In 7 days I will be in a car being driven to Entebbe airport, where I will begin the 2 day adventure of returning to Tucson, Arizona. I seem to have bad juju when it comes to transportation, so fingers crossed I arrive in Tucson at 6:10pm on the 12th of March.
Having only 7 days left before I travel for a month, I have switched between being stressed beyond belief and calmly reflecting on my life and everything that has happened in the past 9 months.
Today, on day 7 of the countdown. I finally flipped to the front of my journal and found what I had written in my first 2 weeks in Uganda. Four statements I made in my journal stuck out to me for various reasons. They include;
“Its been a whirlwind to say the least. A good whirlwind though”…
Still true. There is more down time then I had in the U.S. In Uganda there are ways of life that you have to learn and learn quickly to not be cheated and confused on a daily basis (how to barter for boda prices, understanding the confusing system in the fabric market, and knowing that if it is raining that all meetings will be pushed back until the rain stops).
“The moments I have had to be firm with rules I am overwhelmed with gratitude to how tough being a care coordinator was. Without the intense caseloads, difficult parents, and daily annoyances, I , in the end, would not be so calm…”
Still true. The first ‘real life’ job working for Casa de Los Niños as a care coordinator that I got after graduating from the University of Arizona taught me thousands upon thousands of lessons in a short span of less than 2 years. Some of the lessons I wasn’t even sure I had learned until I was faced with running a meeting with local council members in the Mengo, Rubaga district to ask for recommendation letters, or when I was documenting events in an email to share with our executive director, so that we would be able to make the proper decisions for Acacia Avenue Designs in Uganda. So, I will never be able to say that I enjoyed writing case notes and some monthly Child Family Team meetings I could have done without but, they taught me skills that are helping me to be the best Country Director I can be. So, HUGE kudos to Casa de Los Niños- Behavioral Health.
“Sandra is unbelievably street smart and has a passion for sewing… Barbara is loud and happy”.
Still true. 100% accurate. My first assessment was one of my best assessments on any two people I have EVER done.
“Its beautiful and nice here. I feel like I belong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still figuring out the city, still need to make friends, still learning about my job… but I’m not wishing to be back in the states”.
Still mostly true. Kampala is definitely home now. Tucson is still home. So, I just lucked out and have multiple places around the world where I belong. I am still figuring out the city (my internal compass has always been off, so that ones going to take me a while to not get lost). I have made some of the greatest friends that I love experiencing life with here. I learn how to do something new (or sometimes 5 new things) daily when it comes to being a Country Director in Uganda.
For the final point of “not wishing to be back in the states”. That is not 100% true. I am so unbelievably stoked to go back to the states. Going back means that I get to meet with some great organizations, see some family and friends that I have missed experiencing life on a daily basis with, eat astronomical amounts of cheese, reflect on my first 9 months in Uganda, and stream videos, Netflix, text, and call people without worrying if I am running out of GBs or airtime.
So, in 7 days I will be so happy to step onto American soil and live the American Life for 1 month. After that time I have a feeling I will be itching to travel back to the home I made for myself in June 2014.