It’s been a month since I last checked in.
And let me tell you…the growth, the hurt, the pain, the joy, the happiness, everything that has happened since I wrote my last post has been intense to put it lightly. There’s been some rough things that have happened, some really happy things that have happened, and some flat out awkward things (but I won’t waste my time on that) that have happened in my life over the last month.
If you were to take a look at the sugar coated pictures that I post on my social media, you might think that Gulu is one of the happiest places to be. Yes it’s beautiful and the people here are beautiful, but if I am being honest, life can be really hard to understand here. There is a type of struggle that I have seen, heard, and felt that I never thought I would.
There was one week that was particularly hard to grasp.
It started on a Monday, one of our ladies came up to me in a lovely dress. I told her that she looked beautiful, she smiled and said thank you and then proceeded to ask me if I would go to her husbands funeral service that day. She has 3 children, one of which I have gotten to be very close with. My heart started to break. I started to imagine what life would be like for her and her family now, and how hard it will be moving forward. But then something special happened. I went to the funeral service, and while I was there, I began to see our ladies of Krochet Kids start to come in, one by one. Before I knew it, one side of the church was filled with Krochet Kids staff. It brought me to tears seeing the support and love these ladies had for their sister in her time of need, and made me extremely proud to be working along side such strong and caring women.
Monday was a rollercoaster of emotions, but then Tuesday came.
One of our ladies informed me she would be gone for the rest of the week. I asked why she wouldn’t be able to make it in. She said that her close friend’s son had died. He was bitten by a dog who had rabies. They took him all around Gulu to try and find the right vaccinations to treat him, but didn’t find them in time. He was 18 years old.
Wednesday morning. One of our group leaders pulled me aside and said that one of her ladies won’t be able to work for awhile. I asked why. She said that her mother was hit by a bus and passed away.
In that short three day span, I felt the weight of the world come down on my shoulders. I was confused, upset, mad, sad, and frustrated because there was nothing I could do. I felt helpless and alone. Helpless in the fact that I couldn’t do anything but offer words of support and alone in the fact that I couldn’t explain to anyone how I was feeling because I honestly never felt a burden so heavy.
But I took a step back and looked at all the women I get the privilege to work with. The unimaginable suffering and pain most of them have endured in their lives, yet they show up everyday with genuine love and kindness in their hearts. Being surrounded by that love and kindness lessens the burden I feel. Our ladies strength, resiliency, and courage keep me going. They keep reminding me of the beauty in the struggle. And I love them.
And don’t worry, my next post will be about the really happy things that happened this month AKA my friends and I building a bathroom for our school Happy Kids and my US family coming to meet my Uganda family, stay tuned 🙂
And shout out to Riley Miller for the beautiful photos! Thanks Miller!