it all began five years ago during my first trip to uganda. i met a young boy named aclam at a place where i knew there was a need for sponsorship, at the time my mind was filled with over-whelming and helpless thoughts of how i could even begin to put a hand in all the need i saw around me. i was drawn in by his smile and bright spirit during my short visit so much that i knew there were a few little things in my daily life that i could sacrifice each month in order to help put this boy through school. when i returned to the states i had fond memories, pictures, and we wrote letters throughout the years which consisted of small talk letters full of how-are-yous, school, faith, family, and best wishes. being worlds apart and writing letters which take months to receive, i could only picture so much about aclam’s life and could only hope to see him again knowing his story had such an impact on me.
this past weekend i got to spend the weekend with aclam (who to my surprise is not such a young boy anymore,) his beautiful mother rose who cares and loves on her own children plus eight orphaned children , and his bright spirited brothers and sisters in their home village which is a small little plot of land tucked away on lake victoria where there is no running water, toilets, and only solar powered electricity. it was an incredible weekend of beauty, simplicity, and truth and i didn’t want to leave. a family that has been worlds apart took me in as their own for the weekend and cooked delicious traditional food while singing and dancing, taught me traditional african dances, and even how to carry things on my head…!! it’s so interesting to walk into a family and culture who may not have “a lot” in regards to material possessions but are so genuinely bright spirited and have everything they “need” right in front of them and the people around them. coming straight from a culture/society who longs for material possessions and instant gratification i can’t help but think of the poverty of materialism we as americans are in and don’t even realize it. with our constant access to internet (including myself,) reality television shows, bigger and better houses and cars…it all strips us of the pure joy we all have inside of us and our ability to find the beauty in simplicity of what is in our natural surroundings has become tainted in a sense. i’m not trying to hate on my country because i love where i came from, but there is so much beauty in a life of simplicity which i truly believe is what was originally intended for us. simplicity, balance, and pure joy.
i have a lot more to say about this experience but i want to keep it simple…this family was meant to be in my life and i know they will be forever. a strong desire i listened to five years ago lead me to a family who is now a part of me and i can only thank god. so often we miss out on these beautiful parts of life because we don’t allow ourselves to step outside of our busy lives and just listen.