Day 2// Kampala to Gaba to Lake Victoria to Bethany Village Orphanage and Back
Day Two began bright and early with the typical weaving through cars, boda-boda's, and people. We were headed to Gaba, basically a suburb of Kampala. Gaba is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria. Not a bad location. Remember I told you that Gaba Community Church is the church that planted Buloba Church? The Gaba community we saw is a drastically different Gaba community than the one that existed just a mere 20 years ago. The senior pastor of Gaba Church, Pastor Peter, came to eat dinner with us last night and told us the story of the church. Gaba was formerly the site of a tiny fishing village that was home to many many witchdoctors. The people believed that spirits liked to reside by the water, so the site of the present-day Gaba church was formerly home to multiple thatch-roofed shrines dedicated to the spirits and gods. Pastor Peter spoke of the day that he watched bulldozers raze the huts so that the church could expand. And while the church had existed in the midst of the shrines, Pastor Peter told us of the many years of fasting and praying that had led up to that special day.
Here are some photos of Gaba Community. (It used to be spelled Ggaba and it was modernized to just Gaba. I kind of like the old spelling!)
A typical sight on the streets. Trucks piled to overflowing with bananas.
Those feet belong to a man who welcomed and re-welcomed us to Uganda after he found out we were associated with Gaba Church. He had two more baskets totally filled with those tomatoes.
And here is our first glimpse of that grand and majestic body of water,
I have many more pictures of this day. We took that yellow boat to Bethany Village Orphange, about a forty-five minute boat ride from Gaba, and I want to post those photos and then do a post on Bethany Village. I am going to be posting the rest of the days of my trip after I return home. There are stories that need to be told and photos that need to be shared. Uganda is a beautiful country with what has to be the most hospitable and humble people in the entire world. I want to share them with you so you can love the people and this country too.
In other huge news that I can't wait til later to tell you about:
I just got off the phone with the author of one of my very favorite books, A Distant Grief by Kefa Semapangi. I read the book a few years ago and it was the first time I had ever really known much about Uganda's history. I have re-read it twice in the years since then and brought it on this trip for others to read. The author, Kefa Sempangi, began an orphanage and was a pastor during the brutality of Idi Amin's reign and genocide in the 70's and early 80's. AND I JUST TALKED TO HIM ON THE PHONE. Only in Uganda. We pass a papyrus swamp on the road to Buloba where Idi Amin's soldiers would dump the murdered bodies of whole families. The swamp was ideal because it hid the actuality of the genocide from the world.
I told Patrick, the man who began Bridge Africa International (our contact group here in Uganda), that I had read the book and loved it and he said, "You want to talk to him?" ....Ummm, yes? Wait... Really??? Oh my goodness. So, being nervous and excited I got to talk to Kefa Sempangi, who told me that a man from California just came to Uganda for four months to write the script for a movie about Kefa's book. Pretty cool, huh? I JUST TALKED TO HIM ON THE PHONE. And he apologized for not being able to come meet me in Kampala today. He said he had visitors in town. I don't think I could have handled anymore surprises today, so it was okay. Although it would have been pretty awesome.
The phone died mid-conversation. This is Africa. The power came back on during breakfast so we dashed to the toaster to make toast. This is Africa. A mosquito found its way under my net last night. This is Africa. We ate a chicken---we named her chick-fil-a---that was given to Amy by her sponsor-child's family. This is Africa. Our house mother, Miriam, demonstrated how she butchered it in the backyard and the chicken's reaction to it. Too much information? This is Africa. You should know that it was yummy. Chicken here is the equivalent of filet mignon at home. It was quite a sacrificial and special gift, given by a family living in absolute poverty. This is Africa. This is Uganda.