Uganda-one month later. A reflection on my time in Africa.

It's been a month since I spent two weeks in Africa.
It was an amazing trip and I can still hardly believe I went to Africa.
Africa people.  Seriously!

I have traveled a lot, and actually really love to travel, 
but suddenly now that I have taken my first trip out of this continent, 
{can you believe that?! My first trip out of North America!}
I feel like the world is wide open.
So here we are, one month later and I want to share some of the things that I have reflected the most on.

Before I left, I shared with you that God gave me the word excess to dwell on.
I wasn't quite sure what God wanted me to do with that word while I was in Uganda,
but man, now that I am home, holy cow, is that word all too prevalent!

Yesterday, I cleaned out our pantry.
We had 10 boxes of cereal open.
Seriously...10 boxes of cereal.
And they were all different kinds.
First off, who knew there were even that many kinds of cereal.
I sent my husband a text as I was cursing open cereal boxes everywhere and wondered why the heck we had so many boxes of cereal open.
Well, the father of my children apparently mixes THREE different kinds of cereal together everyday.
If God wanted cereal to be mixed together, I'm pretty sure he would have put the cereal together in the first place.
Before he had three seconds to text back, I consolidated those boxes together into a great cereal mix off. Happy hunting.

I have produced three children.
Our family of five is considered a big family by American standards.
I am happy driving my mini van and make no bones about it.
That is, until I saw a boda boda.
There isn't anything that won't fit on a boda boda.
This man had his whole basket back stock and a driver on his boda boda.
I saw families of five, four grown men, full size beds, couches, you name it all on a boda boda.
I'm thinking of getting a boda boda.
If only it didn't rain so much in Seattle.

Call it poor timing, but having just come back from a country that struggles to have clean water I was having the hardest time wrapping my mind around the ALS ice bucket challenge.
It was a genius fundraiser that not only brought awareness to a quiet disease but brought in a crap ton of money to an organization that hasn't seen funds pour in like that in like forever.
 But the chain letter type nominating and waste of water...clean, pure water...had me having a hard time jumping on the bandwagon.
Not to mention ice.  
Ice is a luxury.

I was sitting in the lobby of one of the hotels that we stayed at in Hoima,Uganda
in the only spot that got wi-fi
{I can't complain, we had wi-fi.  In rural Africa. Blows my mind.}
and the TV happened to be on to an MTV like channel. 
One of the announcers was doing an advertising spiel about how warm coke is better.
If you don't have electricity, you don't have a refrigerator, so your option is drinking warm fizzy coke. I tried it.  I didn't like it.
But I digress...
This week, my oldest son is turning 16.
Holy cow!
When did that happen!
The only thing that has consumed his mind for the past six months has been getting a car.
In the past two weeks, he's been thinking of nothing more than having the freedom to drive around in his own car. By himself.
The begging is out of control.
Sure, the child has money saved up, and he would like to purchase a car, but what he can buy with his funds would probably not be street legal.
His begging, whining and pleading isn't getting him very far because let's be honest, 
I just got home from Uganda where I saw stuff.
I saw kids that were over the moon excited about clean water.
I met kids who were beyond thrilled at the opportunity to go to school.
I played soccer with kids that had never seen an actual soccer ball before.
Their soccer ball made out of banana leaves and twine was enough.
This boy pictured below is called Stephen.
He was almost exactly my son's age.
I asked him why he wasn't in school and he said because he had been sick.
The reality of it is, boys Stephen's age are not encouraged to go to school.
They need to start generating income for their families.
My guess is, having a third car for his family wasn't the motivation he needed to get out and work in the fields that day.

America is a country of excess.
My life is a life of excess.
I see evidence of it every day.
I decided to take some of that excess and donate $35 more each month to sponsor another World Vision child named Sheila.  In the same area of Uganda that I just visited.
I've already written Sheila two letters because I am so darn excited to hear from her!
Have you thought about child sponsorship?
There is a child waiting just for you.
Find him or her today!

1 comment

Craftcherry said...

Would you believe I LOVE warm coke? Or room temperature. I HATE ice in my sodas. I was born overseas though and lived in places that charged extra for ice. The ice bucket challenge drove me batty. Fantastic cause, but all I could think of was the areas suffering massive drought conditions in THIS country...and of all the 3rd world countries that had so many people dying daily because they couldn't get clean water or even ANY water.
It's hard to convince a teenager that they don't need a car. That they will be happy they saved the money later. I shared a car with my Dad. Which wasn't always fun and came packed with a bunch of responsibilities and I would have traded it any day to have him home more. Good luck, I hope you are able to find a good compromise. Sorry for rambling.

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