October 13, 2011
Today we took a trip to a place called Sippi Falls -- not actually one waterfall but a series of at least 3 200 foot drops of beautiful water. We walked in to the first water fall and then were invited to "climb" up to the second one. This seemed reasonable to us since the walk in was not too difficult. We did not realize that the climb was actually up the face of the ridge (a broken volcanic crater). I work out and am in decent physical shape for my age but I was winded (as were the rest of us) pretty quickly on this climb. I couldn't figure it out until I was told by our guide (Alex) that we were at the equivalent of about 6000 feet - now the gasping for air made more sense. We had two guides -- Alex who was about 20 and did this every day and Malishi (a Swahili name meaning to "finish").
The Americans and older Africans were huffing and puffing up this ridge -- young Alex was trotting up and down without much effort.
As we walked to the first waterfall, my friend Davis Matovu was showing me the uses of various herbs and plants -- things his grandmother taught him. He said his grandmother could tell the time of day and season without clock or calendar and he never had watch or calendar until after she died.
Back among the falls were many families living -- no roads but they had their animals, their gardens and many of them were growing and harvesting the excellent coffee that grows in this area.
This area is spectacularly beautiful. It is a beautiful as any place I have ever visited on earth. High narrow water falls, deep green vegetation and, generally, bright blue skies.
From the top of the ridge we could see for a couple of hundred kilometers to the north. A wide vast plain and in the far distance part of lake Kyoga. Hard climbing but very much worth the view at the top.
The hard climb fit with what I was reading in Erwin McManus' book Uprising. He was talking about passion less lives. We discovered passion on the climb when we chose to put our fatigue and lack of wind behind us and chose to push forward (at some point there really is just no going back). I spoke to the team about passion and discovering and rediscovering our passion for life, for ministry for the work we are called to be about. Kathy spoke of her passion for climbing and how much fun it was to do so in community. Better to live with passion than to just go through the motions and live in apathy.
We discussed our change in schedule (this is normal for Uganda) and the team is practicing its "Gumbyism".
Tomorrow we start to work. I am touring a church and teaching in the late afternoon.