Choosing the unchosen

August 18, 2016 (Kampala):

Yesterday I was paralyzed by our ambiguity. I spent much of the day just working in the kitchen and watching TV documentaries. But toward late afternoon, I detected a subtle shift within me. I began to operate as if attending FSU this fall is out of the question and we are staying in Uganda. I knew we might get to this point, but I was hoping not. Today is Thursday, so if we don’t get a miraculous visa interview by tomorrow, there is no way I can be in Tallahassee by next Tuesday.

I walked to Embassy Supermarket while Amber and the girls came later in the truck. On the way, I started thinking of things we can do to make our indefinite stay in Kampala more fulfilling. They say one key to mental health is voluntarily choosing that over which you have no choice – to embrace your circumstances as if they’re what you wanted. A thought I had again was that we could end up liking it here so much we don’t feel a need to leave any longer.

Reflecting on the Exodus story [preached about the previous Sunday], I see that the ‘Egyptians’ are about to round us up and cart us back to Egypt, so to speak. We’ve been standing here at the seaside, waiting for the waters to part…but they are not. Our hope is not the world’s plan. So it’s back to Egypt with us, back to bondage. But there are things about Egypt we enjoy: the food, the weather, taking part in building a civilization, the community, the predictability, the sense of purpose, etc. We can put up with a little overworking and mistreatment now and then.

If we get to ‘choose’ to stay in Uganda, here are a few things I’d like to do to help us cope:

  • Take Luganda lessons
  • Put the girls in a homeschool co-op
  • Write my paper on Ik etymology
  • Climb Mt. Moroto
  • Take the family rafting on the Nile
  • Keep up the exercise and tennis routine
  • Begin a study of Greek science and philosophy
  • Get some new clothes
  • Get a white-noise machine for our bedroom

Things I love about living in Kampala/Uganda:

  • the glorious weather
  • the organic food
  • ethnic foods
  • clay tennis courts
  • red dirt
  • wildlife
  • the pace of life
  • tropical fruits
  • lack of media madness
  • freedom of schedule
  • seeing our girls’ relatives
  • our house with its view
  • simple lifestyle
  • rich, earthy fragrances

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