It seems like a fairly typical end to a fairly typical week of missions in Uganda. We are sitting in the dark because the electricity is off. We are in an unseasonable rainy season, or at least a late one – as soon as we arrived, it started raining. The infrastructure in the towns here is “challenged” almost everywhere we go, so rain always turns off the lights. Unfortunately, this also limits our ability to communicate because no power equals no recharging our devices equals limited computer usage equals, etc. etc. It’s a cascade of electronic consequences. We arrived back in Bugembe today and there has been no power all day, so we’re now sitting in the dark, and I’m typing on limited battery power. It’s raining right now, so prospects of charging up for tomorrow seem dim, literally, but the lights could come on at any moment, or not.

We have been in a hotel all week in one place, then driving daily 2 hours to the village where we were teaching, all the way up on the edge of the second big lake in Uganda, Lake Kyoga, and then, finishing around 5:30, we drove 2 hours back. The road is unpaved, rutted badly and when it has rained, quite muddy. It felt much like the road was growing longer each day, and I joked with the pastor that his local government people were out stretching the road longer each night. We arrived back most nights to spotty electricity with the whole town in darkness, usually because of rain. The hotel had a big generator, so they would run that, and then each night the electricity would come back on about 8:30, then off, then on, and so on.

After four hours of riding up and down that difficult road each day, we were exhausted, but we didn’t know how much. Last night, the last day of the conference, we entered our room about 8:30, set our bags down, sat down on the bed for “just a moment” and both woke up at midnight. We brushed our teeth, drank some water, changed, and went back to bed. This morning we had slept nine hours total, which surprised even us.

This seems like the longest road in the world to us, but I’m sure it’s the early 2 hours and the late 2 hours each day that make it seem so.

The meeting was good as I taught Hermeneutics (How to Interpret the Bible), and the pastors in the meeting were enthusiastic about it. We received two new requests to bring the Institute to new areas we have not yet been to, so we have added them to the pile of requests. This Institute started with a bang when two pastors met and testified that the younger one (about 60) had led the older one (71) to Christ over thirty years ago and then discipled him up into the ministry. They hadn’t seen each other in 30 years.

In this distant place they seem to see few musungus because the young children were fascinated by us. The bolder ones continuously grabbed our hands, rubbed our skin to see if the makeup would come off and reveal the proper color. They trailed us everywhere crying out, “Musungu,” “Musungu,” which of course, if you’re just tuning in here, means “white person” in Swahili. The more timid children would join the flock but were more wary of this strange sight – if we turned suddenly or gave them any attention whatsoever, even just looking directly at them, they would run away in terror. Usually in Uganda, the children are very pleased to get our empty water bottles when we’re done with them. However, here I would go through four or five children before one would take the bottle I was offering – the rest would run away as if I were holding a snake.

These urchins are everywhere in this village, especially with the school you see in the background actually attached to the church building.

It was a good week. We are taking a Sabbath tomorrow and letting Alfred spend the day with his new baby boy. We hope the lights come on sometime, so we can catch up on the world and the family.

WHOA! The lights just came on…quick, plug everything in….not kidding…gotta go…