Uganda is challenging; it challenges my concepts of wealth, poverty, freedom, bondage, love, hate, good, evil, helping, hurting, God, and justice. Who made this awful, beautiful, dangerous, gentle, dirty, pristine, mess? I know we serve a sovereign God, and I am also aware that he has given us a measure of sovereignty as well, so the blame game is a slippery teeter totter, perched on a heap of rotten fish heads; that is to say, a fools game. This country brings out the contrasts of life in extreme ways, at once stirringly beautiful, and devastatingly filthy, pristine, and yet rotten, dangerous, and yet loving and gentle. I’ve never been anywhere which made me think so much of the garden of Eden, with a wonderful climate, papaya, bananas, mangos, avocados, pineapples, growing everywhere, most planted, some wild. The climate is gentle, with good rainfall, and very comfortable temperatures; you could thrive here year round in one pair of pants and a long sleeve shirt. Most people where flip-flops year round. Seemingly such an easy place to live… But on the other hand, if the original garden had one serpent, this one has hundreds. From snakes which are deadly poisonous to ones which don’t even need poison to eat you whole, to lions and elephants. Not to mention the thieves who will take anything which is not locked down with an armed guard, and the constant knowledge of the deadly diseases of the tropics, which would fill a large volume of their own. On the other hand, the landscape is jawdroppingly gorgeous, and the people are almost universally kind and generous, to outsiders and neighbors alike.. I’ve learned more over the past two weeks about the nature of the world than I have I the last three years if life on the farm (and it’s not like those years haven’t been eventful…) and yet it seems that I had to come half way around the world to prove the truth of the old adage, “the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know… That’s the news from Uganda, where the water might kill you, the electricity is sketchy, and life is the sweeter for it.
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