Friday, December 31, 2010

As the year ends....

Every year at this time, we are left to think about the past year of our lives.  To be honest, the last two months have consumed me and I don't really remember much about my life before Africa.  Maybe it isn't because I can't remember, but I choose not to. Everything that was an issue before, seems so far away and so unimportant.  I really feel like my heart has changed and I will never be able to be the same person I was.   So many wonderful things have happened in these two months, and so many incredibly heartbreaking.  I don't know what the new year holds, but I hope to be spending it right here in Uganda.

Here are some of the highlights from the past two months:
1.  Having Emma wait over a month to celebrate his birthday with me.
2.  Coming home after an average/frustrating/disappointing day and seeing all of the boys that I love so much and them welcoming me home like I have been gone for days but really it had been only a few hours at most.
3.  All of the boys, except one, getting promoted to the next grade.
4.  Being able to find a home for Moses, a boy from the streets that stole my heart, and hearing that another boy, Edwin, who is also so special to me, has found a home.
5.  Finding out that Gabriel had not been taken and was ok.
6.  Having Abby trust me enough to leave her programs in my care.
7.  Having a disabled lady living on the streets tell me how much she loved God and believed in His plan for her.
8.  Finding a church here that I felt connected to and were capable of helping lead me closer to God.
9.  The moment finally happening when Kampala felt like home.
10.  Having the disabled people coming to church with us for the first time, and the congregation reaching out to them and showing them so much love and acceptance, and the preacher telling the congregation that these people are putting them to shame because they were worshiping with everything they had and asking what the rest of us were doing.
11. The first time one of the boys told me he loved me.  It was Emma.

Since this has become my home and I notice all of the cultural difference, I thought I would share some of them with you.  Here they go:
1.  You cannot make a request from anyone, not even a store worker, without first greeting them and asking them how they are.
2.  People talk in circles and never come right out and say what they mean from the beginning.  So for example, instead of just saying, I really think that is a bad idea and you shouldn't do that, people will first greet and ask how your doing and talk about this one time and maybe hint about the bad idea and make a suggestion, etc.
3. Smelling your food is considered rude.
4.  Stepping over things especially plates and people is very rude.
5.  If you cannot do something you are expected to say so, if you say you will do something and don't it is considered a sign of not liking the person.

Hope everyone has a wonderful new year and it brings them happiness and joy and everything that they hope for.

                                            Little Bashir
         At the street program.  The boy in red is Moses, the cream is Gabriel and the other boy is Alex.
                                           Man selling grasshoppers on the street.
                                                     The son of one of the disabled people.
                                                    me and Emma
                                     This is where the boys on the street bathe and wash clothes.
                              Beautiful African sunset.  It is at the field where the boys play soccer.

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