Sunday, May 20, 2013
Dear Friends and Family: Wow, it’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the halfway point in our adventure! Time is flying, yet we still have plenty of wonderful interactions and relationship building ahead. Today was supposed to be our “easy” day, however, as is often the case with human plans, it didn’t turn out that way. On the plus side however, Kelsey is feeling better and is back with the team!
We all went to various churches which started at 9:30 am, and the last of us arrived back around 4:30 p.m. John returned to the office first about 2:00, Dave and Karen arrived back around 3 p.m., Kelsey and Elizabeth arrived around 3:30 p.m., and Michelle showed up around 4:30 p.m. The services were all wonderful and we were fed marvelous meals during our visits. Some of us participated in auctions for produce. Dave and Karen actually bought a chair in the auction at Ikamiro for the Muko office. Dave’s sermon went great at the Ikamiro Church in spite of the fact that he was a little taken aback by ascending a high pulpit about ten feet above the congregation. Kelsey and Elizabeth spoke briefly, greeting the church on behalf of the our congregations back in the United States.
A highlight for the Vieles was a visit on the way back down the mountain at Josiah’s and Phoebe’s. They have the most beautiful house we’ve seen in Uganda so far. They have a setting on the mountain with a fabulous view. You walk up a stony path to a beautiful living fence that makes you believe you are walking through a tunnel of greenery. Then you come to a gate and see a house with gardens all around and flowers planted across the front. They had the honor of praying together in the house before leaving.
After a delay at the office, Dave presented the villagers with a surprise. Having been cheated by the first engineer who worked on the remodeling of the office, a donation was given to repay them for the amount they had each lost. This seemed to be a great way of improving public relations and they were very happy.
We also learned, upon returning to the office, that we would be giving out the pillowcase dresses. One hundred fifty girls had assembled in front of the office which was good because we had exactly that amount of dresses. (Forty nine dresses had been mailed since we were unable to pack them all in our luggage) Josiah asked Karen to choose randomly which girls would be fitted- this job assigned since she would be the one going home! She would go out and choose ten girls. Then Dave or Michelle would walk them back to the Music room (Notice we named the back room). One person had to guard the door to prevent girls from sneaking in and pretending they had been chosen. John and Kelsey helped volunteers to fit the dresses while Francis lined the girls up for photos while Elizabeth took the shots. All in all, it went better than last year, especially because of having the office and being able to take the girls in more privately. As we worked on the dress distribution, the numbers of girls swelled. We estimated that 200 girls were not fitted. Note to our dress makers: We could use more longs- 85-90 cm and shorts 40-50 cm.
After all of this, Dave, John, and Michelle went up to Father Fred’s church and school property due to a request and opportunity for Father Fred to offer thanks for all of the help and support received there. They were treated to a tour of all the facilities and Father Fred asked one member of the team to speak encouraging words to the classrooms of students who were doing remedial studies.
Karen, Kelsey and Elizabeth did a violin class for the advanced students. There were two new students so a second class was offered- delaying the departure of the team somewhat. We loaded the van including the back with volunteers and orphans to return to places on the road closer to their homes. We took Francis Kaana all the way to St. Mary’s which was a great experience to see the marvelous facilities there as well as the large church.
We arrived back at the hotel after dark, having worked Christopher overtime. After a late dinner, with nearly everyone ordering hamburgers and fries, Ugandan style, and much reminiscing about our girls’ longing for Dominoes, Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc. we did another devotion together with John, then headed upstairs for a much-needed good night’s sleep…..