Life at Amani

November 8, 2008 at 4:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


I’m living in the main house at Amani Baby Cottage upstairs in the volunteer quarters.   It’s very nice and I’m enjoying it.   It’s a 3 bedroom apartment with a huge living space and a full kitchen.   Our water is processed through a giant filter and so clean drinking water is always available.   The bathroom is fully modern and we’ve had no shortage of hot water.    We have 2 meals a day provided for us from “Mama Cook” who handles all the meals onsite.   She made pancakes for breakfast today and I hear the lunch activity in the outdoor kitchen already downstairs.     There’s a staff lady that handles housekeeping for us and also manages our laundry.  So… for all of you that were thinking I was ‘roughing it’, you can see I’m not.

Mama Cook in her kitchen

Mama Cook in her kitchen

The windows are all open and are screened, so we don’t get the mosquitoes…. but we do hear all the roosters crowing and the dogs barking and the crazy bird calls all night.  It’s never quiet!    The birds actually sound like monkeys.   The dogs howl and break into chorus all night long.   And the roosters are continually confused about when it’s morning.      They crow at the weirdest times.    The horn from the local mosque doesn’t help things….. the roosters are fairly convinced that it’s morning when it blows, even though it’s completely dark!    So the nights are not much quieter from the days.   The only sound that’s absent at night is the sound of the babies.

In spite of all the ruckus, I slept all night long — 12 hours!!   And I finally feel ready to enter the process here.   Yesterday’s trip to Kampala was exhausting and I was pretty glassy-eyed for most of it.   It’s about 100 miles to Kampala from Jinja (i think….) and it takes us 2-3 hours depending on the traffic.  Sometimes the traffic was so bad in Kampala, that we just turned off the car and sat there a while till we could move again.  It’s better than smelling all the diesel fumes pouring back into your open windows.

We make day-trips to get our legal work done so it makes for a long day.   Not only that, but kids don’t ride in car seats here, so I went to Kampala with Philip & Zach sitting in our laps.   Abdullah, the Amani driver, met us at 530 am and took us all over town doing Amy’s (the foster coordinator here) bidding.  As we drive towards the city, we went through a jungle-like area.   It’s not crazy and wild… it’s just like Americans would drive through the forest in the Appalachian Mountains…. a paved road, cut through the landscape.   As we topped the hill I saw the jungle ahead, covered with the morning mist and the African sun barely rising.   I had a sleeping Zach in my lap and Philip was sitting quietly in the back.    It was pretty perfect.

In Kampala we met with the “Minister of Gender”.   He is the one that must give a letter of approval so we can apply for passports.   He reviewed our paperwork and asked questions.   Then told us to come back at 1 o’clock for the letter.   It was 930, so we went to kill some time at a local cafe and then to the open market.    The boys ate whatever we put in front of them and shopped like little troopers.   They bounced along in their strollers in the sweltering sun while Amy and I looked at great African crafts.    I bought a dress.  Not that I needed a new dress.   But by that time of day, I had been so completely pooped on by the boys, I couldn’t stand myself.   So – a new skirt was in order.

Back at the Minister’s office we were given our letter, as promised, at 1 o’clock!!     It took some waiting, but we are now ready to go back to Kampala on Monday to apply for the passports!

Thanks for your prayers.    Pray that these weeks will be a time for  Philip and Zach and I to connect.   It’s not the perfect environment for that.   I function like a guest here – not a mother.   The boys are still very much part of the orphanage life, living the schedule and being under the care of the mamas.    It’s a strange middle ground.    But – so far, so very very good!



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  1. Ahhhh, poopy babies. Is it ok if just remember those days a minute….OK moving on! Can’t wait to see more pics. This is the culmination of a dream I’ve heard from you and seen in your eyes for a long time. What a celebration!

    “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing”


  2. I’m praying for you Lisa! Thanks for the updates-I love reading them!
    Love you,

  3. As I read your posts I envision what it would have been like for us if we had continued with our adoption plans. There were so many reasons that we did halt the process, but often reading your posts, I imagine what it would have actually been like going over to Eastern Europe to pick up our child. May God bless you and protect you through this whole process.

    Debbie A.

  4. Oh Lisa, THANK YOU for letting us be involved with this process. Definitely feeling the fact that we’re a BODY…you are not alone, sister. Loving you and lifting you up from this side. xx

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