My first day out in the field was on the school team. The plan was to visit 3 different schools throughout the day with the local schools ministry team. It’s completely different from the U.S. People are welcome to come visit the schools, meet kids, and teach. They don’t have the bureaucracy we see here.
We visited the first two schools and had a great time. Mark and I taught the older kids while Carrie and Alyssa took 1st-3rd grades. You can see one of their school buildings in the background.
At the second school they blessed us sissy white folk by meeting under a large mango tree. This school had 560 students present that day out of 800. There are about 8 teachers all together…so think about that student/teacher ratio.
After these visits we took a quick timeout for lunch at a restaurant somewhere in the middle of Uganda. I have no idea where we were at this point. Being the guests with delicate stomachs, we cannot eat with the Ugandans at a restaurant, so we enjoyed a nice lukewarm bottle of pop and taunted lizards. After their meal of millet and chicken, we headed out for the final school visit.
When you find yourself travelling down roads like this….I think it’s safe to say you’re lost.
Lost we were…or at least there was a lot of controversy in the van about which way to go. We bounced all over the back seat, hitting our heads and laughing at the situation as they took one random turn after another down “roads” that we would call “trails” in America.
But being humble men, they asked a teen boy for directions. Rather than have him tell us, they just loaded him up in the van and took him along.
In the van: 14 people, 2 speakers, a generator and a keyboard
We came across a large mud puddle that looked like a fun obstacle for those off road Jeeps….but not for a loaded down Toyota van with no power. But our incredibly optimistic driver went for it. And 4 feet later we were stuck.
As the guys worked, they made us ladies wait in the van. Lots of people gathered and I kinda felt like I was an animal at the zoo. They thought 3 white girls stuck in a van was incredibly interesting. It was all in really good fun though, just made the experience that more interesting.
Lots of Moms in Uganda wanted us to hold their babies just for a story to tell. A Muzungu (white person) is pretty rare, so to tell your child that one held them once is a pretty random thing in their personal history. Out of the blue, a lady handed me her baby through the window of the van.
Poor girl doesn’t know what’s happening.
After another hour of digging, and the sun about to set. We were no closer to getting free from this mess than we were in the beginning. So we began to hike and try to meet up with the rest of our group.
Unfortunately Alyssa, one of our team members, wasn’t so lucky. I wish I had a picture of her magnificent sprawl in the mud.
We only walked for a mile and found our team waiting for us in the other vans. A hot shower felt wonderful that night.
And the other van did make it out of the mud pit. But only through the magical talents of Abu; our most aggressive driver.
It was one of the most random adventures I’ve ever had and not one I’ll soon forget!