I’ve been back in Uganda just over a week now. Such joyful days. Days pass by in a happy blur. Dishes, dirty nappies, cuddles, warm welcomes, baby laughs, bumpy bus rides.
Coming to Uganda for the second time has been everything I dreamed of and more.
My heart overflows.
I feel so loved, so welcomed and so wanted.
Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of Africa.
Dreamed that one day I would be loving little babies in Africa.
Each year the pull of Africa grew stronger.
15 years old I listened to a couple talk of their time in Africa.
I felt deep in my heart I would go..
At 17 I saw the Watoto choir perform.
I felt a deep calling to volunteer with Watoto at the babies home.
But I was too young.
Finally I turned 19, this must be the year I thought.
Still the door was closed tight.
Instead I went on a mission ship, sailing from Dubai, to Sri Lanka and India. Three wonderful months of well cleaning, volunteering at a boys home, rasing awareness for HIV and Aids and so much more.
I came home with renewed passion to serve.
More years past.
Still the door was closed.
Then I got really sick, the doctors couldn’t find out what was wrong.
All my dreams of Africa came crashing down.
Finally I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Two years I struggled with daily pain, no job, little hope, but still Africa called me.
My family and I moved to Australia.
My health improved a little I started a full time job at a beautiful Hotel, a place I imagined myself long term.
The dream of Africa started to fade.
I was comfortable, happy, settled.
But things happened.
Suddenly I could no longer work at the place, I adored.
My life was a mess.
I looked into trips but door was still shut.
So I traveled to Cambodia and Thailand.
Saw the realities of sex trafficking and child slavery.
It broke me but also gave me passion to do my part to help.
A month past.
I got a new job.
I whispered to God, “Am I ready for Africa yet? I’ve waited so so long.”
I heard yes.
I couldn’t believe it.
So I applied to Watoto.
I nervously waited to hear if I was accepted.
Maybe this would be just another closed door.
The door opened wide.
I arrived in Uganda.
For the first month I struggled so much, I couldn’t understand why God had called me to come. I felt unworthy.
The remaining two months were wonderful, I fell in love with the country and people.
Weeks turned to days and before I knew it, I was going home.
But Africa still called.
As the plane left Africa.
I knew I would be back soon.
I arrived home.
Settled back into work, everyday life.
But day and night all I could think about was coming back to Uganda August/September this year.
I reapplied to Watoto.
Would the door close?
It stayed open.
Every tiny detail came together and here I am.
This journey has been long, it’s been painful.
But I wouldn’t trade anything for the path I walked.
I still don’t know the reason I am here or why Africa is so much a part of me.
After these two months I don’t know if it’s possible to come back again.
The door may close.
But for now, I’m making every moment count and embracing the joy of this wonderful journey.