Friday, July 29, 2011

Be careful what you wish for

In my life, I take very few risks.... all with the heading of "I'll get hurt if I do that". The problem with that is, is that I still enjoy adventures... experiencing new things, making new memories and inside jokes. Well, yesterday (wow, I can't believe it was just yesterday) Ryan, Kyle, and I set out at 4am to embark on a short adventure of taking Kyle to a game park for a safari. Little did we know just how much of an adventure it was going to be.

Normally, I'm meticulous in my planning - color coded schedules, check-lists, etc... but this time, I decided to just be more or less go with the flow. I had called a few days ago to try and find a place for us to stay and found that because it is peak season everything is booked, so we decided to bring a tent and camp. Well, we made excellent time getting to the game park and after a couple of tense moments with the baboons on the road we reached our campground only to find the booking had never been properly communicated. But they still had a place for us to set up our tent so we decided to tackle that endeavor... only there was one little problem: as we unpacked the tent we found that one key thing was missing - the poles. Being the avid camper that I am (not!), I didn't think to really unpack it and see how it all worked before-hand. So needless to say we were battling panic, frustration, and laughter over this. Ryan used his experience with tents and just being a handy guy to have around, got the one piece of string out of his car and had Kyle get vines and they made it where it turned out to be a glorified mosquito net, but it worked and looked fine to sleep in. (it's ok to laugh, i still do when I see the picture).

Well after that fun thing, we call to see if we could get some seats on the big boat that gives you a tour all the way to the water fall, but yet again, because it is peak season, they were totally booked - unless we wanted to spend $140 and rent a little private boat to do so. So that was a bummer, but when we finally ended up going back to the campsite we got some good news, two more "legit" tents opened up and we could take them if we wanted - God is seriously so good! Of course, my excitement for this was only heightened by the fact that when I was by our old tent, a rather large baboon came out of the bush and walked about 2 inches away from our tent.

With the tent situation settled, it was time for the game drive. It was awesome! We were able to see so many giraffes, elephants from a distance, and even two young male lions. All of which while the sun was beginning to set. It was really cool, and our guide was not half bad either. So that in and of itself made the trip a success.

After having dinner and all wanting to pass out. We went to our tents, and then as I was about to fall asleep, Kyle sees a snake in our tent. It was about 10ish inches long and purple. I call out to Ryan (who is in the other tent) "Ryan, what type of snake is purple?", his response, "Oh, Egyptian Cobras". I proceded to maybe possibly freak out a little bit. Kyle got the nerve to use his shoe to smash it and it didn't work, so he ended up pinning it and cutting off his head (I was going to post pictures, but decided to keep this post PG.

We made it through the night, checked out the falls, and then began our trek back to Jinja (we were pretty ready to be done with the place by then). Then we were heading home and passed a sign "Misindi Council Wishes You a Safe Journey" - we thought, "that's funny, that sign is double sided and seems to be positioned backwards". We should have listened to that caution, because before we knew it we had gone the wrong way for about 20 minutes. Going back the right way, we hit the town, had some breakfast, and then again began going back home. That's when the back right tire decided to blow (oh, and it was raining and cold). So we (well more Ryan with the help of Kyle - I was there to gather rocks to put behind the tires), fixed the tire and finally made it back to Jinja.

When you total it all up, it was about 20 hours that we were in the car. We made it through countless songs on the iPod, and laughed a lot. We definitely had ourselves an adventure that's for sure... and once again let me just say "Be careful what you wish for".

A taste of home

Well, just over a week ago, I got a very awesome "care package" from home. It was my 18 year old brother, Kyle. For so long I've been wanting him, or just someone from home to come and see my new home and the life I have here and the people who have become my second family. He's had a whirlwind of a time so far, meeting more people than he can keep track of, going to my school ministry, tagging along with the prison ministry, and just getting into the flow of life here. We can look forward to two more weeks of him getting to know the people even more and see the ministry and the country in some very real ways. He's even had to deal with the death of a baby who was from an orphanage where the owners, volunteers, and kids are a very large part of our church body. He's gotten to see the beauty of this amazing country as well as witness the personal struggles those of us on the field deal with. It will be interesting to see what all God shows him and uses him for over the rest of this visit. It's definitely too cool getting to have someone I love so much experience what has become my life.


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