Today we had some unannounced visitors at our house.  Morris and his family came to visit us today, his mother is visiting from the village and he wanted us to meet her.  She traveled from the village of Apac, which is in Northern Uganda. The trip by bus takes roughly 9 hours. It is considered an honor when you have guest stop by unannounced.  Culture is funny that way, in Uganda it is considered an honor, while in America we usually think of it as a nuisance, “Can you believe they just came by unannounced?” I can hear myself saying that back in the States, but here it was an honor.  We stopped school with the kids and enjoyed the time to visit.
It was also an opportunity for us to see baby Jason again!  We all got a chance to hold him, but only after Hadlee allowed us to after she was done. He is doing very well, he seems strong and alert.  Zippy and Morris have been welcomed into parenthood, when I asked if they were getting much sleep they laughed wearily and said no.  They seem like they are all adjusting very well and Morris is a very attentive father, which unfortunately seems very uncommon here in Uganda (or is it everywhere these day?). You can tell he loves Zippy very much and that he is a very proud father!  Zippy and her mother-in-law were traveling back to the village in the morning to visit Morris’ family.  She is a strong woman going on a bus ride for 9 hours with a newborn. They will be away 6 weeks while Morris stays behind to work.  It is hard for me as a father and a husband to imagine being away from Kari and the kids for 6 weeks.
Culture has taught me many things here.  For instance I just sat on the porch holding Jason and “visiting” with Morris’ mother.  Mostly we just sat quietly as she did not know much English and I did not know any Acholi. So we sat, while Morris and Zippy prepared some of her things for the journey. No cell phones, no internet, just sitting and holding a precious baby boy and enjoying just sitting. It was refreshing and enjoyable to  just sit for 20-30 minutes doing nothing.   That is one thing we have come to learn here in Uganda, is that the speed of life is much different than the States.  It is ok to just sit and visit for a while, in fact it is considered rude not to. 
Things here are always busy, but it seems as though life moves at a slower pace, which I have come to appreciate.
Matthew OrtegaComment