Eric and I have consistently reminded each other that one's attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal. Our container pushed the boundaries on that statement.
It arrived at the port in Kenya and stayed there for about a weekish. Then they trucked it to the border of Kenya and Uganda. Often there are about 300 or so trucks waiting in line to cross the border, so this process can take quite a while.
When our container arrived at the front of the line last Friday, we realized we didn't have a Tax Identification Number (TIN #) that we needed. Eric went to the appropriate office to obtain one, but it wasn't ready until Monday. In the meantime we were told by the Mr. Container guy that was supposed to be helping us through the border that we could pay a fee and make it happen...um...no thank you...
Monday, we got the TIN # but it still took all day to get through the border. Mr. Container guy was being less than helpful (although apparently we could have encouraged him to work faster with some shillings). Finally Monday night the container was trucked to Mbale.
Tuesday, ever-so-helpful Mr. Container guy, spent the day going around Mbale doing ???? Obviously, NOT our container. In the meantime, he changed his phone number and picked up a "friend." Around 4pm, he called and told us we could meet him at the clock tower with 300,000 shillings and some paperwork that he already had. Um, no... he didn't need any money from us. But we did meet him at the clock tower with the papers.
Then we called his boss. She was very concerned with him. She told us she would fire him, not to pay him a single shilling, and was concerned that he was trying to do something with our container. We went to bed Tuesday night, hoping we still had a container and that it was still on a truck.
Wednesday morning, Eric and fellow-missionary, Bob, went to town, found the container (still on the truck!), and then did all of Mr. Container-guy-that-we-didn't-hear-from-again-until-9 PM-when-he-called-to-ask-for-more-money's work.
Our container finally arrived at about 2:30 PM.
YAY!! We were so excited!
The truck pulled up to our gate and then decided to try to back around and into our drive way.
But in the process, he got stuck. So Bob pulled him out.
We spare no mercy in giving the slightly-stressed driver a large crowd to get stuck in front of...
We ditched the idea of backing in and decided to just pull in. No problem...just have to take off the mirror.
And get pulled out of the mud again... lol!
Once the mirror is off and the truck is out of the mud, it's noooo problem pulling through the gate...there is a half-inch to spare!
Martin and Joshua caught a ride through the gate...
Finally, about 3:30, it was in (minus one mirror of course) !
We were very diligent to keep track of our keys for the super-heavy-duty-best-Walmart-has-to-offer locks that...
....were completely covered in sea-water and corroded.
Forget the key...first we tried to hammer it...
But finally pulled out the metal cutter...
And yay! There was all the makings of our home! We had lots of help unloading and in a jiffy it was done.
Then we handed out sodas and spent a while talking to the customs officers. They went through our list of items that we had written when we packed. And discussed the contents of each box. The most hilarious moment was when we got to the box with the cuckoo clock.
Officer: what is thees? A kooo-kooo clocko?
Us: um, its a clock, that every hour a bird comes out and makes a noise--a cuckoo noise, like this (insert sound)
Officer: blank stare
Um, what can I say... I'm a Mzungu...