December 2011: Uganda



The first part of this will be mostly travel getting there.

02 DEC 11 – (FRI)

And so it went – I arrived in Minneapolis, got together with Faith and the grandkids at the Ramada – exchanged and repacked and left straight back to the airport.

I am exhausted – already.

03 DEC 11 – (SAT)

More travel – through the night to Amsterdam and then on to Uganda – arriving in Entebbe an hour and a half late due de-icing in Amsterdam and to delayed refueling in Rwanda. I am grateful to Jake and Jerome who waited the extra time.

Rev. James Bauer of Trinity, Denver, CO was scheduled to arrive at the same time as I – he did not. We waited another 45 minutes or so and there was no Jim. So I began going backwards through the country entry process and eventually made my way (took 4 tries ’cause men with guns kept stopping me) back to the ramp to the airplane. A nice bloke in the passport booth was finally able to certain that the man – James Douglas Bauer – in the computer records (he showed me the screen with Jim’s picture and personal data) did not enter the country. So I did a quick exit and we left for Kampala.

04 DEC 11 – (SUN)

We arrived at the Olympia Hotel about 2 am. I got to bed about 4 am and was awakened by Rev. Bauer knocking on the door at 1.30 pm. Apparently I was tired. So, Bauer shows up having found his own way to the hotel – way to go Jim! But, just like last year with Glen, Jim arrives in Uganda without any luggage. Those of you planning to fly on British Airways and its affiliates – like Egyptian Air – think twice – last year Glen got his stuff on the last day.

About 3.30 pm we walked next door to the Golden Arch hotel, ordered some French fries and a beer. Then back to the rooms – did not unpack – leaving in the morning. 5.45 pm finds us back at the Golden for eats. Jim had Tilapia (comes right out of Lake Victoria – Kampala is on the lake – so not ever frozen) and I had fried goat – gives your jaw a workout!

Still no luggage.

05 DEC 11 – (MON)

We are to be off about 9.30am today – heading to a new conference site – the big tent we met in the last two years has ended service – one big piece of junk. We are headed to a Roman retreat site, the St. Augustine Institute. We scoped it out last year and the Luther Academy determined to move the conference.

So I opened the new Ant and Roach killing stuff and sprayed the edges of floors and walls – sleeping room and restroom shortly after getting in the room – actually this is the first thing one needs do. Minutes later this roach came out from under the bed, flopped on his back and twitched and twitched. I let him stay till morning at which time I ushered him out the door onto the “veranda” walk way so the staff would get the hint. They did not.

The bed is a mere 6ft long and 3ft wide piece of foam rubber – way too short! I did not sleep well at all.

On food items served for today’s lunch and dinner:

Matooke – seemingly loved by all is just wrong. They take green, unripe plantains, peal them and pound the…. devil out of them so they are like a hard boiled potato and then they wrap it in banana leaves and cook it – steam I think – as is – no spices (not that they would help). It – this smashed banana relative – is intended to be covered with a sauce and the sauce is to give it flavor. Pure starch – pure carbs – pure WRONG!

The peals are taken and dried in the sun, ground up and then added to chicken and turkey feed (ground corn). It serves as cheap filler – like spaghetti is to human feeding.

Little bananas – very sweet – very yummy. Then boiled Irish potatoes, boiled white potatoes, yams, baked pumpkin and squash, large white beans in a sugar syrup – catch the theme? Starch & Carbs!

The meat? I think it was beef – parts of the animal unknown in runny gravy – this intended to be a sauce to cover all the above starches.

And the “restroom” – toilet, sink and shower?. The shower has a drain in the corner but no basin or wall separating it from the rest of the room so the entire room gets a wet floor. And there is no hot water. Here again there is the need for someone to invent a flush toilet without severe issues.

The conference began after lunch. One attendee decided that he was of such stature that he could just drag into the conference three men who had academic issues at the seminary. This revealed one of the internal struggles in this young church body. They are lacking strong experienced pastoral leadership. Hence these conferences are so critical to survival. And that is fundamental for The CLEF’s presence – there is a crying need for the most basic Confessional Lutheran materials – they have been abandoned by previous translation organizations.

So, I am still in Uganda – finally with Internet access for a few more hours (in a private home with WIFI –more on that later) Therefore I am sending this short set now. The rest will come later if I get it done.

The LORD bless your day.

Pray for us as we pray for you.


06 DEC 11 – (TUE)

After breakfast – instant coffee, bag tea, water, plain bread (they do not have good bread), peanut butter, margarine, jam, and scrambled egg squares. Immediately after Jake (Gillard) and I went off in his SUV to Entebbe to fetch Bauer’s missing luggage.

Awesome sleep – bugs dead and room cooler

07 DEC 11 – (WED)

Lunch meeting with new CLEF translation coordinating committee.
Evening reception.

08 DEC 11 – (THU)

I actually got Internet for a sufficient length of time to send the last notes form a week ago on Argentina!

Sudan translation request.

Shirts to some.

Eats at Gillards.

09 DEC 11 – (FRI)

Event over – back to Olympia Hotel.

10 DEC 11 – (SAT)

Flight off to Amsterdam at 11.30 pm.

11 DEC 11 – (SUN)

Home at 5.30 or so.