April 4, 2008

Beautiful Koinonia

I don’t normally classify “farewells” as beautiful. But I always classify fellowship as beautiful. Perhaps it was the distinct lack of fellowship at different intervals in my life that made it such a treasure. Preparing to leave Kaabong for good is an odd feeling. I know that leaving any place, and any change can be frightening, stressful, exciting or all of these rolled into one. Kaabong has been an interesting chapter in our lives. I can rest assured that I am the first person from tiny Tahoka who twirled batons, lived in Prague, and then Kaabong for the first year and a half of marriage (I always wanted to be unique and at least in this regard I feel certain I’ve reached that mark!). I’m also sure Yakobo is the first trombone playing boy from Canadian to live alone in Kaabong as the only lonely mzungu for over a year and half and THEN to live here for the first year and a half of marriage…

Preparing to leave is strange. There are aspects of life that still frustrate the fire out of me. Persistent begging that includes angry talk of any kind, and the grabbing of bags or arms still ruffles my feathers. Seeing mistreatment, mismanagement and death on an all too regular basis still shakes me.. But there are other things that still enchant me. Things that make me stop and breathe it all in and wonder if I will ever feel quite the way I feel at that moment again. Going out in the cool evening to turn off the inverter I can’t help but turn off my flashlight, stand with my barefeet on the cool concrete and look up at this Kaabong sky. What a sky… What vast beauty. This vantage point, this one front row seat at this show gives me a viewing I know won’t ever be quite replicated again. And I know I will miss it. I will miss the children, chubby cheeked, toothy grins clambering just to hold my hand and maybe rub their snotty little faces against my arm, eyes closed, marveling at the soft shiny ‘feathers’ on my arm and at the blinding whiteness that is me.
I want to hug them. Hand them hope in an unbreakable container and promise them no pain and death in the foreseeable future. But I know I can’t. Instead I smile and say something silly- reveling in their delighted giggles and shy glances. These things I will miss.
And of course our friends. I keep thinking a lot of that saying: “Mountains don’t meet”… When saying goodbye there is the hope we will meet again. Who knows our futures but God?
Last night we had a beautiful farewell. It was our last night in Kaabong with Terrill and Amber before they left for the long road to Kampala, our last night in Kaabong with John, who thankfully got to return to Kaabong for a precious visit from England, and our last night in Kaabong with Jakob from MedAir as each of these people have now left. These have been precious friends. Travel at night in this area is not safe/advisable and MedAir has a curfew anyhow. So anytime we want quality time together we have the wonderful joy of ‘slumber’ parties. Around 7 everyone was gathered at our house just as darkness fell, and we sat around wonderful food, warm laughter, and precious friends for hours- the sound of David’s beautiful guitar filling each space and corner as we all simply basked in it all; the blessing of friends, the joy of time together, and the hope of meeting again someday. That is a beautiful farewell, and of course something I will miss.

Our month in pictures:
Terrill and Jacob went for a hike on Morungole, which is something Jacob’s wanted to do for a long time, and Terrill’s wanted to do since he stepped foot in Karamoja. They loved it, got home late, and both walked like zombies for days after. Apparently that’s a guy’s idea of an ‘awesome’ day. The other day the girls all came over, we soaked our feet in hot water, put masks on our faces and watched a chick-flick.. Apparently that’s a girl’s idea of an ‘awesome’ day. At least we’re all happy!

Apei, from Lopelipel, showed up with a surprise gift for Jacob- a very brand new “Apakapel”. Apakapel is the name of a certain goat/cow pattern- which is both black and white. This was Jacob’s first goat’s pattern, and as he had no ‘bull’ it became his bull-name. We ate the first unfortunate Apakapel during Christmas 06 (Yum). If you notice in the corner there was a small drama taking place as we took this picture. Daisy attacking said he-goat from the protection of Jacob.


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