Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arriba arriba

Dear followers and readers, 

we just arrived in Mexico. Jet lag is killing us (or at least me) but I'm sure in a couple of days we'll be fine. The altitude doesn't seem to be a problem but we may be feeling it when we'll start going up and down the hills of Zacatecas. 

Anyway, as from now on we'll have different experiences and feeling going on, I'll update as often as I can. But I'll be moving to our new blog 

So please, if you want, follow us on our new blog (and maybe become official followers if you'd like)

Soooo.... ta ta for now! 

Hasta la próxima vez!


PS. If you want to read our past experiences in Uganda, please refer to the archive on the right.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Official News!!!

NO, I'm not about to give you some new enlightening on the truth or something coming directly from the GB... This news are about us, the intrepid Panduro family...

Goodbye Uganda!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lord's Evening Meal... What an Adventure!

As you all know (and I think all of you had it by now) we just had the Memorial of Christ's Death. Now, last year it was an adventure. It was pouring down with rain, we couldn't hear the speaker as the tin roof was amplifying the noise of the rain and  power was off... but still we had an outstanding 189 attendance!
Yesterday (Sunday) we woke up and we had power, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and now the Kingdom Hall has a proper cement ceiling so we didn't worry about the sound! So me and Chris decided to chillax at home and VERY SLOWLY prepare for the Memorial.
Our Memorial was starting at 6.30pm so we had plenty of time. At 4pm a storm came, it was bucketing down and it continued until 5 when we got to the Kingdom Hall. Funny thing is, the council is planning to tarmac the road outside the Kingdom Hall, but before tarmacking, they're widening it. This means that they are actually digging the actual road (to make it flat) and the sides (to make it wider), chopping down any tree that is in the way.
At the entrance of our Kingdom Hall, we had a beautiful, massive old tree...but it was in the way!!!! So Saturday afternoon they decided to cut it and to work on the stretch of road just outside the KH. We thought that they would either finish their job by Saturday evening or, while chopping the tree, do it in a way that would make the tree fall away from the road, the KH's entrance or the KH's roof! Anyway, by the time we left the KH Saturday evening, they hadn't finish with the tree yet.
Another little interesting particular of this story is that the main road to the KH is closed as there's a river going across the road so the council decided also to build a bridge. So there are 3 other ways to get to the KH but each one of them is narrow, full of potholes and humps and they're not happy road during the rainy season.
Guess which season we're in now...
...when we leave the house it's 5pm, it's pouring down and we're all anticipating the mud/slidinglikeonice problem. What we didn't expect is this:
1. While working on the stretch of road outside the KH, the council dug 50cm deeper than the normal level of the road, meaning that each tiny narrow road going to the KH would end with a big drop. So we couldn't reach the KH with the car.
2. While cutting the tree, they decided that it would be easier to make it fall parallel the road and that's how the tree was: parallel to the road, but blocking the entrance of the KH (so even a 4x4 car wouldn't have been able to make it).
3. Because of the roadworks, the road was soft therefore after the heavy rain, the mud was about 15cm deep (imagine that with snow). The car got stuck and 4 or 5 brothers, Chris included, had to push it out of the mud.
Now, because of power problems here in Uganda, we decided to bring a back up system, an inverter with a battery. For people who don't know what it is, the battery is a normal truck battery (VERY HEAVY) and the inverter is a machine that takes power from the battery and gives it to whatever you connect to it. We thought we would get to the entrance of the KH so we wouldn't need to carry it for a long distance. But as you read, we couldn't get to the front of the KH. So Chris and another brother had to carry it for 300mt in thick deep mud (remember that all of them are suit up for the Memorial). I had high heels (very clever of me) and got stuck in the mud up to my ankles.

So while Chris and others were pushing the car out of the mud, we (sisters) "run" (more like made our way) to the KH, took our shoes off, set the stage, washed our feet, washed our shoes, greeted everybody and found a sit for other brothers' studies.
And the full moon didn't fail us.
The atmosphere was great. The KH was full and in a nearby village, Kyarusozi, where we've been having the meetings once a month, one of our Elders was holding the Memorial and they had a great attendance.
Christopher was assigned at the emblems and funny story: one teenager, wanted to eat the bread. Seeing that, the brother passing the bread from the other end of the line slapped his hand down (just imagine the scene ok?). The boy looked up at him, and went for the bread AGAIN. So the brother looked at him and slapped his hand again and then a third time. So finally the boy got it and passed the plate without taking any of the bread. Another lady took a piece (but didn't eat it) and put it back when she realized no one was taking and the plate was already a row behind her.
As total, we were 188. One less than last year, I know, but one of our sister is soon due, so you know what??? I'm counting the baby. As Jehovah does ;] .

Fort Portal - Attendance 189
Fort Portal - Publishers 67
Fort Portal - Partakers 0
So, another Memorial is gone. My 27th Memorial! Our 4th Memorial in Africa!! I Wonder where we're going to be next Memorial...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

He will make you strong!!!

Well, we just came back from Mbarara for our Circuit Assembly. The program was really encouraging and straight forward. But let me start from the Pioneer Meeting on Friday.
We left Fort Portal Friday morning early (me, Chris, Trevor, Abraham and Benjamin, one of our studies)  and I have to admit that by the time we arrived, we just had the time to put on a skirt (for me) and a tie (for the boys). We were tired and I was feeling a bit "lazy" (I found out later that I wasn't the only one) but the moment we stepped into the Kingdom Hall something lifted our spirits instantly. We felt... happy and light at heart! 
The moment we started singing...
WOW... we could definitely feel Jehovah's spirit at work in there. We had goosebumps. We were shouting, all of us, at the top of our voices, but we sang beautifully. We sounded like the Vocal Renditions (I'm not exaggerating).  After hearing song 36 "He will make you strong" (my favourite), Jehovah took us away with him in what it turned out to be the best Pioneer Meeting we had since our Pioneer School! Three and an half hours went like a blink. And the District Overseer asked to sing the last song 75 "Our reasons for joy" in turns. So the sisters sang the first part of the line and the brothers the second. We then joined in for the chorus. Well, the stereo wouldn't work but I personally think that it turned out to be AMAZING!
Again, shouting at the top of our voices, but perfectly in harmony! Not one of us was out. And I have to admit that the brothers were simply perfect. Even the D.O. said so at the end. And the feelings we had after that...well we couldn't even explain it to each other. Not only goosebumps again but also tears (some of us). 
So let me stop talking about the singing and let's go on the talks! The first thought in the first talk was brilliant! The District Overseer said that Satan wants us to leave the SAFETY of the full time service! I never thought about the full time service as a SECURITY for us. But when we think about it, being in the full time service does keep us safe.
We have less time and opportunity to be distracted!
We're constantly in the field talking about Jehovah so our faith keeps on growing and that's what keeps us in the full time service! It's a continuous cycle! And another important thought was that joy should spring from within us, not from outside! And it's true as sometimes the environment, emotional, economic or other type of hardship can take away that joy from us and although we're still in the full time service we're not giving our 100% to Jehovah!
Now to cultivate that joy though we need to get to know Jehovah really well and always see our ministry as a privilege. Isn't it true that sometimes we give our privileges for granted? Or that we tend to feel superior because of our privileges? I personally feel that it's difficult to fight these feelings! Like "Oh yeah I was at the pioneer meeting because I'm a pioneer" or "Oh yeah I know the missionaries because I'm a pioneer" or something like that. To be honest, yes it's a wonderful privilege to know all these missionaries and to be good friend with them, but sometimes I look in the congregation and I see the sister who preached in Sudan in the 70's on her own although it's a muslim country. I see the sister that although she wasn't a pioneer,  brought to the truth entire families. I see the brother that could choose to go to university but instead chose pioneering. I see the brother that was abandoned by his wife and he has 2 children to care for but still endures! These brothers is a privilege to know! They form our congregations. They encourage us by being there although they have to walk miles under the sun!

Well yes, I think that Pioneer Meeting was what I needed! It recharged me!

Now I could tell you more... but then I would have to kill you ;)

So I'll be writing about our CA soon and our crazy evenings in Mbarara!

Hope I wasn't boring!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moving House!

Changing house is among the main causes of stress in humans' lives. That and divorce.... and divorce is not included in our vocabulary so...
Now let me tell you about our "changing house" experiences in Uganda. You see, here contracts have no value. I mean, you can write down together with the Landlord/Landlady, sign it in front of witnesses but still... it has no value! Actually, it has value when it comes to the landlord rights but not when it comes to your rights.
Let me explain...
Since we came to Uganda, we changed 7 houses. 7 HOUSES!!!! In less than 5 years... now someone could say "Well, maybe you're the problem then". To be honest, we thought that too for a while... but the evidence says the opposite.

So, 4 years ago, the first house we found, was a 2 bedroom,2 bathrooms,study, sitting room, dining room, kitchen and garden. Very nicely finished. Tiles, proper shower with an amazing water pressure (big deal for Africa), nice size kitchen with door on back garden. Mosquitoes' net on windows (another big deal for here, especially in Kampala) and half furnished. The Landlord was very reasonable and, even more important, he was never there as he was half Ugandan half Argentinian so he was spending most of his time in Argentina.
Well, the house was in a very secure compound with other 5 houses, all occupied by nice people (so we thought). But then few weird things started to happen. For example in 2 months we got malaria twice (both of us) and we later found out that behind our back garden there was a swamp. Our house was at the end of the compound, bordering with the owner's house who had 3 dogs that kept barking every night, the whole night. We asked him to keep them in at night but, after 2 or 3 days of peace, they were out again barking. So we couldn't sleep. The neighbour opposite us, an Italian by the way, used to bring girls and have big parties every other day. The women often started fighting with each other (probably jealous) so all you would hear was screaming and swearing. So I think you understand why we had to leave that place.

Now on to the next house. We got in contact with this Landlady who was living in UK and was thinking about renovating her house. When she heard we were interested, she agreed with us to give us the house after renovating everything. She even asked us to help in choosing the tiles, doors, handles, kitchen cupboard and to give ideas on how to improve the garden. After going around for 2 weeks with the plumber, carpenter, electrician, painter etc etc the house was nearly ready. 2 weeks before moving in, we called the Landlady to update her on the developments and she was strangely cold and dismissive and hanged up. After that phone call, we tried and tried again but she would never answer the phone. 5 days before moving in, she finally picked up the phone and simply said that she didn't want to rent it anymore. So we talked to our Landlord and asked for a couple of weeks to find a place, but he had people moving in our place 2 days after we were supposed to move out. So we had 5 days to find a house.

We eventually found two storey house (1 apartment above where the Landlady was living, 1 below empty). The apartment was really nice. Beautiful tiles, massive kitchen, massive garage, laundry, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an annex with another en-suite double bedroom (that came handy later when a sister needed an accommodation for few months). Everything was fine and it was incredibly cheap. The surroundings were not the best, but we were right into our territory so we didn't mind. Until we found a rubbish tip on the back of the house. Until we found out that there was a problem with the water pipes coming to this part of town meaning that we didn't have water for 2 months. Until a 15 year old boy was killed outside our gate so they could take the equivalent of £2 from him. Until we got stuck in the mud with our car and we had to pay 10 guys to pull the car out by hand. We HAD to leave.

On to the next house. My parents were coming to stay in Uganda so we decided to start with a bigger house and see if we could just share the rent. The house was really big, but not well distributed. One bedroom was enormous while the other, although en-suite, was tiny. Fine! No problem! Until... the toilet seat broke and the landlord didn't want to change it! Until the sewer started coming up from the drain in our bathroom and the landlord wouldn't do anything about it. Until the kitchen started to fall apart. Until my cat chopped half his foot off on the barbed wire. Until I got malaria again because on the other side of the wall next to our bedroom there was a slam area with stagnant water. Until the Landlord found someone who would pay more than us and took our complaints as an excuse to send us out.

Next please!!! An old house, half renovated, perfect size for us, not too big nor too small. Big garden. Only house in the compound. The landlady was even building an on-suite bathroom outside our bedroom. Perfect! Until... we started noticing rat droppings on the kitchen top coming from a whole in the ceiling. Until the builders used to come and sit around, leave a mess but they wouldn't get anywhere with the building. Until after 3 months we asked the Landlady when this bathroom would be finished and she got so angry that she sent us a letter giving us 1 month to get out of the house. That's when we decided that we had enough. We decided to go back home. So we took our safari trip and discovered Fort Portal.

Planning to come to Fort Portal, we then found the "perfect" house. European Landlord, only 2 bedrooms, B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L garden with bananas, avocados, mangos and even a marijuana plant (that we obviously eradicated). Amazing flowers, anything I would plant would grow. Why did we leave? We had to leave the country as the immigration would not renew our visas. We would never have left it otherwise. But then we came back...

So the house where we were staying before the one we're staying now, was too big, bad condition, very old...not very nice! I know, someone would say that T.I.A. but as we finally decided to stay in Uganda, we wanted to find something where we would feel happy and that would take less time. So we moved into this house where we're leaving now.


You the house is new and unfinished, the Landlady agreed to use the money from our rent to finish certain things around the house. We entered the house without any kitchen cupboard or internal door. She said they would be fixed in a week or so. It took them 3 months. If you could see the house today, you would notice that nothing has changed in the last 8 months a part from the money WE spent to fix things she didn't want to fix (vital stuff like electrics and showers). At the end of September 2010 if you remember we had the C.O. staying with us and we still had no internal doors. A bit awkward to have a shower without the bathroom door right? When we called the Landlady 3 weeks before explaining the situation, she assured us that she would fix every door in a week. 2 days before the C.O. arrival, we called her to ask about the door and she just replied "Well you have to stay without doors because I don't have the money to pay". After a "short" discussion in front of other people (and our threat to leave the place) the doors arrived and were fixed in 2 days.
Then we finally asked for the boys quarter (external rooms) as we wanted to help a pioneer sister in the congregation. Now, the boys quarter is supposed to be included in our rent but we've been patient with her as she said she had some of her things in it and we didn't really need it until now. When we finally asked, after 6 months, she said "No I'm not going to remove my things from there." End of story. Again, we tried to ignore that. But then we found out that Chris' parents are coming to stay so we wanted to make some improvements to the house, even if it meant doing it ourselves. So we cleared out all the building sand and broken tiles and pieced of metal left over where the parking space should be. We asked her many times to clear out the "rubbish" (as SHE called it) and she always said "I will, I will". So now we just took action. Two days after, Chris receives a call from her, screaming that she wants all her "rubbish" back as it was very expensive. So Chris, very politely and calm, clearly explains that we needed that space cleared out as his parents are coming but she replied by rising her voice even more "I want my stuff back!!!". So Chris, exhausted just said "Ok, I'm sorry but we're going to leave in June (after his parents leave)". She hanged the phone and we've never heard from her. In the meantime, Chris wrote the notice letter as the contract stated that the notice should be written and should not be only verbal.
Two days ago we received a letter from her lawyer saying that we have to get out by the 10th of May as our rent expires on that date. We then called the lawyer and said that we obviously wanted to give the money for extra month and that we didn't have any intention to stay here without paying. We still waiting for an answer.

We're currently looking for a decent house and still deciding if it would be wise moving before Chris' parents arrive (don't want to move house while guests are here...I get all stressed and nervous and then become nasty with everyone).

So anyway... T.I.A. As you can see, IT'S NOT US!!!
Jehovah always gave us the strength and patience to keep our calm with our landlord/landladies and in a way he always rewarded us with a better place. So we're heading to our 8TH house! We're praying that the next place will be our last one, so we're looking carefully trying to make a wise decision.

We'll keep you up to date.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So...what's new?

Well, not a lot honestly but maybe I can update you on the little things that make our days here in a small village 50km from Congo at the feet of the Rwenzori.

Let me introduce you to Sarah:
Chris found Sarah just before we left for our holiday in November.
She seemed very interested and after a couple of studies with her, my hopes to have a daughter were rocketing sky high...
She was always prepared, she studied the Appendix on 1914 and explained it to me (better than how I explained it to her, I assure you). She's 16, she has a small boy, Dalvin, meaning that she lost a year in school (here you can't go to school if you're pregnant) but she reads amazingly well and she has the capacity to reason (which is really something considering that in school here they don't teach you to reason). The mother always attended the study and followed with her own book, but honestly speaking I was concentrating on Sarah as after a couple of studies, she started coming to the Kingdom Hall regularly while the mother didn't want even to think about leaving her church. So, then the time for me to go in holiday came and I left Sarah to continue the study with Joy (my African twin pioneer sister).
When I come back Joy tells me that the mother one day, during one study, started arguing regarding the thing we teach saying that they're very confusing and very different from any other religion. Joy, tried to explain that the teachings are coming directly from the Bible as she saw during all the studies she attended and then clearly said "If you're so confused, there is no point in you attending the study. Let us continue studying in peace with Sarah". Now this could seem to you a bit harsh, but it's quite common here (and Joy in particular doesn't like to waist time) to be straight forward with someone. The reaction of the mother? She started attending every single study and getting serious in learning the truth. After a while she recognized that what we teach is the truth and she stopped going to her church. All this happened while I was away!!!
So, now, she has her own personal study and Sarah studies on Sunday after the meeting (which she attends regularly). A couple of weeks ago though, I lost any hope as after the study she told me that the mother decided to send her to boarding school (you live at school basically, they don't allow you out even on a Sunday and you're forced to attend their church). She obviously didn't want to go as she has a child and she wanted to continue the study and coming to the meetings.
So after praying together we talked to the mother who didn't agree or disagree at that moment but eventually thought about it  as the next time I saw Sarah (with a 54 teeth smile on her face), she told me the mother agreed to send her to a normal school. So I thanked Jehovah and my hope raised again.
Well, the other day, after the Sunday meeting it comes out that the decision of sending her to boarding school was because one aunt offered to pay for her school fees and the mother, being a poor widow, couldn't say no to such an offer. But after 3 days (and many many prayers), this aunt decided that she didn't have the money to give, but she offered half the fees for a normal school. (Jehovah works in ways we don't expect sometimes).
Now all it was left to Sarah to do was to find the other half of the fees and she could start her last year of school (without it here you can't find a job). Last Sunday, after many many MANY prayers, I had decided to help her with the other half as she promised that if she started school, she would attend the Saturday (Thursday) meeting as she want to become a publisher and get baptized (my heart stopped for a second when she said so, but then I realized that many people say that and don't pursue it). I didn't even have the time to take the money out of my pocket that she said "Someone came around and gave me the other half so I'll be going to school next week". Again, Jehovah keeps on working behind the stage don't you think?
Yesterday evening she sent me a message on my phone saying that she got a really nice school near her home and that the mother is expecting me for the study tomorrow morning. So I'll be updating you on Sunday to tell you if she's keeping her promise to attend Saturdays.

Now something that I'm sure will make you laugh:
Chris was in the field the other day and there there was this beggar boy (unfortunately he has mental problems) we know who is always around town. So this boy goes up to Chris and start asking for money as Chris is talking to one of the shop keeper inside the market. So Chris ignores him (generally he goes away after a couple of minutes) but the boy continues pestering him so Chris greets the shop keeper and walks off. Suddenly Chris feels a kick up his bottom!!! He turns around and the boy, still there with his hand out, is telling him off (more growling than talking) because Chris wouldn't give him anything.
Chris, feeling sorry for him, doesn't do anything and while he turns around to leave, the shop keeper comes out (a lady) running towards the boy with a massive courgette (or marrow, don't know really) and starts beating him up, while the boy starts punching her in the face and runs away so she chases him down the market with a stick. The whole market was laughing! And even Chris couldn't do anything but burst in laugh.

So that was a "change" for the day!

And this is it! As for now...

Ciao Ciao

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Call to all women...

To all the members of the female "weaker" gender... listen up! The Bible refers to us as the weaker vessels...the faithful and discreet slave reminds often brothers to remember that we have different kind of emotional needs...
This is what every woman in Africa has to go through when she is in the field and nature is calling
OK, I'll admit this is the worse I've ever seen, but still...I had to go... TWICE!!! In case you're wondering, the "toilet" is actually the gap between the boards and the leaves is the toilet paper. 
We all very well know how men go for first call (nature call not first call in the field), so although challenging, they don't have it as bad as us women...WE HAVE TO SQUAT/CROUCH to go for first call. 
Our...everything...goes closer to the "toilet", including our nose and mouth...which by the way you have to keep open to be able to breath or a foul/revolting/disgusting/awful/horrid/outrageous/vile etc etc etc smell will permeate your nose and force you to gag and, if you're not strong (and quick) enough, puke!

Now I know many men who rather than using this "toilet" would turn to mother nature (the next bush available)...but for us we can't turn to mother nature because in Africa, everywhere you go, there is a small house or hut and people working in the nearby field. 
So we HAVE to use these "toilets" (that sometimes even local sister won't use being so horrible).



By the way, the board on the far right was not secured into the soil...I nearly went into the "ditch/toilet" with my whole leg...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spooky Trevor!!!

Now, you tell me if this is not spooky! Every time I decide to take a picture of the Field Service Meeting or the brothers in the field, HE KNOWS!!!! And HE'S READY!!!!

Check it out...



And I assure you, I'm not calling him and I'm trying to take the photos as silently as I can!!!!

But there he his... looking at the camera!


Now,  he SAYS he doesn't do it on purpose which makes it even more SPOOKIER!!!!
He's like Barney (I can't say from which program but if you watch it you'll know what I mean) coming out in every photo with his suit in a James Bond pose even when he's in t-shirt and shorts (or when he's not even there)!!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baibuli Mali Eyegesa Ki?

I don't know if you can understand the joy and appreciation we feel in our heart in this small part of the world...Fort Portal, a small village in the middle of nowhere, with a population of max. 50.000... 
Still Jehovah heard our prayers and saw the REAL need! So he decided to give us this wonderful gift!
We just received the BIBLE TEACH BOOK in the local language RUTORO!!!!! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our first year!

Well I couldn't believe today! It was what brighten our day. Everything was going wrong (basically everything was breaking in the house just before Trevor [alaskan brother...remember?] would come and stay with us for a few days) but then I remembered!!!
I found some of the photos of our first year in Kampala...the most important ones! I had totally forgotten... from December 2006 to September 2007... we made a short video for the friends back home with the photos of the most important moments during those 9 months.
And I've found THEM...
Gary and Angela Rappenecker (hope is spelled right)... I will tell you all about them another time, but in the meantime what you need to know about them is that THEY WERE AND STILL ARE AMAZING!!!! And we'll never forget them... We had some wonderful time together and those precious moments will always be in our hearts.
When I was extracting the photos from the video and saw them, I was in the house alone and found myself crying like a baby... a bit silly really, but I can't explain how much I miss them. So be prepared to read about them soon...
Well, as for now you can check out our first year of experiences and all the missionaries we know in our Picasa Album under Kampala 2007 (click on the slideshow on the right handside). As soon as I can, I'll upload the video we had made for the friends back home (although some frames are in Italian but are not important). After 4 years, when I watched it, it still brought tears to my eyes as it brings back a lot of memories... good and bad memories... but these memories will stay with us for the rest of our life. And for this, we need to thank Jehovah that gave us the "inspiration" to come to Uganda 4 years ago.
Thank you Jehovah for making us understand, many and many times, that you wanted us here in Uganda serving you... Thank you for making us come back every time... And thank you for giving us the strength we needed to endure all those trials that, without your help, would have sent us back home!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I missed the meetings here!

I mean, obviously the material is the same everywhere in the world, but the secret is that the brothers are not, meaning that the approach and the quality of the meetings changes a lot. For example, the comments the brothers and sisters give here at the Congregation Bible Study regarding the feelings Jesus may have showed to others in different circumstances, simply shock me! I mean, for someone coming from Europe or US, Italy in my case, where feelings are kind of showed one way or another (where I come from feelings ARE VERY WELL EXPRESSED IN WORDS, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND HANDS!), the culture here could be a bit...tricky! It's difficult for the Ugandan to show their feelings. It's a culture... thinghy! They will probably express it very well in words, but sometimes the facial expression is completely the opposite of the feeling they're expressing in words. For example, the line between laughing and crying here is so THIN that sometimes, when they're talking about something dead serious, they laugh about it instead of crying. So it could be challenging sometimes to work them out, if you know what I mean.
That is why I'm shocked every time they give an answer regarding Jesus' feelings...they really get them, while sometimes I struggle trying to imagine that type of feeling.
Then we get articles regarding DEEP THINGS OF GOD and I spend hours sometimes trying to understand completely a concept so that I can make it mine and therefore explain it (not being in my mother tongue doesn't help). Then, at the meeting, the deep comments the brothers give explaining perfectly what that paragraph meant, are simply amazing. 
In Fort Portal we're also blessed as the majority of the speakers are really REALLY good, but even when someone is not, you can really FEEL the spirit of Jehovah wondering "above our heads" :).
This last Sunday, we had only the watchtower study as there was a ZONE VISIT in Kampala so majority of the brothers went to attend being a very important event. Well, we were still in 50 between publishers and interested ones and it was THE BEST WATCHTOWER in a long time. 
In addition to that, I had the joy to see 2 of my studies coming and commenting. One of them, Susan, never came. Actually every time I would try to invite her, she would change the subject and every Sunday I would be disappointed. So last Wednesday, after the study, I told the sister that was working with me that I was ready to "sift" this study as she quite advanced into the book and never showed the intention to come to the meetings. So I received a nice "slap" on my face from Jehovah when I saw her coming in and sitting down....and then when she commented. 
The other study, Queenie, stopped studying at least 2 months ago because she started University and I was really disappointed as she now lives 5 minutes from the Kingdom Hall, but came only once and then disappeared. Well, another slap, when I FOUND HER THERE 10 MINUTES BEFORE THE MEETING STARTED!!!! She explained that she was trying to adjust the lessons (yes, they study even on Sundays here) so that she could come on Sunday and do the study after the meeting at the Kingdom Hall. So now, she promised she would be regular.

I was SOOOOO glad to find out that one of my studies, Sarah, went to all the meeting when I was in UK and that the mother finally changed her tune as she was attending the study and be argumentative about everything. So when I was away, Joy, the pioneer sister looking after Sarah, told her that if she thought that our teaching was "confusable", she shouldn't attend the study. From that moment on, she attended the study and appreciated the fact that every single teaching is supported by the Bible (she got to a turning point at Judgement Day). So now she's happy to attend the study and participate actively in a very humble way. 
And I felt amazing the first day back in the field doing first call on a business territory. Even when they're busy, they always listen to you, often stopping what they're doing to check out the scriptures you're reading to them.

So anyway, as you can see, we're really happy to be back! 
The brothers welcomed us again with much love! And we have many good news! For example, from March there will be a Rutoro meeting after the English one on Sundays! This is wonderful news as we have brothers and sisters who don't understand a word of English and can't follow the meetings properly. So now, we have to resume our Rutoro lessons and try to get serious about it! 

Nyniega mpora mpora!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New year, new adventures!

So here we are...back home...back in our routine that we love so much! 
Of course we liked beingWe were in the field today, in the beautiful SUNNY Fort Portal. Unfortunately the usual peace you find here was broken by people with whistles and trumpets who kept on "playing" them to promote the voting of the current President.
The field was great...first call was great! I finished all the literature within 1 hour. I have 2 returns already (I know...everyone here is a potential study here but you can work them out if they're really interested in the Bible or in your skin colour). 
In the meantime we bought a new bike, a bit better than the last one as is a much more stable bike and the tires are especially for muddy we should be fine with that for a long time. We really don't see the need to buy a car as the only times we need the car is when we go to assemblies and conventions which means that either we get a ride with the brothers having a car, or we rent a car for few days.

And using a bike in this lovely weather is so...COOL!!! You feel constantly in holiday (I said we FEEL in holiday, not we ARE in holiday!!!) We brought decent helmets and waterproof jackets from UK so we are even safer and "dryer" now.
So here we are again... and it's lovely!

We're having the pioneer meeting on Wednesday as the elders decided to wait for us to come back, which was really nice of them! 
Then every Thursdays we're working on the KH to finish the ceiling meaning that now, during the raining season, we will be able to hear the speaker EVEN WHEN IT'S RAINING!!! That will be nice...Looking forward to that being finished.
One of the pioneers sisters whom I left my favourite study with, informed me that this study has been regular to the meetings and she prepares and give really good answers, so that lifted me up today. And all my studies were really happy to see me, so I have to say that today was a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L day.
So I'm looking forward to tomorrow and start with my studies again. But this year I'm going to make sure I'll be doing first call every day before any return.

So... ta ta for now!