“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
Today marks one year since I moved to Uganda. That time has been a whirlwind of happies, crappies, sappies, and more. I have experienced some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life in the past 12 months, and I have been so grateful for all God has shown me in my time here. I have learned a lot about doing life here, and I thought I would share just a few insights:
- It is oftentimes safer to drive off the road than on it.
- Teaching is challenging no matter where you teach, who you teach, how many you teach, or with whom you teach – the challenges just look different.
- You will
probablydefinitely call your mechanic more often than you call your family.
- Ugandan sunsets are some of the most beautiful in the world.
- You don’t get to see giraffes, hippos, lions, or elephants on the daily (though sometimes you see monkeys!).
- In the first hour you are awake: you will find a ridiculously long worm (that you think is a snake) in your toilet, your sink will spray water all over you so you have to get changed, you’ll burn your finger, and you will spill your tea. (Okay, so this isn’t a typical day, but it just happened to me on Tuesday, so it’s fresh.)
- Growing in your faith doesn’t happen easily just because you’re serving as a missionary. I still have to be intentional about my relationship with God, and finding time to be quiet with Him is oftentimes even harder for me here than it was in the States.
- It is possible to feel completely at home and also like you are entirely out of your element at the same time.
- You might end up getting a dog who turns out to be a bit loony…you’ll love her anyway.
- Dealing with the power company will bring out a side of you that you didn’t know existed and teach you a whole different type of self-advocacy.
- Your computer might unexpectedly stop working, but you will have amazing friends who offer you a spare while yours is (hopefully) getting fixed. (This generosity will allow you to write a blog about your past year in Uganda.)
- Asking for help is a sign of wisdom, not weakness.
I am still so incredibly grateful that this is the life God has called me to for this season. Some days it seems like I just arrived in Uganda two months ago, and other days it feels like I have been here for years. Life typically just feels normal. I wake up, have some tea, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch Netflix and go to bed. Of course, living in a transient community comes with its challenges – I have already had to say indefinite goodbyes to multiple friends. But when you live in a community where so many people are living away from the people they love, the bonds are different. Your friends become your family. If I am ever in trouble, I have at least ten different people I could call at any time, and I know they would come running (thankfully, I haven’t had to do this yet).
I feel truly thankful for these people God has placed in my life. I have learned more about who God is and His great love for us through the people around me. I am so excited to see what this next year (and maybe more?!) will bring!