Monday, 28 January 2008

Becoming Family - Sharing Chips

Here chip-chat reached another level, chips received as a shared meal and with conversation gave us a taste of Northern Uganda.
We saw Willy walk by and well, here was a vicar. we wanted him to eat chips as vicars eating chips is the basic thing of vicars eating chips. Hastily clumsily we popped the question - could we get him chips? He so graciously accepted the invitation to eat together.
Chips - Les and Lizzie, Chipfork - Helen, Fanta - Barry. And a notebook. Once everything was in place all seated and settled we were given a window into life in Northern Uganda by Rev. Willy Akena... and the 20 years of war.

Willy sketched out maps of people displaced, refuges sought, children abducted and made to fight, child mothers judged harshly by an improper court system, HIV/AIDS... Over 30,000 people have been abducted and over 1,000,000 killed... very sobreing - and here we are eating chips... As people are able to return to their villages, the basics need to be in place; wood for building houses, education and food - seeds -maize is the staple crop and peace. Other people must be in place, the presence of others offering support and provision, an extended family. 
"Life is a treasure. If you're alive you can do many things. We believe in working together. If you are in pain your brother can support you. If you are in prison and no one supports you, you are in real trouble. If you are in hospital just the presence of others, a  visit, will give you hope. If you eat with someone, that person stops to be your enemy. You become family. If you refuse food, you may be an enemy. We believe that when you give someone food you can get to know their inner heart."

We thought we wanted chip-chat but as Willy opened up to us the situation in northern Ugandan, we can but have deep appreciation for our chips... We have the basics - seeds, soil, potatoes, peace- - -and more, we have family...

See Rev. Willy Akena's news of the situation in Northern Uganda: 


vicars eating chips said...

"...Why is a table connected to dialogue and change? I believe it has to do with eating and the sensuous perceptions of breaking bread.... Tables and eating, dating way back in human history, are often used to signify the place where enmity dissolves... Eating equalizes, humanises and creates a different space."

John Paul Lederach,The Moral Imagination.

Anonymous said...

Much going on there and yet there are connections being spun and maybe there will be connections with many from this website and perhaps if I could add from others who view what is going on with others stories in parts of Uganda and in other parts of the world.

How to be of use, supportive, caring when the chips are down for each other - this is what I ask?