Been up for 2 1/2 maybe 3hrs with the morning creeping up i wait on edge to get out there and do something...7am...7:30...finally 8am, walked outside and was greeted by David and his wife Mary.(they are there at Amani with the Pastor an a few members of their church from Colorado.)
we walked for a bit when Uncle D and Danyne came around the corner with Uncle D saying"theirs the Men for the Job."
Awesome sign me up lets go work i thought. We then went up stairs(Amani has a 2 story building on the bottom floor is where the babies and the mamma's stay,The upstairs is the new living quarters for the volunteers that come to work at Amani from 3weeks to 3months. It is unfinished so today we measure for tile. Next Dave and I joined them in going to the store to look at different tiles threw 2-3 different tile stores. we also went to a few hardware stores. I noticed that all of them are run by east Indian people and they speak Swahili and some English. We went into one hardware store looking for a tile saw and saw this 2 things.Danyne points out the theirs not enough water pressure for the items.
I'm sure you may be wondering how something like that even ended up in Uganda.I wonder the same thing my friend.
so in one of the stores Danyne asked if I could install a tile with a pattern on it? Sure no problem I say. even this one?
Piece of Cake
She gets the tiles for the bedrooms and picks out another tile for the living room.both Sergio and Danyne ask how long would this take?(OK my answer purely came from the experience i had in Guatemala installing tile and working in Hawaii/Texas. although 3rd world is a different then stateside)
they had asked about installing the living room tiles.so I said about 3-5 days,if i had the right tools for the job.(next time my answer is 1month) so they got all the tile one time.after a couple of hours in Jinja we went back with some of the materials to start with and they had decided it was better to start in the farthest bedroom first.they had brought out a box with Tile trowels before we had left to go to the store so I thought this is great it will get done in know time...when i took a closer look at the trowels it was just the blade.the handle had been removed and lost..(OK no problem it gonna work.just lemme fashion my own handle!) After unloading and Moving ALL the materials we had upstairs Dave and I began to work on the lay out.Serg came up and helped to find the best lay out possible. He noticed that the handles were missing from his trowels and was sad.The were giving to him by his friend who came to visit.(i had tried to contact a friend coming the next week to bring me some new ones.)
you'd be surprised by the amount of tools you can find in Jinja, but what they do not have is Tile Trowels.(We looked all over.)
first came the sweeping of all the rooms.we started laying out tiles and making the final floor lay out using chalk lines.next was the issue of mixing the mud.Yes mud it looked like it ha ha.
the Ugandans mix cement like how they do in Guatemala. On the ground with a Hoe and shovel.
(the next morning i found a wheelbarrow and brought it upstairs,used it for the rest of the week)
basically you make a mound with the materials (tile mud and cement).next make a hole in the center and add water.pulling everything from the edges into the middle and making sure it doesn't spill out from 1 side. Ha we made a little more then i wanted to. we proceeded to start laying tile.(I want to tell you this was easy but I'd be lying)
So in my cockiness I slapped down some mud (a lot) and began to spread it on the floor....as spread it out it would roll up on its self due to the concrete floor. the concrete was flaky and dusty.it instantly sucked out all the moisture in the mud. so we had to wet the floor and make the mud soupy for it to go down properly(basically I laid (1) 12x12 tile every 10mins)
we didn't lose hope, we pressed on and finished up all the mud.Cutting tile was fun.remember that saw we got? OK so it kinda worked. but for the small cuts i used good old tile snipes.
after day one of tile laying i realized it was going to take longer so i made adjustments to the trowel in hopes that tomorrow would go better(unfortunately it went slower before it got faster)
I spent all week in 2 rooms from 7am to 1pm for lunch by which if Ive not said it before Momma Sarah is the best cook!
then from 2pm til 6 or 7pm.
for me I was disappointed that at least all 3 rooms weren't done and I really wished i could of stayed until i left Africa.
That night I took the Volunteer ladies up on their offer of dinner. went over to their house.we sat at a large table able to seat 12 people,there i met and talked with 11 Ladies from all over USA. and out of 10 i remembered 6 of there names the next day.Lindsey - serving 3months,Mariah - from Iowa, Jordan - right after dinner she claims your family now!, Paige - 1 1/2 month and works outreaches on Saturdays, Malina - serving 3months, and Leah also been serving for 3months.
the other 4 of who it took at least another day to get their names down Cori,Jennifer,Mary,and Aubrey. all of them were super chill and had a heart from every baby at the Cottage. They get to take care of the kids by helping the Mamma's daily and some if not all taught preschool on site.
We had French Toast,Pineapple, and eggs with water.
then a boda came and picked me up to take me back to my quarters at the cottage..i thought we were going to pile a few times as we drove off in the dark.(yes he had a headlight but still)
The rest of the week i continued on with the tiling,my helper David got sick after the second day so i continued on solo.which is no big deal.but we prayed often during the day that Dave would get better so that he could enjoy the rest of the time he had here.
every morning i had been reading a psalm and proverb a day sometimes 3 or 4 psalms is good because there are 150 of them so its easy to read 1 day and proverbs there are 31which fits with for every month except the 28day month just gives you a few extra reads.
the first few days we weird sleeping schedules I'd go to sleep for 2hrs but then be wide awake.pop a few natural sleep aids and wake up 2-3hrs later.then back again then up again.
Some time during that week so travelers from Austin Texas came by. They had just landed in Uganda and were to stay for a week or two. 2 of them got sent to help me upstairs but quickly bailed out..(Oh that reminds me the tiles we had to soak in water for a few hours.it helped a lot with setting them.and the very first 8-12 tiles that went down I had noticed that the pattern didn't line up. the tiles were lined up square but the pattern was off.I struggled with this for at least an hour trying to make it look as good as possible.) later i found out that all the tiles were different sizes.this jammed me up later down the road where some grout lines would taper in to almost nothing then open up again.(Yes i removed and reset a lot of tiles)
every morning I ate ramin noddles like chips(my friend Nuku back in Hawaii taught me that one)
I didn't know about the fruits available until my last day there.
I trip out because the plants they have their are the same you will find in Hawaii and Guatemala except this one
My Daily Journal reads - "The LORD God is good no matter what it is your going through,In the moment even if its bad the bad will be used for good and adds experience for the next time you arrive in a similar situation." my tiling job there wasn't exactly what i had expected it to be.it was hard but it was good.for the next time i can look back on this and all the other international jobs and know what worked and what didn't.
- Strong As an Ox, Soft as a lamb...to be strong as an ox is to defend and fight for your family...to be soft as a lamb is while you are as strong as you can be you can still have a lovable side a playful side.
- The amount of stories i have in my personal archive is a good chunk, I rather not come to the end of my life and say this is it,I'd rather say I remember that one time I saw the LORD move in Africa. didn't know the plans of getting there or little detail but then the LORD showed up and BAM this happened...
Or remember that time in Russia,GUA,Washington,Virgina,Texas,Fort Worth... or where ever!
- I would like to have enough stories to share on hand to entertain my grand kids without having to repeat the same old 2 or 3 stories over and over again..because that's all I have.
This can be achieved by continuing to follow Jesus and take every day as an adventure with God the Creator,the 1 true God and just letting Him lead into the next thing.
- You to can achieve this by not loosing the gaze of your attention on Him.letting Him lead you into your day.Finding the good in EVERY situation.you don't have to go on a mission trip to a different country to have an adventure with God.to collect these stories of look what God did here.
you just have to be Available.
some of the coolest stories this year/last summer happened right down the road in Ft Worth and Dallas Texas... because i was available to talk to a homeless guy.
Early Thurs day morning I had only gotten 2-3hrs of sleep.the rest of the time all these things started to flood my mind..thing I've not thought about since Aug 2011 when God first broke my heart for Uganda,the street kids,kids in prison, another fatherless nation.(i wont go into detail just yet but it was a lot.)
Proverb 13:7 There is one who makes himself rich,yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor,yet has great riches.
later this morning i felt like something was about to go down and try to take me out. Uncle Dusty drove me into town to look for some kind of cough/throat meds...we ended up at a pharmacy where the Dr and his assistant tried to sell me something i didn't really need..but then later sold me Uganda's version of a cough drop...(honestly I didn't try it..in fact i still have them)
that night into the next day i developed 24hr flu...when i left home that's another thing i forgot to bring.dayquil or NyQuil. every trip i take some but every trip i don't have to take it.wish i had some then. but thankfully it didn't worsen and it went away.
Uncle dusty and I went out to have some coffee next door to that place. at that time Uncle Dusty said "You will not finish the tile work"then tried to assure me i wouldn't. personally I hate it when someone tells me you wont or can't do something...I take it as a challenge to push harder and try to finish.(ultimately i knew he was right.there's no way it could be completed)and that made me sad.
I wanted to finish.to be able to help them out with a project...during the week so many people came by and said "well done" or "it looks good" they thanked me for the little bit that was done,but i felt bad because i would finish...
don't quote me but:
The bible says to do your work with excellence.also it says you work for the LORD and NOT a man.
David came back on his last day and help make all the cuts so he and I got 2 of 3 rooms complete.
Thank You Jesus for allowing me to work along such great men and women.for everyone i met during that week.
To be Continued...