(Posted by Jane)
I have a vivid imagination. Before we moved I found it a comforting exercise to imagine our new home; to picture the landscape, the streets, the buildings, the people, our living space… and to picture us there… And now we are here, and unsurprisingly no level of skilled imagining or detailed preparation can pre-empt reality! I’ve been caught off guard by the beauty of this country; the rolling green hills surrounding Kampala, alive with vegetation, scarred with orange dirt tracks and scattered with terracotta roofed houses, half-built buildings and little wooden shacks. The other night we sat on a friend’s roof catching a glimpse of Lake Victoria, soaking in the peace and watching the sun set over our new home in Akright.
Today I caught a boda (motorbike taxi) down to the main road and was able to take in the changing environments: rich and poor set alongside each other; established homes followed by pop up communities; empty plots of land followed by a flurry of roadside businesses selling fruit and veg; quiet dirt tracks merging in to the stampede of matatus (minibus taxis) heading up and down the Kampala-Entebbe road.
After the speed of the boda and the pace at which my brain tries to process all that my eyes are seeing, I get off and life is slow. Even in the city where my senses explode with all that’s going on, my Ugandan neighbours stroll down the road at a leisurely pace, apparently in no rush to be anywhere. I find it hard to keep pace. I’m not sure what I’m in a rush about; perhaps to settle in, find work, be as busy as I was before moving here, put my hands to something worth while. But for now I know I need to go slow and simply take it all in.
The first word we learnt in Luganda was jebale, a form of greeting. It also means ‘well done’. I love that local Ugandans here in Kampala will meet each other, and before anything is said and done will greet one another with ‘well done’… Now we’ve arrived here I’m itching to discover the work God has in store for us; restless to get stuck in to life and service here… But I’m learning to understand that God has greeted us with jebale. Well done. I want to go slow enough to hear it and to know that before anything is done or said, he is pleased.