Friday, September 14, 2007
The photo above is of (from right to left) Madrine, Ronnie, Paulson, Raoul, Andrew and JP in the hat (the person the party was for)
The two guys are Paulson, and Raoul. Raoul is the one smiling and him and Phin are best friends.
The 3 girls are Carol, Sylvia (people say sileeviah here) and Blessing.
Last night was definately in the top 5 funnest times we've had in Uganda so far, and not much will be able to top it!
So we have this amazing friend John Paul (JP). He's our cell group leader, friend from church, an amazing preacher, and just a spectacular person! We're very very sad to say that he's resigned from his job in Jinja and is going to go back to school for a really cool program that he's going to do so good in. He's moving to Entebbe for that which is about an two hours away if you don't include in the 'jams' that can add another couple hours that.
So last sunday, bethany and I had our friends Carol, Blessing and David over. Jp was supposed to come but he couldnt make it which was excellent because while Carol and Blessing were watching 'dream girls' me and beth and david were huddled in the kitchen planning a sweeeeet suprise party for Jp! Whenever anyone celebrates birthday's here they sometimes say its a sweet 16 so we planned Jp's going away party as a "super sweet 16" (thank you for the inspiration Mtv!)
Bethany and David and I planned all the details and texted everyone on the guest list the details. WE made up a whole big elaborate lie all about how David was going to tell him that he was making pork (which is a super big deal here) at our house and the 4 of us were going to hang out with Phin and a watch a movie and eat supper together. Thursday nights is fellowship across town so the majority of the guestlist was at that fellowship that JP was also at. We were very careful to tell people that this was going to be a big surprise and to keep it that way.
At 7:30 Jp and David show up at our gate and we are not ready at all! Everyone is up on our balcony but the candles are all lit (yeah for no power nights) and everyone was talking and being loud. So i ran up on the balcony and Carol and Blessing helped me blow all the candles out and everyone ducked down.
Jp and David are terrified of our dogs and so we held them at the gate by telling them we had to put the dogs away before they could come in. So they get out of the car and we tell them right off the bat that we need them to come quickly help us move these beds that are on the balcony just to keep them from the rain if we need too. We walk up the steps and onto the balcony and everyone yells SURPRISE!! and we totally got him so good. He was so happy. He had never even had a birthday party in his life before. Hes 26.
Beth and I kinda went all out and bought happy birthday signs, food, streamers, balloons (BYOOOOOOONS!!!! in Phin's language), and prizes. We played really funny cheesy party games like 'I have never" which got fairly intense and even included some broken couch arms. WE played this game called Matthew Matthew Mark Mark and you have to keep this beat and say like Amy Amy Bethany Bethany while clapping your hands and hitting your knees and keeping time and it sounds lame but its really funny and hard. I (amy) was out on the first round because clapping and hitting and talking and keeping beat at the same time is just a bit out of my reach at this point. We also wrapped some prizes all relating to JP in newspaper and layered it like crazy with tape and stuff and then split everyone up into 2 teams and all you had was a fork and spoon to open the package and you cant use your hands. One person is trying to open the package while the person next to them is rolling a dice and trying to get a 6. When they get a six they grab the package and utensils and pass the dice to the their neighbor and so on.
The prizes were a tie with dogs on it because JP is ever wearing a tie and he haaaates dogs, an onion because he has many layers (stolen from shrek and also a last resort), water wings because Jp is a terrrrrible swimmer, and a chocolate bar because he's such a sweet heart! Shout out to Shelly.com for her care package which provided the chocolate bar free of charge to us!
For the party we prepared Papaya, Pineapple, Bananas, Carrots, Cucumber (chukumbah as is said here), gnuts (same thing as peanuts but we have to roast and salt them ourselves), no bake cookies, batambuze buns with blue band, jam and peanut butter, and Carol made the pork and Blessing came over and cooked "irish" which is what people here call potatoes. I helped her make it and we packed banana leaves around the inside of the pot to keep the steam in and keep them from burning!
At the end of the night everyone took turns saying things about JP and not just your typical "oh hes really fun and nice and cool and a good friend" but really sincere, genuine heartfelt beautiful things about him. Then after everyone was done that, he went around and said a unique and genuine, sincere thing about every single person there. Bethany and I were fighting tears the whole time and while this was going on Phin was so helpfully gathering all the empty pop bottles from around the balcony at our feet. He was a trooper the whole night.
When we were all saying goodbye, Blessing (her name suits her to a T) came up to me and hugged me, thanked me for the party and said that she's never met 'whites' like Bethany and i. She said she has never seen white people so interested in making real friendships and helping people not just by throwing money around but by actually physically helping. We put chairs away and sound equipment away after the concert we helped with and people could not stop talking about how humble we are that we stayed till the very end. I started crying because i felt so awful to be white at that moment and be part of a race thats done awful things to these people. I told her i was so sorry white people have made them feel that way and i'm glad that beth and i can just love them like theres no difference. because there isnt. at all. Some of these friends are life long, we can tell. So until next time...