12.11.08

everything and nothing

It is amazing how time seems to move faster then me, even when I'm running.

The past few weeks have been full of everything and nothing. Things at work are moving slowly but surely. The preschool now has a projected budget and a uniform design. The storage room is 3/4 finished with my organizational wrath. Matty can now spell his name with out any help. And today I became an accountant. Don't worry, it's mostly data entry stuff and how hard is it to balance an equation? Not hard. Plus I get to hand people their wages, which is always a good feeling. I finally got out of my is-the-work-I'm-doing-really-making-a-difference slump when I read the chapter in The Prophet on work. In summary it said this- Work is the manifestation of love. Every work you do, do it as though you were working for your beloved. If you cannot work with love, it's better to become a beggar and collect your wages from those who can.

In other news, I am finally feeling like I have a community, humble as it is. The boda drivers who we now call mukwano guange (my friends). The staff and parents at the international school who finally remember my name. The church we go to, where we don't know most people's names, but where we want to. Coworkers who are more like compadres, and friends that we can just chill with and not feel awkward. It's far from my vast network of loved ones at home, but I think it will work at sustaining life.

And I have to confess... today I played pretend. Holding my cup of coffee up to my face I closed my eyes and traveled all the way across the ocean and land masses to Court St. in Salem. I was at starbucks. I could smell the pumpkin spice lattes and overprices pastries. I could see the newspapers and laptops busily being poured over by rushing business men and overheard the prayers and gossip coming from a few pastors, as well as a teenage girl talking a bit too loudly on her cell. I saw the rain outside and the people bundled in Northface and Ugs to keep out the mucky damp leaves and prickly November cold. I thought about leaving, going to my car and driving down the road to my home, or just up I-5 to portland to meet some friends on 23rd or at Whole Foods. As safe and comfortable and wonderful as it was to be home, in that familiar moment I missed Uganda. I missed the unpredictability, the black skin, the sunshine, and the near death experiences on every boda ride to work. I missed knowing my need. I missed my friends, my work, and being literally dirty every day. And so I decided to come back. It was a quick journey because of course I only had to open my eyes.

The educational lesson here: Playing pretend is not only a vital part of child development.

And so now, back home in Uganda I am writing to send you my love and let you know all is well.

3 comments:

Hannah Jo said...

susan, love. thanks for writing this. i want to see your home. we talk of you so much here, and are missing you always.

jans said...

I loved all of that. I will close my eyes and imagine that I am in Cafe Pap with you, or that I am sitting on my couch in my living room with you and Chelsea, eating popcorn on a Sunday night with my family. You will be there soon. I love you!

Krista Lynn said...

i'll do my best not to cry! beatifully written! miss you! thinkin' about ya!