Saturday, December 19, 2009

Back Home Again in Indiana

So after 3 days of travel, 20ish hours on a plane and 24 hrs worth of layovers, I'm home. Getting home sure was a journey. I was supposed to get home late Wednesday night but things did not go as planned. Danielle, Kristina, and I boarded the plane and sat there for over an hour only to be told that a hydraulic part of the plane was not working flying was a no go. Not gonna lie, at that point I was super tired and frustrated. We went back inside and were given hotel rooms at the Hilton and tickets home for the next day. I went from Uganda to the Hilton and it was a shock. They put me in a room with two beds, a flat screen tv, 2 telephones, a flushing toilet (complete with TP), and a shower. I didn't know what to do with myself, so I took my first American shower and slept.

Being home feels surreal. I think I'm starting to feel the first bits of "homelessness." I understand that I'm "home" but home doesn't quite feel the same. It's been awesome getting to see my family. I drove for the first time in 4 months yesterday... and I didn't die! Awesome. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and was starving and realized that it was 1:30 pm aka lunch time in Uganda. This was a funny and sad realization and I ate a handful of peanuts and went back to bed.

Today was not a day to rest and I got up and went to the travel doctor. I got checked out head to toe and was sent to the hospital to get bloodwork done. I also got sent home with not one but THREE stool samples to fill, no joke. They gave me some awesome "hats" to fill....oh and get this, I have to turn in the samples within one hour of filling them, if you get what I'm saying and I'm not allowed to do them all at one time. I get to dump and run three times this week, haha.

It's not that kinda "hat."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

So this is my last post from Uganda…crazy.

Our farewell party is tonight. Tomorrow they pick up our things. Saturday we leave for Entebbe and then we fly out on Tuesday night. And THEN I touch down in Indy late on Wednesday.

I’m going to miss Uganda, but I’m going to miss my new family and friends even more. Today as Denise and I walked to school the little kids (the posse) ran up to us and they held our hands (or whatever they could reach) as we walked up the hill to school. As I walked with them it really hit me that I only have today and tomorrow with them and my my family. I’m really going to miss it. Uganda is a beautiful place. This has been a great experience and I don’t want to leave it at that. I want to apply what I’ve learned to my life back in the U.S.

But I’m pumped to come back to the U.S. It will be amazing to see family and friends that I’ve missed so much this semester. I’m looking forward to my first U.S. shower, flushing a toilet, and eating a lot of vegetables, for real, haha. I’m nervous about driving again after not sitting in a driver’s seat for about 4 months and living in a place where I’ve gotten accustomed to being on the left side of the road. I’m so excited for Christmas and being with family. I’m also really excited to go to the travel doctor and see if there’s anything new living in my body (which I’m pretty sure there is). Not gonna lie, I think it would be awesome to be able to say that I’ve had an amoeba/parasite, haha.

So in 6 days and in 3 flights from now I’ll be back. I’m interested to see what shocks me about being back, besides the freezing cold. I may look like a tourist in my own country for a day or so. So if I do or say funny things, feel free to laugh at me, haha.

And Mom if you read this, don’t forget my winter coat!

Sunday, December 6, 2009 da ba ba ba, I'm lovin' it (Get it? It's like the McD's commercial...)

I think I'm starting a new trend in my life...writing blogs and putting off my work. Oh wait a second, I've done this my whole life, haha.

Today is offically my last Monday at UCU and I'm heading in the last week with my family. I'm not sure what to think about it. While I'm excited to go home, I'm nervous. Nervous about the transitions back into the culture, nervous about things that have changed while I've been gone. But worrying won't get me anywhere, so I'm going to go with the flow when I get back and take things a step at a time.

If you would have asked me 3 months ago if I would be sad to leave Uganda I probably would have said no and I never would have believed I would have gotten to the opposite extreme. I'm not counting down the days anymore because I know how short a time I have left. I've been reminded about how I almost always count down to things. I'm always looking forward to the next big thing that I forget to live each day fully. But as for the rest of my time here, I want to focus on the here and now. Home will come soon enough.

Last night we had 10 visitors from the Anglican church over to our house for tea and dinner. Three of them were from the UK and had gone to a Christmas Program in Kampala. Denise, my sister Judith, and I helped serve while our brothers hid outside in the dark waiting to be fed, trying to avoid any interaction with the visitors.

Things like this make me love my Ugandan family. I love the way my mom is so quiet but she has a funny, stubborn side. Yesterday she got tired of our dad being on the phone so when he wasn't looking, she hid it. He was searching the house for it and she didn't say a thing, haha. I love the way my dad talks about how we can show our future in-laws our Ugandan hospitality/cooking skills and how we should kneel for our parents in the airport when we get home. I love talking with my brother Brian, chasing him down the hallway at our house, and listening to him sing throughout the day. I love being with my sister Judith, listening to her laugh, and just talking about random things with her. I love watching my brother Simon rock out to music videos when he thinks no one is watching and the high pitched voice he uses when he talks to us. I love when our cousin Defus comes home each night on our family's boda boda and knowing that he'll be taking care of the chickens every morning when I get up.

Life here is great and I’m soakin’ it in. Family and friends back home, I love and miss you. See you soon :)