While reading some of my favorite blogs, I discovered two of my bloggy friends are heading to Uganda!!! BooMama and Rocks In My Dryer have been invited by Compassion International to go to Uganda and live-blog their experiences. How cool is that?!
I had to comment on both blogs about our year in Uganda. As I told them, it was the BEST as well as the most DIFFICULT year of my life.
Seeing so many street children dumpster diving for food, fighting big ugly 'garbage' birds for what they found...being approached by adults missing an arm or leg (or both) as they asked for money...observing the filth that is a part of life in third world countries...passing open shops in every town where they made simple wooden coffins for the many who die daily from AIDS and other diseases...
But also seeing a smile on the face of a child you've been able to help...buying a meal for someone who cannot buy their own...sharing what you have with those around you...giving a lift to someone walking a long distance...enjoying a good joke and hearty laughter...
The Ugandans are warm and welcoming, happy to introduce you to their culture. They are a people-oriented society (unlike task-oriented Americans) and they love to spend time visiting with family and friends. It is customary to always greet one another properly, asking about their family, their livestock, their farm or business. It is proper to offer or accept a cup of tea which is served sweet and milky. It is not necessary to call ahead but to simply drop in to visit. Life is busy but unhurried. People are important, not things.
Those are just facts, though. My heart is so full of the wonderful friends we made! We keep in touch with many of them, via e-mail mostly but sometimes snail mail. Whenever someone we know goes to visit we look forward to receiving a packet of letters when they return, especially from the kids at New Hope Uganda.
Our family (husband, daughter and myself) "adopted" one of the "families" at New Hope while we were there. We had so much fun! They invited us over sometimes for a special meal. We were always welcome for family worship in the evening. And we had them over periodically for game nights. Which never failed to end with music - the singing and drums still echo in my head at times! Our "family" consisted of about twenty children, ages 6 to 20, and their "parents" Shadrack and Sarah.
I am going to make myself stop writing because I could literally go on and on and on...for hours! No kidding! (And I will write more about it in the future.)
That year profoundly impacted us. It was part of the process God used to re-direct our steps into full-time missions. And now we're heading to Argentina :-)
But I definitely left a piece of my heart in Uganda. And I'm SO EXCITED that my bloggy friends will be going!!!