I’ve already forgotten exactly when it was that I met up with Eddie and Emilie. But it was a blessing and kind of weird all at once. We met at a Chinese restaurant in Uganda. Praise God for the journey they have just begun. I’m excited to hear how the Lord uses them. When we spoke they were still pretty fresh here and I assume by now they are getting the hang of things. Maybe I will end up longer term here some day and we can have some Lang family get-togethers in Uganda. (For those of you who don’t know Eddie and Emilie, they are my cousins who are here starting their own adventure.)
This last week has been crazy. On Tuesday night Tyler and I went to Kampala to do some shopping and to visit the African Children’s Choir on Wednesday morning. I was also treated to Mexican comida (food). The food was not so hot, mostly because not enough time has passed since I have eaten great Mexican food (i.e. the new Mexican restaurant in Jamestown, ND). While we were shopping we picked up a bunch of random stuff for Tyler and, most importantly, we got a power miter saw and circular saw for me. This will speed up construction immensely.
Speaking of construction we have been working on building three dog houses this last week. It turns out that most wood here isn’t dried. This means that after you put a structure together with flush seams the boards shrink from 5.5 inches to 5 inches making some monster gaps. This is a good lesson to learn prior to building the playground. We also hired a foreman this last week to help me with pricing and local practices that I may not be aware of. His name is Sam and so far he is great. He is the resource that has been missing. I’m planning to finish up all the design this week and get some materials ordered and hopefully start work the second half of the week.
One difficulty I’ve been dealing with is productivity. Tyler said he has the same issue and Katie told him not to worry because everyone deals with it. It seems as though you can’t accomplish 1/4 of what you would in any given day in the States. It is super frustrating. Things just go slow. Here is an example. I went to print off some worksheets for the boys and forgot my flash stick at the printer place. I went back and told them I had forgotten it and so they sent somebody into the back to get it. 15 minutes pass and nothing happens. So another person goes into the back to find out what is going on. 15 minutes pass and they come back out and tell me that the office of the man who had it doesn’t have a lock. So they put it in another man’s office that does. But he is at lunch so they couldn’t get in. They have called him and he will be back in less than two minutes. 15 minutes later he still hasn’t arrived. I tell them I can’t wait around anymore and that I will come back for it, but the man says just one more second and runs across the street. Five minutes later he jogs back with my flash stick and proceeds to take it to a computer for some reason. The other lady standing there grabs it out of his hand and gives it to me and informs me that there are some pictures on there that he was going to remove, but that I can just erase them when I get home. It seems as though the man was using it to store some pictures of himself and his family and friends. Although it took me over an hour to get it back I came out ahead 24 photos of random Ugandans. So I guess it was worth it.
In other news, Tyler leaves to come back to the States for a month this coming weekend. What this means for me is that I will have a house to myself, a Land Rover to drive, and a bunch of extra responsibilities. Tyler has taken over a lot of the day-to-day management of Amazima (although all the final decisions are made by Katie and the board.) This allows Katie to be a mother to her 14 girls. I will be picking up many of Tyler’s responsibilities while he is away. I’m pretty pumped about it. It is nice knowing that over the past five weeks I have proven to them that I am capable and trustworthy enough to handle this. Or maybe they are just foolish enough to have fallen for my ploy and now I am going to embezzle thousands of shillings (i.e. a few dollars). Just kidding.
That is it for now. Please pray for my planning and material ordering. I’m not exactly trained in design or estimating, but hopefully my natural brilliance will make up for it.