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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Re-Creating




The root of the word recreation is to become re-created, to have that
breath of life re-breathed into the soul. For me, that is facilitated
by the isolation and beauty of nature. It did not take much
convincing to get the four single WHM women to join a 24-hour camp-out
in the rainforest this weekend. We piled our gear in Pat's car Friday
afternoon and headed for the Ituri Rainforest, set up in a clearing in
the woods, grilled vegetables and marinated chicken, told stories
around a blazing campfire (and learned Larissa is a bit of a
pyromaniac), and scurried for the shelter of an old Myhre family tent
(which we had to resurrect with pirated poles) when lightening and
wind threatened a storm. In spite of the rest of the district's
drenching we slept peacefully dry! Saturday morning we hiked through
the boggy forest. As usual most of the animal life was jumping
through the canopy: five different species of monkeys on our hike,
plus a few squirrels and rare birds. Closer to the ground we saw only
prints in the mud: sitatunga, bush pig, forest elephant, buffalo,
baboon. The hike took us by two hot springs, sulfurous steaming
moonscapes where boiling water bubbles through the crust of the
earth. Our guide told us that the local people used to sacrifice
children there to thank the gods of the springs for the salt they
collected. A stark reminder of the grip that fear and evil have held
on this place that we love, Bundibugyo.

By mid-day Saturday we were back to real life, including a brisk trek
through the Nyahuka river to reach the family home of a nurse friend
whose father had died. The burial was over but we found the family
still sitting exhausted on dried banana leaves scattered on the mud
floor of their house. . . . I went because I remembered how much I
appreciated the many, many friends who supported my family when my
father died. The situation was a bit similar, with Rose being the
oldest, the medical daughter, who helped take care, but in her case a
stroke had debilitated her father for many years. Like us there was a
mixture of relief that her father's suffering had ended, with the
sadness of missing him.

Last but not least, the highlight of the weekend for the Myhre
kids . . . every Sunday afternoon we play a little game of family
soccer for about an hour or so in the yard. This year we've had the
tremendous advantage of Miss Ashley's skill and Miss Sarah's efforts,
so that when we play adults vs. kids it is a pretty even match. Scott
treated us all to team jerseys his last trip to Kampala, so the final
photo shows us post-game, a bit muddy and sweaty but definitely re-
created!

1 comment:

jesse said...

I love the team picture. I have a white jersey with me just in case I can make it back there to play for the kids. Hope all is well and thanks for everything!!!