This article was originally posted at Convergemagazine.com here.
Ever since my wife accepted the position as field director of a small NGO in rural Uganda (The Tekera Resource Centre) in late December, people continually referred to our move as an adventure.
“What an adventure!” our friends would say, “You are going to have an amazing adventure!” And before I realized, I too was talking to people like I was Bilbo Baggins going on an adventure.
We didn’t originally think of our move as an adventure, it was more of an opportunity that we may not have again. However, the more I think about it, the more I begin to believe that our time in Uganda is indeed an adventure. Not an adventure in the grandiose hobbit-in-middle-earth kind of way but more in a I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-but-I’m-going-to-do-it-anyways kind of way. I guess anytime you move halfway across the world to a place that has solar electricity, no running water, and no internet, there will no doubt be a sense of adventure.
Going on an adventure does not necessarily mean that you have to be the hero of an epic story or learn how to tame a lion with your bare hands (although this is on my to-do list), I think it just means sacrificing what is known in order to embrace what is unknown.
My wife and I are not on an adventure because we are unique in any way, it is simply because we are willing to sacrifice our comforts for our passions. We want to take this opportunity before a career, a home, or kids, make it much more difficult to do so. These things are not bad, of course, and are adventures in and of themselves. My wife and I long for these things but we know that before we establish or root ourselves in a job or a place, we will be very well served to live and work with those who are much different – and often much poorer – than ourselves.
So before we even knew what was happening, we now find ourselves in rural Uganda. Although we have sacrificed a good deal of time, money, and being close to family to be on this adventure, I have a not-so-sneaking suspicion that even though we have sacrificed much, we will be enriched more than we will be impoverished. And in the end I am sure that we won’t even feel like we will have sacrificed anything at all.