Another day in paradise,.. I will write more about my first community seed bank meeting later tonight before bed. I had to lead the meeting. What an experience.
But back to another day in paradise — Without many things I’m used to like power or refrigeration but that’s ok. It’s a real way to learn about myself and the people here.
For instance,.. I walked around this tiny path with a co-volunteer to work today, a path cut into the side of the Varunga’s – they call it a short cut and it is because it’s about 3 kilometers instead of 4 to our central work location but it’s an absolute skill test for me. Mind you little kids run by me and herds of goats (pictures to follow) but for me it’s not easy at all but it is fun. Muddy, steep, rocks, creeks and just about everything you can think of on a mountain hike but this is really just the way locals commute. Rush hour still happens it’s just very very different.
We went that way to check on one of the seed bank participants. His Anglo name is Lucas and he is 65 and has a lot of kids. And the kids are all very sweet and range is age from 7 to 14. I think there are more that have left home. So Lucas lives in a house on a path that’s at least 2 kilometers from a road. A motorized vehicle has never been there yet he has a house made of brick and stone and mud and wood and all the normal things. He has the main house and a separate cooking house kitchen. He has an outhouse. His kids are all happy. They have never seen a video game or a TV or a radio or an electrical appliance. Yet they are happier than most anyone I’ve met. Happy kids. They listen to their Dad. They work hard tilling the land and they were very kind to me. When I got there they motioned for me to wait and stay where I was and they ran and climbed a tree and brought me a yellow fruit. These aren’t much different than our kids in the USA, I mean they dress mostly the same as our kids and they go to school and all that. But they live in a remote place. Anyway they picked me this fruit and It kind of looked like a pineapple but grew on tree. And each little piece of it ripped off the main fruit in segments and had a seed. It was sweet and tangy. The seeds were big inside each piece so there wasn’t much fruit but it was delicious.
Lucas has a son that’s 10 but is very small. He is probably 40 pounds and he was born different then most kids and he can’t walk. When we got there his Dad was giving him a bath and was so happy to see us and the woman with me Annaweis brought some them some Vaseline in a big tub that helps the young man with calluses that he gets from not being able to move so much. (I misunderstood Annaweis’ name so my earlier post stands corrected). Annaweis has been there a lot and knows them well. She is a very sweet person from the Netherlands and has been here for a month and stays a month more.
I’m rambling and I haven’t even started talking about my day except for the first hour and a half but the point is that happiness comes from a place disconnected from where I thought it came from. I’m not saying I’ve figured out where it comes from. I just have a pretty good idea where it doesn’t come from and a little better idea where it does come from.
Meeting these people here reminds me that we are all the same in so many ways. These Ugandans are community focused and giving and kind and the people in my life in the states are the same.
Respect, professionalism and perseverance. Life is a gift. Living is a choice.