Wednesday evening was a mild time to arrive in Entebbe, Uganda for the children. The days are full of smoke, as well as being hot and sultry, which can take a bit to get use to, especially coming from cool, crisp Colorado, but the evening air here is fairly clear and cool and the roads free of the crammed daytime traffic, so there was no discomfort in the transition. “Momma, it feels like home somehow,” Gabriel shared softly as we were lugging luggage through the passage with a searching look on his face. My eyes filled with tears as I looked at the people’s faces and heard them speak. Oh, how I have missed these people. Customs and airport officials was cheered by our knowing their local dialect and it went much smoother this time. Gretchen, our Border Collie, made it through easily also. We rehearsed one of the Buganda greetings with the boys several times, so they too could speak to the people at the airport in Luganda. “Oli otia, Sebo” Gabriel enthusiastically poured forth to a young man. Laughter boomed in the air. “Where did you learn this? Are you from here?” he questioned in Queen’s English. “I was raised here, but have been away many years.” Gabriel responded. After the hour journey to Matoke Inn, Gabriel tried it again not so smoothly. I repeated it a few times and he was successful. YAY Gabriel! The man laughed and responded. We must be willing to be laughed at continually if we are going to learn the language. The Ugandans laugh for many reasons. It is not to make fun, but rather because they so enjoy hearing internationals (mazungu) speak their language. People from any area of the world feel cheered and honored when you take the time to speak to them in their own tongue.
Matoke Inn is the AIM guest house we initially stayed for two months on our first move to Uganda and we couldn’t come through this time without stopping to spend some time with old friends. The girls ran free and made lasting friends with all the staff, helping in the kitchen, bedroom and the garden. Now Josiah has met their friends, making steadfast friends ever so quickly, while Anais and Gabriel are getting reacquainted. The boys have decided this is the place we need to call home. They joined in Gabby’s birthday celebration this morning, helped make orange cake with Baifa in the kitchen, so wanted to help Barbara clean the water up in the hallway, taught Phoenix how to make origami animals, and followed Godfrey around in the garden. The monkey on the roof this afternoon was just icing on the cake for them. Their ability to adjust and jump right in encourages us so much.
We have so many emotions presently. It feels surreal to have finally arrived back home after such a stay away. David and I took a trip to town on the back of a pici-pici to exchange money and gather some supplies, getting the opportunity to practice Luganda and listen to the people’s thoughts on Lira. Very interesting thoughts. Great first day!