Tuesday, July 8, 2014

walking home

every day during my lunch break and after work is over, i walk back to my house. it's not a long walk and usually takes no more than 10 minutes (and we don't walk fast)

most days we are greeted by kids in our village yelling "muzungu! muzungubai!" and hugging us. it's usually one of my very favorite parts of my day. the kids always hug me, hold my hand and i get to talk to them about their day. slowly, but surely i am learning their names + their stories. it's the best thing to watch it unfold.

today was a rainy day. which is not really normal saying it's "dry season". we also did not have power for a good portion of today and it was cold. like i had to put on a jacket in the middle of uganda cold. yeah, not the happiest feeling for a day. anyways, on our walk home from work today we met a new group of kids. mostly boys and mostly older (think 6-12 years)

it didn't seem too out of the ordinary to have kids running up to us, but today was different indeed. today, these kids were pretending to be us (aka muzungus) and how did they greet us? with toy and pretend cameras in our face. they were talking to us saying "smile" and "muzungu look!" they were "taking photos", "videoing" us, and asking us to pose and dance for them.

while the kids thought it was incredibly funny and i found the kids to be really sweet, i also found this situation rather sad.

i don't want the people of uganda or the children to ever look at me and just see a photo-taking-muzungu. that is not my goal. it deeply bothered me that when these kids see us "muzungus" all they see is a camera. or at least, that's how it was for these kids.

that's just not ok.

when these kids see me, i want them to see jesus. i don't ever want a child to wake up thinking about a white girl that only takes their photos and invades their privacy. i don't ever want this ministry or the work in uganda to be about me or muzungus in general. because that's not the point.

i never want to be get so caught up trying to capture a moment that i miss the moment. 

and i am the absolute worst. i love photos. i take too many pictures and love capturing little moments and posing with cute kids in cute moments, but i'm going to take a step back. i plan to reevaluate and not focus so much on capturing photos but instead on relationships.

it has become so common to make our goals "the perfect photo" or to "make sure i look good" instead of not caring what photo you get, but instead what life you change or what friendship you make. i've seen it happen so often in the time i've been here and even in the states. it's heartbreaking to watch and it's even more heartbreaking to know you've participated in it before.

i think it is desperately needed in this day and age of social media, selfies, and everything else. i don't want these kids to remember me by my camera. i never want to get to the point where i only focus on getting "the perfect shot" because that defeats the purpose. i want kids to remember me by my actions and by my love and better yet His love.

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