A Letter from Uganda
Lily and I went on several short-term mission trips before we headed off to Uganda. Each time we returned home from a trip, we always had a deeper appreciation for what we had in our home.
But long-term missions are different. We are now appreciative of several things that we used to take for granted in the States, like running water.
Water for our house comes from Uganda's National Water Corporation. Everyone has a water tank in Uganda since there is the occasional day where National Water does not pump.
One day, Lily ran several loads of laundry. What she didn’t know was that our guard had watered our vegetable garden to make sure the newly-planted seeds would grow. What nobody knew was that the National Water was not pumping to our neighbourhood that day. We had depleted our tank water by 11am, and National Water was not pumping water to refill it. There was now no water for dishes, washing hands, or flushing the toilet.
We dealt with it in stride. Lily left the soiled lunch dishes for later. That evening we went shopping, had dinner at a local Greek restaurant, and used the restrooms at both places. We sent the kids to bed without a bath. Nobody complained.
My guard called me at 10:30pm telling me the water was back. Lily and I took our showers, delighted to retire to bed feeling clean.
But that was only our first day without water. The next week we ran out of water again and again. Lily and the kids now had the routine down: no washing dishes, use the toilet (but don't flush), and wash hands with hand wipes.
Another missionary family (Brian & Jill Kanyike) live up on Naguru Hill. National Water had not pumped to their house for an entire week. Wow, we had it good in comparison!
Lily now has some paper plates and plastic utensils. She usually only washes one load of clothes a day. We will also store water in the garage so we can flush the toilets. Now we all appreciate something that we used to take for granted, running water.
John Eastham, New Missionary to Uganda