Tag Archives: water

13-REVELATION: Water Diamonds

Top of the roaring aqueous stampede at Murchison Falls

I am going to f–ing die and there is nothing that can change that.

Look at the waterfall. Look at how the water is thrashed from one side to another. Look at how the rocks shoulder the water. Look at how the sun bakes the water. Look at how the water rises. Look at how it falls. Look at how the water flows. Look at how the water crashes. What sense is there in describing it? Such is life. It is one long torrent down until the inevitable crash at the bottom. There is smooth times and rocky times. One is thrown back and forth mercilessly. No one knows exactly where a droplet will land except that it will eventually hit the bottom. No one can predict where it will go.

Certainty and control is the aim of civilization. America is quite good at it. It has managed to raise life expectancy, its government tries to control its people, everything is punctual. Even on farms, everything is ordered and pesticided. It is the American way. In Uganda, they haven’t mastered civilization to the same extent. The city is sprawled with disorder. The farmers use hoes. The Ugandans confront the uncertainties of life every day. Death is prevalent there. They know how out of control things are.

I realized that this control thing is futile. So irredeemably and certainly futile. I have no control. It is all an illusion.

Ironically, the illusion of control has taken all control away from me. It has captured and beaten me into a mute pet rock. I smile and say nothing. I have been trying to please everyone because of the pain of rejection. When I show myself to someone and they reject me. It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me that can’t be fixed, and I’ll end up alone and unloved. I think I know what people think. I think I know what will make them happy. I get too caught up in trying to say the right thing at the right time that I end up saying nothing and becoming a perfect pebble, flawless but unnoticeable. Now, I realize that it is all an illusion. My chains are imaginary. My suffering was caused by myself. I have no idea what other people truly think. My judgments and presentiments are all wrong.

My glasses have become my number one tool to get control back. I can only see things clearly about a hand’s length away from my face without them. I can make stuff out, but I can’t do anything. I would need to follow someone around. I wouldn’t be able to go to school. These glasses give me back the power of sight. They have given me the power of independence and its illusions. They have helped me in many ways. But, they have also blinded me in many ways, most noticeably with the illusion of control. These lenses are an invisible barrier to the world for me. I see the world through the lens my brain creates when I see. This is important when driving but has become debilitating in communicating. I project thoughts depending on what people think. I project so much, that I say nothing. I want to start taking my glasses off more often now. I want to be more like Tiresias. He was blind, but he could see better than anybody.

This made me think about blind people. What would they have said if they were on the trip? They couldn’t see the visible signs of evil. If they relied on their hearing, they would have heard intriguing accents. If they talked to people they would find out, and perhaps had a deeper understanding of the situation instead of just seeing and moving on. If they used touch, they would feel the homes, farms, and tools of the refugees. They would get a  more intimate sight into the situation. Obviously, it would be almost impossible to make a documentary without visuals. Most of the documentary viewers have sight. However, this sight can act as a roadblock. We can show a thatched roof house, and someone will assume they are living in a terrible situation. But, to the refugees, it is home at least for now. Asking about the dents in the walls or showing the contours of the floor would give a better revelation of their situation. With this revelation, I plan to wear my glasses less.

Eyesight is only one of the senses I use to inhibit myself. I will try to stop trusting those senses so much so that I can become an imperfect diamond, flaw-filled and eye-catching . I will try to show appreciation for those around me. Mainly, by giving them the dignity of meeting me. I can only hope they give me some dignity back and show themselves. It is a little scary but so much more freeing.


I’m a water droplet, an imperfect water diamond. I’m in the river being shoved about. I have hit a rock. I join 13 other droplets streaming through the air. Together we become one teeny-tiny Sam-wheel-drive soaring-puddle. The view is nice until we see a pool of water being violently thrashed about. Their teary mist of pain rises and becomes a part of us. We fall back in the falls. Soon after our landing, we become split and go our separate ways. Each one of us has a tiny spec of the other and a tear from the pool, the refugees. Who knows when we will meet again or where we’ll go as we become better and better refactors of hope and love before our inevitable doom in the waterfall of life. But, before I enter the river of eternal life or death, I will enjoy every water diamond that crashes or flows, rises or falls my way.

Thank you God.

Washed by the Water

Several of my fellow classmates have already written amazing blogs about water, so the concept might be hard to live up to, but I will give it a shot.

Going from watching women and children walking alongside busy roads with a jug of water on top of their head to standing in front of the roaring falls at Murchison was slightly hard to comprehend. How are these people spending almost their entire day walking to and from water sources which are most likely unsafe and dangerous to drink from, when something so grand and beautiful like Murchison falls exists?

The waters of the Nile River are infested with hundreds of different parasites which can be fatal to humans. But looking at these waters with my own eyes did not disgust me or have me worrying too much about the parasites. All I could see were miles and miles of gentle waves and a thin fog above the misty foam on the surface. The waters made me calm, collected, and just like the starry night sky, were a reminder of just how large and awe-inspiring the nature of the world can be.

On one of our bus rides, it began to rain. I now watched those same women and children walk through the rain water, with their jugs of water, through windows splattered with the water of raindrops. Water was everywhere, but yet it is still a precious commodity. I think it is important to recognize the vulnerability and fragility of water as well as realize its power and influence in both nature and humanity.

Keep on keepin’ on,



“Water is Life” from Friday June 15th

I think that it was O’Keefe that said someone should blog about time. Maybe he meant how it is the only thing that the poor have that the rich want. Maybe he meant how easily it can be warped by lack of sleep, rushing or waiting. Or maybe he meant how strangely they deal with it here. I am not sure. But what I do know is that today I was unstuck in time. Yes, like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughter House 5. I was thrown into the future and slammed backwards into the past (things that until today I had forgotten in Africa) and I drifted in and out of the present like I was dreaming.

But still, I want more time. Time to cope. Time to comprehend. And time to process. I feel selfish and greedy wanting something that is ripped away from so many people and that is the only possession of so many others. But I don’t think that I am alone when I say that I am not the only one who would trade anything for more time.

I saw a sign today that said “Water is Life.” It was right after Teresa went left for her long trip home. It was painted in white on a blue wooden shack that had water pumps outside. I had also seen this phrase on one of the boats at the mouth of the Nile River. As much as I love this sign. I think that it is wrong. Water is not life. Life is water. Life is what is flowing, slippery and beautiful. Life is powerful, potentially messy, and drops of it tend to huddle together to create something more. Something bigger and better. Life can stand still and life can rush and roar. But mostly, life is water because it can never be destroyed. Rather, it just changes form.

Today the drive to Abia was filled with thoughts of Bollywood music, footprints in the sand and friendship bracelets. There were fields of Sunflowers that were more abundant than any I had seen before. I left my vermin in a lone sunflower by the chapel in Abia.

This is my vermin in the sunflower by the chapel. I wonder if it is still there.

Stones Over Rushing Water

Water is a necessity for life. We need it to survive. the people of Uganda need water to survive. But, getting water that is clean to drink here is much more difficult than going to our faucets, refrigerators, or hoses and grabbing a slurp. People here walk miles everyday to search for uncontaminated water to fill their yellow 5 gallon containers.

But it must be clear that the Ugandan people’s definition of uncontaminated couldn’t be any further than the American definition of clean water.

Water is fluid, just how life is fluid. Every year we celebrate another year of our lives going past, remembering a day in which we are supposed to grow older, never younger. We are constantly moving in one direction and there is no stopping it.

The years go by like stones on rushing water. We only know, we only know when it’s gone. – Needtobreathe

When we look at a lake, a river, an ocean, there are always stones underneath it, rocks that help support the pathways of the waters. They are never viewed as the primary sight of splendor, but in some instances, there is that one rock that we just can not stop starring at in beauty.

We have rocks in our lives. As we go on our journeys within our lives, there are rocks that are always there that help to guide is in our actions, point out our mistakes, and teach us something new. Despite how far our journeys may be that take us away from those rocks in our lives, they will always constantly be there, waiting for us until we come back.  They wait until the currents of blue come back to keep company with them once again.

This trip, being here in Uganda, has really made me appreciate the rocks in my life. Despite how long I am away from them, if I am in a dispute with them, or just downright angry at them, they are always there, patiently waiting for me to come back to where we were before the currents took hold. Before these two weeks, I never told my rocks how much I appreciate them, how much I love them, how much I want to be around them even when I act like I don’t.

Life is unpredictable, and I don’t want the years to go by like stones on rushing water without telling them I love them every single day.

God knows

Some situations God puts is between a rock and a hard place. See example above.

how long we have them for, so cherish every single moment.