Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Re-entry reminders

I always appreciate hearing first time visitors comments about things they see/hear/smell that are different from the American norms. Having been away for 6 months, here were some of the things that caught my attention. 

First 24 hour reminders

  • African accents and word choices
  • Patience with African time-always have a book
  • The place of perpetual summer warmth
  • Street vendors selling everything: binoculars, car mats, hologram Jesus
  • Skirts displayed on "wide hip" hangers
  • How disgustingly ugly the storks are

  • Megaphone announcements that echo the streets
  • The chaos that is Kampala roundabouts- two lanes turned to four, cars, trucks, bodas, people all intertwined in all directions with the police "directing" traffic
  • Water is life (and clean drinking water - straight from the tap- is not to be taken for granted)
  • Distinct smells- matooke cooking, burning rubbish, sweaty BO
  • The courteous usage of "Madame" when strangers passing by greet me. 
  • That fashions and styles and swagger is like no other. 
  • The names (and misspelling of names) on the storefronts 
  • Men holding an armful of (2nd hand) bras for convenient trying on and purchase of anyone who might be in need
  • The "in your face chicken place" food stops
  • That two lanes is only a suggestion on the Jinja/Kpla road

  • How this truly is the pearl of Africa and everything is so green

  • Driving over the Nile River never gets old. 
And then a few days beyond....

- these precious faces I have been longing to see

- giant fruits and veggies

- personal shopping helpers that find you at your car and follow you around carrying your heavy bags are wonderful!!

- sometimes missionary life is not one of always helping people but may include a full day of (re) organizing your office (I wish there was a before picture, but let's just say- it was bad)

I am settling in well. It feels normal to be back, which makes sense since this has been my "everyday" home for eight and a half years. I am still working on getting normal things set back up (shopping, Internet, house arranged) but I am frequently reminded of how blessed I am with each friend that greets me, "Welcome back! How was there? It's been long."