Uganda is a beautiful country; nearly perfect weather, lush vegetation, kind people, fascinating but troubled history, interesting cultures. This is a place I could live for a hundred years and still have much to learn, more work to do and never find myself bored. I now live in a town called Jinja that sits at the place where lake Victoria feeds into the nile river. The home in which I reside overlooks the lake just meters from the source of the Nile river. At one time, Jinja was a booming colonial town and is now the favorite spot of NGOs expats and tourists. At first, I resented this. I did not like being surrounded by other foreigners here for various reasons (some with which I morally disagree). However, I have come to love the town that embraces outsiders and understands much of my western culture. I do not find myself fighting for acceptance. This is due partially to the nature of the town, and partially to the nature of the Ugandan people. However, this does not stop the frequent marriage proposals and requests for money or work; it simply makes these easier to bare…and more comical than frustrating.
Being in this magical place, I have been able to look forward without regret or much fear. However, I have many concerns: will I be able to find a job before my funds run dry? did i make the right decision coming here and taking another risk? should i have tried harder to secure a transfer within the peace corps?
My conclusion is always the same- this is my path, and I should enjoy every day while I attempt to make this the right decision.
During my moments of uncertainty I look back over the past year, the places I have been, the beds I have slept in, the people I have met, the people who have entered my heart and still stick with me despite our short time together. I miss it. All of it. I miss my friends and family at home, I miss my friends still in Madagascar, I miss the doctors and staff who took care of me, I miss my friends from PC Madagascar, I miss my friends from my short stay as a patient in South AFrica, I miss the friends I have made in Uganda that have already left my life.
Those who live like I do, destination unknown, heart and mind open, can understand. How incredible it can be to let these experiences touch you, change you, break your heart and still leave you ready for the next connection with something new. Everything I have encountered thus far, positive or negative, painful or uplifting has been incredible. There are times when I fill with emotion thinking back and I find that I simply miss it- all of it. The people, the places, the experiences. I know I will never see some of them again, others may cross my path but few will be consistently in my life; as much as this saddens me, I am so grateful for all of it. This is why I continue, despite the knowledge that I will experience more pangs as more wonderful things flicker in and out of my life.
I am happy, I do love everything that is happening in my life at the moment- but I miss home, I miss Madagascar, I miss all of you.