Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earlier this month, I returned from Uganda for the third time in the past 2 ½ years. I’m always slightly surprised when I think of how much time I have spent in another country, especially one so far away, and well, especially one that is in Africa. My surprise isn’t derived from my sudden realization that I’ve been spending most of my time in Africa but rather from the fact that this seems as normal to me as going to Starbucks.

When I really try to think about it all, what I find most humbling is that every time I return to Blue Point, I feel as though I never left and that I do truly belong here. The strange part of it all, and really probably the reason this all works, is that I also feel that way about Uganda. The moment I arrive in the village, I return to those bumpy roads with chickens, goats, cattle, bicycles, motorcycles, and children causing us to take the most unreasonable routes; I see women carrying babies on their backs with bundles of goods in their arms while balancing a large jerry can of water on their heads; and I look left to the local butcher and try to stomach the fact that there is half of cow hanging in the hot sweltering sun for what was probably days; and in this moment, I feel at home.

I suppose this sense of belonging in both places explains why I can live in Uganda for months and months at a time and then return home to Blue Point, live in an entirely different world (a world with soy lattes!) and in both worlds, feel at home and at peace.

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