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Friday, January 18, 2008

Back in Uganda and No Ebola

After a memorable trip by train, air, boat and bus from our conference via Salzburg, Prague, and Amersterdam . . We are back in the familiar brightness of Kampala with its booming music and dusty air, mucky streets and piles of traffic.  It is good to be home, almost.  The kids were jumping up and down with excitement as we waited for our bags in the airport, breathing in the softer wetter air of Uganda.  We’ve been reconnecting with team, listening to their stories and telling ours, looking at calendars and planning the grand return.  Because the best news of all is this:  NO MORE CASES of Ebola.  Both isolation units are shut down.  The mattresses were burned.  The international staff has thinned to almost no one.  Life is returning to normal, which means it is time to get the team back home.  Pat and Scott Will have been bravely holding down the fort alone long enough.  Over the next few days most of us will be returning.

Which means these few days in Kampala are full of the usual (for Scott mostly), shopping for boxes and boxes of medicine and piles of food, soap powder and paper and school shoes and tins of paint.  I’m not sure I’ve really re-entered yet, I’m still in the blur of good food and good care from others, the placid flow of travel and transience, not really yet facing the reality of return.

Perhaps when we are home we can post some pictures from our resourceful, creative, generous WHM colleagues who led us into castles and over bridges, to taste and gaze and touch and hear the amazing culture and history of Prague (Mark and Joanna with Sasha the cutest ever two year old, primarily, but also Phil and Shanna, Chris and Laura, and non-WHM old friends Carolyn and Ted with various and assorted kids) and Amsterdam (Miriam and Bob).  We are extremely grateful, it is as if God wrote on our foreheads BE NICE TO THESE PEOPLE...THEY NEED YOUR HELP.  Because we’ve certainly received way more than our fair share of love from all of them.

So here we are in the limbo of Kampala, far from the pristine timeliness of Austria, far from the magical artsiness of Prague, far from the ordered bustle of Amsterdam.  But not yet into the demanding chaos of Bundibugyo.  A time to draw a deep breath and wait on what God will do as we return to a place that certainly feels as difficult and far from Heaven as any on earth.  I’ll close with lines from W. B. Yeats, found here in the home of the Irish doctor where we are staying for this pause.  In this poem a Bishop calls upon a poor woman to focus on Heaven, but she replies that the foul earth has been the dwelling place of that most fair . . . .

    But Love has pitched his mansion in
    The place of excrement;
    For nothing can be sole or whole
    That has not been rent.


jane. said...

* welcome back.

Alisha said...

Praise God that there are no more Ebola cases!

Brad & Stacey said...

Glad you are back home safely!

Cindy said...

Praying for you as you get back to reality! So thankful there are no new cases - praise God!
So grateful you were able to enjoy some days of rest and relaxation - and being pampered. You all needed it!
God bless!
Love to all,

The Syvertsens said...

it was GREAT to see you all. glad you are back safely.

Anonymous said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!! So glad for the update!

Carol M said...

So happy to see a blog again. Thank the Lord for all blessings! Love and prayers to each of you as you return to your home, work and school.

Anonymous said...

What great news--the Ebola nightmare is over and you've had some days of rest and refreshment and pleasure. Each of you deserved and needed it. It's great to have you back. May God be with you and bless you as you come back to those whose hearts and bodies you comfort. Judy in HMB