Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's all perspective...

I just want to place a disclaimer here...this post is not a criticism of anyone's personal experience in Uganda, nor is it a direct reflection of any one conversation. This is simple my thoughts on a general thought process and something I have personally been walking through. My apologies if anyone was directly offended by this.

So, in preparing to head to Uganda to adopt T & M, I keep being told how sparse and hard the living conditions are. As I would get in contact with person after person who had been there, most of them had the same story. In fact, so many people were saying the same thing that I was starting to panic wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. I mean how hard is the 5 weeks going to be? Am I going to just want to cry myself to sleep each night and dream of America? My imagination was just going wild with all the possibilities.

Then, I met another military wife who had been there alone adopting their two blessings and she sent me a picture of what the rooms actually look like. My heart leapt! It was going to be paradise! I guess it's just perspective....

You see, when people talk about "sparse" or "rough" living my mind instantly goes to my time in Thailand living on the border with Burma in refugee camps. Having little to no electricity, sleeping on a bamboo floor in a hut with chickens roosting underneath. (After being woken several mornings in a row at 4am...I was ready to start learning how to kill chickens.) Bathing in a COLD mountain river or having to pull buckets of water up from an even colder well and bathing publicly with everyone watching you. Having no connection to outside world through the phone or internet. In fact, one time it took a 5 hour trip to make a 10 minute phone call.

I am thankful to report that my time in Uganda will not be like that. Sure it will be different and things won't be as reliable as they are here, but at least I'll have electricity most of the time, there is a hot water in the shower most of the time, I can have internet in my room most of the time, and I'll be sleeping on a semi-soft bed off the floor without any animals underneath my head. In fact, it will be much like the "resorts" we used to go to in Thailand when we needed a sanity break from the camps.

I do want to clarify that I'm not putting down those who felt it was probably was for them. But I've realized that it is truly all a matter of perspective. Thankfully, for me the living conditions will not be hard. There will definitely be other parts of this trip that I already know will challenge me. And without those experiences, the trip wouldn't be as effective because in those times of stretching I learn so much about God, myself, and the world. So here's to an exciting adventure ahead!

What my room might look like in Uganda...I tried to find one of my pictures from Thailand to have a visual comparison, but they must all still be at my parent's house. So, you'll just have to use your imagination.


  1. For me it wasn't the living conditions that were was the endless waiting....never knowing if or when the process would be over. I can deal with dirt, bugs, and yucky bathrooms...being at the mercy of others whose best interest is to keep you somewhere for a long time...with nothing to do to pass the time....terrible :)

  2. That was our room too! Home, sweet, home it was for 4 1/2 weeks. Nope, not too hard. The hard part was being away from our other children while we waiting to bring these little pumpkins home. The process-well, lots of deep breathing and a constant smile on your face. That's how you get through. Go for ice cream on a boda. That's fun!! :) You'll be fine. So good to meet you last week!!!! --shannon

  3. Hey that looks a LOT like the room we were in....;-)

    For me it was like summer camp. A little dirty and definitely rustic. That wasn't the real problem for me....for me it was missing my other kids. I think I could have handled an awful lot but I was having SUCH a hard time without my other babies!

  4. PS- BRING BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. So there's possible internet from the guest house? Are you bringing a laptop?

    Thanks for your perspective. We send our package Monday to Mandy. Immigration today. I sure hope our paths cross! The Lord knows.

  6. Maria, you just never cease to amaze me! I am so proud of what you are doing, even if I don't always understand it! Just know, I am in your corner supporting you in anyway that I can...even if sometimes, it will be in prayer only - the most important help I could give, I think! I love you guys! Can't wait to see you in a week!!! Yeah!!

  7. And here I thought you'd be roughing it in the wilds of africa...dang. Man Maria your life is just so boring. LOL!

    I'm sure it will be a challenge but in ways you can't imagine yet and yes God takes us all to different breaking points...and for that we've gotta be grateful. For what I find challenging may be a piece of cake for the next and vice versa but obedience is the key.

    Can't wait to see "your" pictures from your time there!

  8. We didn't feel like we 'roughed' it at all. Like Melissa and Janet said... the waiting and being away from the rest of our family so long was the hard part. Shannon nailed it... smile, breath and enjoy your time in an amazing country!