An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Susan and I left for the ferry at 9am Monday morning the 25th. Then a cab to SeaTac for my 1pm flight (Long lines were abundantly found - traffic, bag check-in, security check, loading - presumably because of the holiday. Flight was completely full). We arrived in Amsterdam at about 8 am Tuesday the 26th (local time), which would be Monday night at about 11pm Seattle time. A 2.5 hour layover and another long security line there. Shortly before the halfway mark of our flight, an announcement is made asking for a doctor. I dozed off for a few minutes and when I woke up I noticed that the plane path on the flight tracker indicated a giant U-Turn over heal of Italy's boot. We landed at Rome and disembarked our ill passenger (no idea what was wrong - probably ebola or worse yet: swine flu.) Refueled and then finally took off for the over 5 more hours of flying down the Entebbe.
Arrived at what looks to be their very nicely remodeled airport which included skyramps now! Ironically, only ONE per aircraft and so it took twice as long to deboard the plane as it would have had they used their old truck stairs, but I suppose it is more secure. As with many recent upgrades and remodels in Uganda, they were supposed to be done for CHOGM which took place in 2007 - I've no idea if there was a big uproar about everything being late, but at least they have a nifty looking little airport now. Anyway we arrived and were given a health check card to fill out - asking for flu symptoms. Masked nurses buzzed arund us with their traditional nurses outfits and hats (think 1960's America - or that old show "Emergency") The line was terribly long and it ocurred to me what a ridiculous waste of time this all was: did they really believe that anyone seriously interested in getting into Uganda would admit to having a bit of a sore throat under these circumstances? I suppose someone on the verge of collapse or bleeding from one than one orifice might have failed to escape detection. Then...at last...my healthiness duly noted, off to wait in a much shorter line for my VISA and then my luggage and it was by now closing in on midnight. It was about 1am (Wednesday the 27th) local time before I got to my room, which would be 3pm on Tuesday in Seattle, which makes for a grand total of 30 hours traveling. Whew.
It's been about 15 months since I was here last...and it is both good and bad to be here for all the obvious reasons.
It seems you care for the Orthodox children in Uganda. Can we let heir bloodied innocence be upon us? "To remain silent in the face of human suffering is complicity," The Orthodox Delegation at the WCC 5th Assembly in 1968.