For all of the movies and documentaries focusing on the majestic beauty of Africa showcasing elephants and lions and wildebeests, the true landscape of Africa is steeped in blood and tears. For the first time, I see beyond the glossy pictures and videos of the DVD box set. Beyond the tourist’s eye, into how many Africans live their daily life.
Recently leaving crowded protection camps consisting of straw huts after 20 years in fear of the LRA, starting their lives over and some just for the first time if they were born in the camps. Hardly any infrastructure, no health facilities, dirty drinking water, minimal crops for money and food, and the spread of HIV. This is normal life in northern Uganda.
Chris and I visited Pajule to break ground on the UAPO’s first vocational center and to scout new sites for water wells 2 weeks ago. The UAPO is one of the few NGOs focused on rebuilding the North and assisting local people to have clean drinking water and education. In Pajule, daily life boils down to the basic necessities–drinking water, food, and if you are lucky, education.
It’s a sobering sight and I hope the picture I painted for you is bleak. That is my intent. But slowly, new bricks will make new buildings and new seasons will bring new crops. Slowly the cities and villages will learn how to live without fearing for their life. it will happen, but these things will take time. These things take time.