Yesterday, once back from the babies home we spent the day resting (much needed) and then ventured to the craft market in the center of Kampala. Such an experience. Before leaving, we walked down to the stores here, where they use a metal detector on you just to enter in. We got fresh juice, clean water, and fresh baked goods from the bakery. Then we went to catch a taxi, which is a completely different process than in the states. The taxis here are 15 passenger vans. There is the driver and the conductor. The conductor hangs his head out and yells how many open seats there are as well as where the taxi is going. Apparently it is extremely important to get on the right one :) I feel like I am spending big bucks around here. The taxi ride is 1000 shillings. I have never paid for the things in the thousands before! But 1000 shillings is only equal to about 30 cents! With traffic, it took about 40 minutes to get to the craft market. There was so many beautiful things there to buy, and each vendor comes to tell you "You are welcome here." The fabrics are lovely, the colors are bright, and the jewelry is wonderful. It was quite the experience to bargain with the vendor, and I looked ridiculous trying to calculate how many dollars I was actually spending.
Empower a Child has a sponsorship program that currently sponsors about 200 children. Saturday morning about 100 of the kids traveled to the house where we made bread and butter and porridge for them. We sang songs, danced, and had a story. Their stories are touching and I am beyond blessed to be able to witness this side of a sponsorship program. For those of you who sponsor children, please know that your money is so, so appreciated, and seeing the smile on those kid's faces was thanks enough. I have always heard about families sponsoring children through Compassion or other programs, but to actually see the kids being sponsored is so eye opening. Many of the leaders in Empower a Child were sponsored as children, and that is one of the main reasons they are where they are today. Tomorrow we will head back to Zirobwe for church. There, I will meet the little boy I will be sponsoring. Words can not describe how excited I am for this experience. Very few people get to actually meet their children, or get to know them. I get to hug, dance, and play with the little boy.
While here, I have eaten so many new foods. Most of my meals are compiled with rice, beans, some more rice, some more beans, and fresh fruit. I have also had posho, which is an African dish made with maize flour (cornmeal) cooked with water to a porridge. It is pretty much completely tasteless, but we are often given different sauces to dip it in such as gnut sauce. Matoke is often really common here which is steamed green banana or plantain all mashed up. This morning I went down to the market and we bought Ugandan rolex which is a chapati (similar to thick tortilla) filled with an omelet. Apparently the next thing I get to try is crickets!
Tonight we may head over to a church downtown famous for its children's choir which is often used by Chris Tomlin in several of his songs, and after we may venture to a Ugandan coffee shop.