Sunday, 9 May 2010

Mother's Day

We had a fantastic day.

First, Jeff gave me an awesome gift: sleep. He woke up in the night when Tommy wet the bed (remember the cold-turkey potty training...guess which part is not working at all?), he was up early in the morning to take care of him again, and to make me a great breakfast. I got to sleep in until eight, then stay in bed for a delicious meal. Also, Jeff taught Tommy how to say "Happy Mother's Day." So adorable.

After church we had planned to meet up with some friends (Kathryn, Marty and Deken) of ours who have also adopted from Uganda and go to a Cookout sponsored by a Ugandan organization here. Now, I am going to describe a serious of antics that resulted from cultural differences. I love Uganda. I love America. Our cultures are different. The following statements are simply observations, not judgments.

I received an email for the cookout, reminding everyone that it started at two, and asking people to be on time. So, of course, we arrived at our friend home in time to carpool over and arrive shortly after two. After all, we didn't want to be the very first ones there (ok, everyone who has been to Uganda feel free to start laughing at me now). Now, the directions to the park seemed clear to me, but when I told Kathryn what they were she informed me that what seemed straightforward "the park entrance on Higgins" was actually not clear at all because there are six entrances on Higgins (in defense of the organizers, after coming home and checking my email, I realize that they did specify an entrance in a different part of the email that I hadn't read as carefully- this was my fault). So, we drove to one of the entrances, and actually pulled into the correct one, but, we didn't know it was the right one, and we did not see any group of Ugandans having a cookout. So, I called one of the phone numbers listed in the email, and was given directions to an entrance in the exact opposite direction. So we drove there. Then, we got a call back saying the directions we had just been given were wrong, and to go to the next entrance over. No one was there either. So we called again, and were given directions to yet another entrance. Wrong again. I was pretty frustrated because the entrances were actually numbered, and all I wanted was the number, so we could find it. But, no one knew the number. We called all the phones again and no one answered, so we decided to drive through every single picnic area looking for the Ugandans. Now, looking for Ugandans in a crowded park is a bit awkward. You can't just drive up to every party that happens to have a few people who might be Ugandans and ask "are you the Ugandans?" You just can't. Finally, we ended up checking the first (correct) entrance again, saw no one, and then went to the only entrance we hadn't checked. From there, Kathryn called the list of numbers and managed to connect with someone on the last try. They instructed us back to that first entrance- and told us they would stand in the middle of the road so we could find them. So, we went back, and we did find them- after one hour of driving in circles. The reason that we did not see them on either of our first two times driving through was that there were three people there. Three people. Sitting on the edge of the parking lot.

When we got out they explained that of course no one was there yet. The party started at two, but probably most people would be there by seven. SEVEN. For a two o'clock party. Africa time! The good news was we got to meet the social committee, and we learned a valuable lesson for our future. We had a good time meeting the people who were there, and everyone was so welcoming and they assured us that they will have many events this summer for us to attend. We will be sure to arrive late (and will probably still be early).

We had to leave the cookout "early" because we went to Kathryn's Grandma's for a Mother's Day dinner. The food was so good. I stuffed myself on the world's best baked beans and meatball sandwiches. Tommy had a blast playing with Deken and Deken's Poppa, and learning how to hit a baseball off of a tee. He is looking like a lefty. It is his throwing arm of choice, anyhow, and has been for some time. That would be fun, because my Dad (who Tommy is named after) is also a lefty. Tommy may or may not have run around the party yelling "Deken's bum, Deken's bum," while attempting to show us exactly what he referred to by pulling up the back of Deken's shirt and pointing. Slightly embarrassing. I think it somewhat horrified Deken's great-grandmother. Oh well, making mischief is what toddlers do best, right?

Here are the best pictures I got with my son on Mother's Day. He didn't get much of a nap, and he was really hungry when I decided to attempt the photo session. Not such great planning on my part.

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