Birthday parties!

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
Trip End Apr 14, 2006

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Monday, March 6, 2006

Friday was Phionah's Birthday! We made a big banner saying '26 today' and hung it across the living room when she'd gone to bed, and left out her present on her plate for breakfast. We got up especially early, but then she wasnt even ready til 1/2 an hour later! We gave her the 1st part of her present this morning- a book by her fave author and the card we made yesterday- and I promise you, I have never seen someone so excited over receiving a book! She screamed with delight! I think she really likes reading this particular author, so she was really happy and v.grateful.

When we arrived at school, Karen, Chris, Becca, Emily and I took the P4s on a nature walk to collect leaves (since that's what Becca is teaching them in Science at the moment). We all had a group of 10, and we found 6 different types of leaves (parallel venation, network venation, green/non-green and compound and simple- we needed a quick science lesson beforehand to actually know what we were meant to be looking for!). The P6 (Phiona's class) sang Happy Birthday to her- and also 'You look like a Mango' to the same tune, which was a bit strange!

In Nursery prayers, I had 2 small children asleep on my lap- Mulungi (again) and some other kid. Quite a few were falling asleep- I think they must've been very tired. Mulungi kept slipping off and then bolting back up like you do when you're sleeping it was really funny! Younger prayers was good too, after lunch, and as usual we left early to go to teacher's prayers. Phionah was talking again, this time for being thankful for everything because everything is a gift from God. It was a really good talk and made you think when she said we should be giving thanks for the fact we have 2 arms, or that we can feed ourselves and stuff like that!

We walked home with a gaggle of children, and then everyone else went to Nansana to stock up for tomorrow, while I stayed at home and tidied, swept, washed up and showered. Felt like a little housewife :D It was messy by the next morning though (of course)! At dinner we gave Phiona her main present- we'd all clubbed together to get her a mobile phone because she wont have one once we leave- and she was so shocked! Karen got a great picture of her face just as she opened it- she was quite overwhelmed I think and thanked us loads. What did puzzle us a little was that even when she unwrapped it and saw the nokia box, she still didnt know what it was- she had to open the box before she knew!

On Saturday we had a party for Phionah and Kirabo (who is 4 on Tuesday) and invited all the teachers. We paid for everything, so we made our own food- homemade chappatis n samosas, deep fried chicken, sausages, roast potatoes, bananas, homemade biscuits and popcorn- it was quite a feast! I went to school to pick up the teachers at 12:30- not all of them knew where the house was, and returned to find the taxi waiting for us- but it had been there for half an hour already and didnt seem to worried. (By taxi I mean the minibus taxis they have here). It was a longer drive to get there than I thought- we were having it in the gardens near Akalembe (?) stadium and it took about an hour and a half to get there. When we arrived, I discovered it wasnt the gardens of the stadium, as I thought, but the garden area of a hotel! So not surprisingly, they didnt want us to bring any food in with us. In the end we gave them 10,000USh and they relented, but we really should have checked before hand. We laid out all the food and everyone got their lunch (we asked about 20 teachers and 10 children so along with us, there were quite a lot of people!). We inadvertadly paid the taxis double too- 2 people paid them without asking each other first! After lunch we sat everyone down in a circle for pass the parcel. There were enough layers for everyone and each layer had a sweet and a forfeit- I was doing the music, so I did rig it a little bit to make sure everyone got a turn. It resulted in the teachers acting like various animals, dancing in funny ways, or playing 'chubby bunnies' with popcorn (a game where you shove as much popcorn or marshmallows in your mouth as possible and say 'chubby bunnies' which usually is nigh impossible). We got it all on video! We then played the chocolate game afterwards, but we didnt have a dice so I had to stop the music at certain times, and then the teacher would run into the middle of the circle, don hat scarf and gloves, and attempt to eat chocolate with a knife and fork. It works better if the chocolate's cold, and it took the teachers a while to realise the urgency, but a few ever-so-slightly rigged stops of the music just before the chocolate reached their mouth made them learn quickly!

We then gave our presents to Kirabo- some clothes and a toy mobile phone. Someone else gave her one too, before she opened ours, and she loved it, pretending to talk on her phone etc, so when she opens ours at home I'm sure she'll be even more excited to have 2! Only when we were packing up did it start to rain, so we made our way home, after finally finding a taxi and negotiating the price as low as possible. We made it home eventually.

On Sunday church was quite good- we got there pretty late, but they were still singing (as they do so for over an hour). One of the songs all the hostel kids were hugging and dancing with each other and it was great to see them so happy. Today we decided to split Sunday school into 4 groups of different ages- I took the P2s and P3s (6-11 year olds). We were doing the story of Hannah, so I used a book from work and the puppets grandma gave me (substituting the shephard for Peninnah- there's only one female in the nativity story!) I tried to teach them a memory verse, but they're very good at repeating and not so good at remembering on their own. I also taught them a new song, but again it was a bit too much to remember for some of them. A girl who seems to have taken a liking to me at school was there with her baby sister, Esther, too. When I asked her if she had any other brothers or sisters, she said no, because both her mother and her father had died- I had no idea she was an orphan- she's always so cheery and always grins at me whenever she sees me!

We left before the end of the sermon because it was going on for aggggges. Becca and I were cooking today, so we made eggs for lunch. Before we started on dinner though, a group of people came round from church, completely unannounced, to see our house and say hi. We couldnt really offer them a cup of tea since water takes so long to boil, but we handed out Phionah's birthday cake- much to the annoyance of the others who werent home yet! Before they left they asked us to pray with them, so we all held hands and sang a song before they prayed for us and the house. It was quite a nice surprise- we certainly werent expecting them! Then Becca and I started cooking at 5- KFC (Kampala Fried Chicken) and chips. It wasnt finished til 9pm It took me an hour alone just to hack up the chicken carcass and get all the fatty skin bits off. (Albeit wearing latex gloves- i didnt want to touch it!) I dont think I'll be so fussy about eating food back home now- I never thought I'd be able to cut up a raw chicken like that! We then boiled it for an hour, coated it in batter, and deep fried it. Becca cut up hundreds of potatoes and made them into chips, before deep frying them too. We felt a bit bad about the unhealthiness of the meal, so we did a vegetable sauce to go with it. It tasted really good though!
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