Over the past couple of months I have met a lot of people during my stay in Uganda. Some quickly became best friends and others were always cheerful aquaintances. Well, this week I ran into a man I have met only a few times. He is a former child soldier escapee, and he wanted to invite me over for lunch. He actually said, "Please come at 1 pm sharp." Wow, that is never heard of here, but I made sure to honour his request as his wife was coming home from the village especially to cook for me. It turned in to a lovely afternoon. We sat in what little shade we could find beside their simple hut, at the edge of the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp. The wife, little girl, and I all shelled peanuts / gnuts, while the guys sat around and talked. Two pastors ended up joining us for a lunch of atap, rice, and yummy chicken. I didn't eat any of the atap because the sorgum millet mush just isn't my idea of delicious.
After lunch the conversation flowed to all that I have been a part of this year and the pastors said, "Karen, you need to come back. And we want you to come to Abim with us to preach the gospel and plant a church." They had no idea that I had even been considering Abim. It is a very small town about two and a half hours north of Soroti, on the edge of Karamoja region. Their suggestion definitely got my heart racing. I continue to pray about what my future looks like. But in the meantime, I enjoyed a luncheon with my casual friends. The wife even added a bag of mangos to the basket of my bike before I left at 3:40pm.
And then tonight, I was surprised to hear that another friend took the bus from a neighbouring city just so that she could come and say good-bye. She just left with her husband, as they came by for a short evening visit. I should not have been surprised to see the tears in her eyes as they left on a motorcycle, but I was. I rarely see this dear friend and she didn't want me to leave Uganda yet. This week could prove to be interesting as I say good-bye to many people. One week from today I board a bus to Kenya.