Monday, May 7, 2012

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Boom, Bam, Baby Slam.

Dear Bleaders (Blog-Readers),
Eden says that I am going to be so excited to smell normal BO again. Aint that the truth. In fact, there are a lot of things I am going to be very excited for, but then a lot of things I am going to miss. Last week I attempted to write everything in poem form (probably the reason there was no blog posted—not a lot of things rhyme with Mackie thanks for stealing all of our stuff..) anyways, this week I think I’ll mix it up by writing everything in letter form.

Dear Eden’s Nail Clippers,
It was so great having you visit the first few weeks we were out here. However, since you’ve been gone, I can’t breathe for the first time… Avril, get out of the blog. But really nail clippers, Eden’s big toe nail is getting longer than her actual toe. She refuses to be creative and use the pliers on her pocketknife like I did, instead she just looks around hoping to make you appear out of thin air. Since people here don’t really have toenails on their feet, no one seems to sell nail clippers—you could see our problem.

Dear Rema-Mama (or Kevin, whichever you prefer),
We love how dedicated you are to making us food, we have even gotten used to the fact that you no longer lurk in dark corners staring at us as we sit at the kitchen table, instead you have taken to sitting at the table with us. Like that’s cool and all.. But so help us, if we find another rock or worm in our food, we will be forced to disinvite you to our weddings like we promised to do. Rema-mama, Eden outwardly loves food, so when I see her spoon up maybe a tablespoon of rice, and a teaspoon of beans, I frankly become worried. She is withering away. And coupled with the newfound exercise enthusiast I have made out of her in the last 2 months, her caloric input/output ratio is looking a bit unbalanced. So, lets review shall we? The grey hard circles in our food, they are rocks. And beans should not move on their own. If they do, they most likely aren’t beans. However, we do have many compliments to administer to the deserving. Yesterday when you served us fresh tomatoes and told us we could eat them, I could have cried. But I also cried myself to sleep that night that you served us the rancid jackfruit and Eden had to sleep with the garbage can beside her bed. So you win some you lose some, right sweetheart? We love how you can carry a whole jackfruit on your head while simultaneously keeping my hand in the bear-trap of all hand holds, and how you and Winnie complain that we walk too fast when we go get fruit. I even found it humorous when you made us carry the fruit back home to slow us down. And about the whole ‘you bringing us a cow as wedding presents’ thing—I called Delta, they said as long as it fits in the overhead compartment or fits under the seat in front of you without protruding out, you’ll be fine. Good thing, because I just didn’t know if William Sonoma discontinued rabid cow on their registry this year. But Rema-mama, when you told Jane about how we dump the hot sauce into the bean dish when we are done with dinner, you really ousted us. We don’t like that hot sauce, its too hot.. But we bought 4 jars of it on accident and now we have to figure out a way to get rid of it, you were being a bit of a sell-out don’t you think? Help us out, Eden offered to pay me 50,000 shillings to drink some of it. We are desperate. Anyways, can’t wait for the chipote & tomatoes for lunch today. Bon appetitie!
Dear Jane,
Oh dear, dear Jane. Eden and I just never know what to do with you. We should probably begin by saying, we like your new wig. Its afro-tastic. I never knew that an African could pull of being a red head so well. And I cannot reiterate enough the fact that I am truly and deeply sorry that I do not have a boyfriend back home. I’m sorry. Really. Sorry. Maybe you could hook us up with the boys from town that keep calling you to tell you that they love us and want to marry us. Or maybe the date Eden is set up on for tomorrow at the internet café will go swell, and I’ll swoop in like a vulture. Internet Café Lady said her brother is really cute and really wants Eden to meet him. She even briefed her to say that she has a boyfriend back home if he asks for love, so how could that go wrong? As you can see, I’ve been quite close to capturing a boyfriend while here, the man that let us borrow the nut grinder even proposed marriage to me. And if you have been praying for me to get a boyfriend like you promised, I should be set the second I walk off the airplane in America, don’t you think? Keep putting a good word in with the man upstairs, and while you’re at it if he could be devilishly tall, dark (not quite that dark), and handsome, I wouldn’t be upset.

Love, Us.

P.s. That was not as serious of a racist joke as it appears to be. They make jokes about their skin all the time, it was bound to happen.

Dear Thieves that tried to steal us and our stuff in the market,
You are dirtbags.

This probably deserves more attention than a letter will allow. So I’ll stray and tell the story. We are just minding our own business buying 5 kilograms of ground nuts to get us through the week (considering we don’t eat much besides them lately) at the market in Soroti, when Jane goes to buy tomatoes from a nearby booth. We walk over behind her and the lady who owns the stand is speaking quickly in hushed tones to Jane. Jane sees us come behind her turns around and starts speed walking slash stomping into a far dark corner and all she will say is, “Let us go. Let us go. Let us go.” Meanwhile the tomato lady is still following behind Eden laughing and bringing up the rear of this oreo-train-line thing we’ve got going, and I’m looking back thinking man her prices must have been high. When we get to the corner Jane turns to us and says, “There are thieves after us. Do you guys have anything valuable in your backpacks?” I’m thinking, “Hm.. No, just my new camera, laptop, money, and my journal. I mean heck I’ve already got one laptop stolen, what’s another one? And since when have meticulously written journals not been replaceable?” So we strap our backpacks on the front of our bodies, and the tomato lady (who Jane asked to follow us to keep us safe) comes back with tomatoes from her stand for us and says, “They are waiting at the entrance gates to get you. Oh, and you owe me 2,000 shillings.” Great. We are trapped in this smelly dim-light market with giant spiders falling on us from the cloth roof. I’ve already got anxiety about seeing all of this dirty rotten food surrounding me, and Eden is mid-swat every time I turn back. And all I want to do is sit on the ground and never ever move again, but instead I strapped on by big girl panties and Eden and I started hauling ace back toward to entrance. We bought three bunches of bananas, two pineapple, and got the heck out of there.

It’s probably safe to say that I really will not miss that.

Dear Mackie,
You’ve been ratted out. You dirty rotten scoundrel.

Love, Us.

I have decided to include what would have been the blog last week, because my effort does no good sitting as a saved document on my laptop so, bare with me.

The Blog this week is going to be a poem
For those of you reading at ho-em.
Rhyming our African experiences will be hard
Sorry if I begin to sound like a retard

Having Jane and Mackie gone has been like Spring Break ’11
And we found out Reh-Mama’s real name isn’t Kevin
We made new friends with the housing staff
But every time we talk to them they still laugh
We know our jokes are really not that amusing
And their English is getting even more confusing

Eden and I moved into our new room
It has a nice view of the van and the a-boom (see previous blog entries).
We now each have our own separate beds
So no more rubbing feet with each other or bonking heads
Our mattresses are about as comfortable as cement
And wherever we sit we create a permanent dent

Everyday we go outback to work on our tan
And then dive into the bushes every time we hear a passing van
While sitting there feverishly watching the street
Two orphan girls came around the corner and began licking our feet
They always ask for us to cut off an arm
So they can turn white—which is cause for great alarm
So whenever we are not doing our homework or defending our limbs
We prepare for ‘Prayers’ on Sundays by memorizing hymns

This poem was created to say our weekly hey
P.s. I’ll now be home on the 4th of May

In other big news, two packages arrived of ours at the post office. We don’t know exactly whose they are, but we are excited that something finally got here. I guess my withering stare scared the post man enough to finally retrieve our packages from Soroti.

The shower is broken. Again. So its back to bucket showering. Speaking of the bathroom, there is a mysterious humming sound coming from the bathroom by the kitchen table. I am too scared to even dream about trying to see what it possibly could be due to the fact that Eden turned over all of the chairs at the table and found bee nests under everyone of them.

There are 2,475 steps one way to school. Just in case you wanted to know.

Eden and I realize how slow we have begun to talk. We like to enunciate all of our words until it seems painful. We talk so properly. We could blame this on a number of things: the fact that we teach children who I was recently informed speak ‘Ugandan’ English (more about that to come), or it could be the fact that all we do in our spare time is read our scriptures. A few nights ago I was running around our room and said, “This is blasphemy!” Eden spun right around and yelled, “NO MORE SCRIPTURE READING FOR YOU!” But then last night she and I were sitting at the table and she said, “I will not be partaking of that, thank you.” Oh, you won’t be partaking of this will you? Perhaps you should go cast your net into the sea again, Eden.

Our down time has been put to good use lately. When we are not kicking back with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we have perfected our sunbathing techniques. The only obstacle is the children that currently hang out down by our house now. We have been overwhelmed with the flock of peeping-toms that peer through our open windows at random times throughout the day. So when they spy us sitting idly in the back, they take that as an invitation to come attack our bodies. We don’t know what to do most of the time so we just sit there and take it. The other day two of the girls came over to us and grabbed my foot and licked it clean, then grabbed Eden’s and did likewise. We couldn’t even speak we were so aghast. So now we have gnarly tan lines and really clean feet to boast of.
We have taken to setting out chairs at night, strapping on our sweatshirts and socks, and going out in the front yard to enjoy the nighttime nature and stars. We have even made a new friend. The guard, whose name we believe to be Arthur, waits for us every night to come outside and sit with him for a few hours. Most times our word exchange is very limited because he sounds like he is talking with a mouth full of cookies and he never looks directly at us when he speaks, but we have remedied that by bringing out my laptop to watch movies with him. At first we didn’t think he would be interested in watching a movie so we didn’t set it up near him, but little by little we could see him inch forward and then around behind us so that he could see the screen. So we invited him over and within 2 minutes he was fast asleep on his little chair. Oh, Arthur… But then his machine gun fell to the ground and woke him up.

Now for the saddest part of the blog… We regretfully tell you that Susan (one of the Matrons here at the Orphange) passed away on Saturday night. She was HIV positive and did not keep up on her medication. They believe the cause of her death, besides malnutrition, was typhoid fever, malaria, and complaints of constant headaches (which was never resolved). She was 4 months pregnant and both the baby and she died. We attended her burial on Monday and it was quite easily one of the saddest things I have ever witnessed in my entire life. African funerals differ greatly from American funerals. The casket is open throughout the whole ceremony and at the last respects people walk past to say goodbye to her and then run into an open field and scream, pull at their hair, and throw themselves at the ground over and over again. Her son Enoch is one of the kids that turns the corner and yells “Yoga!” at us in the video. We will miss spending our afternoons with her cooking groundnuts and learning Kumam.

On a lighter note, we have successfully downloaded the conference talks onto my laptop and every night the Tabernacle Choir explodes through the entire house while that man says, “This is the 181st Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” We always have to giggle when one of the First Presidency welcomes ‘Those of you listening around the world’ as we sit beneath our bed nets with only the light from the candle in the middle of Africa taking notes in our journals.


Us (Eden and Kylee).

P.s. This will be my last post from Soroti. We will leave for Kampala next Saturday (where I will probably put up a few last words) and then from there I will be coming home!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We have to update the what? The blog.

My Macbook and I are in a fight. The trackpad was on strike when I first turned it on. I blame Mackie. She is the exorcist of technology. Level of functionality aside, the laptop has been of great use to us here in the mighty jungle. We have successfully sat down and over many hours (mainly because the battery died frequently and we are victims to the generator) created a video of our first month. Since the blog has become somewhat of my own cyber word vomit, the videos should shed some light on our adventure thus far for those of you visual learners. We just watched it over again however, and try as we might, we cannot get the sound to upload correctly. Sorry Charlie. If I am ever mouthing something you can’t hear, just say something mildly inappropriate, and continue on.

This week has been... Strange. And Winnie just walked in with two braids sticking out of her head on either side. Hello Pippi.

We just got back from school. In my P5 class there was a girl with demons in her. She had to be taken to the sick room.

I feel like on any other blog entry I address the condition of the generator, so why should this one be any different? The generator and our relationship is much like the relationship of a couple in Middle School. We think about each other all day long & wonder when our next interaction with it will occur. It flirts with us by turning the lights on and off for about an hour, we reciprocate by intermittent oo-ing and aw-ing, on good days you detect perhaps a slight blush from one of the three of us. We get to shower, eat in light, and flush the toilet—so we begin to really like it. But then like any typical pubescent 14-year-old boy, it changes its mind and decides to make a break for it. So our relationship is on again, off again. I’m surprised it has stuck around as long as it has with the condition of our hygiene, like I’m not sure if we came home at this point a 14-year-old boy (or any human) would be attracted to us. We have African stink.

Underneath the hum of the fluorescent lighting, we have discovered the plumbing to the shower has broken. But I would like to think Eden and I are problem solvers, for we simply follow this process everyday. We wake up, look outside, pray for rain, eat breakfast, and wait.. What for? A rainstorm. For much to our surprise, we have found that the rain gutters overflow during storms and make spontaneous showers. Showers with water pressure equal to the 10-foot freefall from the roof. It’s miraculous. So our hygiene is subject to the mood of the weather. Showers in our rainboots and close to nothing else have been probably culturally questionable, but wonderful. Mackie, being the stubborn fool she is, refuses to join us outside. She prefers taking bucket showers in the pitch black while I pour scary debatably clean water on her… I think Eden and I are becoming more in touch with our mischievous selves. We (mostly I) like to barge through the bathroom door during her shower and throw the buckets (that catch the rain coming from the gutter) full of super cold water at her as she huddles helplessly in the corner with her mouth sealed tightly shut. Muffled squeals are like music to my ears.. Muuuuah, hhhhaa, haaaaaa.

I will be honest when I say the animal kingdom is alive and well as far as I can hear outside our bedroom window at night. Each night as soon as we turn off the light and sprint into the safety of our bed net, we lie awake.. Thinking… and then I can’t help it (plus I like the sound of my loud singing reverberating off of the cement walls and through the guesthouse) but I break into..


The frogs offer great backup with impeccable beat, and the crickets know how to harmonize. Eden’s snoring takes us straight to the bridge, and then again with the chorus bat! I’m a born conductor. Probably all of those years watching Fantasia 2000. The frogs whistle (as do the boys riding past on their bicycles) and it nearly drives Eden nuts. She yells threats out the window (to the frogs, not the boys) and then just keeps asking, “WHAT IN THE WORLD MAKES THAT SOUND????”

On the topic of bugs and other things that shouldn’t be in my room as I sleep, we had probably one of the funniest encounters with the animals this week. We are all talking by Mackie’s (soon to be our) room in the dark and forbidden hallway, just chatting it up with toothpaste foam spewing from our mouths—somethings just cannot wait to be said—when Mackie goes into the bathroom screams and turns right back around. Uncharacteristic, right?? She yells for Winnie to come extract the frog hidden in the toilet awaiting its next urgent user. Well Winnie gets it out and into the dark hallway (where I am, reminder: I don’t like frogs) and I jump, literally jump, into Mackie’s arms. Then after we all laugh so hard that we have trouble walking, Eden calls on the bad luck once more by saying, “At least it wasn’t a spiiiahhh ahhh ahhh ahhh WINNNNNNNIE!!!” Yep. Spider. But this one was a fast moving sideways bugger. I was still a bit shook up from the frog incident so I threw Eden in front of me and wrapped my leg around her while Winnie chased the black beastie down the hall. What a weird switch…

Eden is currently sitting at the dinner table with a candle ceremoniously burning bugs to a crisp. The great part is that every time she executes an insect, she whimpers and says, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I had to do this to you.” Then she looks up and says, “Do you think all bugs go straight to Heaven? Like they just open their eyes and they are in the presence of God”. Whatever Eden, I still don’t think you are doing them a favor. This brings me to my next point, we are inappropriate people bound for Hell. Each night when the generator turns on, we survey the damage in terms of the amount of bugs hovering around our heads and then Eden produces two shoes, Mackie leaves the room, and we go to town. The inappropriateness comes when all I can sing while swinging a shoe like Serena Williams is, “All Creatures of Our God and King—WHAP—Hallelujah—GRUNT—Hallelujah—WHAP”. I know I should feel badly about that, but a girl’s got to do what a girl has got to do. Plus it isn’t as remotely as bad as what I am about to include in this blog. These giant part dragonfly part airborne monsters have taken to seeking shelter in the house. We are told that these ‘white-ants’ as they are called flock during the wet season. Okay great, fine, whatever, but when I walk out the front door in the morning to go to school and the kids are collecting them so that they may EAT THEM, I want to hurl. So while Eden and I try to dodge the swarms in the air all the way to school (we probably looked like we took to many of our malaria pills—if you know what I mean—before we left the house), everyone—kids, mothers, fathers, old ladies—all have their buckets out and are picking them up off the ground and right out of the air. They keep them in air tight jars and days later they open them up and the white ants are still alive. Moving. They just pluck their wings off (because heaven forbid you are going to eat the wings off of the insect you are about to devour), blow them into the air, and then toss and chomp away. All the kids think its funny to try to make us touch and eat one. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Instead of eating bugs, we like to eat groundnuts (or poop nuts as we like to call them now—explanation to come) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Its probably because of the new cook, Kevin (we aren’t really sure what her real name is, but it sounds faintly like Kevin), is just not Judith. Judith never left rocks in our beans. Enough said. Anyways the nuts, so we have to roast these raw nuts up at the orphanage with one of the matrons. That sounds harmless enough, right? Well in truth it is, until we have to start unpeeling them… Wherever we go we tend to draw a large crowd around us, and with 15 little girls looking curiously over our shoulders, and our pile of nuts to be peeled is gradually growing larger and larger, they just thrust their hands into our mountain of nuts and begin to peel. What are we supposed to do? Turn to them and say, “Can I see your food handler’s permit please?” No. Can’t do that. “Have you washed your hands in the last, um let’s say, like week?” Nope. Not that either. And meanwhile, they are just rub, rub, peel, peel, smoosh, smoosh away. So there you have it, ‘Poop Nuts’. Then the grinding machine (which creates paste—the African version of peanut butter) breaks and we are left with a whole bowl of these unsanitary nuts. Well as it turns out, the neighbors have a hand-powered grinding machine… Here I am thinking we would be lucky enough to just turn a crank or push a pedal, perhaps maybe an easy button would be great, but then this man hands me a thick ceramic vase-looking bowl, and a giant wooden pole and says, “Smash”. I’m looking around like, ‘Hm… I’m sure I’m missing something. Eden did he say smash?’ No, but even before that, he has Jane translate something to the tune of, “We smash chilies before this so there may be some remaining juice on the bottom, but they won’t care right?” Never. I love chili peanut butter. It’s a wonder that the guys at Adam’s and Smuckers didn’t think of it before. Who doesn’t like a good CPB & J? Forget the Capri Sun, every mom should pack their kids a sandwich with a punch in it.

As we talk about food, we should probably make a somber announcement that Judith, the former cook and swift bug exterminator, has fallen sick. She is in Kampala as we speak receiving treatment for HIV. Keep her in your prayers. I would like to reminisce on one of my favorite memories of Judith. We were telling her how great of a cook she is one night and I simply said, “Judith, you are the best cook ever!” And she looked at me with a straight face and said, “No. Jesus is the best cook ever.” Well said Judith, well said.

Consequently, when Judith falls sick, we also fall sick. The stomachaches that quickly ensue after each meal have become somewhat of a joke. No one can keep anything in their stomach long enough to feel satiated. But have no fear, the clinic up at the orphanage has lots of exposed bloody needles and expired drugs to suit your dying fancy. Eden and I were assigned to ‘assist in the clinic’ this weekend, which translates to ‘clean a questionably safe room full of crusty instruments and rat poop while the doctor and his assistant stare at us’. I guess a job description just isn’t what it used to be. But like good little volunteers, we do what we are told. We even go to the general and management staff meetings to perform administrative work. I hope everyone realizes how big of a joke this is. Eden, Mackie, and I are probably the youngest people there by at least 20 years, and I will say with complete confidence that I should never be allowed into another staff meeting again. First off, they greet you by making you sign 4 dotted lines, and then they pass you a piece of blank computer paper to take notes on, and give you a seat at the head of the table. I’m looking at Eden like, uh…. Now we are at the head of the table? (Now he is the groom? –you’re welcome for that Kare-bear) Then the meeting is opened with a prayer from Mackie (which immediately gets a good laugh out of me because I didn’t ever think I’d hear Mackie pray. Ever.) Once she is done, they continue on with agendas and complaints—all given by Francis mind you—and then he opens the meeting to “discussion”, which is nothing more than a room full of adults looking at each other. But all through Francis’ two-hour complaint session, Eden and I are mocking him ruthlessly for everything that comes out of his mouth. But how can you blame us when things such as, “I came here to kidnap and kill one of the staff,” and “This orphanage is running so poorly that orphans are going back to their parents”. Hold on, the first one doesn’t bother me, but that last one.. Hm… Something just seems quite off—can’t really place my finger on it…. But needless to say, both Eden’s and my ‘note taking’ papers are something we should probably scan and let you behold. We were laughing so hard that I had to put my head unto the table, or squeeze my lips tightly together, close my eyes, and turn toward the door. I’m so glad that these meetings have now been scheduled weekly.

A fight broke out in turkey club this week too. You may be confused as to what ‘Turkey Club’ is, but it is simply the gang of turkeys that wander around the compound in a pack. As luck would have it, we were walking through the compound on the way to school when we spotted the rumble taking place behind the grind mill—sly foxes, the grind mill… Immediately we try to break it up because we simply WILL NOT stand for a casualty in turkey club, they already suffer attendence percentages in Novemeber. Numbers have been dwindling. Anyways, we have to pry the beak of one turkey out of the throat of another and separate the two into their own corners of the ring. Then I gave them a good scolding as Eden translated and then to seal the deal and to signify our frustration, she threw stick right at them. Take that! Turkey club is cancelled until further notice. Then we set off for school as was rightly scheduled, and it was after about a good fourth of a mile when I finally realized that my skirt had hiked up all the way my back and underneath my backpack... This way to school kids!

I hate to admit it, but the skirt incident is not the first time my behind has been the focus of attention. Let me tell you a short story about how Alexis and I decided that to make college even more of a thrill, we would attend a ‘dirty dancing’ class at our gym. We didn’t make it 5 minutes into the class when we had to move to the back and have room to roll around and hold ourselves together as we watched a grandma work the floor like a Pussycat Doll. So I find myself once again watching this exact same thing except for the gym is a dirt patch in the middle of Africa, the grandmother is instead 12 orphan girls and they are all staring at me and Eden waiting for us to join them. What can we say? Our hips don’t lie. If you don’t believe us just keep an eye out in our video for it. To my defense I am shocked 75% of the time as we are dancing, my face tells all.

Eden has a crush on one of the boys named Emmanuel. She says he looks like 50 Cent. These are my thoughts on the matter… Okay your crush--while slightly creepy--is somewhat justified. He is a really attractive child, but when I catch you staring at him as we should be focused on defending our groundnuts from the other kids, I become worried. Speaking of celebrities, Eden is convinced that if we teach the kids a Justin Bieber song and film a music video, he will come find us in Africa. She firmly believes this. I’m not one to crush someone’s hopes and dreams, so the fact that he repeats the same phrase over and over again in every song is a definite benefit. While we were on our way into Soroti last week, Eden and I were singing to our iPod (and subsequently J. Bieb), and Godfrey (the welfare worker) turned around and in the slowest deepest voice says, “Jussssstttiiin Biebbber, ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahhh..” We started laughing and singing louder while Mackie started to panic and shoved her iPod earphone into his ear and started playing Eminem.

I know this blog probably seems painfully long this week, and in truth, it has been a task to write. However, we have saved one of the best slash sweetest stories for the end. Since I have my laptop out on the dining room table with music playing almost all of the time, we have taken to singing and dancing on the chairs and tables as we blast music. Crowds have begun to form. We have audiences and sold out shows nightly. One night we were singing every song we could think of and then we decided that we would show the orphan girls watching what an animated movie looks like. Luckily for them, Anastasia is one of my favorite movies so I pulled up the window and we began watching it. They were fascinated. No one would move a muscle or speak until one of the girls asked as she pointed to the screen, “What is that?” Eden and I both looked at each other and said, “It’s snow”. How do you explain snow to a room full of girls without seeming like complete lunatics?

The shout out this week goes to my Mommy. She just celebrated her 21st birthday. Don’t go too crazy mom. But for real.. Mom, we got asked to help out with bakery club on Sunday and after about 5 minutes of watching, I became so anxious to show them how to do it Mama G-style. So 2 hours later, I’m elbow deep in flour and yeast teaching these kids how to knead, pinch, and braid dough. Every time I would go to throw the loaf against the table all the kids would yell, “MY GOSH!”. Kids, chill, I’m a professional. We had to let it all rise in the sun and mix it with our hands then we had to build a small fire underneath a brick oven to bake them. They only have two ill-fitting pans to cook them in so the rotation schedule made for a real obstacle. The first ones were a bit toasty, but the majority of them turned out great. Braided pull apart bread gave us a little taste of home. Mackie, Eden, and I all just sat at the kitchen table with our loaves of bread in front of us and talked about our Moms as we ate.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


The movie loaded. God bless America--- or Uganda. Whichever. Anyways, we haven't really had time to make sure that the link works, but we are hoping. So here is the link.....

P.s. Sorry for all the inappropriate dancing. We will not be outdone by children.

The Hidden Pictures

I just uploaded pictures, but for some reason the computer won't let me attach a link. So I'm guessing if you click on the previous album that I uploaded last week and then snoop around a bit on my picasa profile, you might be able to find them. The album is titled 'So Many Pictures.'... Best of luck.

Oh and P.S. We made a video, but its taking 3 hours to download, so we will see what we can do about that. No blog this week, expect a long one next week.. Lots has happened!


Kylee and Eden

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pick One Mom...

So, we have finally decided to let you actually visualize where we are and what we have been doing (as if my descriptive words have not been enough)... We will start writing about specific pictures and kids this week so you'll be able to put a name with a face. Like Judith... If only she would let us take a picture (or snap as they call it here) of her.... We will work on it.

Jaques, No Cleaning! I Will Try to Resist...

Mackie-- "Kylee do you spell your names with two e's?"
Eden-- "Of course she does Mackie, one E would read Kyle."

These are the sounds that surround me. Constant love-bickering.

I’ve had to undo my clasp on my skirt in order to sit long enough in comfort to write this. However, that cannot be the worst statement I make in this blog—no, not by a long shot. I think when we really hit rock bottom is when I say this:


One week. God created the entire world in one week, Kate Hudson manages to fall in love with and subsequently loose a guy in one week, and friends, Eden Rona and Kylee Gabrielsen have gone one without showering or electricity. You can’t be mad at us or find us disgusting because WE HAVE NO CHOICE. Every night we longingly stare up at the ceiling hoping to create light with sheer mind power. I have suggested we start using a windmill type electricity source; only we have someone riding a bike to generate the power (I would gladly take a turn pedaling if it meant Eden wouldn’t light anything else—including another starburst—on fire with the candle). The candles seem to be pure inspiration, although you would not want an emergency to strike while you were relying on its light. We found this out when we needed to hurry to the bathroom, but as soon as we began to move quicker than a snail the light went out in the middle of the hallway. So now we know why people being pursued by villains in castles move so slowly. It’s quite frustrating. We had a glimmer of hope the other night when-- for a brief moment-- we had a flickering of light in the house. Eden hopped up and booked it to the bathroom to use it while lit and was probably in the middle of something important when the lights went as quick as they came. I only had to count down from 3, when Eden’s screaming came right on queue. “KYLEE!!!!!! HELP, ITS DARK!!!!!!!!” As a solution to our medieval lifestyle, we have suited up as criminals and borrowed (ahem, stolen) a generator from someone in town. Minor details. It all paid off when we were able to enjoy the drizzle of the showerhead once more. We quickly discovered though that we have fallen out of practice in the art of showering. After some awkward and questionable encounters while we showered, Eden and I barreled out of the bathroom squeaky clean and into our sweaty and body-soiled sheets.

I do not know how this possibly keeps happening, but within these few days since the last entry, I have managed to feel like I’ve been transported back to my girls camp days. Well girls camp:
(-) the girls
(+) plus the kids
(-) the mountains
(+) the desert
(+) 100 degrees
(x) 3 months
But really though, we have decided that making those friendship bracelets (the ones you made more as a joke) is something the kids can do to generate profit. Trying to get 100 children to be patient enough to learn how to tie correct knots worked about as well as our generator has. It was also quite reminiscent of a sweatshop… It’s a hard knock life for us. There were kids tying each other together, boys just tying knots, girls dancing with the string, fiends tying the pigeon’s legs together. It was comparable to Daddy Daycare. Not to mention before we did that the poultry club (Lunatics, all of them. Voluntary clubs and they choose poultry..) needed help counting chickens in the coop. I’ll help out where and when I can, but when you throw me into a chicken pen and tell me to grab each individual chicken and throw them on the other side of the room while keeping count, I just have to really double and triple think that one over. I don’t like to eat them when they are dead, what makes you think I’d like to capture and cuddle them while they are alive? We were like the afternoon entertainment series. Three White Girls Locked in the Chicken Pen. You seen it? Its been nominated for Oscars. Kids were watching through the wire windows and laughing. Laughing… They are the first one’s up to pedal the bike.

On a lighter note, after Eden’s and my impromptu Sunday church lesson at the dining table, we moved onto our Relief Society meeting. This week’s lesson: The Art of Courting Justin Bieber-- as outlined by the Time’s magazine issue dedicated the boy heartthrob. The opening song will be “U Smile”, followed by a quick thought, “I’m reading from page 85 from an article titled, How to be Justin’s Number One. It reads, I’m pretty flirtatious, but I don’t use any lines. I just get my BIEBER on.” – Justin Bieber. It suffices me to say tears were shed, feelings were felt, and Mackie’s disgust with us was evident in the cancer causing rays of hate beaming from her eyes.

The Orphanage staff has grown one and a half persons larger. Ada, the new assistant director to Jane is great, and Ada, her granddaughter and Rachel Ostler look alike, has every characteristic similar to a leech. You have never met a child so eager to jump into your lap, or hold your hand, or latch onto your leg. And I thought my left leg felt 30 pounds heavier before she got here…

Trying to wash your face here is never entirely gratifying. You have what Eden fondly refers to as a ‘sweat-stash’ before you walk out of the bathroom. But trying to have at least an ounce of good hygiene, I attempt. But you know what? When I walk into the bathroom, turn of the faucet, cup my hands beneath it and a small fish comes diving out of the stream of water, I become a bit unnerved. Actually what is so funny and strange about the whole situation is that it didn’t even bother me. I just tossed him down the drain and continued washing, walked out of the bathroom and past the girls in the dining room and said, “Nemo just came out of the drain. Don’t want to alarm you.”

We’ve exchanged valuable blogging time, for picture and video editing time. Hopefully you will enjoy.