We’ve arrived home safely in America and we’re pressing hard against jet lag. Back in Uganda the children were all able to return to their jjajjas and Aunties for five days. It was their wish to have some family time! This gives our staff a nice break before school resumes again on Monday. While I get myself put together again in the American ways of life I find myself contemplating how stressful city life in Kampala can be and I dream of the village life. The truth is city life in America wears on me and I dream of being a farmer here too. I need more nature in my life.
I think a permanent life in the city of Kampala would be my rapid decline towards death. But village life of Uganda would fill me with so much of God’s gifts of nature that I could grow younger every day. Robert says it is ideal to be in a village that is close enough to get to the city for essentials and emergencies but far enough away to have the quiet, calm, and fresh air. If I let myself dream of life there, I could imagine myself enjoying the task of befriending all the community members. They would soon be accustomed to me as “their” mzungu and hopefully forget what they assume are our differences. I could live in such a way among them to break all the mzungu myths they are raised to believe. (I have a dream that I can mingle among Ugnadans and they will not believe the sterotypes of Mzungus while interacting with me.)
I’d have farm animals, and grow tropical food. I’d garden with beautiful flowers so people could appreciate the beauty God gave this world. I would enjoy avocado trees, banana, mango, papaya, and guava. We could grow our own coffee! We’d have succulent pineapple all year round. The absence of city noise and smells would be something I’d thank God for every day. The vigorous village lifestyle would be ample exercise so I wouldn’t have to “schedule” a work out. I’d bike to the local market every day and buy what we needed for the day.
The reality is Kirabo Seeds will mature without my permanent residence there. It would be ideal to establish Kirabo Seeds in the village, but with our goals of raising community leaders there are resources that are only available in the city. We need the education opportunities available in the city, and the medical care. All of our staff are city kids and their friends and family are there, so if we moved our organization out to the village it would be too far from their personal lives.
I’m hopeful that some day we can take the message of Kirabo Seeds to the villages and make an impact for God’s kingdom there. Robert tells me deep in the village is an experience I have not yet known in Uganda. He references where our Boniface was buried as “deep deep in the village”. By his descriptions I would compare it to how people choose to live in the wilderness of North America, yet not alone but with generations of tribesmen. There’re no shops or schools or medical clinics. The traditional ways, and this knowledge and help are perpetuated. Basically people are isolated from progress. When someone gets sick they usually die. It’s primitive and it surely exists all over Uganda.
It never fails when I meet a Ugandan for the first time and they learn we have a children’s home, they can hardly let me finish my sentence before they tell me they have some orphans who have been sent out to the village to live. That’s when I explain our children have lost both parents to death. And they sigh because usually one parent has died and the other has run off leaving children for the more responsible family members to raise. They always say about the absent parent, “that one is good as dead.”I usually recommend they find the lost parent and give them a traditional Ugandan whipping. They have little regard for those who abandon their children, yet a high percentage of children are living proof of it.
I hope God connects us to a village somehow in some way so that Kirabo Seeds can offer education, knowledge, God’s word and love. It would be a great service for our children to take what they have learned and help those in the village isolated from modern ways. I would hope they could do it in a way that teaches the villagers to do it for themselves rather than expecting others to give to them and do it for them. The white man with good intentions swoops in, gives freely and leaves too soon. Kirabo Seeds won’t follow that model. We aim to raise a generation of Ugandans who have compassion towards their own culture and commit to giving back.
I don’t really know what God has planned for the future of Kirabo Seeds. I’m waiting for him to show us bit by bit. I do know however that the further from the frontline I am the better the result will be. These children will lead the way for God’s plan to help develop Uganda His way. We aim to raise Ugandans who will help make a better Uganda. I can only hope “Mama Tonya” is long forgotten and God is greatly praised.