Since I live in the country, I don’t expect to meet the kind of person I met today.
While volunteering at the local thrift shop, there was a new volunteer. Her name is Margaret, and she is from Uganda. Her husband is a minister, and is taking a 3 month course at Eastern Mennonite University, which is right around the corner from the thrift store. The course is Peace and Justice, and he hopes to take what he learns back to his country to teach others. Margaret accompanied her husband to the US for his 3 month stay.
We got to chat for a short bit- Margaret is a very interesting woman. She does speak English, but occasionally a word or phrase will stump her!
I hope to see her again next week to talk more. Her life does not sound like it has been easy – very different from what we are used to here in the US.
Margaret lives in the country, rents a 3 bedroom house with 1 toilet, and shares it with 50, yes, 50(!) people!!! These people have come to Margaret and her husband for safe haven, sometimes in the dead of night without even the clothes on their backs! They are running to escape from the rebels who attack their villages. Villagers and townspeople get out of their beds, with no belongings, hiding in the woods til it is safe, and walk to find a place that will take them in.
These rebels attack villagers in their homes and churches, using machetes to disfigure people who they decide are ‘of the demon’ or demon possessed. They take the girls for their ‘women’, and take the young boys to turn them into little machete wielding rebels.
Margaret is very hardworking, and rides a bicycle many kilometers to shop. She has a large garden- which she rides her bike 1 mile and a half to get to-by using the thrift store’s dimensions to describe it, it would seem her garden is about 1-2 acres large. The vegetables they grow are to feed their family, and the extra is sold in town. That money is used to pay for her 4 children’s education. Her children range in age from 11 to 22, and boarding school is expensive.
In the brief time we had to chat, it was very eye opening. I wonder if she sees all the donations to the thrift store as a testament to the materialism of Americans, versus the minimalism of her society. I will have to ask her.
I did ask her what she thought of Obama- she smiled and said that she liked him, and liked the fact that Americans would pick a man like him to lead them. Interesting………..
All is well, and awaiting Easter, at Mountain Meadows this evening…..