Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse
– Walt Whitman
Living in Uganda makes you think a lot. Sometimes I can’t even participate in group discussions because I am overwhelmed with new thoughts and ideas both positive and negative. The potential for this country, the potential for my organization, the potential of the children we work with, and the potential for humanity is so strong yet demanding and dependent. Sometimes it is easier to shut down rather than to open up and listen. I have strong urges to just shut down and hide but I fight them (most of the time). At the end of a long day in Uganda, or really any day in Uganda, unwinding is crucial. Everyone has their own ways of unwinding and I find that is really helps me to talk about my day with friends. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to move into a new house with great people because they really help me unwind at the end of every day.
Most of us foreigners living in Uganda face so many troubles and problems in our daily lives (mostly other peoples troubles) there is a point when it all becomes too much. I cannot bear to hear another tear jerking story about how one of our kids ended up on the streets and what happened to them while they were on the streets. I cannot bear to hear about another death that was caused by a preventable disease. I cannot bear to be presented with another problem I don’t have a solution for. I cannot bear these things, oh me, oh life. I see so many problems and so few solutions and this hurts me. I want to find a solution, I want to fix every problem but I can only do so much. One of my new goals is to try hard to see solutions rather than problems. I tend to look around me and see the problems and get overwhelmed by the problems so my goal is to see solutions.
My heart is heavy and my brain confused but I will tread on and I will continue down this road I have chosen. I have read and heard this poem by Walt Whitman many times before in my life but the other day the poem really spoke to me. I can feel the pain and anguish in his words and I feel them in my life right now. His answer to the struggles he sees and faces is the same as my answer to the struggles I face. The play will go on and I will continue to play a part. No matter how small my role in this world may be I am contributing a verse and that verse makes a difference.
I don’t want these thoughts to make my friends and family back home nervous or scared for me. I am an eternal optimist and while I have times that are dark the sun is never far from my mind. Having emotions is a good thing and this blog is an insight to some of the unique emotions I have had while living in Uganda. Just to show I really am happy and loving my life I will include some fun pictures. I’m not very good at being in the pictures but trust me I was around and I was smiling! More life updates to come soon.
|Playing with the albino Ugandan girls that live across the street. They bring a smile to my face every time I leave the house and every time I come home. They are the cutest.|
|Popping Abdul’s collar for him|
|See! Happy times|
|With the Bukesa Boys|
|Celebrating John’s 30th birthday!|
|Plastic jugs on bike. How can you not smile at this?|