We got back to Wadupe around 4pm on a Saturday. We drove the ~100 miles from Arua to Yei at an average of 20mph. Add on the flat tire and crossing borders, and you get a 6 hour trip. We arrived at the Payam on market day, ran in to grab some fresh food, then loaded up three motorcycles of supplies/bags/a coffee pupler and started the 3 mile ride to the village.
Maybe it was the long day, but when we pulled in to the compound I was so discouraged. The massive rains had drenched the earth – our pineapples were filled the brim with weeds (again), the grass outside our house was to my waist, and the path to the latrines almost over grown. It is no joke how fast things grow in Wadupe, both crops and weeds. Inside our tukal, without us there to knock them down each day, termites had made little homes all over the walls. We found out our Monkey died (eaten by bush foxes), we had no charcoal for cooking dinner, and three empty jerry cans sat outside the kitchen (aka – we have no water).
Then it started raining and I definitely started crying.
It was one of those moments where I was hit hard with the realities of living in Wadupe. I felt ashamed for crying. The other women here have lived like this everyday, working hard, enduring the heat, the rain, the weight of water bearing down on their neck and shoulders. I had just come from a month in Kampala, coffee shops and restaurants. Only one day back, I lost it. I didn’t want to get water, I didn’t want to light a fire to cook, I did not want to fight termites for living space… and I am pretty sure none of the women here want to do those things everyday either, but this is the hand they were dealt.
The next morning came softly, brightly and a little more gentle. One of our goats had a tiny baby, our neighbors drifted in and out to say hello at our return. Boy and Diko’s laughter echoed around our compound as they came over to play. We talked, laughed and worked with our friends. These are the important things. These are the reasons we come back year after year. We have a good ministry here, and I am so proud to be a part of it.
Does that make living here easier? No, it is hard. But it is important for me to cook, sweep the dirt compound and carry water. I am learning lessons. I am gaining a great perspective….I am learning what it really means to live, no matter the circumstances.