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In the morning you can catch me sipping coffee, reading, answering emails and blogging {much less than the other three} outside in my PJ’s.

When I’m finished with tasks around the house, I walk through my new neighborhood to catch a boda {saying that still feels surreal}. I’m greeted by new neighbors, shop owners, boda drivers. I explain that we have just moved into Bugembe and that we are here…indefinitely. They smile and respond with,”You are most welcome”.

I am no longer passing through. This is home now.

I think it only right as I open up this blog to admit that I kind of, okay maybe I really, suck at blogging. It’s not an issue of time {I’ve had plenty of time at night to Pinterest ideas for my apartment space here}. Honestly, as life here becomes increasingly more normal, it makes it harder to write about.

I remember all the newness of Uganda the first time around.  How easy it was to write about and share. It’s probably why I love having visitors and encourage anyone I love to get their butt over here to see this place and meet all the people I love here.  In many ways, seeing someone else experience the beauty, craziness and everything that has kept me coming back reminds me of just how captivating and special this country is. Not in a well-meaning, pitied, “Come see all the ‘need’ Uganda has” kind of way, though. Every country and culture has needs and things to pity, they just look different. I’m talking about the strength of a Mother who is raising 11 children on her own. The lush, green hills you see being farmed as you take your first drive in to our town from the airport. The rich, red dirt you can’t ever seem to get fully off your feet {no matter how hard you scrub} reminding you exactly where you are every time you look down. The Grandmother who loves her granddaughter so well, reminding me why we believe so strongly in paradigm shifts away from ideas such as “total orphan” being enough of a qualifier for children here to be adopted to the other side of the world.

But I don’t want things to get so normal that I miss them and forget to share them with you here in this space. I don’t find myself to be a great writer {That’s Megan} but this is somewhere that I will share things both related to and totally unrelated to the work God has allowed me to be a part of here in Uganda.

As a young-twenty something who is aware {although not totally aware} of how broken and screwed up I am, I don’t think my words, opinions or stance on things carry any sort of divine authority. {I think this is important for me to say, as I guess I come off as a big know-it-all so much of the time. But a know-it-all I am not. I promise you.} I am a young, under-qualified woman w/ only a Bachelors degree in Social Work who is co-founding an international NGO in a culture w/ still so many things I am ignorant to. But yet, I am here. I am being used. And I am thankful. I am humbled.

I am a young twenty-something who has a lot to learn, who is way too strong-headed and who can’t seem to {no matter how hard I might try} make sense of the world without understanding it in the context of my need for a savior who is capable of saving me from myself. An act of love so HUGE that once you even begin to try and understand it, the only way your life feels worth living becomes one in which you are living in response to that very sacrifice. A life that becomes less and less your own. 

So I invite you to stay tuned, to challenge me {that I might become less cynical and opinionated and more gracious}, to pray for Abide & to encourage us as we are preparing to open the center in these next few weeks {and beyond, of course}.

We have only been in country for thirteen days and have already gotten a lot accomplished. It has not come without big road blocks and frustrations. But this is Uganda. And our patience continues to grow.

Since landing here on the 12th we have moved into our new home. We have had LOTS of work done to fix our plumbing {and we’re still not done}. Water tanks have been installed so we are LESS likely to run out of water. We have had painters come and been participating in the painting ourselves {We don’t get along well with oil-based paint}. We have met with and interviewed social workers. We have had a long {and continuing journey} of trying to open up our NGO bank account. We have done A LOT of shopping for supplies, appliances….and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

This week coming up we are pausing our shopping and our home improvement to-do list to make home visits to the families we worked with in the resettlement program, connecting them to Abide and our new Social Work staff.  Home visits have, for the most part, have been my favorite part of working here. I’m excited to step into this week and into the weeks and months to come.

-Kelsey

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