Thursday, August 2, 2012

I just *can't* do it all

Life has been busy.  With Marshall gone I'm playing the role of Mama and Daddy, while doing an awful job at nearly everything.  When things get busy, the first thing to go is the blog.  Unfortunately I just don't have the time to sit and write (even though I want to!), or upload photos with explanations.  Often I just grab the iphone and snap a pic, and upload it to facebook immediately, which saves me tons of time and still lets people know that we are still alive.

I have quite a lot of good photos on my camera that I want to share, but it will take a while.  So- I'm just going to start with what happened most recently, which was my trip to Uganda!  Now, most people's reaction to finding out I was going to Uganda was "Why?".  And the simplest answer is that Marshall is there.  But a more involved answer, which would make a lot more sense, has to do with the project that Marshall started after he arrived, collecting school supplies and sports equipment (and later clothes and toiletries) for a school and orphanage there.  I began to collect quite a lot here in Germany also.  Since I have always wanted to travel to Africa (really I want to travel anywhere!), we hoped it would work out that I could go down for a visit, and bring a huge shipment of stuff with me.  The stars aligned, we had some great friends offer to watch the kids, the airfare was reasonable, his command was understanding, I got SIX vaccinations, and it all worked out!

I won't post every single photo, and there are many that I didn't take simply because I felt that it would be intruding to whip out my camera and snap pictures of people's homes or children.  Other times I was busy just soaking up the experience, and later wished I had taken pictures, but then my experience would have been different.  I also will not post pictures of Marshall's hotel, because he is still living there, and this is a public blog.  But I hope you can see through the photos that I do post that Africa is a beautiful place.  The people there are just like you and me, trying to make a life for themselves and their children.  While there is crime and poverty, there is also love and generosity.  I encourage anyone reading this to take any chance you might get to go to Africa, and you will return a changed person.

This is how Marshall rolls.  He has a driver (who sometimes scared me with his driving!), who is very nice.  They drive on the left side of the road, and on EVERY road there are people walking along the sides.  There are also motorbikes called "bodabodas" darting around, with 3 or 4 people on them.  One of the flags on the dashboard is the Ugandan flag.  The bird in the middle is called a Crested Crane.

 Oh hey UPS truck.  I guess you really do deliver everywhere.

 This is the wall that surrounds the school where Marshall has been playing with the children, and is now collecting school supplies and sports equipment for them.  It's a little disconcerting at first, but nearly everywhere has a wall around it, and a guarded gate.

 This children were resting when we arrived, and most had already left for the day.

The school van.

They got the kids up from rest to come in and see us.  They aren't wearing their uniforms anymore because the school day is over.  We gave out some of the snacks we brought, and they were so excited!  They probably didn't go back to sleep after we left!

 We came back the next day to play in the morning when the kids were all there, during their normal recess times.  While I did learn quite a few children's names, I'm not going to put them here for their privacy.  Again, I don't know everyone who reads this blog- better safe than sorry.  Behind these kids you can see the gate you have to come through to get to school.

 Razor wire around the walls.  They are getting ready for a tire race (they LOVE this game!)

 There they go!  Up the hill, and then back down.  One girl is playing with one of the new jump ropes.

They painted their playground bright colors, which makes it makes it look much happier.

All the children loved to see their own photo.  They always wanted to see it immediately after I took it, and then they would laugh SO HARD!


This metal merry-go-round was pretty cool.  The kids took turns running around the edge and pushing each other.

They were as curious about me as I was of them!
After this we brought out some frisbees, only to discover that they did not know what to do with a frisbee!  After a few demonstrations it went a little better, but mostly ended with 10 kids all tugging on the frisbee.  Oh well, that's still exercise I guess!

Tomorrow I'll upload some pictures from our trip to the orphanage.


Aunt Kathy said...

Mary I'm so proud of your adventurous spirit! We miss your blogging but fully understand why you don't have time. Those kids are so darn cute, I know they loved having you visit. Love you, can't want for more pics!

suzanne said...

So glad to hear about your travels - the pictures are wonderful. When you are old (like me), you will be so glad that you have this blog to read and remember about all of the great times you are having. Continue on. . .
Suzanne Waldrop
(Danielle's mom)