Today was the perfect day for an excursion to Buvuma Island!
Lake Victoria was smooth and silvery in the morning, and the clouds were large and shining in the afternoon. For some reason, during our hour and a half boat ride to and from the island, I kept on thinking of the story of Jesus walking on water. It wasn’t because I felt in danger and in need of a calming presence–the ride was actually quite pleasant. Maybe it had something to do with that the boat is essentially a large canoe, thick wooden boards nailed and clamped together, and not very similar to this century’s watercraft I have previously seen along the East Coast of the States.
The transportation may have seemed novel, but the scenery was spectacular. Ugandan hills crowded right up to the edge of the lake, and villages populated the landscape here and there. The further out we went, the more the buildings changed, from sprawling quilts of houses and shacks and corrugated metal to small clusters of round mud huts with thatched roofs.
The lake itself seemed like a thoroughfare sometimes, with fishermen scattered about and transports similar to ours plowing their own path through the water.
The island itself was an entirely new experience. One thing I think I am consistently learning so far is to have a greater appreciation for the beautiful diversity of God’s creation. When we came into the school, the children crowded about, first making shrill sounds of joy and excitement, and then standing silent to watch. When we walked past, one little boy, his face very serious, grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I smiled at him and squeezed back, and he ran off bashfully as the children around him laughed.
A little unsure of what I was getting myself into, I held my hand out to one, “Hello! How are you?”
And suddenly, they were all smiling. Smiling and wriggling around each other to get in line to shake my hand. Dropping down to their knees to show respect, and then jumping up and running ahead to get in line again. Their excitement was contagious, even in the blazing equatorial sun. If you ever need to feel like a celebrity, I know of a place where you can get more than your fill!
But, more seriously, these children are beautiful, and so full of life. To think that God could use me to help impact their lives and others like them is almost overwhelming, and thrilling to say the least! I’m so glad that today was only the first day, and that I’ll be spending much more time on the island over the next several weeks.