Saturday, August 1, 2015

Timing is everything

I have come to really enjoy the slow pace of Ugandan life. This evening, when we were meeting Josephine in Kampala, Moses said, "you should call her," because it had been 20 minutes since we agreed to meet. I replied, "I am not worried. She will come."

Pastor Emmanuel and his friend John were talking to us about "Africa time."  They explained that in the U.S., everything is time focused. In Africa,  everything is people focused. They will not start a meeting until everyone is there, and since the taxi system is basically some vans that won't leave until they are full (and in Africa, there's always room for one more!), you cannot expect people to be anywhere at a certain time, so you are patient with it. Sam Otoa was telling us about the beginnings of Fields of Growth in Uganda, and how the Americans would get frustrated by how long it took to be driven somewhere. He said, "surely they did not expect us to not stop to greet our friends as we saw them moving."  Surely. 

When Moses was not there to pick us up 20 minutes after one lacrosse practice, I called and he said he was coming, " just now."  Sam said, "that means he hasn't left yet.  If he had said 'now,' he would be on the way, and 'now, now' means he is pulling into the field."  (This is like "early!")

While "not minding," as our Ugandan friends say, about the time will not help us in the U.S., (Robert said, "can you imagine if I rolled in 25 min late to lacrosse practice wearing jeans and flip flops?!") being more people-focused might. Since we still have a month of summer left (yay!!), and I don't have to have people out the door at a certain time, I am going to make a commitment now to be more focused on the people at my house!  Everything else, just like meetings in Uganda, can wait. 

No comments:

Post a Comment