Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Farewell to the people I have come to love

Goodbyes were difficult, undoubtedly. Due to the fact words seem far from sufficient to express the present, I won't ramble in an attempt to offer some sort of conclusion.

I anticipate seeing ALL of your faces!! So much more than you know. Perhaps this is an encouragement to you as it was to me:
I would like to beg you dear sir, as well as I can to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, then someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way to the answer (Rainer Maria Wilke (1903), Letters to a Young Poet).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The best use of $250 in quite some time

Some things in life are over-romanticized, leaving people disappointed when long awaited anticipation becomes reality. Safaris certainly do not fall into that category. After much confliction as to whether $250 and the final weekend away from my family here was justifiable, we headed for Merchison Falls.

Upon entrance into the Wildlife reserve, the first sight of a baboon began to chip away at my formerly held presuppositions as to what this weekend would entail. Though initially I felt like we were imposing on the animals' environment by traipsing about in our safari vehicles and making spectacles out of them, further exposure and discussion with those in the vehicle sparked a shift in mindset.

Who knows if the area would be preserved at all without tourist dollars sustaining its existence? At the rate Uganda is developing, it may inevitably be renovated if not serving some sort of purpose. In the world today, a price tag can't be put on preservation of the natural world. Though in words I would have made this statement before, the visual sight of what it implies is profound.

To speak of the visual sight in terms of beauty seems an understatement in some ways and in others, not fitting at all. Let's just be honest; not ALL animals are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But in the midst of the awkwardness of warthogs, the authority of lions, the grace of giraffes, and the divine interaction between tick-infested water buffalo and birds eating the ticks off of their backs, the beautiful sight of interdependence inevitably moves something deep within.

And I am left to wonder how we can doubt that there is something beyond ourselves.