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Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Weekend Off

A weekend off . . . perhaps seems ill-timed in the midst of
desperation. We are grateful for those who have written and called in
support of the AIDS-drug crisis. Lots of foot-work and phone-work on
Thursday we hope will pay off by Monday, as we have appealed for a
portion of the limited supplies. Not a long-term solution, but still

But a mercy of God is that with a kid at RVA, we take a mid-term
breath-catching pause. From Friday to Sunday this week we are a
family first and only, putting aside worries about patients and
robbers and polio and funding and the future. Our job, for the
weekend, is to be with our kids. And they're a pretty fun group to be
with. This is what they like to do: play ping pong and tennis and
soccer, swim and read novels, watch Mythbusters and World Cup Football
qualifiers, eat Thai, Indian, and Italian food, catch a movie in the
theatre, laugh at Calvin and Hobbes jokes, jump on the trampoline, and
read some more. And talk, about schools and travel and people and
chaos and God. It's a welcome break from the day to day reality of
Bundibugyo. We are usually on the move, heading to a conference, a
meeting, or at least a game park when we're on a school break. This
weekend we're just in Kampala, impersonating a normal American
expatriate family going to restaurants and relaxing. It's been great.

And we're back at the ARA (the American Recreation Association), a
place where we have history, where some of the same staff watched
these same teenagers when they were toddlers learning to walk and
later to swim. This is the very room where we landed to recover from
rebel attack in 1997 without a single change of clothes to our name,
where the managers let us rustle through the lost and found. Year by
year as Bundibugyo became home, the ARA also reminded us that we're
still Americans, too, who like a hamburger and a room with a fan. It
has been a safe place to escape into order, a place of respite.
Sometimes all the more frustrating for the illusion of American-ness
without the reality, sometimes a disconcerting dose of parallel
universes of rich and poor . . . but mostly a great escape.

So we're thankful for the weekend off, storing up the memories and the
resilience to hit the ground running again on Monday.


Mrs.O said...

Enjoy the rest. God bless the works of your hands. Even with the frustrating bits, you are making a difference in Bundibugyo.

Heather Pike Agnello said...

Have a happy, happy time at the A.R.A. I somehow remember how cool and smooth the floors there felt, and how that summed up the respite and rest it provided. Greet Kathy for me, if she's still there...

Cindy Nore said...

So glad your family is getting some time together, some rest and relaxation, and a break from the stresses you face all day, every day. Praying that your time together as a family would nourish all of you with love, togetherness, and precious memories to take with you in the weeks ahead. With much love - Cindy Nore