Have been back in the USA for about five weeks after half a year in Africa. Working most days each week but finding time for recreation. Have introduced my Team in Faith organization.
It feels different. This is no longer my home.
My heart and mind are with the people of Uganda. Beautiful people. Grace-filled people. Loving brothers and sisters.
My life in Northern California is quite comfortable. Paved roads. Easy wifi access. Big screen TVs. Unusually dry weather. But something is missing.
Relationships here are usually appointment-driven. Let’s meet! Where, what time? It is unusual, for me at least, to engage many people while on the go. We are belted-in in our motorized steel vehicles. We might see a friend as we pass at 10 miles above the speed limit. Encountering people on the streets here just doesn’t happen. Ten thousand miles away, though, it is a way of life.
Everyone in Sub-Saharan Africa is outside waiting to greet you. The village homes in Uganda are small and it is typical to sit outside and watch the world pass by. As I walk the 500 metres to the vocational college each day, I meet and greet a dozen people or more, surprising many with my local language skills. Even in the small town of Kabale, I will pass many people who may look at me with curiosity. An exchange can form a friendship. This most basic human interaction is really what sets apart my life there from what I experience here.
I met one of my Ugandan friends in an LA suburb last weekend. Far from from his homeland, he and his wife live in an apartment complex. He studies for hours each day, waiting for his chance at a medical residency. His social life is very quiet behind closed doors, a far cry from the life he loved and left.
In recent years I have been fortunate to travel a lot and visit many countries in Europe and Africa. The different cultures are beautiful and fun to explore. America, for many in Africa and elsewhere, is a dream destination…a veritable Disneyland of opportunities and entertainment.
We enjoy a standard of living unmatched by any culture in the history of the world. Most of the world can only dream of this.
I prayed for the chance to experience life like most of my brothers and sisters. God honored that. I’ve been fortunate to live Uganda for most of the past three years.
I am at home now.