Monday, August 9, 2010

Africa Adieu... For Now

I’m standing at the airport steps remembering just 5 months before when I stood in the exact same spot. I don’t even recognize the girl who stood there five months ago, she’s gone and I’m much more fond of the girl who is replacing her. I remember how scared I was of the future, how uncertain I felt about everything in life, how dependent I was on superficial things. Now all I feel is sadness. Sadness because I’m leaving home to go ‘home’.

I thought it was just that I was going to miss my babies but as I helped with a local feeding program the other day I realized there is way more to it than that. I love this country. I love the people. I love the children. I love the way the clouds form in the sky in a breathtaking way. I love the way the rain comes unexpectedly, reminding you that nothing ever turns out like you think it will here. I love the way I feel when my entire day is wrapped up in other people’s needs, not my own. I love how close I feel to God here.

I’m in America now eating foods and seeing people I’ve missed. I savor Krispy Kreme doughnuts and hug my baby siblings tight and as I’m doing it all I realize it’s not enough. I love my family and friends and Krispy Kreme but not enough to keep me from missing Uganda. I feel like I’m in autopilot these past few days. I can do things correctly, like drive on the right side of the road and put dishes in the dishwasher, but it all feels strange as my body takes over and does them perfectly. ‘Normal’ things aren’t normal. My home isn’t my home anymore.

My mind has compartmentalized Uganda and America- putting each experience and skill in its own section and now it has opened the America drawer and everything comes flooding back. Except my heart is still in Uganda and this country seems strange. I feel out of place and not completely here. Like i’m in a foggy dream and tomorrow I’ll wake up to Esther’s cry and the sound of chickens outside my window.

Can a person fully function if their body and heart have been separated? Will I ever be truly happy in America or will I just count down the days until I can return to Uganda?Well let’s just put that all in the Uganda shelf for a while so that I can turn autopilot back on and try and function normally in this strange country. I want to thank every person out there who supported me in this trip, as you can tell from reading my blog saying this trip was life-changing in not an understatement. Everyone who wrote me e-mails, commented on my blog posts, and prayed for me- you kept me going when things were tough and I am so grateful.

I am looking into and planning a trip back next summer- if I can raise the money. If you are interested in supporting me please let me know.

Africa isn’t done with me yet- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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