After a bunch of hours of flying we finally got to Bukoba! What a delightful sight outside the airport – Wade and his people! They were on their way home from church so we went to their beautiful house for lunch. It is just as gorgeous or maybe even more so than what I imagined. Tall pines all throughout the yard. Amazing landscaping all around the house with gorgeous flowers blooming and trees and shrubs and vines all around the house. Huge rocks out behind the house and an insane view of lake Victoria. We had our own cabanda which Ella called our castle because it’s round and made of rock looking bricks. Dream come true to stay in a castle;) we walked down to the lake in the afternoon. Down a steep gully down the cliffs. Along the road past all the little houses and tiny farms and kids. Trying to learn the proper greetings. Got piki pikis( motorbike) and went to eat eggs and fries. Unique but not too gross. And wade n me took a piki to go get some rice cakes! Yum !! they were soooo delicious hot out of the pan. Food made over a fire in the dark in any country is a delight but even more so in a country like this.
Time change messed with our sleeping for a few days – for sure Ella’s. But eventually that got straightened out. Monday we all went out to the drill site. A big school. High school age kids and lots of them stay for night. They were having trouble with the kids getting sick from the water so now they are hauling water from a long ways away. While we were there they drilled 1 well 90m deep and didnt hit water so they started drilling at a diff location. We stayed out there for an hour or so and then went back home, stopping for lunch at a restaurant. I didn’t mind the goat meat;) interesting food.
Tuesday we went to the market in town for a few things. Wade n Jason went on a tract run in the afternoon- they had big hiking backpacks full of tracts that they loaded on the back of pikis and rode with another guy around town refilling tract boxes! I made pupusas for supper. Ella and Alaina have so much fun together! The monkeys come through here every couple weeks and today they came!! So cool jumping in the trees and on the house roof.
Wednesday Ali and me went to the market and I found a piece of fabric and we found a seamstress to sew me a dress! It was pouring rain when we went in to the market and we walked through the water flowing down the aisles. Crowded aisles. People desperately trying to get you to buy their stuff. In the afternoon we all went to an amazing waterfall! Hiked up the creek and stood as close as we dared! The pounding spray was enough to take your breath away. Then we hiked up to the top of the waterfall! Rather nerve wracking. Especially with the girls. Like Ali said, at home we would have said no way we can’t do that with the girls but in TZ oh ya why not?! I think the falls were about 250’ tall. Wayne and Grace had us for supper. They are the missionaries here and they live just down the road.
Thursday the guys were gone early to drill well. It rained lots of the day and us girls just hung out at the house all day. Went out to a restaurant down the road. It takes so long to get the food that we played almost an entire game of settlers ! I had tiki masala. Good eating. Beautiful lake. Good company. Wade n me sat out in the rocks in the dark. So peaceful out there.
Friday wade took us around and showed us some of the stuff they’ve done around bukoba. There are some pretty springs they’ve fixed up so the water is clean and has a spout for the people to gather water. They made a bridge across a rushing stream where a little boy had drowned. 400 kids cross that bridge to school and back every day and they used to cross on logs of some sort. We stopped and visited a couple of his friends. One down by the lake so pretty but so many flies. This lake is unreal gorgeous. A lady washing her clothes in the edge of it. Drying on the rocks. So much work. I respect these people. Down there we saw one of the children who they fixed her burned foot. She was quite small when her foot had been burned and then wrapped badly that the top of her foot was grown onto her leg. They operated on it and now her foot doesn’t look like normal but at least she can walk. She was shy but she gladly went to sit with wade. We went to bible study in village church with Wayne’s. That church is such a cute shelter built with slabs of wood. Large gaps between and grass spread across the floor just like is typical in the peoples homes here. And then went out to the rocks at the top of the cliff. The air was cool up there. Over looking the lake. Ali had packed a yummy picnic of steak fajitas. We built a fire and it was just great. Felt like home. Glad wade can do things like that there!!
Saturday we helped wade package a bunch of tracts and him and Jason did bible clinic. Don’t really know what that all means but they set up loud speakers and sell bibles and pass out tracts at different markets. Sounded like fun. We went down to town for some stuff and I got my dress! It fits a bit uniquely for sure. But it’s cute! After the guys got home we went down to a waterfall close here and hung out for awhile. So much beauty all around. I’m surprised at how green everything is here.
Sunday we got to go to church. It’s a school during the week and they use it for church on Sunday. They had a nice little service. The singing is so pretty. Under the title of the song it says which song it is in English but the tune never lined up. But the Swahili tunes were catchy and pretty and the words easy to say even tho we had no idea what we were saying. Wade told a Bible Story with big pictures and Jason had some thoughts n verses. In the afternoon we went down to a beach of white sand along the lake. The girls played in the water and we played bean bag toss on the sand. The ride home was great in the back of the truck. The sweet smell of eucalyptus or pine or Africans or cows wafting over us now n then. We met a herd of long horn cows with a bunch of goats running behind. Such a typical thing to see.
Monday we left early to go see some of the projects they’ve done farther away. First we stopped to see wades friend Stanley and his cute wife. Their kids were in school but it was neat to chat with them. Sit in their house and look at their farm. Everyone seems to have some banana plants, some rabbits, a goat or two and a cow. Wade says they don’t suffer from hunger but bad water is a problem. We drive a long ways out into the country to a village up in the hills where they finished a well not long ago. It is so remote that wade said when they first went out there those kids had never seen white people and were so terrified. This well is at a school again and is just waiting for the electrical company to get enough electricity there to run the pump. We peeked in the classroom at the kids and they all grinned back at us with their shiny black faces and white white teeth. The roads out there were so amazing. Through village after village of poor little dirt huts. Yards swept clean. Beautiful canas blooming in front of the poorest little hut. Little kids standing at the side of the road and waving as we went past. I loved it. Ella has fun calling out the greetings too. We stopped at several different well or hand pump locations. It’s amazing how much work they’ve done here and what a worthy work it is! We got home around 5. In time to shower and pack. Went out for supper. Wade n Ella and me got on a piki piki to go to the ferry. The rest drove. We said our goodbyes and got on the ferry! Found our small little room with 2 bunks and went out to the deck to wave goodbye. Won’t be long and we will see wade on the other side of the water.
Other stuff of this land… the ladies all dress so beautiful in their colorful wraps and dresses. I loved how they carry their babies in wraps. Teeny tiny babies all the way up to big kids. The groups of kids walking home from school in their uniforms was adorable. It seems like I saw the picture a hundred times of a small boy holding the hand of a smaller sister walking home from school in their matching uniforms. Red dusty or muddy road. Lush plants threatening to overgrow the path, which they would if it wasn’t for the many feet that walk these paths every day. Ella says ‘when I get big I want to grow into an African lady’. 🙂 One morning wade and me and Ella went to get chai from the center – just down the road it’s just kind of a central area for the village with some little stores – we sat there visiting (lol) with wades friends and sipping hot chai. We got chupati (sp?) some kind of flour tortilla type thing that made good breakfast burritos. Kind of tougher than regular tortillas and only good fresh.
Ali does an insane job of feeding these boys. Just like all countries the grocery thing is a bit of a problem but she has figured out a way to keep the appetites filled and also make snacks. Breakfast, sometimes lunch and supper. Phew. It’s mind boggling. Tim manages to keep the guys working. Coordinating all the different projects and jobs and dealing with all the situations the need attention. Their big African borble (sp?)dog killed a neighbor dog that had strayed into their yard the day we got there. Apparently dogs are precious even tho they look pretty nasty because it caused a curuffle !! The wash lady washes all the clothes and cleans the floors and does other misc stuff. So handy. Wade n Austin are very good dishwashers;) Ella and alaina and lily had great fun playing together. Of course there was squabbles but for the most part they had a party together!
We are well into the next part of our adventure but I’ll write about it later.