Mweraba, bambi mweraba

Two years ago, I packed my bags full of items I thought I would need for my peace corps adventure. The things I carried with me included my oboe, laptop, music, clothes and random necessities I though I would need. I packed unknowing what was in store for my life. Two days ago, I packed again but this time I stuffed my bags full of gifts received from the amazing people I have grown to love in what now seems to be a very short time. Over the past 2 weeks friends, coworkers, students and parents of students have given me 2 suitcases full of beautiful hats, painting skirts ect. to “remember Uganda.” As if I could forget! In addition, the Sabina staff threw me a surprise-going-away party which included so much food made by all of the aunties and dancing until I though my feet would fall off. They even prepared luwombo, a dish only used on the most special of occasions. Yesterday, as the kids sang and said their goodbyes, I wept with them as they were into their 4th song only a few kids were still able to sing as the rest had succumbed to sobbing. Before moving to Ssanje, Uganda, I have never before felt such acceptance into a community of people despite being such an obvious outsider (white skin?). The people of Sabina and Ssanje have warmly welcomed me into their homes through hospitality unmatched anywhere in the world. I know it is time to come home but I will miss Uganda forever. The constant perfect 80 degree weather, the abundance of fresh fruit, the monkeys and the beautiful people will of course be missed as I walk through Chicago in freezing weather. As Jon Kabat-Zinn sad, “Where you go is where you are,” and I will be happy where I will be living with my old roommates from college, living near my family and friends, being around for important events, but I’m still not sure if I will ever be able to readjust to the cold. Freezing is possibly one of my worst fears now. If freezing is the worst, then I guess I’ll be okay. I just might wear 3 coats at the same time for a while. It’s been a hard two years, although ‘hard’ does not begin to describe the challenges I have faced here, but I guess what they say is true, Peace Corps is “the toughest job you’ll ever love!”

Before I come home, my friend Hannah and I are stopping to tour Egypt, Jordan and Israel for a month and will arrive state side for Christmas and Becca and Jason’s wedding. I do still hope it’s okay with them if I wear a parka over my bridesmaid dress. This will probably will be my last blog from Uganda so I will leave you with some more pictures. Thanks again for all of your wonderful support through this crazy adventure.

Nkwagala nnyo!

One last hike to Katanjovu, a local hill/mountain with some of the students (i'm the white girl)

Machue and Teddy reading in the library.

Peter, our librarian teaching students in the library.

Playing volleyball at my going away party with some Sabina staff members.

Dancing the night away at my party with Sabina teachers.