We love all of the windows since there is almost always a breeze blowing through which helps on the super hot days. (this pic was taken on our first morning in Kampala....hence all the suitcases)

One of our favorite places to sit and read or hang out is on our front porch. We have a beautiful view of Kampala from our front porch and have enjoyed eating dinners out in the cool air (at night, it is often cooler outside than inside!).

Phil's brother David and his wife Allie stopped by for a week. They live in Tanzania.

This is our 'backyard' where laundry gets hung and the girls find lots of different insects to observe. Not so pretty but functional.

Our little place is beautiful and we are so thankful for a place of rest and security. Even though we are only here for another month and a half, we will make sure to appreciate this blessing we have been given.

So, now you can picture where we live, hangout, do school, eat dinner and play. Visitors welcome anytime! :)