There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Uganda. The people we met. The places we visited. The things we experienced.
After being back in the States for awhile, I’ve come up with a short list of things that I especially miss about the country.
Here they are (in no particular order):
*Eating fresh mangos with every meal. These things are amazing, especially straight off the tree. Even though the strings get stuck in your teeth, they are delicious.
*People singing & dancing. I wish people in the States were as free & open as the people of Uganda. None of them are ashamed or embarrassed to sing out loud, in public. Not everyone has the most beautiful or in tune voice, but hearing their music never failed to bring a smile to my face.
*Having genuine conversations with people. Not over text message. Not over Facebook. In person. Getting to know everyone on a much more personal level; a level you can’t reach through technology.
*Mosquito nets. I rather enjoyed sleeping with these things…I sorta felt like a princess under a canopy. Not to mention how vital these are to the people of Uganda. A single net can protect multiple children from Malaria, which is potentially deadly to young children.
*The rain…everyday. I love the way the weather is in Uganda (at least during the rainy seasons). It will get so hot, the sun beating down on your neck, the sweat running down your face. Just when you think it can’t get any hotter, the clouds roll in & the skies open up. Rain.
*The children. They are everywhere. With half of Uganda’s population under the age of 18, you can imagine just how many kids there are. They followed us everywhere we went, laughing & holding our hands. There was such joy in their eyes & in their smiles that it was almost heartbreaking. Kids in the States will throw fits if they don’t get a new toy or a piece of candy, but these kids, who have nothing except a dirty old soccer ball, are as content as can be.
*Stargazing. It always amazes me just how many stars are actually in our sky. Living in a city, I rarely get to witness just how bright they shine. Sitting under African skies, feeling the warm breeze, I have never felt more at peace in the world.
Visiting Uganda really brought home the fact that it’s the simple things in life that really matter; they’re the things you will remember.
Playing soccer with the kids in the village behind our compound. Braiding hundreds of bracelets on our 5 hour bus rides. Trying new foods. Overcoming fears. Making new friends.
It’s true when they say that you won’t remember the times you were uncomfortable. Because now, all that comes to mind is the good.