This whole trip has been a great experience, in that we are actually getting more blessings that the kids probably are. I realize how spoiled we are, how we have everything we need and most of what we want, yet are still complaining. They don’t even have some basic necessities of what they need, most of all a bed. I always complain about how my bed isn’t soft enough, or how I need a lighter or heavier blanket to stay cool or warmer at night. They have the ground, and that is pretty much it.
Today while putting all the beds together, I was noticing how all the children were wanting to help because they were so grateful that they got a bed. It overwhelmed me, how there is so much poverty here and how they can’t even afford a bed or a mat, and we were giving them one. Seeing them trying out and choosing their new bed, just laughing and all excited broke my heart, because if I got a new bed, I’d be like, “Oh, yea. A bed. Cool…” They were like, “YEAH!!! A BED!!! ” It broke my heart and showed me that I don’t have to have everything I want and can get by with what I’ve got.
Seeing things here makes me feel super selfish, because I complain about everything. I am a complainer. These people in Uganda hardly complain about anything. At home, I can just go to Sonic or Allsup’s to get a drink when I get thirsty, while they say, “Oh, I’ll just walk 5 miles to the nearest watering place and get a drink, and then carry it 5 miles back, on my head.”
The one thing that has really stuck out to me this entire trip is how grateful they are. They are just so excited and say thank you a million, million, jillion times for what you gave them even though you really didn’t give them all that much. There is so much more you could have given them, but they are like, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you so much…” They are just so grateful for receiving something like that.
The biggest surprise to me has been how many people actually are living without a bed. I wasn’t expecting as much as I saw. Going into the houses we have been to, I’ve seen just how little they do have. I never knew there was that much poverty. I’ve heard about it all over place, but I never knew it was that bad. You never know until you see it.
When I go back home, I’ll probably be a lot more cautious about what I want and what I actually need. I probably won’t complain as much, and I won’t complain about Olney’s roads again, that’s for sure. I’ll learn to love what I have and be grateful for it, even though it might not be what I actually want. Not many over here in Uganda get what they actually need, much less want, unless they are the King or something. Back home, I was never one to go up to someone and say, “Hey, how are you?” I think I should do that more because whenever you say hi to a child here and ask how they are, they just light up because no one has ever really cared about them like that. I think I’ll be more friendly to people that I don’t know and take more time to talk to people and find out how they are doing.
Preparing for this trip, I thought “Oh, I’m going to Africa. No big deal…” , but now I’m like “Holy Cow. This is huge! I can do so much more than what I’m doing. When I get home, I plan on helping out more. I”m a big ol’ pack rat and I never give anything away, so I can give stuff to people who need it. I plan on tithing more with the money I get from working. I want to give money as well as clothes or whatever I have. Like the lady at the church in Uganda who didn’t have any money to give, so she put vegetables in the offering plate.