Friday, September 16, 2011

The Uganda Diaries: Volumes 2-6: The Cliff’s Notes Version

It’s too difficult to try and blog daily events at this point. I’m not a journaler so all my days seem to be running together now. This was a truly incredible trip, one I pray ALL Americans could take at least once in their lives. You cannot leave unchanged. Unless you’re heartless. Or a robot. Or a zombie. I hope you’re not.

 During my trip, several things occurred:
1.      Friendships were formed without pretense. No one had “walls” up. No one felt like they didn’t belong. There was honesty and transparency and we even talked about poop, like Day 1. We were all there for the same purpose and worked together as any good team should. Lifelong friendships were made last week.
2.      Someone tried to give me her children. True story. A Muslim lady that lived across the street from the guest house where we were staying actually tried to give us her children. With tears in her eyes, she begged me and MP to take 4 of her 5 boys to America. For her she knew they'd have a better life and she loved them enough to give them up. Heartbreaking.
3.      Ugandans don’t tiptoe around issues. We saw signs as follows: “STOP Child Sacrifice”, “Parents: STOP Giving Your Children Alcohol. It is not good for Them.”, “Prevent Unwanted Pregnancy: Breastfeed”, “STOP Something for Something Love”, “These Cigarettes Will Kill You”. Seriously, there is no reading between the lines here.
4.       Flying internationally on the 1oth Anniversary of 9/11 in a plane that will be flying directly over Abu Dhabi WILL result in you getting molested/frisked. Tomato/Tomahto
5.      Do not trust a Mr. Tastee “chicken” sandwich. Ever. Good things do not follow ingestion of a Mr Tastee (alleged) chicken sandwich.
6.      “Going to the market to get chicken” does NOT mean, “running to Kroger to get some prepackaged boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.” It means, “stopping at a roadside stand and buying 5 LIVE chickens tied together at the feet and tossed into the floorboard of your vehicle.”
7.      Nice Bumper Stickers. Because in America we have peeing Calvins.
8.      Modesty. Ladies wore knee length skirts/dresses. Men wore pants. At their waists. Every day. Everywhere. No exceptions. I never, not once, saw a butt crack or a boob. It was nice.
9.      Ugandans don’t sleep. Like, Ever.
10.   Roosters have no respect for sleep.

Oh, and when you arrive home everyone will ask you, "Did it make you appreciate America?". For me the honest answer is, "no." It makes me see how wasteful and selfish we are. I recognize that we are spoiled nation and as a people, we make mountains out of molehills far too often. It makes everything here seem silly, trivial, and just frivolous. We whine about "what to wear" and complain about waiting 2 hours at MEA (guilty), but after having spent the night with an orphan in a Ugandan hospital I am ashamed to have ever complained about anything. It makes me long for the simplicity of life in Africa. Granted, I wouldn't decline a washing machine or running water, but it certainly does put things in perspective.


Alison said...

WOW. I can't wait to see pics and hear more stories! I cannot wait until we finally get to go to Africa!

Amanda said...

Love you!! I'd move in a heartbeat!! Let's go!!

The Fruitful Family said...

Forever changed, my sista from another mista!

hannah singer said...

love your heart for this new journey y'all are on!
looks like the lord used you mightily and will continue. thanks for some pictures!! xoxo