Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Unfolding of Memories - Uganda

Here I am finally sitting down to write about my
experience in Uganda. Its about time, right?
I know.

To say it's been hard to download all that I witnessed and had the privilege to be part of is an understatement. Little did I know that the days following my return would be some of the hardest of my life. I'm an emotional mess person anyways and thus
"coming down the mountain," coupled with severe jet lag,
nearly put me over the edge.

I found it difficult even to verbalized to my husband many of the experiences. The suffering I witnessed has left a scar that will forever hurt to touch.

Much of the sorrow I internalized and shoved down into my heart. I realized later this was not good. For several days I found it hard to leave my house. I dreaded seeing anyone I knew for fear I would just collapse in tears when they asked, "So how was your trip?" I had no way of answering that without crying. So I basically went into hiding. (note to self: don't do that again.)

It's been a little over a month since I have returned and I feel that I am ready to start writing. Many times I sat down to write and had no idea where to start. A part of me still feels that way but I realize I must start somewhere, right?  "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This is what I am telling myself anyway.

I have 900 stories I want to share with you but I need to do it one at a time. Please join with me on this journey as I re-live much of my trip and journal it; not only for my friends, but also for myself, my husband, and my children. This trip was beyond precious to me, life changing and faith building so I need to do 'this' right.

While we were in Africa, my friend Jessica said:
"God knew what He was doing when He created Africa.
And God knew what He was doing when He created America." 

WOW! It's so so true!

My friends, Africa has become the center of my heart.
I have fallen in love with a nation, a people and a culture that is simply breathtaking. I am exciting to walk through this journal of memories with you as they unfold in my mind.

Many people have asked, "Was it just what you imagined?
Was it everything you had thought it would be?"

The best way I can answer this question is like this:
It's like that person on the phone who you have never seen in person but you have talked to several times. You have created a picture in your mind of what you think they look like but you really have no idea. Then the day comes when you get to meet face to face. When you see them, you are taken back because they look totally different than you had imagined. There is nothing wrong with how they look, it's just different than what you had in mind.

That is how Africa was for me.

I pictured it a certain way. I looked at many pictures and surrounded myself with different stories and faces. I thought I knew what it was going to be like....but I had no idea.

I had no idea that the poverty would be so appalling.
I had no idea that the smells would actually be a stench.
I had no idea how many people I would see in dire need,
I simply had no idea!

I walked into the unknown of Africa as a girl who had no clue of anything outside of the comforts of my American lifestyle.

(I quickly came to realize,
I've never been in need of anything a day in my life.)

Today, I walk as a woman who knows.
I have seen. I have touched. I have smelled. I have loved.

Stay tuned...

"Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered."
Proverbs 21:13

1 comment:

  1. I have been looking forward to hearing about your journey Robin. I will be reading and taking it all in, while praying for you.....It sounds like Uganda broke your heart wide open, took ownership, and burrowed deep inside.