“Oh, you are on a really long journey. Are you in Africa now?”
“Yes, now I’m in Africa. It’s really really far away.”
I overheard Isaac’s hotwheels car talking to his jumbo jet after breakfast.
We took advantage of the heavenly weather Monday and threw our Africa Tea Party, with Kenyan ginger black tea, Ugandan black tea, and matooke plantain crisps.
“Is there anything you’d like to see?” My hosts asked me in Uganda.
“Could we go to a supermarket?” I’d asked. “I would like to get tea for my neighbors. We…have tea together.”
Playlist included Paul Simon’s “Homeless,” and “Under African Skies,” Toto’s “Africa,” and pandora’s African jazz station. Oh yeah.
Here are my people notes from Uganda:
A SP project manager from northern Uganda has three daughters who live in northern Uganda with dad and housekeeper while she works in Kampala during the week. After university she worked 2.5 years with displaced people: children who had been abducted as child soldiers. If she’d continued to work with them she thought she’d see the world only as a place of evil. Started working with SP. Ugandans fear in their hearts that this year’s elections will not be peaceful and 10 years of peace will end. She and her husband will vacate the city with their family before the elections, expecting violence. If there’s fighting and government instability, people lose the will to try to make things better because progress is crushed and destroyed by power strugglers. Also praised the country’s beauty and resources: “Uganda should be called Pearl of the World, not just Pearl of Africa!”
Charles is on staff with SP. He wants to visit America, find a wife and bring her to Uganda. “Once she sees Uganda she will never want to go back. We have no processed food here. Everything is fresh. Fruit everywhere. And we have more space.”
Fatimah pointed out the unpaved roads in the middle of the nation’s capital city. The government money that should be spent on infrastructure goes into the government officials’ pockets instead. But at least there is currently peace.
Anna, the CHP manager, has to tell moms of older children their kids were not chosen for surgery and they’re coming off the list. On the other end of the heart-wrench spectrum, Baby Hope was put on the list but died by the end of the week. Her mom has an older daughter, Daisy, also on the wait list for heart surgery, but the mom says “how can I trust God when Hope has died?”
African woman behind me on the plane to her daughter: “ok if you don’t want it, don’t take the pen. God give me strength!”
Ah, parenting is the same worldwide.