Monday morning. 27 March 2017. That’s when I hugged my close family and friends one more time. After a super long line through security, I got on a plane. Ready for a new adventure. I sort of had this idea that I would slowly, but surely find a way into my life in Uganda. Little did I know how fast time would fly by and how much I would learn in just two months.
After the first week of work and the first night at my own place, I went down to BROOD, a cafe that sells Dutch bread and basically makes me a very happy person every single day. I had a cup of good coffee and a croissant. Very European in the middle of Africa. But I needed that bit of comfort and familiarity in a world in which everything was changing around me.
Saturday morning. 27 May 2017. Here I am again. Same spot. A coffee and a croissant. Two out of the twelve months are already over. And what a kind of two months has it been. I have been lost, broken, filled with intense happiness and confusion. I have been hot and sticky, lonely and warmed by the love of people close by and far away.
The first couple weeks I was just trying to keep my head above water in the overwhelming life of the hectic Kampala. So much to do and to see. Yet in such a big city it is also very easy to just be one of the many mzungu’s and not ground yourself. Especially in the beginning, I needed to take a step back though and just let everything sink in. Only now I am starting to figure out what I would like to invest in for the next couple months. So next week I am going to try some new things on that list. Even though I will always be a country girl, I will find my way around in a 10 million people city too.
While I make the most out of what the vibrant city life has to offer me, I am loving the simplicity of life at our field offices just as much. Space, the nights filled with stars, the views gives me space to breathe. Our Kampala office tends to be peaceful and quiet, everyone working hard on their own thing with an occasional discussion in between. The field offices on the other side, have much more hustle and bustle going on. People walking back and forth, really making activities happen. I love being in Kampala office with the beautiful views and the productive work atmosphere, I also love being in the energy of a field office where you struggle through the daily life challenges. Workwise I am now starting to get the point of why I am here and what I can bring to make this organisation grow.
And that is already very rewarding. It makes me realise that I didn’t step on that plane two months ago to just lose myself in yet another adventure abroad. However, if there is one thing that I learned over the past two months is that I can’t just do this through my own strength and perfectionist work ethic. Building up a new life in all dimensions is only happening by embracing my brokenness every single day. Opening up my hands and receiving grace and abundant life through Jesus’ brokenness. What a joy has it been through go through these pure emotions, up and down, back and forth, with a heart filled with gratefulness.
Just a couple months ago I had a choice. Do I stay in the nice and comfortable Utrecht, not too far away from family and friends with a satisfying job? Or do I jump into the unknown again, having to start all over again?
I chose the last.
And I am so happy that I did that. It’s an adventure. But it’s safe because it’s in Jesus’ hands. Maybe I’ll go back to my life in Utrecht after a year. Maybe I’ll find a way to stay. But no matter where the way might go next. The only thing I know is that I want to choose to love every single day like it is my first and my last. And then maybe somewhere through the cracks of my brokenness and imperfection, love slips through.