Monday, May 7, 2012

So Little Time

It's been over a year since we last left Uganda, five months since we decided to move back there, and less than two months are left before we leave. So little time. So little time that we've spent here in Boulder. So little time left. I remember thinking when we first moved back to the states that the idea of spending a whole year in Boulder seemed like an eternity. I didn't realize, however, how quickly one year could pass by here and still feel shorter than one month in Karamoja. I attribute this phenomenon to the fact that Karamoja and the West exist in two entirely different dimensions. Skeptical, are you? Well, I'm no Stephen Hawking but I do think there might be a wormhole located somewhere between Europe and Entebbe. But unless you want to come visit, you'll just have to take my word for it. You literally step from one world into another when you travel between the two. This explains why time doesn't move the same in Karamoja as it does here.

Here time flees. It flees our grasp, always evading and eluding us. We invent silly contraptions to help us save time, as if we can store it away for a rainy day. But time is antsy and refuses to keep still for us here. It flits about from one activity to the next, never idle, never at rest, never able to quite sit still. We can never catch enough of it. Somehow it always gets away from us.

But in Karamoja time crawls. It creeps slowly onward, pausing often in the shade of a tree to rest, never hurrying for anyone or anything. It doesn't know deadlines or emergencies or vocabulary words like "urgent" or "now". Forget your plans, your schedules, and your expectations. Karamoja Time will foil the lot of them. In Karamoja, it does not matter if you are white or black, male or female, young or old. Times moves for no one. No, like an old grey-bearded elder, time moves as it wills, slowly but determinedly, wisely pausing for meaningful occasions. The exchange of greetings with each person you meet on the way to the market, the interruption of a friend stopping in for a visit, the invitation to join a neighbor for tea. In Karamoja, time may not move for you, but it will always stop for you.

Here in Boulder time is fleeing before us, not caring to stop, pause, or slow even a little. We now have only three weeks until we leave on our tour of neighboring states to say goodbye to loved ones. This past year has been short but sweet, full of growth and rest, peace and friends. We have dearly loved being neighbors to our good friends the Wades, and we have found a true family among our house church and couples group - a first for us in Boulder. I am thankful, very thankful for this short year and I look forward to the long years ahead of us in Karamoja.

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