Arriving in Uganda Meg and I hit the ground running bright and early on Tuesday morning. Hopping on a boda (motorcycle taxi) we flew over speed bumps, coasted over hills, and haggled over the price of the trip across town. Day 1 in Kampala was my crash course in where things were, who I needed to know, and attempting to ask as many questions as I could before Meg had to fly back down to South Africa.
One statement that all of the locals were making towards me had me quite confused. Every time we went to get my passport photos, copy of my passport, exchange money, or really just walk into any new building I was greeted with, "you're welcome". In my head I kept asking myself, "what am I forgetting to say thank you for? am I accidentally being rude?" Meg on the other hand was completely unphased by the interaction. Instead she would say, "thank you." and continue to ask her questions.
Finally, on our walk back up Makindye Hill I ask Meg about the interactions. Meg's answer was something like, "Sarah, they are not reminding you to thank them, they are just welcoming you to Uganda. Think of it as, 'YOU are welcome here'. The kindness that a bunch of strangers show to someone (aka me) who obviously has never been to Uganda was heartwarming.
The list of tasks that need to be completed is long. The list of things I just have to learn is even longer. But, at least I know that I am welcome and people are willing to support Meg and me in different countries around the world.
So, thank you whoever is reading this blog and navigating this website. YOU are welcome here and we appreciate your support on making Acacia Avenue Designs the best non-profit it can be.