Sunday, July 1, 2012

Things I hope to never complain about now that I've lived here

I went to Jinja this weekend with Sam and Ashley.  It was so nice to have a little weekend away.  We stayed at a place called Adrift.  It cost like 10 dollars to stay there and it was right on the Nile.  It's where I'll be bungee jumping if I can ever get up the nerve.  A two-hour bus ride filled the time space between Mbale and Jinja.  It was a great opportunity to reflect and think about what I think about my time here in Africa.  What I've learned, how I'm changed, etc.  Tonights post will be things I hope to never complain about after having lived here, experienced what I have and see what I've seen.
  • Cold Showers.  They're pretty much all that we get here and it turns out they're not so bad.  Hot showers are such a luxury.  The fact that I use a shower at all and not just a bucket also makes me feel sublimely spoiled.  Yeah, I don't want to come home and complain about a cold shower. I'm lucky that I get to be clean everyday.
  • Being Hungry or having "nothing to eat".  I, personally, don't want to ever use the expression, "I'm starving" or even complain about how hungry I am.  I've seen too many tiny, wobbly-legged toddlers scampering around with big bellies and huge grins on their faces.  I don't, nor will I probably ever understand what it actually means to be starving.
  • "Needing new clothes".  As I spend time in different areas here in Mbale, I've begun to pick up on little details.  Some of my friends wear the same outfit to church every single week.  My favorite little children in Bunabuyoka are wearing the exact same shirt and pants every time I see them.  Oftentimes they're dirty, ripped, and probably a hand-me down because it doesn't ever fit their frames.  I don't need to complain about not having enough clothes.  Or needing a new outfit.
  • Bathrooms.  It's usually the least favorite chore and everyone hates an unsightly public restroom right?  Yeah, I don't ever want to complain about bathrooms.  Chances are good that I'll have a flushing toilet for the rest of my life.  I haven't met people that have flushing toilets in their homes.  And the "restrooms" here sometimes have human waste on the floor, smeared on the walls, etc. because they don't always have toilet paper in the stalls.  Yep, I hope to never complain about bathroom facilities.
  • Diaper changing.  There is no such thing as a store bought diaper here.  They just wrap their children in towels like 3 times.  The babies bodies literally look proportionally awkward because there are so many towels wrapped around them.  They also don't have tampons of any kind over here FYI....yeah.  I hope that when I'm eventually a mamma that I won't complain about changing diapers.  It's not a bunch of towels that I have to hand wash and reuse.  
  • Mowing the lawn.  I kid you not, our lawn gets mowed by a man that bends over and swings a machete back and forth cutting our grass.  It takes him all day.  I remember when I was little thinking it was so hot mowing the law with a lawn mower that (depending on the gear) helps you push the law mower. haha Hilarious now having see a man sweat and cut our grass one swing at a time.
  • "Laundry takes forever."  Actually it turns out that washing the laundry didn't take forever.  I put it in a square machine, dumped some powder it, pushed a button and walked away!  Here I fill a bucket with water and scrub each article of clothing individually with soap, rinse it in another bucket, ring it out and hang it to dry.  It took me 2 hours to wash like 15 articles of clothing...and then they have to dry in the sun all day...if it doesn't rain.  There's a woman that does our laundry for those who pay her.  It takes her all day bent over buckets. 
I hope this doesn't sound like I used to/currently complain a lot, because I didn't/don't. haha I guess I just notice differences while I'm here and want them to make me think.  Life is beautiful.  I'm so fortunate.  I'm thankful for the people I'm meeting and what I'm learning.  I know that I need to take more time to reflect, to truly appreciate what I have.  So blessed.  So, so blessed.


  1. Oh I am so so grateful for all of our miraculous modern conveniences. Grateful that I will likely never have to hand wash clothes or even dishes. Grateful that I have diapers and AC and beds and showers and toilets and tampons for heaven sakes. We are incredibly blessed.

  2. I'm so grateful to live in a country where childhood immunizations, clean water and abundant food have always been available for my family. We are very, very blessed. Thanks for the reminder Mallory.