Friday, May 27, 2011

Kenna's toe

Kenna has been dealing with an in-grown toenail for a few months now. We have tried antibiotics to help with the infection. Warm water salt soaks. Putting a piece of gauze down in between her toenail and the side, with a paper clip. (not the most fun thing to do.) All to no avail. After two rounds of this, she decided she just wanted to get a section of her toenail cut out.

That operation was... well, gross. I am pretty okay with blood and stuff. I was a nurse. I've seen C-sections, debridements, etc. Maybe it is because it was my daughter, maybe it is because it is a toe. I just know that I can't watch the Dr. take a pair of scissors and start to cut UP the toenail bed. I blame it on the heat... it was hot in that room. I started to feel clammy, cold. Pins and needles on my skin. Before I actually passed out, I just calmly say... " I'm going to sit down, it's hot, I don't feel good."

Back to Kenna. After all this is about her and not her mother being a wimp. She is a trouper. She winces a little. Mainly from the numbing shots. The procedure is over before she knows it. A healed toe! NOT.

After another round of antibiotics, more foot soaking, more jamming gauze between the nail-bed... we head back to the Dr. This time not to just cut a section of the toenail out.... to TAKE THE TOENAIL OFF!

So this past Monday we head to the Dr.'s office yet again. Kenna's friend Janae nicely offers to go with.. more moral support. As hard as I tried not to look, I had to look. I like surgeries. I was done looking when I saw the bloody toenail sitting next to Kenna's toe.

Kenna is doing fine. We can't get the last piece of gauze off the toe though. We have soaked it for the past three nights and it is just really dried onto her toe. I think today we will have to soak it again and we will have to remove it. I'm afraid it will get infected if it stays on.

I am not including pictures, because that would just be gross. Not that telling you about it isn't gross. I guess this post can be included in the "non-sense." So, enjoy the non-sense.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sipi Falls- Part 2

The second day at Sipi Falls was a beautiful sunny day. We decide to head out on the coffee tour. It is suppose to be closer, and less strenuous. We start out with our same guide, Jasper. He grew up on the hill just below where we were staying. He is very familiar with all the paths, the elevation and the climbing. While Tina and I are panting/trying to catch our breath... Jasper just smiles and waits patiently. Again, I didn't think I was in that bad of shape.
Anyhow, the walk is gorgeous. Through the eucalyptus forests. Across streams. Through banana trees. Past little farms. All against the rich greens of the many plants, and the bright blue of the sky. Absolutely breath-taking.

We head to and arrive at a local farmers coffee plantation. We are told the "old man" isn't around but the son says he can take us around. He explains all about how long it takes to grow a coffee plant from a seedling to being able to pick the beans. He shows us one year old plants.
Two year old plants. Three year old plants. Four year old plants... which are now ready for to harvest. Four years. I knew it took four years, thanks to Out of Africa. Where else does one learn about ALL things African. :-)
We are then told that we can plant our own tree. In three years we can come back and pick our own coffee beans. I can't wait that long for coffee.

We head back down to the lodge we are staying at to see the rest of the process.
We are shown dried coffee beans still in their "husk" (not sure what the proper term is).
We are given a.. what is that thing called? Anyhow, we are told to pound the beans... and pound... and pound. Then we sift, and pick and sift some more.

The traditional way of roasting coffee was over a wood fire, so we head to a small hut where they already have a fire going. We dump the coffee beans into a pot and Jenifer (the nice lady who managed to stand over the fire with smoke in her eyes for about twenty minutes) starts to stir. The coffee beans are finally done. They ask us to try one. They.... were.... horrible..... burnt. I'm sure that back in the colonial days when they roasted coffee over an open fire it turned out great. We failed miserably.

The rest of the day we relaxed, watched a movie, read or wrote in a journal.... relaxed. It was wonderful.

The next morning we headed home. When we started driving down the mountain it was cool to see that we were above the clouds.

Sipi Falls was beautiful. Time away was much needed. Getting to know Tina better was great. I should do this more often.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sipi Falls- Part 1

Ok.. second attempt at posting this. Actually I think it is the fifth attempt, but the previous ones I couldn't even access the page. This time it decided to delete everything but the title. :-)

When Tina emailed me a few weeks back and asked if we could maybe get away somewhere, I have to say I was a bit excited. It has been quite awhile since I have gone and done some "girl-time". We decided on a trip to Sipi Falls which is about three hours from Jinja. By the time Friday morning rolled around I was ready for a break.

The drive there was beautiful. The first picture is of a papyrus field, which actually stretched on for miles on both sides of the road. I had to take pictures, as I think it is my new favorite tree. (it is a tree, right?)

The mountains and a view of one of the falls from a distance.

The rooms in the cottage we stayed in.

After arriving, eating lunch and changing out of our skirts, we decide to head out for our first adventure. Now, at lunchtime we saw three men walking down the hill we were about to climb. It didn't look so bad, after all they were carrying bamboo or some sort of tree on their heads. We had bamboo too.. although ours were to keep us from falling and to help leverage ourselves up the trail.

We discovered about half-way up the mountain that Tina has asthma (well, I discovered.) She hasn't had a flair up for years, so she didn't even think to bring her inhaler. Between the altitude and the steepness of the hill/mountain... she didn't stand a chance. But the trouper that she is, we just took a few breathing breaks and kept on heading up.

When we reached the top, took some pictures of the great expanse before us, and rested, we decided that we would head towards the next falls. Although storm clouds were looming over-head, our guide insisted that it wasn't going to rain until the evening time. We believed him, besides, we wanted an adventure, right?

Not more than five minutes after we start towards the falls, it starts to drizzle. Which turns into rain. Which turns into a downpour. Which turns into a monsoon. Ok, so it probably wasn't a monsoon, but standing underneath tree roots, next to a roaring falls in a torrential downpour, made it feel like it was.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Last Friday I went to Kampala with my pastor, his wife and the team they were taking to the airport. They were going to spend some time at the craft market, which I have never been too, and then to a pizza place. I thought it sounded like a nice day away. A day to just be... without the stress of the restaurant, without the schedule of the kids.. just a day to relax.

About five minutes out from the city, Pastor Terry gets a call that there are riots starting in town. He has Pastor Anthony, his Ugandan friend, call someone in town to see how bad they are. The friend says nothing was happening where he was yet, but that the government just closed all government offices and were sending everyone home. Pastor Terry decides it's not smart to go to the craft market which is in the middle of town. He proposes going to the Entebbe zoo instead. There is a road that leads to Entebbe that goes around the center of Kampala, so we take the turn to go there. Minutes after turning onto that road, cars and boda's (taxi motorcycle's) and people are fleeing towards us, shouting that there are riots and gunfire, to turn around. We turn around and try to head down a dirt road that would take us back to the town we had just left. The driver, deciding it was too risky to go all that way, pulls into a hotel parking lot. The hotel closes their gate after we pull in. Within minutes, outside the gate there are tires and debris on fire in the middle of the road. We hear rounds of tear gas being shot off, gunfire. Yelling. We are safe in the outside courtyard of the hotel.

So, instead of getting a relaxing day going shopping and enjoying pizza... I get a relaxing day holed up in the back of a hotel, watching the royal wedding and eating fish. I'm not complaining, it was still a relaxing day. I know I should have been stressed, scared or at least a little tense, but.. I wasn't. We were in a gated hotel, there just happened to be a workshop seminar going on in the back of the hotel with about twenty military. Even with the physical security that was around, my heart was at peace. Physically I knew the chances of something actually happening to us was low. Some of the team might have been freaking out... a little.

Maybe it is that I have been doing a study on peace. Peace that comes from God. Peace that passes all understanding. Maybe, just maybe I was actually learning.. actually applying what I was learning.

Links of the day:

Thank you Jesus for protecting us that day. Thank you for the peace the passes ALL understanding.