Thursday, 2 July 2009

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

The following post was written early Tuesday afternoon. We have retained its temporal reference frame.

Right now Jeff and I are waiting for Tommy to come to our guest house. Our lawyer and our facilitator are on their way as I write. I am so excited and a little nervous about whether or not we are going to totally freak him out. It has to have been a traumatic couple of days for the little guy. Being taken from the only home you have every known to a big city, cared for by an adoption facilitator, meeting new people, etc. He must be pretty overwhelmed.

I think we are ready for him. Last night we set up our room as best we could. Got out clothes, washed his cups and dishes, and arranged his books and toys. We enjoyed a slow and restful morning. It is really beautiful here, and the green hills, red roofs, blue sky, and temperate climate make us feel right at home.

This morning we went and got food and water so we wouldn't have any more errands to run. First we went to Barclays, the bank, to exchange our money into Ugandan shillings. It was very confusing to us to deal with the money, but we got it sorted out eventually. We also bought petrol for a ridiculously high price. We paid over $50 for only 46 liters. We are the only people using the car this week, so it made sense for us to fill it up so we don’t have to stop for fuel every day. We went to two outdoor markets and the Super Supermarket. At the first market we got avocados, bananas, onions, peppers, carrots, green beans, greens, passion fruit, potatoes, cooking oil, and a phone card. We loaded up on cheese, milk, yogurt, cereal, sauces, meats, bread, and detergent at the Super Supermarket, and then went to another market for Chapati (like a thick tortilla) and some beans. Our driver Eddie and our guide David helped us negotiate and taught us what fair prices were. I'm sure we still paid extra, but it was all very cheap (for example, I got three huge avocados for 1,000 shillings, or 50 cents), at least at the outdoor markets. The American things, like Cherrios, at the Super Supermarket were very expensive. We tried not to buy too many of those things, but we just can’t imagine life without cheese. We are imagining life without ice cream however, since it is eleven dollars a tub!
The outdoor markets are really interesting. People say funny things to you (Hello Mzu), and ask you to talk to them, tell you that you should buy from them. We spread out our shopping among a few different stalls, so we talked to many different people. The markets are set up with a few shops in front inside a building with open-air storefronts that close up like a garage door, and in the back you find open air stalls. Everything is on red dirt, quite rutted, and there are various drainage ditches, often uncovered or partially covered with wood that you have to carefully avoid as you walk. The ground is hilly and uneven. We experienced some rain at the first market. It comes down quickly and hard, so we got very splattered with the red mud. There are live animals at the market, and freshly slaughtered meat, and whole dried fishes. It costs $4.00 to buy a live chicken, but we didn't because I do not want to kill and pluck it when I can buy it clean and in fillets at the Super Supermarket.

After we finished at the markets we came back to the guest house and I made an interesting Mexican-Ugandan lunch. I made quesadillas using Chapatis, and put sautéed onions and peppers inside. I made guacamole with the avocado and garlic, and we had purchased green chili sauce from the market. We ate with Eddie, David, Alfred (the man who is the caretaker of the guest house) and Amos (who does the accounting and administrative work for the organization). Everyone seemed to enjoy the strange food that I made, and Alfred even asked me to show him how I did it! I take this as a high compliment because he is supposed to be a very good cook, and he will be showing me how to make some Ugandan dishes.

After lunch we called our facilitator because we weren't sure if we were supposed to be doing something for the adoption or not. She told me she would call Isaac and let us know. Then we received a message that they were going to bring Tommy over soon. A while ago we heard a car at the gate, but it was only Patrick, although he brought news that Isaac texted him that they were on their way. A few minutes ago the phone rang and we heard Patrick give Isaac directions, but we are still waiting, as patiently as possible...


Jim, Guacamole Diet said...

"I made an interesting Mexican-Ugandan lunch."

It sounds tasty, especially the guacamole.

Michelle said...

This has all been so exciting!! I am always checking the blog for new posts! Will you be able to post pictures at all?

Gretchen said...

I love hearing about your experience! It sounds like you are fitting right in and making the most of this special adventure. Can't wait to continue reading. =0)

Heather said...

Your adventures are facinating. I am looking forward to seeing pictures of some of these things.

jena said...

Alfred is a very good cook! Ask David how his cooking skills are going. Alfred was teaching him while we were there.

You are in such good hands with Patrick and his staff. We love them so! They were such a blessing to us!

Amy Jo said...

Sounds so interesting and fun! I'm on pins and needles waiting for your next post!