Way Back Wednesday

Originally posted on adoption blog the night before we left Africa as a family of four (October 2010)  

Memories of Africa

Some are funny, some are sweet, some are sad, some will only be understood by me, Matt, or Toria, and all are fond memories from Africa...

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  1. Hand washing clothes in the tub with my sweet Sassafras.

  2. Sass pretending to be a mommy (“Oh, my Teddy is crying!”, changing her Teddy, telling us to be quiet while her Teddy is sleeping, etc.) *She was 3 years old at this time, by the way!

  3. The American walk of shame around the van

  4. Paying a driver 20,000 shillings to take me from the orphanage to the stayhouse (I actually did not have any idea how much this was for such a short distance, and was forevermore banished from any handling of the shillings)

  5. Watching bootleg DVD’s and seeing outlines of people moving in front of the theater screen

  6. Kids running beside our van shouting “Bye bye, mzungu!”

  7. Watching people stare at Sass’s bright hair and eyes

  8. The ever so slight electric current in the kitchen sink

  9. The bomb/transformer that exploded just outside our stayhouse one night

  10. Shouts of “Welcome back!” every time we walked into the orphanage

  11. The first night thinking the opposite person up front was driving

  12. The 3am celebrations, complete with “All the Single Ladies” blaring. LOUD.

  13. Blowing up my hair dryer, and realizing there are much worse things in life. 

  14. Teddy’s rescue 

  15. Stopping at intersections in the city where men were peddling a plethora of wares (steering wheel covers, school maps and globes, flags of African countries, soccer balls, cell phone chargers, airtime, newspapers, matoke, pirated DVD’s, mounted wall hooks, mechanical birds, sugar cane, lawn chairs, toy cars, alphabet charts, etc.)

  16. Many strange boda sightings (Boda bodas are motorcyles, and they carry anything and everything on the back of those. Boxes of chickens, a deep dresser, a family of 4 plus the driver, weed eaters, a 6 foot ladder, bags and bags of banana leaves, a curio cabinet, etc.)

  17. Meeting Pearl Wilson for the first time. Learning her personality, her preferences, her scent, and all her favorites. 

  18. Seeing the Nile River, Lake Victoria, Bujagali Falls, the Wildlife Refugre Centre, and the Botanical Garden

  19. Breakfast at the Serena Hotel

  20. Watching Sass slide her hand over and take hold of Solomon’s (our driver, and her African Jjajja)

  21. Laying on a grass mat under the avocado tree

  22. Discovering jackfruit

  23. Watching Sass play the adungu with Mr. Alfred

  24. Knocking one of the mosquito net poles off our bed...for the 4,000th time

  25. Reading my Kindle by the light of Matt’s head lamp

  26. Watching God move mountains to get Pearl home

  27. Finding a remembrance stone on the banks of the Nile

  28. La Petit Village: our oasis in the chaos

  29. Lunch at the Jinja Nile Resort

  30. Sampling Africa’s wide variety of fruit juices: mango, guava, passion fruit, hibiscus red, watermelon, etc. 

  31. Matt breaking his tooth on a sandwich

  32. Sass breaking an ATM

  33. Telling Sassafras to go get her sister and watching her drag Pearl by the arm across the floor (both laughing hysterically)

  34. Appearing in court for one of the most important decisions of our lives...and not hearing a word of it

  35. Solomon’s “back way” home after a traffic jam

  36. Feeling the bottom of the Corolla scrape the ground going over that doggone hump just outside the stayhouse

  37. The babies’ sickness=synchronized diarrhea

  38. Waiting “5-10 minutes” on our passport...for 14 days

  39. Watching in horror as aunties used the heel of their hand to grind down a knot on Pearl’s head

  40. “Kololo?”  

    “No, Portal Avenue.”  

    “Kololo?”  

    “No, no. Lawyer’s office. Court. Worker’s Building.”  

    “Kololo?”

  41. During a birthday party at the babies home, they handed the guest of honor a sharp knife and asked her to cut the cake. Which was sweet...only it was SASS!

  42. Oh, the power outages...

  43. “Telephone to Jesus” live with Mama Esther and Peter on the drums

  44. Servers fighting over our business at the food court

  45. Matt getting “cleaned up” by one of the aunties

  46. Leaving the babies home for the last time, and wishing desperately we could hand deliver these orphans to their sweet mamas

  47. “We are the world”

  48. Sitting in a van. Eating matoke. Listening to Kenny Rogers. Thinking, “This is the life.”

  49. “Let’s go to the mall...today!” 

  50. Sass, after a little rat-a-tat-tat on Toria's leg: "Was that Duncan?"