So after Mbarara, we headed to our next district - Kabale.
Of course, because we were on Africa time, we took some time to stop along side of the road and take a photo shoot. (See Facebook for pictures.)
After a few hours, we arrived in Kabale. It’s kind of a bigger more touristy town. You can tell because I actually saw some “wazungu” (the plural for white people) there. Also Robert and Daniel went to a Christian college there, so they were very familiar with the area.
The first thing we did was check into our hostel. Then we headed straight across the street for food at a pretty nice restaurant. I ate spaghetti. In Africa! It wasn’t quite the same, but it was still pretty good.
Getting food in Africa always seemed to take a longer time than anyone would have wanted it to. So by the time we finished eating, it was evening and most of our prospective survey locations were closing up for the day.
So we decided to call it a “travel day” and decided that team bonding would be our goal for the day. Therefore, we had Julius take us to a random field and Tyler taught us all how to play Ultimate Frisbee. After only a few minutes, we attracted an audience of some children and a few adults. What was this crazy game that these white people were making these Ugandans play? After playing Frisbee games for awhile, we decided to make a spectacle of ourselves by dancing and singing. We started singing our trip jam, “Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)” by Flavour, which soon led into creating our own music by everyone making sounds. We even had Julius turn the headlights of the van off and on like a strobe light. Epic.
But the fun didn’t end there. Daniel insisted that we go to a sauna nearby because we were already sweaty from Frisbee. So we did. It was my first real sauna experience. My friend Julia and I tried it once, but I’m pretty sure we did it wrong. I honestly felt a little awkward about it at first, but eventually I got more comfortable. I wasn’t crazy about the sauna, but the place had a nice steam room. We were pretty much the only people there, so we obviously started singing everything from Adele to Backstreet Boys to Hillsong. It made me forget that I was only wearing a sheet and completely soaked in sweat.
When we all felt pretty drained of every fluid, we left the sauna and went to a restaurant right next to our hostel. By then it was about 10p, the standard dinner time for our team. The restaurant had an open upstairs area with couches so we went up there. The cool air felt so nice. And my African tea and giant vegetable samosa (a common Ugandan dish similar to a hot pocket) were absolute perfection. It was just one of those moments where you feel like life is awesome. Good food. Good company. Nice setting.
Obviously it was the ultimate time for devotions. Tyler gave a really great devotion on John 6 and Psalm 20 and then we spent some time in prayer.
It was just a great night. Nothing super extraordinary, but still one of the most memorable times in Uganda. So far Kabale was AWESOME.
Drained from the sauna, morning came way too soon. But some African doughnuts from the Hot Loaf Bakery made things better. We were ready to conduct some surveys!
But little did we know what God had in store for us that day…
The first stop was the church Daniel and Robert had attended while they lived in Kabale. It was attached to a CDC, so I got to begin my morning by playing with some precious children. Their hugs and the squeeze of their little hands definitely got me ready for the day more than any cup of coffee or doughnut ever could.
Apparently while we were at the church, they informed us that pretty much every pastor in the area was at a crusade that was going on just down the street. So obviously we went and prayed that God would make a way for us to get surveys there.
After being there for a few minutes, Daniel decided that me and him should go to a nearby Compassion Project while the rest of the time tried to figure out what to do at the crusade. We were actually able to get one from the project and also one from the church that it was attached to. Apparently the pastor wasn’t at the crusade with everyone else.
Right as we were finishing up, we got a phone call from the rest of the team. The told us that they had made an announcement about our project from the stage and the response was greater than we even had surveys for. Daniel and I rushed back to the crusade and handed over the surveys we had with us.
By the time we got there, the rest of the team had already distributed surveys to what seemed like hundreds of pastors. And somehow we were able to get a bunch of the pastors to line up so that Robert could write dowItn contact info in the back of my journal because we didn’t have enough surveys. We ended up collecting more than 70 surveys and getting contacts of about 45 additional ministries.
It took about 3 hours to collect all of the surveys. So what did we do in the mean time? Well, most of my Ugandan teammates helped the pastors who weren’t fluent in English by translating and explaining the survey. I played with children and got to pray for several ladies. I liked it that way.
It was great to just do raw, unstructured ministry. No one told me to pray for people or dance around with a little girl named Precious. But I loved these people, and I wanted to show them.
After collecting the surveys, we picked up my luggage which had finally caught up to me! It was pretty exciting.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty relaxed. Dru, Amanda, Macha, Timothy and me walked around the city while the other guys played pool. I found a Gator t-shirt at one of the shops we stopped at. THE GATOR NATION IS EVERYWHERE.
Then we spent the evening inputing surveys into the computer at the Hot Loaf bakery until dinner time. We ate at the same restaurant as the previous night, although it wasn’t as enjoyable. But we made it work. We had a dance party while we waited for our food. After eating, we headed to bed. We needed our rest because it would be a long, windy way to our next city.
All in all, our first time in Kabale was really enjoyable.
Usually I would find a better way to end this post, but I’m writing from Barnes and Noble and it’s about to close. Oh well.