Thursday, June 17, 2010

All Around Update

Forgive me for allowing there to be weeks between posts. So for the people that actually read this, (probably Mom, Dad, Adria) I will work on posting more often. It has been so busy here, it has been hard to find time to sit and write. It has been hard to find time to even sit. And when that desperately sought after time is finally found, I sleep. Sleep has become a luxury. If I do sleep, about the time I fall deep into a slumber, either a barking dog, a crowing rooster, or a playing child wakes me up. Things are beginning to settle though, and routines are becoming habits. Schedules have begun to calm the crazy life we have lived over the past month. We have also got a group that is here from our church that is helping. Thanks Catherine, Carrie, Tori, and Mason.

A few days ago, I drove... a car... at night. It was ok, but a few moments made me a little uneasy since they drive on the opposite side of the road on the opposite side of the car. 

We found a bowling alley! You can bowl here for three dollars. Not too bad for a little American break from the world for a while. Except, unfortunately you don't get awesome bowling shoes like we do back home. You bowl barefoot. 

Jay and I, for sake of reputation, swore each other to secrecy of this next short story, but I thought it was too funny not to tell. If you can visualize it you will know why. Not long ago it was late at night and we needed to get a boda ride (motorcycle taxi) home. It was Jay, David, and myself. The boda bodas have 2 seats. One for the driver and one for the rider. Sometimes you can squeeze two riders. We could only find one boda. So... Jay, David, and I ... and the boda driver, all got on the same one and road home together. 

A few nights ago we were watching a movie on our 13" TV we have in the apartment. A roach the size of Kansas flew into the screen and landed right where Mason and I were sitting. I don't know where it came from, but there are some ridiculously huge roaches here. The girls ran up stairs and Mason let our a girlish shriek as he jumped on the chair! 

Many things have happened with the children. I will try to sum it up as much as possible.
Last Saturday we went to the Botanical Gardens to feed monkeys. It was Vivian and Carrie’s birthday, so we wanted to do something special. Once we arrived, we all did our best imitation of monkey calls, but obviously they were not very accurate because no monkeys came running. I’m not even sure what kind of sound a monkey really makes. We waved bananas in the air hoping to catch ones attention. Even with the enticing treats, still nothing. Even though we didn’t see monkeys, we got to eat all the bananas ourselves and play in a field next to lake Victoria for hours. It is also an awesome place to hike in the jungle. It was a wonderful day away from the home.

If you were to walk inside the compound walls of the orphanage, every morning you will find bed sheets hanging out on cloth lines stringing across the yard. Occasionally a mattress is drying by the side of the house in the African sun. This is all because of the children’s bladder issues, which results in constant bed-wetting. All of them don’t do it, but the ones that do, do it consistently. I mean every night type of consistency. Ronald, a seven-year-old boy never seemed to have a problem. The boy in the bed next to him though, Michael, wet his bed every night and claimed he didn’t do it. After a while of not understanding what was truly going on, we found that in actuality, Ronald, after wetting his bed every night would take off his sheets and switch them with Michael’s dry sheets. I couldn’t even get mad because of laughing and being amazed by what a great idea that was. Today Fatuma was crying and Jay and I rushed to the room to see what was the problem. Aggie told us, “She is crying because she just accidentally wet the floor because she couldn’t make it in time to the bathroom.” Jay looked down and realized he was standing in the same puddle. This was another moment that I laughed a little harder than Jay.

This past week all 17 children were taken to the doctor’s clinic to get basic check ups and tests. Thankfully we had great help with the group that is here. We taxied back and forth between the clinic taking 5 at a time. One by one each child got tested for HIV, Typhoid, and Malaria. One by one the tests returned. I had a fear that because of the background of these children and statistics, that at least one would return with a positive test. I held me breath while I received the news and exhaled a sigh of relief when we found that ALL 17 are HIV, Typhoid, and Malaria NEGATIVE! Wow. Praise God!
Overall the kids are wonderful. They are healthy, picking up English quick, and really enjoying just being able to be kids.
The other day, we looked through pictures from about two months ago. You would be amazed how much they have already changed. You can’t see their bones through their skin anymore. Their smiles have gone from gloomy and forced to brighter than the sun. Their lives have literally physically and emotionally transformed. All glory and praise to God!


  1. Alan, I love your posts! Especially picturing you three men riding back on a motorcycle! Not even sure how that worked.

    Things sound amazing there and I'm so glad to hear the kids are healthy!! I hope you are hanging in there too, get some sleep!! :)


  2. Hey Allen!
    I read your posts and love them! Keeping all of you and the kids in my prayers-say hi to everyone for me-
    God Bless-
    Kathy Bro and Kelly "Bro" Johnson