Tuesday, April 03, 2007

LOLAFRICA

lola
Not only does Lola's blog make my blog seem lame, it makes my life seem lame. I can't read her accounts of living and teaching in Uganda without questioning nearly everything I think is important, difficult or worth doing. She shares her brother's gift for describing scenes with emotional intensity, and engages people with the love and open heart of an angel.

Highlights: connecting with her students, a personal experience of political upheaval, attending a Ugandan funeral and a wedding, seeing the need in the streets, reflecting on what she didn't know before and loneliness.

7 comments:

Tannis said...

I've just started digging into her blog this week too but haven't made it to the earlier posts yet. It's so rich and intense. Hard and rewarding. It reminds me how much we like our comfort but also niggles me about what we might not be experiencing because of it.

Jeremy said...

Exactly. I haven't really had time to read it either...but I did anyway.

tfoxfan said...

I too am a lolafrica blog fan... not just for obvious reasons, but because it regularly blows my mind. I have to say that despite the chaos, that girl has never sounded more jolly, convicted, compassionate or loveable. And, she already had an abundance of all of those things before africa. I'm really proud of her, like a big sister ;)

Garth said...

Inspiring stuff and she is an excellent writer as well. We have much to learn about slowing down and being present in relationships from the people she works with - her "What She Didn't Know" post definitely helps connect us to that fact!

Jeremy said...

E, cool to get the big sis perspective, too -- amazing how the experience has emphasized and amplified the things you loved about her before too. Angelo was telling me that you guys have been able to stay in touch with her regularly by cell phone...what an age we live in.

Jeremy said...

Totally agreed, Garth. Has your sister's experience in Africa had a similar impact on her?

Garth said...

Yeah absolutely, after being there for over twelve years off and on - it is more than an experience it literally is a part of who she is and who her family is.

She works with Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia and interestingly these people are now able to move back slowly into their country of origin after being away for at least a generation.

Ang & her family actually have been able to cross into Sudan with them to see where the Sudanese are reestablishing themselves but there literally is no infrastructure, the country is mined, bombed out tanks, etc. But there is an incredible joy to return to their home.

Wendy & I visited her in Ethiopia in 1998 and that trip definitely changed our perspective & values. We intend to make certain our kids are exposed to other cultures as it clearly is of benefit.

I think the greatest impact on me is just the importance that relationships play and how time is irrelevant when you are in a conversation. I'm not sure we are as fully "present" as Africans are when communicating - we always have something to do or a place to be by a certain time.