Posted by: jacobgillard | May 2, 2008

Top 10 Questions

After 16 presentations at 10 different venues and several home-stays we’re able to compile a list of the “Top 10” questions that people ask as we prepare to serve in Uganda. Thanks for your interest!

  1. Have either of you ever been to Africa before? Yes, once-and very recently, in fact! We have served in mission contexts before and traveled extensively, but neither of us had made it to Africa until this past Easter when we did a quick trip to meet Church leaders and take care of logistical matters to prepare for our arrival.
  2. When will you arrive in Uganda? We hope to be there by October 2008. We wish it could be sooner, but between now and then we are doing the very important work of traveling the USA (mostly the Midwest) to tell the exciting story of what God is doing in Uganda and seeking individuals and congregations to partner with us in that task.  Our final departure date is quite dependent upon our funding and sponsorship status.
  3. How long will you stay there? Indefinitely. It is a regular “call” as we understand it in the Lutheran Church. There is provision to return briefly every-other-year. (Specifically, the terms are 2 years in length with 22 months on the field and then 2 months back in the States for home assignment. So if we arrive on the field by October 2008 then we’ll be back in the States for a brief visit mid-summer 2010.)
  4. Where will you live? We will live in the capital city, Kampala. It’s an ideal location for our home base. We’ll travel from there to out-lying areas.
  5. What will your house be like? The mission board provides (rents) a house for us. We’ll get to help pick it out since we are the first full-time workers on this field. It will likely be brick or cinderblock construction, plaster walls, ceramic tiled floors throughout, 2-4 bedrooms, indoor plumbing, screens on the windows, and a red-tiled roof so often seen in tropical climates. Kampala is a city built on rolling hills and our house will likely be up on the side of a hill and not in the valley so our yard will likely not be too level. Security is similar to many places in the developing world: bars on the windows and a wall around the property (often with concertina wire on top). We’ll hire a gardener by day and a night watchman by night. The mission board also provides us with a refrigerator, stove, and water filter. We are responsible for furnishings and will do that to our taste.
  6. What will you do? We will work very closely with our national church partner, the Lutheran Church Mission Uganda (LCMU). They’ve asked us to assist them as they train their leaders for ministry. It will be primarily a ministry of teaching, equipping, capacity building, and mutual encouragement!
  7. Will you have a car? Yes. Because some of our teaching and training sites are in remote regions, we’ll need a Toyota Landcruiser or equivalent. Vehicles are quite expensive there. We could easily pay $20,000 for a well used 4×4.
  8. What will the girls do for school? Michelle would like to try homeschooling. If they are homeschooled it will be much easier for all of them to accompany me (Jake) on my travels upcountry for teaching and training. If homeschooling doesn’t work out, we can try local Ugandan schools or local International schools.
  9. What can you buy there and how much do things cost? It varies. Things like fitted sheets, good-quality pots and pans, and good-quality tools are difficult to come by. Blenders and toasters are easy to get but Uganda is land-locked so manufactured goods generally arrive overland thru Kenya and that’s reflected in the prices. All of our furniture will be locally made, very sturdy, and a great value for the price. And tropical fruits like mangos, papayas, and avocadoes will be fresh, locally grown, huge, and dirt cheap compared to supermarket prices in the USA. We won’t ship any personal items over because you can purchase so many household items in-country. We’ll only bring with us what we pack in our bags.
  10. What’s the weather like? Uganda has it all! East African plains, lush tropical jungles, mountains, lakes, etc. Kampala is on the equator but almost 4,000 feet above sea level so it is about 65F at night and 75F to 85F and humid during the day, year round. It has 2 rainy seasons: one in March-April-May and a shorter one around November.

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