Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Amasanyalaze


I'm sitting in the dark. Amasanyalaze gageenze (power has gone), and I wonder how long it will be out this time. Before you feel sorry for me, I need to tell you that I am blessed beyond measure. In the 112 days that I have been living here, I have had to take only two cold showers. That is a miracle. Even with the constant power outages, the Lord has been kind to me and I have constant cause to praise Him when the power comes back each night (at times just long enough for me to shower!). Knowing as I do that just on the other side of town, the power is turned off for 24 hours every other day, makes me even more grateful! I remember a day back in America when I would complain about having to reset my clocks if the power left during the night, but living with true poverty ever before me has had a way of making me grateful for the things I've taken for granted all my life.

You know what else I love about power outages? STARS!!!!! This city girl has a new love and passion for the beauty of the heavens! And while you may be surprised at this, I saw my first shooting star tonight! (and no, I didn't wish for the power to come back on :) ) On a normal night here in Uganda, you can definitely see a multitude of stars more than what I'm accustomed to seeing in my old home in Colorado Springs, but on a night with no power, the sky is even more breathtaking. I can't help but hear Psalm 8 over and over again in my mind....

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

And since unlike the stars, my laptop battery isn't directly powered by the Lord of the Heavens, I'll have to say goodnight for now!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diana

I realized today that I have yet to post any pictures of my language helper! I want you to officially meet my friend and helper, Diana. Diana is the one that I spend each day with asking the questions she finds hilarious (like are there any parts of the body that it’s impolite to scratch in public?) and answering the questions I find hilarious (like why don’t muzungu women bind their stomachs after having a baby? Doesn’t that make them eat a ton to fill up that empty space??) She’s the one that laughs at my multicolored bruised arms (their bruises don’t show), and mourns over the gigantic mosquito bites covering my feet and legs that are ‘spoiling my skin.’ She’s also the one I count on to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing, like yesterday when I learned that proper women should wash their bed sheets every 3 days. Oh yeah, and we also study Luganda. :)


I’ll be honest with you. There are many days when I’m tired of studying. There are days when I just want to hear American English and not try anymore. And there are also days when I laugh my head off with Diana, and want nothing more than to master the next tongue twisting phrase. (Like the day I was trying to say lwachi welalikilide and figure out how to fit so many Ls in one word!) There are the discouragements like asking a question in Luganda but the person not understanding me, but there are also joys like being told that I say ‘sula bulunji’ without an American accent! Language learning is definitely a roller coaster ride, and one that I will be on for a very long time. I won’t learn Luganda today, or tomorrow, or next month, but with the Lord’s help I trust I will learn it!

And Diana and I will get in more than a few laughs along the way!

Friday, September 2, 2011

How can I describe?

There's so much about daily life here that defies my ability to write about it.

How do I describe the anticipation of hoping it won't rain so I can go to the market (for slippery mud roads, rain pelting in my face, and dirt up to my knees typically discourage any excursions in the rain!!)?

How do I describe the challenges of successfully mounting (side saddle) the back of a piki (motorcycle taxi) with two full caveras (plastic bags) in each hand while managing a full length skirt? Or then juggling those caveras while holding on for dear life over the hole-ridden roads?

How do I describe my constant direction confusion as this Colorado Springs girl, born and raised with the Rocky Mountains rising in the WEST, now looks toward mountains in the EAST???

How do I describe the complete anticipation and slight trepidation that the question "What are you cooking for dinner" now brings each day?

How do I describe my embarrassment at having so much when people around me have so very little? When the plastic containers I think are useless and throw away are caught up and treasured by others?

How do I describe the joy that fills my heart when small voices shout Teecha Melody! Teecha Melody, and tiny hands frantically wave as I whiz past on my piky?

How do I describe how much sweeter ice cream is when eaten under the hot sun with shining black faces gathered around licking their lips too?

How do I describe the complete surprise and astonishment that overcomes the faces of those that I greet in Luganda in the marketplace?

How do I describe the energy of dancing feet and clapping hands, and the brightness of glowing smiles in dark faces as we praise our Maker each week?

How do I describe the beauty of change and growth as these people teach me how to love them by loving me first?

Yes, life here is more difficult. Yes, sometimes I just want to cook spaghetti sauce on a regular stove instead of charcoal. Yes, sometimes I long for the days of feeling clean. And yes, sometimes I really wish I could go back to where I understand the body language and facial expressions without thinking about it. But I would never trade those things for the joy of living right here where I belong, and with the people that I love.