Life in Uganda,
Is beautiful. The people we have met, their faces are forever etched in our hearts and souls. The children that wait to greet us every morning at our gate with laughter, smiles and high fives. The laugh as we jump rope, or play I sent a letter to my friend, or what time is it Mr. Fox. The red roads bumping up against green landscape. The beauty in the storms that blow in. The tropical plants and trees that are in bloom as rainy season begins. The moms as they gather together on their woven mats to drink tea, prepare meals, or wash clothes.
Is challenging… It challenges your heart to keep believing that it is good, life is good. You see a girl infested with ring worm, moms to poor to take her to go the hospital for treatment so they just shave her head. She may have HIV positive, why didn’t the mother get treatment during labor so she wouldn’t get it. A little boy hobbles down the road using crutches that are way to tall for him so they are far out from his sides as he manoeuvres down the street. Kids during the week wander the village because their parents, usually just the mom because the dad has left, have no money to send the kids to school. A mom shares with me that she has no money, no job, she cares for six children, four that have be left with her because their families could not or would not raise them. She has no food for them and one of her children can no longer go to school because money has run out and she cannot pay for his term. Her next child will not be able to continue with school after May. Children walk past you all day, barefoot, dirty, with one set of clothes you see repeatedly on them. Young children caring for the siblings because mom has to take care of other things. Strong women getting up early to fetch water from the wells as they walk a half mile or more to the bore hole or a well. They balance 20 litters of water on their heads as they walk down winding, foot wide trails, through rough terrain so their family can have water to cook, drink, and bathe with. Women carrying children on their backs, while they cook ,dig, clean because they are small and cannot be left unattended. You watch men dig trenches by hand, dig fields and harvest by hand and repair roads by hand. They work hard for just a few dollars per day if that. A young girl trying to save money to go to college, works 14 hours to receive less than a dollars wage per day at a grocery store run by a family from out of the country. Garbage piles along every road, strewn out no matter where you walk…deafening some days.
Is a teacher of what is important. Hidden in the midst of the pain, suffering, and need that is loudly declared here is the quiet strength in these amazing people. There are some who chose to not complain but praise God for what they have. To be grateful for every blessing He pours out on them. They don’t eat today but they are thanking God for His providing for them today and for the food HE will provide tomorrow. They take in children who are not their own, who they cannot afford to raise but they will not abandon them because family is everything and family is whoever God sends to you to care for. They don’t quit , they don’t resign to fear or hopelessness but they they stand determined to have a better tomorrow..they will strive for it.
Is Full of Hope…People here are strong. Full of love and fight to keep on keeping on. As one mum said, bit by bit you make a bundle. They don’t complain, they keep charging ahead. They smile though they are hungry, they hope for tomorrow. They know that it will be okay if they just keep believing.
We have much to learn from some of the most beautiful people here.