Prior to leaving Kiwoko, we had started a blog about saying goodbye but with packing and people calling to say farewell, it was never finalised and now it seems obsolete. However, we did have a wonderful send-off in the form of a celebration party– not because they were getting rid of us, but celebrating the Wilson’s contribution to Kiwoko over the last 11 years. It was fun, affirming and thankfully, we didn’t lose it during speech time!
That said, it feels like we have stepped through the looking glass and have entered another world. Having been home annually for the last couple of years is helping enormously, and yet we are back with a different mind-set – we aren’t just visiting for two months’ deputation; this is really it now for the foreseeable future.
This time, we are asking different questions, “Who supplies your coal?”, “Know of any good plumbers?” and “Where can I get a school uniform for Gideon?”
We have become serious students of Northern Irish culture, because there is a lot we have forgotten and much revision is needed, but also there is much to learn, particularly in the technical department.
There are some amazing positives about being back, the prime one being no time pressures on relationships. It is wonderful to know that we don’t have to visit a whole host of people in eight weeks as well as to try and see as much of our family as possible. It is such a luxury. There are the other great positives too – a fish supper from the chippy, hot pressurised showers every day, drinking water from the tap, a variety of cheeses easily available, fast and efficient internet (although Kiwoko wasn’t that bad actually) and the bonus of sunshine since we came back!
People ask us ‘How does it feel to be back?’ A fair and concerned question, which unfortunately we are finding hard to answer! We don’t really know, and may not know for another six months, when we realise that we are still in Ireland and haven’t returned to Kiwoko after furlough! Instead, we have concentrated on the practicalities of setting up house – new washing machine delivery, connecting to broadband, sorting out cupboards and getting reacquainted with pictures and stuff all packed away 11 years ago!
We did have a very Ugandan moment when we discovered a leaking pipe under the floorboards and needed to lift the carpet and put it outside to dry in the sun! Sadly it didn’t dry just as quickly as it might have done in Uganda, however we were praising God for the sunshine those days.
Gideon has so enjoyed meeting his friends again and talks positively about starting school on 18th May. However, he often mentions how much he misses Aggrey, his friend in Kiwoko.
In this period of readjustment, we have a peace that God is with us every step of this journey and that He has placed so many good people around us to walk the journey with us. Thank you for our welcome back to Ireland, to those who have prepared the way in cleaning and painting our house, the prayers, the phone calls and emails offering support, prayer and practical help Truly in the midst of it all we are humbled and blessed.