A Taste of Life in Uganda!

This past week has been nothing short of incredible.

If I could send you a taste of what life is like in Uganda, I would send you the early morning sounds of roosters crowing, and the children’s bubbling laughter as they walk to school. I would send you a snapshot of the long, exhausting days teaching at school and sports camp. Little, dark faces with adoring eyes and snag-tooth grins. Little hands, grubby from from dirt or porridge, pulling on your arms and tugging on your heart.

I would send you the faces and stories of the friends I’ve made here. Like Mary, a little school girl of about 7, who clings to me whenever she gets the chance and just giggles when I tell her something she doesn’t understand in English. Or Patricia, who gets so excited when the teacher asks a question, that she raises her hand as far as her arm will allow while whispering, “teacha, teacha…”.

I would send you Abraham, who is at the very bottom of his class, and his struggles with learning the material presented in a language he doesn’t know. The teacher pats his head and tells me that he is very “dull”, but all I want to do is cup his face in my hands and communicate to him that he is precious and loved by a Heavenly Father.

I would send you pictures of Molly and Elizabeth, two sisters in the nursery class (although Molly is about 8 and “Lisa”, about 5). Lisa’s joyful, occasionally cross-eyed gaze, her weak, bent legs that are itching to run and dance with the other children. I would send you the deep injustice I feel when I see her sitting alone in a class room during school breaks, or when she is sitting in her wet shorts because no one thought to take her to the bathroom, or when I learn she has no mother and her drunkard father doesn’t even want her and her sister.

I would also send you the overwhelming love and admiration I feel when I see Molly watching out for her little sister, or when I see Lisa’s unbroken determination as she writes an answer in class, her face pressed against the chalkboard in order to stay standing. I would send you the friendships we’ve enjoyed with George, our main contact, and his workers,  Mary, Bruno, and Michael. George’s joking, British sarcasm and long stories of wisdom, Mary’s sweet smile and courage as she shares of the difficulties of being pregnant, Bruno’s passion for serving the Lord and his humble prayers after worship, Michael’s constant support and his passion for helping children, our night guard, Jerald… I wish you could meet them all!

If I could send you a glimpse of what I’ve been experiencing, I would send you the meals of beans and posho (which is like rubbery grits), cassava, japoti, and mandaz (which are a lot like beignets). I would send you the nights skies that are peppered with thousands of stars, the bats that squeak in the roof of my room, the frogs that always hop into my shower.  I would send you the hilarious moments and laughter we share as a team, the dance parties, the worship nights, the deep conversations, the ministry planning, the ride on a boda boda, the walks through Lira’s busy streets…

I would send you the moments when I came undone by the things I saw and the frustration I felt when faced with things that seem impossible to help or fix. I would send you the moments where God spoke to my heart and encouraged me through the words or friendship of someone around me.

I wish I could fully capture what it’s been like so far, but the only way to truly do that would be to bring you here. There are so many stories I have that would need a much longer blog post, but for now, this will have to do.

P.S. I don’t recommend taking up morning runs for the first time with Africans. After 30 minutes, I’m dead.

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