Friday, July 3, 2009

The past few days vacation were wonderful, but if feels great to be home in Kabale now. I keep confusing people with my references to “home,” but it’s easier than saying “Joab and Connie’s” every time. Besides, if I say that, it doesn’t seem as personal. Anyways, it was nice to come home to “my” family and sleep in “my” bed.
That all being said, the last few days have been epic! Between Saturday morning’s safari and the evening’s boat tour (elephant, hippos, crocodiles, etc.) it was a great day. The Queen Elizabeth resort is beautiful. Also, they have the top rated restaurant in all of Uganda. The passion fruit mousse is to die for. The next day, we drove to Kampala. Looking at a map, it doesn’t seem that far. If you forget to take into consideration the extremely poor roads, that is. Seven hours later, we arrived. Kampala is madness. People, cars, busses, bicycles everywhere. As far as I can tell, there is no apparent method to the madness, either. It is just all one giant mass of humanity and automobiles. It was nice to get to our hotel and relax a bit. That evening we watched the Confederation Cup final at the hotel- USA vs. Brazil. It was fun to watch a soccer game in a place where people actually care about the sport. Wish you were there, Luke!
And then came Monday. Quite possibly the single most terrifying day of my life. Before I go into detail about what all happened, let me just say: I whitewater rafted on the Nile River, AND THEN I BUNGEE JUMPED OVER IT!!! Clearly, I’m not excited or anything. Ok so, I have that out of the way. We were on the river by around 9:30, and rafted until 5:00, stopping for lunch on an island in the middle of the river. There were ten rapids in total, the highest being class five (six is the highest). The total distance was 32 k. I had done this on my last trip in 2007, and this time we actually had the same guide, Geoffrey. The guy is awesome. He talks like a California surfer. Whenever he talked about the possibility of being thrown from the raft, or it tipping over, he would say, “Relax, enjoy the Nile.” He also made it a point to make the group sport be “throw Susanna overboard.” Being a rafting veteran of sorts, I would like to say that the second time is easier. This is not so. It only makes it easier to anticipate the terror of your raft capsizing in the churning, building-sized waves, and to imagine being trapped underneath said raft as it is thrown helplessly amidst the raging waters of the Nile. But that only happened twice. Seriously though, it was great. I loved every minute of it. Please, please, ask me to show you the video footage of it when I get home, and I will gladly oblige.
Sometime that morning, I agreed to bungee jump with some of the others after we were through rafting (this was, of course, before I had the chance to see where the actual jump would take place). After conquering the Nile, I found myself climbing the 145 foot platform from where I would jump. I was super excited and only marginally nervous. I did fine as I was being tied in (with what sounded suspiciously like Velcro). I even had the guys working up there disbelieving that it was my first jump because I was so calm. Everything was great, until I wrapped my toes around the edge of the platform and looked out. The only words I could manage were, “I can’t do this.” Let me tell you, it is the most unnatural thing in the world to consider hurling yourself over a river from such a great height. Eventually I did it, though, and I loved every terrifying second. So, between both of the day’s activities, I think it is safe to say that the adrenaline junkie in me is placated for a while. Or maybe just awakening…?
On the way back, we shared a shuttle bus with a group from England on a mission trip. They found out I had family in the South, so the whole evening I was addressed as “Virginia” and spoken to only in southern accents. Lovely, no?
On Tuesday, we had a relaxed day, went souvenir hunting, and finally to the airport. It was strange to see the team off, as I have never stayed behind after one of these airport farewells. It also means that my trip is drawing to a close. Already, I've had people (here and in the USA) asking me "Aren't you going crazy?" or "Aren't you bored to death?" The truth is, I only miss things as much as I tell myself I do. If I dwell on the fact that the only meat I've eaten in a week is goat or the last time I had a real shower was six weeks ago, then of course I will start to become disontent. For me, it is all a matter of mindset.
These past few days in Kabale have been nice, and pretty routine. There really are a lot of things for me to do before I leave, though, so i don't think I have to worry about being bored. Time and again, I am struck by the openess of people here. I've heard some amazing stories from very dear friends. Not because they are looking for handouts, but because they want to share what God has done in their lives. It is a humbling thing to witness so much faith in the midst of tremendous heartbreak. I am both anxious to be home (my official home in California, not Kabale) and extremely sad to leave. I am praying that much can be done in these last few weeks, that I do not grow weary of serving, and that my relationships here can continue to deepen.


  1. Susanna...thinking about you as we settle into home here! I hope your last 2 weeks are quick (but not too quick), and happy (but you still miss us). Rachel says hello!

  2. I have sprung at least two more grey hairs while reading this post and yes...let us hope your need for adrenaline rushes has been pacified for a while. You gutsy girl, enjoy the remainder of your stay and know we (I trust I can speak for everyone) anxiously await your return. I do want to see those videos! Be safe ~