I am settling in here, in both home life and work life. The ease of the settling-in process is entirely due to the goodness of the Lord in giving me a wonderful roomie and a wonderful mission team.
My home here is "Welldone Cottage," which belongs to my roommate, Heidi Davison. Here is the front yard of the cottage, as seen from the porch. Isn't it beautiful? If it weren't for Ugandan bugs (who LOVE me), I would probably set up my workstation outside. The cottage itself is a pleasant, western-style, four-bedroom house. We have lots of windows, which stay open 24/7 to catch the breezes. By the way, one way you know you're not in the States is that ALL the windows have screens and iron bars, but not all of them bother to have glass. Here's a nice view of the house, courtesy of Heidi. If you look closely at the photo, you will see what looks like some sort of lattice work on the windows. Those are really iron bars.
I have a comfortable bedroom, which came already nicely painted, thanks to the person who had it before me. Even the bed sheets are carefully color-coordinated to the walls. Thanks, Laura Beth Chapman!
Is the house "western-style" on the inside? Well, that depends on how picky you are. What are some differences? The city water shuts off every day between about 6:00 pm and 6:00 am. As with most houses in this neighborhood, Welldone Cottage has a water tower in the back yard which fills up with water every day while the water is on. The tower feeds water to the bathrooms -- although don't expect high water pressure! -- but does not send water to the kitchen, which means yes to showers (and going potty!), but no to doing dishes after dinner. Darn the bad luck! Also, the hot water heater feeds only the baths, not the kitchen. And, of course, the electricity goes on and off. There's supposed to be a schedule, but Umeme, the power company, feels no need to hold to the schedule. The first week here, power was off more than it was on. This last week, power has been been mostly on. You just don't know. The good side of living here, though, is that you don't miss electricity as much as you would in the States. You don't need air conditioning (honest!), and plenty of light comes into the house during the day. We worry mostly about keeping our laptops charged up for work and keeping the food good in the refrigerator. And I worry about blow-drying my hair. (Heidi is blessed with beautiful naturally curly hair.) Oh, and if the electricity is off long enough, we will lose hot water to the showers, but that happens very rarely.
One more small difference: you don't really watch television here. At least Heidi and I don't. We have a small TV to watch DVDs on, but we usually end up watching those on our computers. But no TV shows. Again, darn the bad luck!
There are other differences, such as the esthetics of the workmanship in the houses (workmen here go on the theory of "If it works, it's good enough"), but my Internet connection is getting shaky, so we'll leave that topic for another day, along with talking about how my work is coming along - very well, thank you, now that my printer is working! Oh, and I have photos of the beef wrapped in the banana leaves! I know you're all waiting for that.
But just in case you're wondering, have I really given up much material stuff to come here? No, I haven't, especially when you consider what people have given up through the years to get to serve the Lord. But what very little I may have given up, I am overjoyed to get to do so. Check out Philippians 3:7-11. I couldn't say it better than Paul, who gave up so, so much more than I ever will.
Again, please pray for me that I serve the team well. Thanks!