At around 11pm last night Nathan and I decided we would go to the Entebbe Zoo today (renamed Uganda Wildlife Education Center). We texted our friend Claire and she hooked us up with a ride-coming to pick us up at 9am, which in Africa means 10:30 :) So we packed up the snacks, sunglasses, hats and water bottles and waited. It ended up being pretty expensive to get a special hire to take us there (140,000 Ugandan Shillings- AKA about $70) since its pretty far away but we split the fare with our friend from the UK, Natasha and her daughter Deborah. We called them at 8am and they were able to join us at the last minute-we were thrilled to have them! Of course Jaydn fell asleep on the way up since she can crash anywhere- makes me think the airplane ride home may not be too bad! We enjoyed the conversation and getting to know each other in the only ride we've ever had AC in! We felt spoiled. When we got there, there weren't many people there at all especially for a Saturday- it looked like they opened it just for us! It cost $10 per adult to get in so it wasn't too bad. Funny though b/c we had to pay to take our camera's in-only like 50 cents but still it was comical to us. We had a great driver too, his name was Badru and he was looking out for us all the way, making sure we didn't get schemed. He also walked the park with us and held Jaydn's hand a lot- it was cute. Our daughter is so trusting, it could be dangerous someday but for now, its an endearing quality especially with fellow Ugandans. We made our way around seeing the monkeys, giraffes, lions, zebras (pronounced Zeh-brah in UK and Uganda) etc. Some of them were behind fences while others were out in the open jumping through the trees above us. There were "viewing stands" over every enclosure so we could see in from a distance but without anything blocking us. It was right next to Lake Victoria and had some beautiful views of that as well. The weather wasn't too hot being that it was in the middle of the day and there were many trees to provide shade so we were fine. Jaydn started throwing tantrums and wanting to be held all the time so we headed toward the exit but we saw everything there was to see. We snacked on the ride home but had Badru drop us all off at Oasis mall for lunch once we got back to Kampala. Forgot to mention that we saw the Ugandan presidents home (similar to the White House-pillars and all) while driving through Entebbe by the zoo. After lunch we did the usual walk back to the apartment-we keep saying we are going to record it b/c we walk it so much we need to keep a memory of it somehow. We tried to take a nap- all 3 of us, but only Nathan was successful so I stayed awake to play with Jaydn. We hung out, made dinner, took a bath and then 7pm rolled around and it was time for bed. She climbed in without a complaint or whimper but not without a big ol' kiss and an I LOVE YOU! I'm telling you, she is doing great with all this change. There is this light in her eye that I never saw in the pictures people would send me. It would appear rarely at first but its becoming more common everyday. It makes me believe that she is happy and not just for the moment, but forever.
I have to admit though, all this concentrated time and effort on Jaydn is really making me reevaluate my parenting with Jaxon and Jovie too. I see the benefits of what being able to play with a child regularly can be and how it effects their emotional well being. While I try at home, I typically get distracted with laundry, the house, errands etc. That is one thing I always get jealous of when Nathan comes home after a work day; he gets to play with them and be fully present while I am trying to get dinner on the table, showers covered, teeth brushed and kids in bed by 7:30pm. Its a blur really. Anyway, all this reflection is making me want to change some things when I get home. I really love my kids and they are so much fun to be with. I want to take advantage of this precious time with them and not miss it more than I absolutely have to. I'm going to really have to fight my personality though b/c it is more natural for me to work than sit and play, so though it seems silly, please pray that I will be able to make some strides in this area of my mothering when I get home. I guess you could say Jaydn is teaching me how to be a better mother, not just to her but to Jaxon and Jovie as well.
Tomorrow we are going to Watoto church again and then lunch. We are planning to go to the Ndere Cultural Center where they educate about the different Ugandan tribes through music, dress, and food so we really want to experience that. Trying to take in as much culture as we can since we will be leaving soon :) KEEP PRAYING - - Our ruling is supposed to come out Tuesday the 23rd!!