Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We're home now, but... :)

Hi, there! 30 days is a long time to be gone, and I have a lot of catching up to do. I'll fill ya in a little by little about the trip.

This post has to do with and experience we had after we rented a canoe and a dude to canoe us around:

Ok, so we decided one day to rent a canoe and a dude to row the canoe for a whole day. We were going out on one of the lakes in Uganda called Lake Bunyonyi. VERY beautiful! We were going to do Island to Island preaching. As we were in transit to the first island, we were preaching to the canoe dude.
When we got to the first island, it began to sprinkle. We had a bunch of literature in the canoe. So, he offered to take the literature with him and ask one of the island's residents if we could leave our literature there. The literature was to last the whole day... it needed to be protected. Well, he asked a guy in a house, and the man wanted to know what it was. Our buddy Derek spent the next half hour talking to the man, who later agreed to have the literature stay in his home. As Derek and Jennifer were talking to this man, our canoe guy was listening and growing more and more interested. Also, as they continued the conversation, the village people (not the YMCA people!) started to show up. AND THE KIDS!!! WHEW! After the half hour, we left the house, accompanied by 18 children. Derek had placed there in that one house a quite a bit of literature, including a bunch of "Would you like to know the Truth?" tracts!
So, we kept walking up this hill, and we met MORE children. We ended up with approximately 20 children following us around. They didn't speak English really well, so I couldn't talk to them very well. BUT, a couple spoke a few words, and I showed them Jehovah's name in the Bible. Some of the kids walked around saying "Jehovah" "Jehovah" everywhere. They were a lot of fun.
As we approached the top of a hill where the rest of the village was, we came to a tavern. The tavern was the town meeting place. Derek asked the canoe guy if the guys inside were drunk or not. The Canoe Guy (his name was "Chris", so I'll start calling him Chris. :)) went inside to check, and Chris came back outside and said that we were ok to go in.

On going in, we found no electricty, no real air movement, and about 15 individuals inside. The only light was from the doorway. The room was probably 8 foot by 10 foot or so... But, we had about 20 in the room - many of them smelled of the beer they were drinking. Derek and Jennifer spent a quite a while talking to the people in their language, Lugandan. Carmen and I had NO idea what was going on. :) Sad, but true. Well, an arguement began to break out in that little room. Derek and Jennifer had shown some information from a Ugandan Bible, but some in there didn't speak Lugandan. They wanted to read in their language. Voices raised, and Carmen and I were nervous, not knowing what in the Whirl was going on. Someone left the tavern and brought in another language Bible that the rest of the people could understand. Ahh... now there was peace. :)
The topic of the resurrection came up, and a couple of the women there literally leapt for joy!
Friends, we take that hope for granted sometimes. Do we leap for joy when we think about that hope??
Well, there were a lot of brochure and tract placements, including a few book placements. I talked to a guy that spoke English, and I shared with him some Scriptures and the Bible Teach book. He and I talked for a quite a while. All this time, we still didn't know what effect this was having on Chris...
to be continued....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hi everyone! It's been a while...we're now in Kampala, Uganda with our friends (missionaries). It was a little bit of a fiasco getting here but we made it! Thanks to Jehovah. We were supposed to take a bus a few nights ago to get to Uganda (a 12-15 hour trip) but when our taxi driver (one of our brothers) escorted us to downtown Nairobi in search of the bus depot he found that it was no longer in business!!! Aaah!!! So...we were trying to decide whether or not to take a different bus...but seeing that the bus stations were not in a safe part of the city (even our driver was worried about his car and hired a man with a 2 foot piece of crowbar to watch it for him) Gene lovingly decided to spring for a flight out of Nairobi instead. :)We would've had to stay and wait for the bus with our luggage, sticking out like a sore thumb...so, in the words of our driver/brother "it was a course of wisdom" to pay more for our flight and be safe. So...he took us back to the hotel, they were able to give us back our reservation for our room...we stayed the night and Gene booked us an early flight out. Our flight was delayed over 3 hours, but we made it. It was only a 46 min. flight. I say it was well worth it! Once we got to the airport Gene had to call our friends here and let them know we were in and they were SO worried about us, due to the fact we hadn't been able to keep in contact with them to let them know when we would arrive. Sorry guys! :(
Well, they picked us up at the airport and the missionary family was all having lunch by the time we got here so we had an awesome lunch that one of the couples prepared. It's been so nice being with them. There are 6 couples that live here, 5 of which are currently here, 1 is in the states. They're all super nice. I was able to help the other night with Jen's prep work for the next days breakfast, each couple has a cook and clean day where they prepare the meals for the day for the whole family and cleans and does their own laundry and stuff. Gene's been helping out wherever he can doing work on their computer and stuff around the house too! :)

Ok...well let me show you some pix of stuff we've seen while on our trip! That's what you really want to see right!? :)
Here's me at a little fruit stand in Paris...

A sculpture in the Louvre....

Gene with the Colosseum in the background...

At the International Convention sitting on the English side facing the Swahili side(we had a peak attendance of over 34,000 on Sunday!)...

A monkey chillin' by the rooms while on safari in Samburu Kenya, they're everywhere (baboons too)....

And one of many awesome elephant pictures, we were sooo close to them!!!

Lots more to come!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Kampala, Uganda...

Well, Carmen is preparing a post... I'll just post some stuff about today. I know it's been a while - like a WEEK since I last posted, and a lot has happened since then! :) All's well, but man, have we had some fun! :)

Well, today we had our first exposure to the Deaf / Sign Language community. WOW! I was speechless... literally! The territory is HUGEMUNGOUS! The people here are humble and willing to talk to us, which is really neat. BUT, the part that was super hard for me was the part that I couldn't talk to anyone... Derek and Jennifer could sign to the deaf people, but those that weren't deaf mostly spoke Lugandan, a native Ugandan language. You all know how I LOVE to talk, so today was a killer for me! I felt helpless... DOH! :) But, it was good for me. The ministry is great here, though! :)

We went in the preaching work for a while today, and about noonish, we took a break at the Kingdom Hall here for lunch. THEN, the studies started showing up. I got to sit in with Derek on a study he just acquired THAT afternoon. I commented on the information, but Derek had to translate into sign. Carmen went on a Return Visit or two with Jennifer. Then, back to the Hall for meeting at 4pm. Today was the School and Service Meeting. They have the meeting for the deaf so early because of the dangerous traffic here, and the deaf are much more prone to have problems than those that aren't. It was amazing how the meeting was conducted. :)

Anyhow, the trip is going well. I hope you all are feeling great! :)

Love ya all! Oh, and if Joel Tuscher can ping me, I need him to give me a hand with something back home! :)



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Whew! Internet, At Last! :)

Hello, All. It has been a while since I've written. I found out our hotel here in Kenya has Internet Access in a Business Center. That's terrific, since the power supply for my laptop went out. :( it went out while we were in Paris. So, I haven't been able to write in a while, and now we are on our way out to the First DAY of the District Convention here! :) :)

I will tell ya this - All is well with us. :) We are healthy. We are fine. :) I will fill you in on details later, but ROME was awesome, and Nairobi is gonna be terrific too! We have already made some neat friends here, including a couple from Thailand that invited us out to stay with them! :)

I have had some neat preaching opportunities, too, including a waiter that I will talk to again tomorrow! I also had a chance to speak with someone in the Egypt airport, where our preaching work is severely restricted! :) Fun stuff!

Like I said before, I will fill ya in on details later. Talk to ya all later!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well, we were DEFINITELY tired! :)

It is NOW 12:45p, Paris time. I just woke up. Carmen is still out like a light. Eesh. We needed it, though. Went to bed about midnight last night after a nice full day.

We first stopped at a street vendor and picked up a couple things to munch on - a crepe with Nutella and sugar (holy smokes, it was SWEEEEEEET - but tasty!) and a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich with lettuce. Pretty good. Then, caught a tram (above ground light rail), caught the subway, and went to the Eiffel Tower. Ahhh, how windy and chilly the day was. :) Before visiting the Eiffel Tower, we stopped at a cafe for a hot chocolate and coffee. Then, we walked to the Eiffel. HUGE place. We were there for a bit, Carmen was freezing, a guy got arrested, and we decided to leave and come back later when it was all lit up. There were probably about 234,646,754,349,234,920 people (I did a rough estimate) visiting there that morning. So, we caught the subway (RER) and headed out.

Now, we were at the Street called the Champs d'Elyses (man, I hope I spelled that correctly!). It's that really long street that starts at the Concord and (looks like) stops at the Arc d'Triumph. We took some really neat pictures of that street and stuff, and then walked to the Louvre via the Tuilerie Gardens. Pretty neat. A LOT of it was under construction, so much of it was pretty shredded.

The Louvre, in case you didn't know, is a place wherein lies a bunch of artsy stuff. Everything from Paintings to Sculpture. Oh, and there are more pieces of art in there than you will ever be able to see in a lifetime. Yeah, that huge. We looked at some really old paintings, then a bunch of sculptures, and then a LOT of Egyptian artifacts. We walked around that place for about 7 hours!! Once we were thoroughly walked out, then we walked out to the RER and rode back to the Eiffel Tower.

In the evenings, there is a light show for the Eiffel Tower - Flashing lights, sparkling lights, colored lights - and many light shows in sync to music. It was a really neat show to see. We stood in line for about 20-25 minutes in the Wind and Cold (Yeah, it was SUPER CHILLY by then!) and finally had our chance to go to the top of the Eiffel. Did you know that people PUSH in order to get into and out of elevators? I was shocked! Anyway, about 50 people in a super full cramped elevator rode to the second to the top floor of the Tower. Then, everyone gets off the elevator, and if you continue to the top, you get onto another elevator. So, on we went with about 25-30 people to the top of the Eiffel. We walked out to the platform level where you can be outside and felt the super strong wind at 276 meters in the air (a meter being about 33 inches, or just longer than a yard, or 3 feet). COOOOOLD! AND WINDY! But, the view was amazing from up there. :) We took a few pictures, walked around a little bit, and then back down we went.

After the Eiffel, we caught the RER and then the Tram, and by this time is was about 11pm. We stopped for dinner at a Thai food place Carmen saw on our way out. It wasn't Thai (not that we're used to, not like Thai China or Char's or Thai Orchid) but, it was more like curried Chinese food. :) after that, we went back and CRASHED, and now waking up at Noon Paris time!

Time to go have fun! Looks like another windy, chilly day!

Talk to you all soon! I WILL start posting pix soon. :)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Pah-REE! (you know you want to do the "laugh"!)

Well, not much to say right now, but we are in Paris, France. Landed in London, England, UK, yesterday about quarter to one PM on Wednesday (UK time), then took a subway train (London Underground) from London Heathrow to King's Cross/St. Pancras station, where we had a little time to relax and then catch the Eurostar train from St. Pancras International to Gar de Nord in Paris, France.

Mass transit is HEAVILY USED in London and Paris. It was SUPER CROWDED on the London trains, but it was really neat seeing how many took advantage of using the Mass Transit system.

Will have more for you later. We are staying in a hotel called Hotel F1 - a Stripped down hotel with virtually no amenities. But, hey, if you aren't staying in your room ALL THE TIME, what's the use in amenities? :)

Right now, it's 9:30am, making it about 1:30am in Tucson. Adding more info and PIX later. Going to the Musee d'Orsay today, and hopefully the Eiffel Tower.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So, we made it to LAX...

Well, we are currently sitting around in Los Angeles International Airport. Terminal 2. This is where many of the International Flights depart from. In the wing we're in, there is literally NOTHING here - just a couple little duty free stops, a currency exchange place, and 2 restaurants.
The biggest excitement we've had here is Ozzy Osbourne getting on an Air New Zealand flight to London at 4pm. :) We should begin our boarding in about half hour, so I'm gonna tuck this little laptop away and just wait away the time. :) Good thing I brought my book from the Convention along! :)

Oh, here's a tip for ya - If you EVER find yourself in Terminal 2 in LAX, connecting to the "Air France Lounge G" connection is free! No passwords, no nothin'! :)


Day of a trip... Man, I hate 'em! :)

Ok, so if you've traveled before, you know that the day you are about to begin your journey is the MOST STINKIN' STRESSFUL DAY of the WHOLE TRIP! Aye Chihuahua! So, gonna go now and finish getting stuff together. Didn't get some of my supplies from the meeting last night... ooops. Good thing Dwayne has a reliable counterpart! : )


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Ready to Go!

Man, it is only about 24 hours before we embark on a Cool adventure to Europe and Africa!

Still have a few things left to do before we go - finish packing, hauling the rest of the bunny stuff to my mom's place, finish cleaning some stuff, and all that jazz!

I'll try to keep this blog up to date while we're gone! :)