About a week ago I got to be a part of one of the best things that i've experienced here so far. some amazing Peace Corps volunteers put together (through an impressive amount of planning and organization) a girls camp where 150ish freshman-aged girls from all over uganda came together for a week of life skills teaching, games, and empowerment. rather than tell you all the details, let me put down the website which was created for it, and if you have time, you can see pictures and read about the week-long event. Know though that when/if you see some of the pics, for a lot of these girls, it was their first time out of their home village, their first time to interact with girls from other parts of the country, and definitely their first time to interact with so many white people! campglowuganda.yolasite.com
my role was small at the camp and it was a blessing that i was even allowed to come. but because my responsibilities were small, i had time to just observe and to appreciate. What I saw was this: one person can matter. What i saw was individuals making a difference in the lives of others. Individuals teaching about malaria prevention, a leading cause of death in Uganda, and in the world. Individuals dancing and laughing with those of different tribes and languages. I saw individuals loving and upholding kids who otherwise might not get that love, who otherwise might not be told they're of value, they matter, and that they're worthy of love. There's a lot of cliche sayings about, "changing one person changes the world," or "if you touch the life of one, you touch the life of all," something like that. People generally accept them, though whether they accept them as true or simple niceties is uncertain. But is there really truth to these sayings? If not, does it matter? Is changing the world supposed to be one's goal, or is simply loving people enough? I don't know that the world was changed by the camp, or even the country, but I'd like to think the lives of 150 girls were changed, and that might be enough. I guess i don't even know what I mean by "enough." As if we have some quota to fill, some level of influence that we have to reach. Before I came here, I talked to someone about changing the world. i said that this was not my goal or my measuring stick to success. But perhaps it was. Perhaps, further underneath ideals which were already subterranean, i had this idea of changing the world. I might have failed in this regard. As my time gets closer to the end though, Im left with thinking, however ambiguous or even selfish it might be, "Did I do, enough?"
in a completely unrelated topic, Christmas is coming up. that means time to buy Christmas meat. the butchers will be bouncing, the shop-keepers smiling, and the cooking oil will be cracking as i drop 10,000 shillings to get a couple kilos of goat. worth it. but i guess, in a way, the fact the Christmas is coming up is not all that unrelated to the prior topic. I mean, as one man, Jesus made a difference. Though He might never have walked on Ugandan soil, the sons of the soil still know Him. I mean, ultimately, Christmas has nothing to do with Christmas meat. It's one man (no matter what people may or may not say about Him), making a difference. So as Christmas comes, make a difference, know you can and at the same time, don't have to, which makes it that much better. Treat yourself to some Christmas meat.
A Wee Dram O' Ruxpin Muggle
6 days ago