September 21, 2016, Travel to Kampala

Last night, Sue, Karen, and staff (Generous, Guma, Josiah, Moses, Maurice, Rauben, and Tito) were featured on a talk show on Radio Rubanda. It was a one-hour call-in program that lasted for two hours and 10 minutes. The air time would've cost 2.4 million shillings but we got it for 400,000 because Tito co-founded the station. It was a small recording studio that would comfortably fit three people, so the nine ACT participants were sure there was no air left in the room by the time the program was over!

During the program the phones rang constantly -- and were still ringing at the end, so not all questions could be answered. Some of the questions came from adult orphans looking for help. One particularly difficult question was, "When are you going to serve everyone else in Uganda, not just Muko Sub-County?" Answer (Not verbalized on radio): When the sky rains both money and volunteers to do the work!

The rest of us tried to listen in, but had trouble finding the program, partly because Generous had remembered the station name incorrectly and partly because the station -- only a fraction of an inch on the dial away from the one we thought we wanted -- was hard to find. Plus, the program was almost 100% in Rukiga (which we expected). Wescanned the stations with the hope of recognizing a staff member's voice; Dave M. and Roger found it towards the end of the program but everyone else had given up, assuming it had ended much earlier.

Today we checked out of the Jopfan Hotel. We had requested a special breakfast item --  "chips" (French fries) to go with our eggs or whatever else we chose to order. The chef probably thought we were crazy, but he was happy to comply anyway. The staff all wished us safe travels and we received hugs with our goodbyes. Sue was able to get a recipe for chapatis -- we'd been invited to learn how to make them but we never got back to the hotel early enough.

Procedure for How to Make Chapatis (Joshua, Jopfan Country Hotel)

Mix a scant teaspoon of yeast witha liter of warm water. Mix well with 1 cap (maybe 1-2 tsp?) olive oil and 3 eggs.

Finely grate a carrot, 1/2 onion, some fresh ginger; mix with a bag (??) of wheat flour.

Mix all ingredients together. Cover bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.

Divide the dough into small balls. Roll very thin and flat.

Heat a skillet; add a small amount of oil. Add the chapatis one at a time. Cook the chapati until lightly browned; flip to cook the other side.

NOTE: The measurements are all approximate since we don't know how big the bag of flour was and they don't use cups, tsps, etc. Experiment -- it should feel like a fairly stiff dough.

As we began the long drive, Sue led a devotional exercise in which she asked us each to use our names to create an acrostic with words describing our experiences of the last two weeks. The result was inspirational, yielding words like empowering, humbling, acceptance, opportunity, respect, adventure, love, understanding, serving, and yes, among others. This has clearly been a meaningful venture for all of us.

On the road, we again went through several police checkpoints, but we were required to stop only twice. The first time, the policeman came inside the bus to check Christopher's license and our seat belts. He also asked us if Christopher was doing a good job. We responded with enthusiastic applause -- I wonder what would've happened if we'd said we thought Christopher was a bad or dangerous driver...? The second time, the policeman talked with Christopher and checked his license through the window, walked around the bus looking at the tires, then waved us on.

When it was time for lunch we opened the box lunches the Jopfan chef had prepared and discovered delicious samosas and chips in each one! It was such a thoughtful reminder of our friendships with the staff at the hotel.

Just as a matter of interest, we noticed that the price of gas ranges from 3250 - 3450 shillings/liter. This translates to approximately $3.75 - $3.95/gallon. The gas comes from refineries in Kenya.

New things of interest spotted as we drove included papaya trees, jacaranda trees in bloom, sweet potato stands, a jackfruit tree, a crested eagle, and gardens that are noticeably greener than they were two weeks ago. A little rain makes a huge difference!

As on our trip south, we stopped for a leg stretch and some shopping at the equator. Several people were able to buy souvenirs they had looked for but couldn't find in Kabale. We made it back to the Adonai Hotel in Kampara in just over eight hours.

After arrival, while the rest of us tried to finish packing for our flight or otherwise attended to business matters, a small group -- Nena, Sheryl, Dave M., and Roger -- went for a walk to the Wine Garage and a grocery store. They returned with treasures to share for dinner: South African wine, both milk and dark chocolate bars, and ice cream! The rest of dinner was fantastic too, and Francis, the Adonai's superb chef, has agreed to share his recipe for pumpkin soup.

Below:  Jopfan Hotel; vendors selling 'chicken-on-a-stick' and other foods to bus passengers; roadside sweet potato stands; bota-botas (motorcycle taxis) waiting for passengers.

Ellie SchroederComment