We were greeted at the airport by the Micklers (FH group and members/missionaries supported by FPC) and by Mike Enis (Rafiki). Rafiki has four people from FPC—Virginia, Naomi, Abigail, and myself (Faith). There are a few other mini missionaries staying with us at the same time.
The ride from Entebbe Airport in Uganda to the Rafiki Village was quite interesting. People will do anything to avoid a pothole. I felt at times as though a semi just wanted to hit us! Kinda scary—I guess my Mom would have to drive! Oh and by the way…I’ve seen about ten Subaru’s here in Uganda.
Upon arrival at the Rafiki Village we signed in with the guards. Mike told us that we would be signing in just once, after that, “you live here and are no longer guests.” The village has two guards on the outside at all times, and another two on the inside. We are very well protected, as are the children.
We came into the village and were oriented immediately. They showed us the guest house, and were given about two hours to lay low—nap, read, unpack… I chose to unpack, as I will be here for 5 ½ weeks. This is a fairly simple process when you only have one bag of things for you. The bags with the bibles and pajamas that were brought were taken immediately and placed in a separate area with the ROS staff (full time missionaries).
At our first meeting we were given our assignments. I am working with Kindergarten in the morning, and tutoring (in Uganda they call it coaching) in math, in the afternoon. I was excited to receive my duties!
Dinner the first night was a neat experience. The seven mini-missionaries (I would be one of the seven) sat in a row at the back of the dining hall. The children came in with their mothers (Momma Alice was mine) to eat dinner. They walked over to the sink, and washed their hands with soap. No towels! =) As a family, they placed out the table settings, filled the cups with water, and served each of the plates, including a plate for me. One mini-missionary sits at each table. A child came and held my hand (there is a schedule for what table each mini eats at), and directed me to the sink. I washed my hands with soap, dried them by shaking them, and then was led to the table.
On a side note, Mom, you’ll like this one… When you sit down the first words you say to the mother and to the child are “Thank you.” They both respond, “You are welcome.”
One of the children will prayed and then we ate, as a family unit. Table conversation was a minimum, or shall I say it was non-existent. My understanding is that this is typical. That’s difficult for me, as my family gathers around the table and talks. You eat, and that is all you do. The boys and girls eat quite a bit of food. More than I do on most days! (And I eat a lot!) The food is bland, but not too shabby. The pineapple is amazing, so are the avocado and the mango.
After dinner we had playtime. With my kids I played “in and Out the Village,” “Duck, duck, goose,” and just running around. Play time lasted for 30 minutes; it becomes dark around 6:30PM. The children went back to the house with Momma Alice and she prepared them for bed. I too could not get to bed fast enough, being on a different schedule is quite the challenge for one’s body. Needless to say, I went to bed, fairly early.