Sunday, November 26, 2006

3 Snapshots

Un-ordinary things happen all the time in Lira. I’m not sharing anything deep or meaningful, just giving you a snap-shot into our daily lives.

For our 2nd thanksgiving in Lira we invited 20 of our CPA colleagues and other friends over for a delicious meal. Holly spent the whole day cooking and baking all of our favorite thanksgiving dishes. I got to kill a massive turkey named Dr. Fred. As tradition goes, we all shared the things we were thankful for. I am always amazed at the strength and resilience of people who have seen 20 years of war. It was a great evening-some ate grapes for the first time in their lives, others cracked jokes, and an American visitor said that this was the most memorable thanksgiving he has ever had.

Yesterday, War Child (an INGO working with children through games and play-therapy) hosted a volleyball tournament for NGO teams in Lira. The all-day event was a huge success and almost all of us released pent-up stress. On the way to a game I passed by a tree where the surrounding soil had recently been dug up. I looked down and saw two empty AK 47 magazines. I picked one up to see if my eyes were fooling me. A friend on the team quickly advised me to drop it or I was going to be harassed…I followed his suggestion. Even though volleyballs were flying, music was playing, and people were eating BBQ, these empty magazines were a stark reminder that I was still in a war zone.

Today, Holly and I went looking for a Christmas tree. It is not exactly the way we do it in the States. We rode our bikes to a small tree nursery. They only had Christmas twigs (one foot tall seedlings). We told them that we were looking for a small Christmas tree for the holidays. They talked amongst themselves and one person said, “Let me ride my bicycle to the village and dig up a tree for you from our compound there.” The ride iss ten Kilometers and he said that the tree was simply a gift from him. Naturally, we will give him something for the tree, but the offer left Holly and I feeling blessed by his generosity.


Anonymous said...

That turkey IS huge! He he. Just wait until you get back in the States sometime (or Europe) and their sitting all plucked and freezer wrapped ready for you to cook!


Holly & Ben Porter said...

another really "un-ordinary" thing happened last night. We woke up at 3am to our watchman Joseph telling us that there was someone who'd been near our back wall for some time hiding in the bushes. We asked if we should call the police, and he said no since they hadn't tried to get over the wall. Given our recent history of break-ins and security problems we were a little more than nervous, but then Joseph noticed that the neighbors door was open and that the person crouching behind our wall was in fact our neighbor. So then we wondered, what on earth is he doing crouched behind our wall at 3am. The answer: harvesting his corn, so that he could boil it for three hours and eat it for breakfast before going on a long trip back to his village. -holly