Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rafting, Cookies, and Chickens.


So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I went rafting in the NILE RIVER! Seriously, how cool is that when you really think about it? Are you jealous? You should be. It was soooo much fun. It was terrifying. It was exhilarating. It was intense. It was insane. It was amazing. Overall, a great time was had by most.

My guide was a Ugandan man named Olo. He was interesting. We told him that we wanted to start out with a “medium” ride. We didn’t want to go too crazy for our first few rapids because we didn’t really know what to expect. It was funny though because since some of us wanted it to be a “medium” level adventure some people decided to switch rafts for the more “extreme” rafting experience. They later regretted their decision because somehow our raft turned out to have one of the more extreme experiences. We rafted something like 36 Kilometers from like 10:30am – 5pm. I fell/flew out of the raft I think a total of three times, our raft completely flipped twice, I lost my oar like every time and it was a blast. I must admit there were times when I was totally terrified. Just about every time we would approach a rapid I would get a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. For some reason my friend Nicole and I (who were sitting in the back of the raft by Olo) would tell our guide to make it a little more intense at each rapid without the rest of the people knowing. Some of the people on the raft were not happy with the level of intensity that was happening and so we were leaving them out of the loop a little. Even though I was telling Olo to make it more intense there was a little part of me screaming on the inside.

Anyways, I feel like I can’t really do the whole experience justice. It was amazing and sooo much fun. Some of my friends that were in the same raft as me have already posted blogs about the experience through their own eyes. You should check them out. After reading their stories I don't feel like my writing can compare. Here are some links to their blogs:

Dean Alari:

I especially love the detail that Dean uses, he is a great writer. He gets jealous sometimes because I seem to have so many more people reading my blog than he does. I decided I should share the love. (FYI: He mentions a girl named Holly in his blog a lot, she is his girlfriend.)

Jill Schlabach:

Jill is my friend from Bluffton that I have mentioned multiple times in previous posts. I saved her (kind of) two times while rafting. Really I just would find her and reassure her that she was okay after we flipped our raft. She is cool. She was also a creeper and took this picture of me looking out over the Nile Sat. eve. I think this is when I was trying to call Sara- she was too busy making a sandwich or something to answer. BOOOO. This was the second time I got to wear jeans in Africa and I was loving it!!!! Too bad you can’t see the view I was looking at. AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL!

10-5-09 008



Tuesday evening I made cookies with my host family. I was really nervous because I can’t ever remember making cookies or baking anything for that matter, on my own. Sad but true. I usually just assist my mom (I don't know how much she would agree with that though) or I use my dear old friend Betty Crocker, and her cake mixes. Mom was kind enough to send me a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. My friend Abigail and I went to the store Tuesday morning and I bought all my ingredients (besides eggs of course but more on that later). I got home from school and my sister Sarah and I dove right in to our baking fun. We didn't have any measuring cups and so I had to do a lot of guesstimation. To be honest, I didn't really know what I was doing and I felt very self-conscious with Sarah, Maama, and Ida all watching me find my way around the kitchen. LUCKILY, we have an oven. Some of my friends have tried making cookies over the stove and they haven't turned out so well. Once I had the cookie batter all mixed up I of course had to do a little taste test. Sarah couldn’t believe that I was eating the dough! I had to convince her that it was delicious and that all kids in the US LOVE LOVE LOVE licking the spoons and bowls clean after their moms make cookies. The taste test gave me some confidence and we began to glob the batter onto the cookie sheet. We stuck them into the oven, and kept close watch. The first batch turned out okay. A little burnt on the bottom but still good. The second batch turned out perfect-o. I could have probably used a little more sugar but for the sake of the Ugandan’s I had cut it down a bit. Everyone loved them, they were a huge hit, and everyone wanted their picture taken with me and the cookies. Oh they are funny. To end the day my family had me lead the evening devotions. I even read the scripture in Luganda! What a great day!

 10-6-09 005

mixing up the batter

10-6-09 014

round one burnt on bottom

10-6-09 016

baking round two – put them a little too close together but still turned out good

10-6-09 020

Me, Sarah and the cookies. haha (she would be really mad if she knew that I posted this picture- don't tell her).

10-6-09 012

Maama and Me (cookies are in our bellies)


9-18-09 026

So, last week my Maama told me that the chickens were sick. They were producing about 50% of the eggs that they normally do and so Francis somehow found out they have some disease. I am thinking, what the heck and I going to get some crazy chicken disease? I have been eating these eggs just about everyday, I have been gathering eggs, I have touched the chickens, the only good thing I could think of was the fact that I have already had chicken pox, and that probably has nothing to do with why the chickens aren’t laying eggs. So that evening Maama got out the lanterns while Francis went for some special vaccine for the chickens. He comes back with who knows what and a syringe. Then we all gather around the chicken coop and an assembly line is formed. I watch. Maama holds the lantern. Sarah holds the divider (vaccinated chickens on left, questionable chickens on right). Ida grabs the chickens by the neck, one by one, and hands them off to Francis. Francis fills the syringe with the chicken medication out of the bowl that Dennis is holding. Francis then squirts the medication into the eye of the chicken. The chicken goes INSANE. He then chucks it onto the left side of the divider. One chicken down, hundreds more to go. I was just standing there watching this all go down. It was intense. There was a moment when I was watching and I had to reflect on what exactly WAS going down. I am in Africa. Watching a man squirt something into a chickens eye. This is weird. This seems sketchy. Maama turned and looked at me and started laughing. I must have been making a funny face. I smiled at her as I scratched a mosquito bite. Then she told me I had to go inside. Too many mosquitoes for the Muzungu. I didn't fight her. The eggs are a big source of income for my family and so the chicken incident  has been kind of a big deal. They seem to be on the up and up now but I haven’t had an egg for over a week (which is okay) besides the ones I used for our cookies. I wish I had pictures so you could all get a little taste of last weeks chicken dance of sorts but I didn’t think to whip out the camera at the time.