Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Africa, Part 1

I can't seem to get back into the normal swing of things since our return from Africa over a month ago. I'm still working to catch the big kids up on their tutorial makeup work and the extra toys, hats, boots, coats, towels and food that are swirling around this house at an alarming rate are keeping me pretty busy, not to mention the five children. : ) I have a little snuggler with our new 2 year old. His favorite place in the world is in my arms with his hand securely on the bare skin above my collar. I am happy to snuggle him, most of the time, but I'm also happy to see him get down and run off to play.
I'm eager to share stories of Africa and pictures and all that we learned about the adoption process, but I'm afraid these posts will have to come in small installments.
There's no other way to do it, but to start at the beginning.
We arrived in Africa at the beginning of November, fresh, excited and SO very happy to be united with our boys! The beauty and simplicity of the place were the first things that we realized as soon as we had cried and hugged and snuggled and given gifts to and rejoiced with our boys for the first time.
The above view is what we saw just out the front door of the guest house where we stayed. The water in the distance is Lake Victoria.
(back to the present: the older of our two new boys is hearing me type for the first time. It sounds like a drum beat to him, so he's added a little tune and he's dancing as fast as he can in the family room floor as I type.)
The house below is our guest house. The front door is open.
At the bottom of those steps was a good sized patio where all the children staying in the guest house could play. When we arrived, there was only one other family there who had also brought three children with them to Uganda. They adopted three from Uganda, so at the beginning there were 11 kids there. By the time we left, that family had gone home, but 6 other families had arrived to start their process. Our last week there, there were 15 kids sharing the common room and the patio every day.
If you swiveled slightly to the right after coming down those steps and looked out over the patio, this is the view you would see. A huge ant hill, and just beyond your view a pig tied up near another huge ant hill.  Behind you in the yard there would probably be clothes swinging in the wind to dry, possibly a few cows crossing the yard and maybe a few monkeys swinging from the trees on the other side of the yard.
Beside the house, there was the small house for the cook, his wife and the house cleaner. They are beautiful people who became our friends and their support and encouragement were essential for our survival there! 
The tower you see here is the water supply for the guest house. We were there during a particularly dry rainy season, so the tank did not often fill from rain water. When it was low, a water truck would come and fill it.
The cook's wife and daughter. 
Here are some pics from the room that we shared with our five kiddos. The mosquito nets are pulled and ready for the kids to hop in for bed.

We were blessed with one of the larger rooms at the guest house (the basement room). One of the perks was a small kitchen area with a sink and cabinets. I promise it was not always as messy as the pic below!
And here's our bathroom. We spent a lot of time here our first weeks in Uganda. Our malnourished boys were eating themselves silly and sick and our other three were getting used to the water and food. 
So there's a tiny taste of what we met when we arrived in Uganda. More on emotions and the first weeks there in my next post.


  1. I love all the pictures of your everyday views. I often forget to take pictures of places that become common in the moment, but special in retrospect.

  2. I love these updates! Keep 'em comin'!