“if you hate me, close your eyes”

this proverb from the Ocon people in Ghana really resonated with me when i read it.. some of the proverbs from Africa don’t exactly translate into English that makes sense (There was one about throwing your drowning mother in law a fish – or something like it)  Since i’ve been in Uganda, i’ve been thinking a lot of exactly what my role is and should be with the people here.  i have to ask myself if i really “see” those who need to be “seen.”  i’m reading Sider’s book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger where he talks about “true joy coming from generosity in giving [money]” and i may have to disagree.. i feel like many times giving is really for our own ease of conscience than for the good of who we’re giving to.  Sider places so much emphasis on wealth and whether it’s right or wrong for the Christian to have — but really, isn’t wealth irrelevant to our calling to love people??  not completely relevent… but i needed to vent.    

i’m working with kids who stay at a physical therapy home and have metal rods in their legs/hips/feet…  no amount of money can replace the presence of someone coming to be with them.  i don’t want to romaniticize or sensationalize it just because it’s Africa.  it isn’t easy.  i don’t always feel like going.  it takes patience.  there’s a little bit of a language barrier.  but.. i feel that already just being present and entering into their life has done immeasurably more.  at least to me.  i hope to take some pictures of the kids so you can see them and their beautiful sweet faces.

so, it has been difficult but rewarding to engage with the culture and the people.  when i say difficult, i mean difficult. the other night at 2 in the morning, someone wanted to have choir practice apparantly.  they were beating on the drum and singing.  loudly.  i’m convinced that they just don’t sleep, because the same thing happens in the morning.  and when i roll out of bed in the morning to get breakfast, barely awake and clearly not fully conscious, anyone and everyone wants to just have the longest conversation about nothing in particular.

this week: midterms and a couple papers… i have absolutely no idea what to expect =) 

next week: my adventurous week of fun.  i’ll let you imagine what adventure in Uganda looks like..

other than that, everything is ok.  i’m over half-way done.  crazy.  weather is still in the 70’s-80’s.  it’s getting to be the rainy season.. it’s also getting to be grasshopper season, which everyone here seems a little too excited about. (not grasshoppers to look at, grasshoppers to have with lunch.) 

g’bye and have a good week!

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11 Comments

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11 responses to ““if you hate me, close your eyes”

  1. keba

    Interesting thoughts on Sider’s book. I think his message is intended for a specific audience (probably one that isn’t in Uganda trying to learn about another culture and priveledge and all that stuff). Still, I think your example about relationships superceding money is true even in America. I just wonder if maybe people need to hear about giving up the love for money before they can enter into that view of life. Who knows? Aaron and I were certainly challenged by the view of tithing being more than being a 10% goodie christians and realizing that God calls us to much more, specifically with the monetary wealth he’s given us. You’re learning good stuff Sarah. Soak it up now b/c it will go by fast….

  2. Erin Craig

    Bury… I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you! Your anecdotes are such reminders to me that life is life wherever you go. I love how honest you are and how much you’re learning. I promise to keep you in my prayers! I printed out a picture of you and my third graders are praying for you everyday! I miss seeing you, though! Love you lots! (P.S.–it cracks me up that YOU of all people are struggling with a personal bubble boundary…and I love it! 🙂

  3. Amy

    Bury!!

    It is so cool to get to read up a bit on this experience in Uganda! I am so happy that you are getting to experience all this. I agree with Erin’s comment about you struggling with a personal bubble boundary…but funny thing is, it seems that we are in the minority when it comes to having a personal bubble (we being westerners). Anyways just a quick note to say that I am praying for you and am looking forward to reading more! Love you bury!!

    Amy

  4. Bt. and Jay

    Sarah! Always good to read a new entry. You are insightful and articulate. That’s all we’re saying because we don’t want you to get a big head. We miss you. Right now we are hosting Dadje and his wife from Chad. He speaks a little better English than Jay speaks French. His wife and I smile at each other a lot. It’s fun. Oh, and our basement is infested with grass hoppers right now, so if you want, we can save some for the next church class dinner you’ll be at. Love you lots.

    Jay and Bt.

  5. Chris Garrett

    sarah,

    i had to read “Rich Christians…” my freshman year of college and it really messed with my head! (in a good way) i agree he can seem to be a little off balance and frustrated, but i think he’s frustrated at the right things, considering the context of american christianity. even Scripture seems to see money and our use of it (risk and sacrifice) as a revealing guage of where our hearts loyalties are. sider might suggest that the refusal to spend the money to make the trip to be with the hurting and lonely is a misuse of money, which would agree with your comments. anyway, that was almost 20 years ago, i might not remember or agree with that books now. keep thinking and writing, it makes me grow! 🙂

  6. Caleb

    Sar-

    Sounds like just waking up is an adventure in itself over there. I cant believe that is halfway over either, I guess that means I will have to give you back your laptop when you return…. damn. Well I guess there are worse things in life, like having grasshoppers for dinner. Great protein from what I hear, just add a little salt, and savor the flavor. When you get back, I will make a lovely dinner for you with real food and drink. That is something to wake up and look forward to.

    C

  7. carmen

    bur,
    glad to hear of all your adventures, i’m looking forward to a study abroad party when we get back so we can swap stories and pictures. love you.

  8. Green

    Just caught up with the blog. After reading all your thoughts, some pretty deep and complex for a woman (forgive me ladies that was a joke, you know, in light of the blog!!!!) and some very bury, your honesty of thought is very true and appealing. You Bury’s are unique bunch to say the least. Your posts are awesome. We look forward to having you over to talk about your experiences. Interesting thoughts on the money thing. I (David) have been pondering the money, privilege, elitism, favored, got-it-all-together thing from both the have and the have not perspective for a bit. When you get back, maybe we’ll host a prodigious philosophical anatomization of the intellectual-socioeconomic-psychophysiologic components affecting the common Christian par_T. It’ll be a totally wicked smash.

  9. Caleb

    Cool… Well when you all get together and decide that money is not important, go ahead and just write me a big check. I will simply hold on to your money for you, possibly invest some, and collect the interest. When you decide that money is important again, I will give you all the check back and just keep the interest. Thanks, and you can make that out to Caleb Bury 😉

  10. Jeremy

    Hey Sarah, glad to hear you are doing well. I like reading your posts, even if they are written by a female. I love you and I am praying for you. I would like join in on your philosophication of money and giving when you get back, and what is really important. I’ll bring the steaks!

  11. DJ

    just touching base. looks like you are having fun. we are thinking about you at census. Dare to be different and keep changing the world.

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