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Remembering Uganda: Speke

July 16, 2013

We are telling our adoption story through recounting memories and sharing a series of emails that were sent while we were in Uganda in July & August of 2012. If you have made your way here because you are thinking about adopting from Uganda or are in the process, please know that the process is very different now than it was in 2012.

We arrived at Speke late on a Friday afternoon, just in time for the weekend. It was wonderful. On the weekend in Uganda, at least in our experience, everything stops. Adoption related errands are impossible because everything (attorney, court, clinic, etc.) is closed.  Which means there was nothing for our family to do but to be together and explore our new “home.”

We treated ourselves to the delicious breakfast buffet on our first morning at Speke, and it was truly amazing. It was the best we had eaten since we left the US, and the variety was incredible. The fruit tray had your run-of-the-mill apples, oranges, etc. but it also had the yummiest and freshest mango, pineapple, watermelon, passion fruit and many others. The juice bar had apple and orange juices of course, but it also had freshly squeezed pineapple and watermelon juices. There was an omelet and pancake bar where you could have eggs and pancakes prepared any way you like them and sausage and bacon to add, but there was also many potato, veggie and different lamb, chicken and pork choices as well. Oh, and the coffee was some of the best I had ever had. It was all just scrumptious, a huge treat.

We tried to go swimming on one of the first days we were there, and we were shocked to find that it was TOO COLD. With weather in the 80’s that got down into the 70’s at night, the giant pool didn’t really heat up as much as you would think, and our kids wouldn’t get in for more than a couple minutes. It was so strange to be in Africa and for it to be too cool to go swimming. We found other things to do, though, and we quickly settled into our routine of walks and exploring, returning to the “apartment” as Eliza called it for snacks, rest and meals. It was a blessing to have so much to do right on the property. Our kids never had a chance to get bored.

Speke gave us another gift, as well. Internet connection. So, we went from having no way to communicate at all with no phone and no internet connection to having a phone AND an internet connection in just a few days time. It was such a blessing to have another way to  communicate with the people we loved back home. Just to prove how thrilling it was, here is my first email from Uganda, sent to my friend “M”:

Sent July 13, 2012
I am sending an EMAIL!!
So. Stinkin. Exciting. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We got to Speke Resort and Conference Center today. It is by far the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in, and I feel like a spoiled rotten, extravagant American… And yet I am sooooo thankful to be here. We went for a walk today and only explored a tiny fraction of the grounds, which included a garden and marina. The kids are in heaven. Swimming pool tomorrow, as long at the weather cooperates. It really will be a great place to wait out the next few weeks. I am so grateful.
Did I mention I am sending this message by EMAIL!?!?!?!?
Love and miss you, friend.
You can MAYBE tell that I was a TAD BIT excited to have Internet access. The ability to make phone calls and access the internet is something I had taken for granted for most of my life. After not having it for a very short period of time, I will always be grateful for the technology that allows me to connect with the people that I love. It is truly a gift.

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