Monday, May 31, 2010
On the other hand, it feels good to be eating something that was grown in Uganda. This is one way to help the economy here and support small-scale farmers. Maybe picking through rice is worth it after all if it means improving someone else's life.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
When we come to our home in Kaabong, from our home in Ikland, we are usually in need of some privacy and down-time. Ikland is now the frontier, and Kaabong the base camp. We are pouring our people energies into the Ik and often feel like we have little left over for the Karamojongs in Kaabong. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it seems.
Yesterday was one of those days when we came down to Kaabong. Visitors came with all their requests. One man alone asked for medicine, batteries, phone charging, a job for his nephew, and food. A neighbor came at 8 am complaining that his child was sick. Okay, I thought, sorry for you. I mean, we get that all the time. What are we supposed to do about it? Take the child to the hospital. It’s only two miles away. Then the mother came two hours later with the same complaint. We gave the same answer. They delayed. The father kept working in the field. So did the mother. Noon rolls around, and they’re back in on our porch, stubbornly asking that we give medicine. We stood our ground. After all, we stopped holding clinics here in Kaabong since last year. We occasionally give medicine to our employees, but these people aren’t our employees. We’re trying to set boundaries. We’re trying not to promote unhealthy dependence. We’re being strong.
This morning we find out that the sick child died last night. The child of our neighbors and friends. The same toddler we took out to eat at a restaurant last month, probably his first time in a restaurant. That child is gone. Gone forever.
Should we have done more? Could we have prevented this? Are we morally responsible? Will they blame us? These are the kinds of questions that first assail us.
We know we can’t take on this responsibility. It would be too much to bear, and we wouldn’t be able to stay here much longer. But it still hurts. The 'what ifs' hurt. Sickness, death, and sadness hurt. Pray for us.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The word Timu is supposed to be derived from the Karamojong word akitimur which means something like ‘to rest’ and possibly overtones of ‘to swoon’. Legend has it that in the old days,
I experienced it yesterday, and I wanted to tell you about it. Yesterday afternoon, I set out on foot, on my second attempt to find a way to a certain hill near our Ikland home that has a great view of the Kenyan Rift Valley (I could just ask an Ik the way, but then I wouldn’t be exploring, would I?) Though the sky had been promising rain, it had only sprinkled at the time, so I put on my camouflage rain jacket and rubber boots and headed down the trail. Because of the altitude (6500 ft.) we are often in the clouds. Now I was in the clouds, the silent mists that the Ik call gozhoik. As the gozhoik moved over the ridge, their moisture collected on the high grass, and I quickly got soaked from the waist down. I could hear the ‘squish, squish, squish’ as I trod along in my sopping gumboots. No use turning back now. I am already wet.
Through the fog I kept following a faint trail in hopes that the skies would clear up eventually. They didn’t. When I started going down an incline I was unfamiliar with, I decided I should sit and wait for a while. So I found a rock and sat down. I took off my boots and wringed out my socks. And I sat quietly. And I sat some more. The mists kept wafting gently through the woods. I could only see a stone’s throw in any direction. My world became small and unknown. Little by little, the forest eased at my presence. After a good long time, birds began to stir. A pair of bulbuls came to loudly investigate. The hopped from branch to branch, trying to get the angle that would identify the strange creature huddled on the rock (me). Down the valley through the haze, something—I don’t know what it was. A bird? A monkey?—began a loud, howling call that echoed eerily up the hill. Something else rustled in the grass near my rock.
Then, my mind began to wander. Nearly hypnotized, I began to remember my own dreams: dreams of life, dreams of career, dreams of childhood, dreams of
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thank the Lord for these times of getting away, relaxing & reflecting.