Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where Were You?

Those of you of a certain age will remember where you were in 1972 when Paul Henderson scored that all important goal.  For the Mortons the memory in years to come will be “remember where we were when we watched the Canadian women’s hockey team beat the US to win the gold medal in 2014.” 
We’d be following the fortunes of the Canadian Olympians, when the internet co-operated, and were hankering to watch a game.  Enter our next door neighbours who happen to be as avid hockey fans as we are.  After playing for Boston College, Sarah-Joy coached some of the players on the US team and was eager to see the game.  Her husband knew of a man in Kiwoko with a satellite TV who makes a living broadcasting football games for the locals. “Let’s call and see if he’s got the channel with the hockey.”  After patiently explaining that we wanted hockey (you know ice, sticks, puck) and not figure skating, we discovered that indeed hockey was on in Kiwoko.  We jumped in their car, raced to town and drove down a back alley.  Behind metal gates was a room with a dirt floor, a few plastic chairs and some wooden benches.  At the front was a huge screen and there sure enough was what we’d be hoping for.  Our neighbours had the early advantage but then we scored that first goal, came back to tie and headed to overtime.  The four of us hooted and hollered while John sat quietly clutching his Canadian flag.  He told us afterward “my knees were shaking.”  We could hardly believe the tension and exploded with joy when the final goal came.  As we crept out to the car it seemed like a dream.  Hockey Night in Kiwoko – a night to remember.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Joys and Sadness

Another week has flown by filled with joys and sadness. 

Last Saturday the kids and I were invited to go to Jinja to celebrate the birthday of one of the boys here.  We often long for a dip in a cool Ontario lake when the sun beats down on us.  A three hour trip over bumpy dirt roads to a swimming pool near the shores of Lake Victoria proved to be a welcome treat.

It was exciting to introduce baby Sarah and Wilson to the water and fun to watch the birthday boy splashing happily with John.

 By accident John handed Dan the snack bag instead of his present and you should have seen the smile.  We learned later that he shared all the snacks with his family group when he got home.  On our way back Wilson fell fast asleep in the back seat as baby Sarah serenaded us with “da, da, da, da,” all the way home.

School is back in session and this year Wilson will be attending our Special Needs class which is housed in its brand new building.  (We are still praying for funds to finish off the second building phase.)  It has been so exciting to see the children and staff in their greatly expanded space.  Wilson is attending the class because sadly his eye-sight is deteriorating.  As we watched him struggle to walk down a few steps on Saturday our hearts were heavy. 

What a gift then, when Catriona came home from Special Needs class with this picture of a smiling boy happy to be where he can be helped to reach his potential. 

Yesterday I travelled back into the bush to attend the burial of a mother of one of the teachers in our primary school.  Two tiny mud structures surrounded by mourners, the simple wooden box, and the overwhelming pain of loss.  The details of this death are tragic and words so utterly inadequate.