Thursday, April 21, 2011

Of Change and Circles

Change never has an end. It never stops. Life is change, if it weren’t we’d all die. None of us could stay the size we were when our mothers gave birth to us. But we didn’t exactly always want to grow when the pains started.

I’ve heard change described as a circle: where it supposedly starts, it also ended. The end of a chapter only starts the next one. A goodbye to one means a hello to another. But those don’t really comfort you as you look at your sunshine moving away and grey clouds rolling in. These goodbyes don’t really seem to bring any new hellos—there’s only one Sun. The airplane that bore me here brought also goodbyes and hellos, but when the airplanes and cars take from me the hellos when giving the goodbyes, there’s no beginning again, it seems. The circles must be circumstantial.

Change. It’s the one thing we don’t want to see any closer; and it’s the one thing we’re trying to get to. And it’s just the one thing we can’t get. It’s a need, I’ll tell you, but it’s the one thing we hate the most. Samwise Gamgee said words to fit many a situation, but I believe he really must have meant “change” instead of “Mordor.” It was the same to him anyhow. He hated walking through so much change.

Walking in circles is pointless. So is trying to avoid change. It’s one thing to know you’re change will somehow be exciting. It’s another thing entirely to know only you will be left without the sun that shines now. Friends leaving, life continuing, relationships ending, friends leaving. Pointless circles that we seem to always walk in while standing on the mission field. But they’re circles we must walk, I just can’t say I’m going to run them.  

When the sun is gone, perhaps the moon will show. They move in circles, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Vacation fit for the Kings (& us!)

I love my family. Petersons, Thompsons, Harkins, Mills, Kings, and the list could go on. When we get together, there’s no limit to the fun. Especially when a good menu is involved.

Our five-day King-visit started with (well, food first, but then) our favorite family game—Nertz. A game of speed, good eye span and understanding what suit each card is, we often have our most meaningful conversations playing it. “AH!! Cheep-oh! I was going to—ugh.” “Oh, SOORRRY, did you want that card?” Of course, the fact that I was reigning champion was not rubbed in at all… We had tournaments every night they were here, and, sad to say, my growing weariness and Spencer’s increasing skills ended up in me not actually creaming him the last round. The final night’s scores for Nertz was: Me: 2 (or 3, my memory fails in complete exhaustion); Josh: 2; Uncle Matt: 1; and Spencer: 1 & a half. Since Spencer hadn’t ever actually emptied his Nertz pile before, he didn’t understand that even if he had played all but one, had an empty spot open and everything, he still had to get that last card off the pile. I, courteously, tried to explain this problem to him as I deftly added more of my cards to the middle piles. Josh took that opportunity as well, and Nertzed before him… But, seeing as this was his FIRST time meeting “Bob,” (as he named the last card in his Nertz pile every game,) we called it a “half Nertz.”

Our “night-life” of playing cards till bedtime wasn’t the only thing we enjoyed, either. “Floating” the Nile River, swimming at local pools and resorts, watching movies, eating popcorn, having hilarious convos, and learning which kind of “Nert” we each were couldn’t have been better.

Despite the horrendous  sunburns and exhaustion, a vacation fit for the Kings and us was one of the best I’ve ever had (even if I never left home).

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beginning, take 2 (retake, and yet another retake)

My dad’s favorite new motto for here in Uganda is:  “Plans change.”

Work in Uganda has it’s perks—if you go to the Market, you can get things for 20% what you might have got it for in America, people are more impressed with your work (even if you could have done just as well in America) since you did it “in Africa,” and other small things. We’re not exactly movie producers or actors or even rich kids. We just happen to try something we thought was a good idea. Key phrase:  “thought.”

You’d think that since we were in Uganda, we’d have an excuse (for not meeting our goal of having half the scenes with 2 specific actors done today) at least kinda related to the “hardships of living in Africa.” Well, no. If we were in America I’d still have only an hour or two of time to work on hours worth of work in the costume department. If we were state-side, we’d still have not had a video camera today. If we were in the US working on this, we would still have a SUPER-tight budget that can’t cover half the things we’d like to get.

The troubles of dealing with people in any project is the fact you’re dealing with humans—and being one yourself, you find it difficult. You’ve got miscommunications that are easily made, ideals that need to somehow be semi-made, feelings to not crush, and emotions that you have to struggle to control yourself. Just, in trying something WAY out of any of our skill-levels adds stress on top of an already-difficult situation. Add to that having 4 pre-teen boys who want to be in it, but do more harm than help to the project, you’ve got some people over-working, some ideals thrown out the window, and some crushed spirits.

I, personally, have felt all the troubles listed in the previous paragraph very well. But, we’ve made tremendous progress. Really, many movie producers take about 2 years to do one, but that’s kinda hard to keep in mind. We really actually need to get this done about half-way by the end of this month. We need to almost finish it at least by May 19. We need it COMPLETELY done by the last week in July… and we’ve been working for a month with not much more than a couple costumes and a sword to show for it… But I’ll keep you posted on that. :)