For the last 3 ½ months, my living space has been very much like a monk’s cell; an 8’ by 11’ room that contains a bed with mosquito net, desk, bookcase/storage and pegs on the wall for clothes. I had the desk built for about $25 USD and the bookcase for around $30 USD. The bug zapper on the desk, which looks like a tennis racket, came in very handy, too!
The bath area and “shower” will definitely be unforgettable.
But it’s the people that I’ll miss. Many of them have become friends, like Goerge (no, that’s not a typo that’s the way he spells it). Goerge is the guy at the bank here that has helped me with my transactions. I have my son transfer money to my dollar savings account here at my bank and then I have to exchange my dollars to UG Shillings. That’s where George comes in. He has been a great help. When I went in to check my account last week, I told him that I would be leaving and thanked him in case I didn’t see him again. He made me promise to come back to see him before I left. That is what the people here are like. Even at the bank you’re not just a number or a mzungu, you are someone they want to know.
Then there is Sarah (on the left) and Olivia (on the right). They work at a small cafe that has an Internet cafe as a part of it. This is the hang out place in Mbale where I can get a cold drink and chips for 6,000 ugsh (about $2.40 USD). Just like Goerge, when I told them that I was leaving, they wanted me to stay and to come back.
And there is Ronald with his bike loaded with a box of mushrooms to take into town. Ronald is a young man that lives with the Gogo’s. They kind of take care of him and he helps around the house. He washes my clothes and cooks for me when Mabel was gone. He’s a great young man that I will miss.
And of course there is Bishop Gogo and his wife Mabel.
Mable working on lunch and her new cat to chase the…. Well, I better not say what the cat is supposed to chase.
I’ve been humbled by the clergy here, they have so little, some have nothing but they have hearts to preach the gospel and to help their people. They walk, ride bicycles, travel sometimes long distances just to preach and minister to just small, poor church’s that have nothing. They sleep on dirt floors and eat the poorest of food, drinking bad water, water that would kill us and that sometimes make them sick, never complaining, but wishing they could do more and more and more. They have humbled me in ways that I would not have thought possible just a few months ago. I want to become just like these guys, real followers of Jesus.
In the 3 1/2 months that I’ve been here, I feel like I’ve done a lot more learning than I have teaching or ministering. I am tempted to feel like I’ve failed and let these people that I’ve come to know and love down. They are so hungry for God and want to learn and I’ve had so little to give to them. I just have to hold fast to the story of the little boy with the few fish and a little bread. I’ve learned that I will never have enough, only God can provide enough.
And, there are many more smiling faces around town that I will miss.
Today (Saturday) at the market I was there buying maze for Ronald to roast tonight. I paid 5,000 Ugsh about $2.00 for ten ears of maze. Don’t you wish that you could buy fresh, picked-this-morning maze for 20 cents an ear?
And lastly a Mbale sunset. I will miss this for sure!!!
My last Saturday in Mbale has been a good day, a little sad but a good day.