As we wait, I notice that I am hungry. The words spill from me. Al shares an out-of-date beef stick and some cheese. We are sitting around a conference table at the Food for the Hungry Uganda offices. It makes me think: have I ever been really hungry? Have I ever felt unsure of when I would eat next, or IF I would eat next? I don’t think so.
I eat when my body is a bit empty, or when the clock says it is time, or when people invite me to. Usually, I have a refrigerator and a full cupboard, and a wallet with cash to buy something else I might be craving. So I eat when I want to. Or when I am bored. Or when I am emotional. Or with friends. Overeating is our problem. Even in Uganda we have snacks packed in our bags. We carry our immediate satisfaction with us every moment. Wow.
We are in Uganda in part to visit several sites where our Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church has worked with Food for the Hungry to build schools, agricultural programs, feeding stations, health clinics, wells, and reforestation projects in really impoverished areas. Places where hunger is well known. Uganda is trying to recover after 13 years of civil war and the AIDS pandemic.
In Uganda, more than 43,056 children are orphaned from parents dying from HIV/AIDS.
5.9 million people in Uganda are affected by a food crisis.
1.2 million Ugandans are living with HIV/AIDS.
Worldwide, Food for the Hungry notes that one in nine people suffer from malnutrition or undernutrition. Reflect, Brad: one in nine. This means that, at a minimum, 11% of those living think of hunger differently than I do. To them, hunger means not knowing if or when they will eat. It means struggle, not discomfort. Note to self: don’t call every rumble hunger. Watch and learn from the really poor and hungry. And care more, Brad. Stop being such a pig.