Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh The Adventures I've Had...part #2


Part #2 – Visiting Lamech, Sweet Solitude, Thankfulness

My time with Geofrey was sweet beyond compare. As I reflectively sauntered down the long dusty path away from his parent’s home, I was comforted in knowing that I was now on my way to visit Lamech.

Lamech currently works for World Harvest Mission in Bundibugyo. He is an agriculture and goat expert of sorts, working diligently to serve those around him. He is married and has four children, all of whom live several hours away in a separate region of Uganda. It is common here for families, husbands, wives, and children to live apart from each other – as jobs are limited and husbands or wives must relocate in search of employment. Lamech sees his family for only a few precious weeks each year, the rest of the time he is working in Bundibugyo to provide for his families schools fees, food, and long-term stability. Lamech is a Christian man, grounded in all he does, and an encouraging voice in my life.

I travelled seven hours via crammed mutatu “mini bus” in search of Lamech’s place, trying to find “the first set of homes on the left past the bridge past Keshensoro”…in the middle of nowhere – following his directions as best I could. Somehow I found his parent’s place without difficulty, though it was a much longer trek than I had anticipated.

Lamech’s family was very excited to see me, especially his three boys and young daughter. His family continually expressed that travelling to their home district to visit them was a sign of true love and respect.

Lamech’s children are loud, crazy, and FUN! It so very much reminded me of my own nieces and nephews – when they are all together they love to run around, play, and scream! The joy of children never fails to amuse me!!

One of the many unexpected highlights of my trip was when I presented Lamech with a gift. Having a headlamp in Bundibugyo is a highly treasured possession, and definitely one of the top three “things I am thankful I brought with me.” Headlamps are hard to find in Uganda, and I searched seven or eight stores before I found some. I bought seven, all gifts for people, including Lamech and Geofrey. When I presented Lamech with his he literally screamed, jumped up and down, ran around showing everyone he possibly could, giggled with delight, and then screamed some more. His enthusiasm in such a simple gift was priceless! In a place without electricity, having a headlamp is freeing, allowing you to use your hands to carry other things.

The rolling green hills, multiple streams, and solitude surrounding Lamech’s home place was met with deep gratitude by my spirit. I found myself strolling along winding, open paths with little distraction. No one called out to me “muzungu” (white person) as I passed him by, often finding people digging in their fields or relaxing outside their homes. As is daily the case in Bundibugyo, children and adults alike find it somehow amusing to stare intently at you, or follow you, and most definitely yell out “MUZUNGU” at least five times when they see you. Though I don’t mind this so often, and have actually become quite accustom to this routine, I find it quite draining long-term and impossible to walk anywhere in solitude and silence.

My five days spent with Lamech and family were packed with joy, crazy times with kids, and full of travel. I visited neighbors, relatives, friends, and even attended a burial ceremony of a man I have never met. It was great! I was able to help slaughter a goat and some chickens too, something I am becoming more proficient at!

God is so very good to me. My 25+ hours of travel time by foot, motorcycle, car, bus taxi, and “charter bus” from Bundibugyo to Geofrey’s to Lamech’s and now to Kampala have all gone smoothly, though I have many stories to tell about thus mentioned forms of traveling. My time with Geofrey and Lamech was deeply rich, refreshing, and rewarding. The past week reinforced the necessity of spending time with others and the importance of visiting people in their homes. Thank you, God, for life-long memories and friends and extended family members that love me.


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