Today we began the journey home. Sitting here on the plane I’m attempting to process all that I’ve seen and felt. These last nine days have flipped my world upside down. Everything was so different from what I’m used to. The following is very raw thoughts so I apologize for the scattered thoughts and typos! (It’s 1:30am).
They say when you visit Africa you leave a piece of your heart there. I have to agree!
Africa has some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen. The fruit trees are amazing and produce incrediable sweet tasking pineapples, mangos and bananas!
But the people have made the biggest impression in my heart. From the time we arrived until our final drive to the airport I was struck over and over by the amount of people everywhere.
I’ve finally concluded that one of the reasons I don’t notice so many people in America may be due to the fact we’re either in our cars, work places or behind the closed doors of our homes.
Ugandans walk every where. I mostly seen Boda Boda (motorcycles) carrying 3-4 people or taxi vans. But always every street we traveled wether orange dirt road or paved highway were mamas walking with babies snuggle wrapped to their backs, women carrying large bags filled with food or crafting material on their heads, or children laughing and running with each other.
If the people weren’t walking they were out in their yards washing laundry by hand and hanging the clothing on bushes or roof tops, or working in their gardens with hoes or teams of oxen pulling a plow.
The streets of the towns were lined with street vendors, fresh produce, live chickens in cages, meat hanging from rope, clothing, shoes, and bed frames.
As we drove by I found myself smiling from ear to ear waving at the women working in their yards or at their street side shop.
I was addicted to waving because of the way the women and children would light up and smile brilliant joyful smiles and wave back until we were out of sight!
When we were at the women’s conferences I noticed right away how everyone seems to be one big family. If someone’s child was where they weren’t supposed to be, whoever was there would usher them back to their spot. Or if a woman was coming up for prayer, someone close by would rush up and take her children to watch over.
Even the older children, by that I mean the 8 year olds and up toted around the babies wrapped on their backs and made sure the younger children were doing what they were supposed to be doing.
Everyone knew each other in their village and if one family didn’t have food, someone made sure to invite them over for a meal!
They appear to live like a real village. We ate meals at three of the pastors homes who are church partners with Man Up And Go. All three had their own families living with them and multiple others coming and going all day. One pastors wife said, “God has blessed us to bless others!” And they live that out in every way!
I was challenged in the way that I interact with my neighbors. Honestly once I get home each day I’m happy to go in and shut the door and everything else out with it.
I loved experiencing being part of the Ugandan village and I would love to see my life reflect that in my home country!
TIA and the Type “A” personality.
TIA is a phrase we used often with our American goal driven schedule ruled team. It means “This Is Africa.”
I did not notice people wearing watches and it was hard to find a clock in Uganda. They embrace the moment they are living in and savory it while not rushing on to the next item in the schedule.
Every time we were gathered, there was no time table, no feeling of hurry up to the next thing and I was amazed to see everything worked out, even better than I would have expected!
I loved learning to live in the moment! I’m tempted to throw out our clocks when I get home! I do pray I can continue to grow in the moment by moment faith filled, spirit lead life I experienced over the last 9 days!
Ugandan Christian’s really model faith walking. The ministry they are doing in their country that is riddled with poverty is unbelievable. These churches are living out what James says that true religion is taking care of the widows and the orphans. They are being the Church! They are feeding, housing, clothing, discipling and providing an education for hundreds of children and their parents!
While I looked around and thought there is so much Americans could teach Ugandans about economy, development, hygiene, health care, I’d have to say Ugandans could teach us a thing or two about truly caring for one another.
I’ll close for now since we are about to begin the second leg of this journey home with a 14 hour flight. Until next time!