Time Travelers!

Friday, March 29, 2019

We are now official time travelers!  We have travelled forwards and backwards in time by 8hrs!  Pretty cool, right?!

12 am Friday morning found us at Dubai airport.  With a 2hr layover after arriving before midnight, we couldn’t board our next flight until 1:45am.  During our down time we bought drinks and snacks to tide us over.  Felt good for some people to have ice cream and Starbucks coffee again. We used their free WiFi to check messages, Facebook, email and whatever else.  Some of us were doing crosswords and word finds as well. We sang Happy Birthday to Dr. Donna at the stroke of midnight!  Happy birthday Donna!  We are so glad we got to spend the last couple weeks with you!

Dubai to JFK was a very long flight: 14 hours to be exact.  We watched movies and the external plane cameras to help pass time.  Many of us got as much sleep as we could.  The flight crew were very nice and attentive to our needs even serving us 3 meals, which were quite good!  There…

Time to go home

Thursday, March 28

We began the day enjoying breakfast with our good friend Moses Abasoola.  It was good to see that he is doing well.  Then off to the Market for some last minute souvenir & gift shopping.  It has been a fast and busy two weeks, so the couple hours browsing the African marketplace was much appreciated.  Price haggling is a new experience to some, but is expected for the best shopping experience here.  Busy roads back to the compound allowed for us to etch the sights, sounds, and smells of Kampala into our minds for future memories.

It was soon time to set off for Entebbe airport for the long journey home.  We were returning with only 13 checked suitcases instead of the 24 we brought with us.  The extra glasses were going to stay in Uganda for future clinics.  Kaitlin Smith, the new missionary nurse would also be able to test people for reading glasses after we leave.  We are so grateful to have served as many Africans as we could, but it is still difficult leavin…

Lions, hyenas, and more!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2019

Lions, hyenas, and more!

Today was a day for adventure! For those of us who were feeling well enough to (many of us have been battling stomach issues) we started our day with a buffet breakfast at 5:45am. There were many options to choose from, like toast, eggs, fresh-squeezed juice, and fruit (the types of fresh-squeezed juices we’ve had are pineapple, pineapple-lemon, apple, mango, watermelon, passion fruit, and maybe a few more!). At 6:15, we headed into the savannah on the search for animals. We had received rain and thunderstorms the night before so the animals were all out! Uganda is currently experiencing a long drought in waiting for the rainy season to come, so the animals had renewed strength with the rain. Through the dirt roads we saw many species: hyenas, different monkeys, like baboons, many birds ranging in size and color, wild dogs, hippos, and antelope galore, like wildebeest, kobs, and the cute little oribies. We also saw water buffalo, giraff…

Off to Safari!

Monday, March 25, 2019
Early rise and shine at the Stevenson’s. Up at 5:45 am, and breakfast at 6:30 am to prepare for our travels for our adventures to the true African safari. Waking up groggy from our long travel day before and trying to clear my eyes to even function, I knew the next few days of rest would help sort the emotions running through my head. I’m full of emotions about how many people got to come to the eye clinics!
Mr. Wilson, our travel guide for the next few days was waiting for our seven hour trek to Murchison Falls National Park. He greeted us with the wonderful Uganda handshake and smile, ready to show us what Uganda has to offer.
As we are getting to know one another, Wilson lets us know he is from “Canada-aye.” LOL
Only one of us fell for it. It only took two hours for Pastor Roy to have a question about Canada, but, needless to say, Wilson could not answer it. So, now we all know Wilson is not from Canada! We could now continue asking questions about Uganda.

Church Parades

Sunday, March 24
A 5:30 am departure time got the alarms ringing early. The hotel staff packed breakfast to go, with a Rolex and banana. No, not a watch, but a chipati (flatbread like a pancake) with a cooked egg.
Our long drive through the windy mountain pass included a few stops. One where a lorrie (18 wheeler flatbed truck) had tipped over, blocking the road. We got out and walked around the crowd, while Moses and Sundae did some fancy four wheel driving through the ditch. Another breakdown and refilling of radiator water further delayed our arrival.
We left the vans in front of the police station and trekked to the waterfront for a ride across Lake Albert. No, not in a cruise boat, but in a massive fishing vessel. Wooden, no seats, and an outboard motor. But, oh so glorious to feel the refreshing breeze and watch the waves lap and roll. When our destination came into view, we understood why it was not accessible by land; the village was tucked into the mountainside.
We disembarke…

Where has the time gone?

Saturday March 23rd 2019

Our last day of eye clinics was again at the Nsonga Church of God near Lake Albert. After a very nice breakfast at our guest house where we tried a new food( porridge made with maize). We headed out for the hour journey to the church. So much to see, families living in all kinds of cement, wood, straw, and tin structures. Children can be seen at a well pumping water into jugs. They are so strong to carry more than one of these. Trucks loaded with large bags of charcoal and grains or produce as well as people. As we pass through small villages, you can smell the cooking of chapotis and the roasting of cassava roots. People from near and far are waiting at the church for us to open the clinic. We are always welcomed with open hands and hearts.
The heat today did not let up. It was so draining, sweat just poured down our bodies as we met these people and tested their eyes. Many had a story to tell. It was so hard to close up the clinic without seeing everyone, kn…

From Nsonga, with love!

Friday March 22nd 2019

This morning we were up and ready for breakfast by 8am which in Africa time meant we ate at about 8:30 haha. Today was our first clinic day at Nsonga which in apart of Hoima. We held our clinics at the church of God there, everyone was so kind and welcoming! We got all set up and as we started we gained some extra translators that helped us so much! Savior, David, and Belief, as well as Annie and Olivia who had traveled with us. We got the chance to meet some incredible people today the ones that stood out to me were Beatrice who is 6 years old and has cerebral palsy. She was with her dad who just loved on her and it was so touching to see. It was amazing getting to see her see when her new glasses were put on her face. Then there was little Brenda who was about 7 years old and she was so sweet and she has Down syndrome. I got to work with her when she got to visual acuity she had a very apparent lazy eye and would hardly look at me, so I got closer to her and …