Friday, December 5, 2008
Then Julie, Josh and I took a piki out to the Jinja Nile Resort. A beautiful setting, a getaway - refreshing, rejuvenating, and relaxing. It was a reflective time by the side of a pool where you almost forget you are in Africa and if you close your eyes it feels like Mexico.
In just 2 weeks I am reminded of all that is Africa. I am taken back to those end months of our 6-mo. stay last year when I struggled with the inner battle of giving and being taken advantage of, trusting and being deceived - I have come to view Africa in light of a love-hate relationship. So much beauty and hope, but also so much ugliness and despair lurking.
Africa in all its mysteriousness and complexity is impossible to figure out. We can only do so much and it is NEVER enough. There are always more school fees, more children, more illnesses, and more women that need help. And you must be focused and internally okay with directing your attention to the cause before you (and hope others will rise up to help with the causes beside you).
Is it worth it? You betcha! It's one thing to volunteer in an orphanage (very necessary, yes, but also isolated), but it is a whole different story when you enter into reciprocal relationships. when you enter into villages, homes, families, and stories it gets messy. Relationships are messy. You can only give so much and there are heavy burdens that you carry, but you will also receive much more than you gave and it will (as Dave likes to say) rock your face off!
I wouldn't have had it any other way. I so much would have rather made myself vulnerable and risked myself to deception, mistrust, and heavy burdens than to have not had the experiences on this continent that have broken me down and rebuilt my heart, soul, and mind.
In light of the messiness, it is worth it - a hundred times over. I will never be the same and I will continue to enter in and offer my hand and heart, even when I don't know the outcome.