Assimilating Back into American Culture
The past week has been more difficult than I expected it to be. Both Bonnie and I have seemed to struggle with resuming life as usual. We’re not sure life will ever be the same after what we’ve seen.
We notice how much we (us Americans) are distracted by “things” and not focused on people or our relationships with them. We seem to be in such a hurry. Perhaps that is what makes life go by so fast.
We seem to have our priorities out of balance. What are we choosing to spend our money on? Is it more important than using that money to educate a child and give them a chance at life?
Bonnie and I miss the lingering handshake that is customary in Uganda. We miss the way Ugandans speak without contractions. It’s not “You’re welcome”, it’s “You are welcome” – and it is charming and endearing.
We miss our team, all very diverse people, personalities, backgrounds, economic statuses and ages. But all people who easily got along with everyone out of love and compassion for humanity.
While we don’t know if we will every return to Uganda, one thing is for sure. Uganda will forever remain in us. I pray that we will never resume to life as usual, at least not mentally or spiritually. For we can’t effect change in our communities if we don’t have another perspective to consider.
If you have ever had the inkling to travel abroad or participate in some kind of humanitarian effort, I strongly encourage you to do it. With all that has gone on in Haiti and Chile, the opportunities are not scarce. It is worth every vaccine, all the paperwork and travel arrangements. It is worth making arrangements for your children and household. It is worth the mental calesthenics of packing creatively.
What makes it worth it? The smile of relief and appreciation on the face of the person whose needs you have met. And that, is priceless.