Monday, December 10, 2007

At the Same Time

Incongruity. “Not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something. “

The past week seems full of that word.

Jeff and I began the week with a much anticipated over night trip without our kiddos to a nearby game park. The trip was a wonderful blessing. We did rest and were blessed by delightful meals alone, completed conversations and even some blissful silence. Our time was marvelous.

We arrived back home to Warden duties. (Jeff acts as the Warden for the US Embassy, which means he facilitates communication to the Americans living around Uganda.) At the same time as we were resting as a couple, much Ebola information was circulating and perculating. When we reached home, Jeff called a meeting of the ex-pats in Ft Portal to verify facts and allow for discussion and questions.
The meeting filled our living room. Jeff shared information given to us by the head of the CDC in Uganda. There seemed to be relief in receiving credible information. At the same time we are all coping with the unsettling feelings brought on by discussion of the sickness.

We provided Christmas cookies and drinks during the meeting. Most of those gathered do not meet on a regular basis. There was an odd inconsistency of festive gathering with people of like culture amidst the intensity brought on by the concerns of a serious disease.

The next morning, after several days of upheaval in the scheduling, the children and I finally set our hands and minds to school. We tackled the study of France, division, multiplication, the letter “C” , the physiology of cows and an overview of some endangered species. Isaac started reading sentences and Kinley and Alex wrote wonderful two-point paragraphs. Interspersed in the schooling, I rearranged and cleaned the guest room, worked on Christmas gifts for stateside family and moved the stack of Christmas card supplies from table to desk to kitchen counter...
School was completed. The guestroom is not. Gifts are completed. Cards are not.
The joy of a task marked off the list, accompanied by sighs over the items still remaining on the list.

There is great joy in our home with Christmas décor and lights. At the same time, there is a somber cloud pervading our thoughts as our friends in Bundibugyo battle against a terrible disease and our Ugandan friends struggle through fear and feelings of panic.

We rejoiced over the new life growing inside of a dear friend. (It’s a girl!!!) At the same time, we’ve shared in the grief of the passing of a doctor and hero (Dr. Jonah in Bundibugyo).

We’ve empathized with the intense and painful experience of the last weeks for Andrew, Aimee Jo and their families and friends as they’ve said goodbye and packed up to move their lives across an ocean.

At the same time, we’ve counted the days with joyful anticipation to welcome them here.

Incongruity. Contradictions.


So many things happening at exactly the same time…


Destiny said...

Loved the blog. I think it put so many of our thoughts perfectly into words. You say at times you can't speak whats on your mind, but you sure can write it! (Still can't believe its a girl!?!) Bring on the pink! :)

KMiV said...

Good post as always. I think that the Ebola would scare me the most.

We have been praying for Aime Jo and Andrew and the little one. Hope they get there safely.

kristi said...

I know that you will, but I just have to say this . . take good care of Andrew, Aimee and Anaiah. Always praying for your family and others that you write about.

Joshua and Julie Marcum said...

So true - life is a mixed bag at so many times. I am praying for you guys and the situation there in Uganda - and that you will have a happy Christmas in spite of all the other!