離鄉背井Away from home

Home 愛。女孩 離鄉背井Away from home

七八月的烏干達正值乾季,氣溫變化雖然大,卻不如臺灣那樣潮濕,早晨約20度,常常在金黃色的陽光下、在感恩中醒來。

出外的遊子能夠享受到這樣的天氣、綠意盎然的環境,在這雖是離鄉背井,並不缺少。卻偶爾想著自己錯過了家裡的什麼,星期日晚上的聚餐、平日晚上的電視、親朋好友的婚禮、家人的離世等等。每念及此,我深感耶穌因愛而降卑成為人的犧牲,情願如人一般受到限制—在此端就不可能在彼處。我多希望自己有妙麗的魔法,能同時有兩個自己(忘了是哪一集哈利波特,妙麗施法讓自己同時上兩門衝堂的課。)

那天在愛女孩計畫在北方的職訓中心進行訪問,其中很多學員是從阿朱馬尼那的難民營來的,說著不同的方言—Luo,透過牧師詹姆士的介紹,得知在大約250公里以外的里拉有一個培養自己能力的機會。
「我沒有錢升學,只有做做小生意,仍然無法讓我去讀書。」

Kate手抱著初生的第三個孩子,從不敢直視我們,嘟噥的話語在嘴邊打轉。

只是Kate,許多鄉下的婦女都很自卑,沒有謀生的能力,沒有受到良好的教育,表達上吞吞吐吐。


而即使想家,卻深知自己只有這個選擇,身為母親、姐姐、女兒,必須化思愁為力量。
「這已經是第三期的課程了,你看,這裡的環境很清幽,我很喜歡,我也學到很多。」
另一個女孩即將修習完一年的課程,剛開始高中輟學的她害怕離開家鄉,卻因牧師的堅持,我們得以看見顯著的轉變—漸累的自信。
更看見女孩們一揮過去的陰霾,滿足於所事所在的快樂,和同窗一起學習、互相幫忙,每一個人都面臨著無不相似的困境。當我問起什麼是她的夢想,女孩說希望自己能開始靠自己做裁縫生意,接著再去學校進修。

她斗大的淚水瞬即浸濕了眼眶,再也承受不住的委屈和思念,一併哭了出來。
多少日子,她也會想著,為什麼離家,為什麼孤單,為什麼年紀輕輕要開始工作,為什麼要挑起這樣的經濟負擔? 我才曉得原來「被理解」擁有這般力量,只消一句道歉、一句安慰,像在衝鋒陷陣的戰場上有人陪你同進退,還拍妳的肩保證會沒事的。那一定是欣喜的淚水。

圖片、文字: Weichun Chang

❤️支持愛女孩計畫:https://goo.gl/rukqNb

原文出處:http://bit.ly/2KFlSw4
延伸閱讀:愛.女孩 https://web.facebook.com/lovebinti

 

Dry season has arrived in Uganda during July and prolonged to August. A drastic change can be found in daily temperature, with only 20℃ in the early morning. Unlike the unbearable humidity in Taiwan, sunshine makes its way through my windows every morning and wakes me up to the exhilaration.

For an overseas traveler, such weather and greenery are more to satisfaction. However, working abroad, at times I think of what I missed back there in home – family quality time on Sunday nights, TV shows on weekdays, cousins’ weddings, grandpa’s death. Whenever my mind wandered, I’m once again touched by the love of sacrifice that God has made for us, that He manifested as a human, limited by time and space – when Jesus was in Galilee, he could impossibly be at Samaria. Sometimes I wish I could have the magic of Hermione Granger, the fictional character in Harry Potter, who once cast a split magic for two overlapping courses. But I’m not.

During the interview in Love Binti northern training center, I realized there were many students from Ajumani, the district holding the biggest refugee settlement. The girls were informed by Pastor James of the opportunities to access the vocational trainings from 250 kilometers away, there in Lira.
“I didn’t have money to proceed my education from the small-scale business.” muttered Kate. With the third-born in arms, she intentionally avoided direct eye contact with us. The instinct words lingered in her mouth.
Not only Kate, I found most women in rural areas low in self-esteem, resulting from their unsustainability and lack of better education. In spite of homesickness, leaving is the only choice they have. As a mother, a sister, a daughter, they always need to take up all the responsibilities and turn the sorrow into power.

“This is the third term. You can see the environment. It’s good. I become to like it and I can learn a lot.”
Another girl was about to finish the one-year program. She confessed that if it were not Pastor James’s insistence, she would’ve not overcome her fear to leave her hometown. We would’ve not seen the significant change in the girls – the gradual build-up of self-confidence. The girls have brushed off the dust of the past, been satisfied with what they’re doing and who they are. Facing the same challenges, they’ve learned to help others. When it comes to their dreams, they proudly said that they wanted to start up a tailoring shop, and acquire more knowledge in school.

People in Kampala are rarely born in the city. Instead, they came to seek a job other than farming. It prompts me to think of the time I arrived in Uganda, when I met a Muslim girl on the flight landing on Entebbe. She had been working in Dubai for three years without return, to financially support her family.
“I’m sorry, you must miss your family a lot. Welcome home!” I replied her politely.
Before I knew it, her eyes were soaked with tears. She cried out the overloaded burden and frustration altogether. For many times, she ponders on the reason why she has no choice but to leave away from home, to be lonely abroad, to start working at her young age, and to suffer the financial burdens. It was the very moment that I realized “being understood” could come with such power. An apology, a sentence of comfort can always act as a loyal comrade who gets your back on the battle field of life. And you, yourself, cannot help but shed the tears of joy.

 

Leave a comment