28th Birthday – Full moon and full circle in Uganda

Time feels like it has excelerated in the last couple of weeks. The rush of planning the Annual General Meeting was followed by a high of success afterwards. This high and lots of coffee has sustained me since then, with several friends and volunteers in the village at the moment. S.O.U.L. is on the up and up and yet I can feel my time on the ground winding down. I’ve never felt bittersweetness with such depth.

My spirit, as it does with any transition, has started to drift back to the Rocky Mountains and I am in a surreal state of being drawn into the next chapter of my life. I’m so excited it’s almost exhausting.

With the arrival of the amazing new Project Manager, Laura, I have received my first glimpse of what it will feel like to digest and process what this year has been. Being able to watch someone learn how to do my job has allowed some space for me to recognize what I have been immersed in this year. It has allowed me to appreciate what has happened and in so many ways I am grateful to be able to teach her and be part of her initial experience.

Attempting to articulate or even remember all that has happened this year is overwhelming. As Mama Ali (my close birthday mate, Nov 20) and I, along with 20 others celebrated our birthdays with food and dance, I had the urge to document and get these things out of my mind.

I look forward to re-reading this again sometime in the future, serving as a reminder that it all really did happen and it wasn’t a dream…

This year I…(in no particular order)

learned a new language
lived without running water or a modern toilet
started developing my green thumb
was gifted a wild bush puppy (social experiment #1)
felt closer to friends and family who were thousands of miles away
was welcomed as family in the close community of Bujagali
got comfortable with my un-comfort zone
felt like i perpetually lived in a state of growth
started to get over my fear of public speaking (with audiences of over 1,000)
become more aware of how f-ing awesome my brothers and parents truly are
found out i love rearing chickens
found out that plucking chicken feathers is meditative and so much better surrounded my the beautiful mama’s of the village
learned how to drive a boda aka motorcycle (really well)
fell off a boda a fair few times with only scratches
discovered love and connection is often best expressed nonverbally
dated a ugandan pop star (social experiment #2)
at times, lived on just $1/day
realized how important/healthy/satifying setting boundries can be
ate more rice than i thought was humanly possible
felt utterly alone at times yet let myself be ok with that
felt sad that i wasn’t able to share this experience with more people in my life
learned how to rear goats, fish and chicken and taught others how to do it
befriended the speaker of parliament, members of parliament and high district officials
realized that not being perfect is more fun
struggled with the fact that i may never understand or relate to what it feels like to grow up with nothing and with little hope for my future
detached my association with life success from how much money i make
learned to trust more that…everything.will.all.work.out
realized the importance of storytelling
witnessed how ugly, fake and coneiving pepole can be and how this exsist everywhere
witnessed how humble, kind and hospitible people can be
saw this village transform peoples’ lives in a matter of hours, days or weeks {i would highly recommend that everyone spend at least a week in place that is drastically different that what you consider home}
met lifelong friends and was reminded how amazing it is to make new friends as an adult
feel in love with more little kiddos that i can count…adopting is definitely in my future
started to believe that small acts of kindness can drastically change someone’s life
saw that when really want something to happen the universe will conspire to make it happen
now know you don’t have to be good at something to do it
saw several live births {new life truly is one of the most beautiful things}

And the list goes on…

Instead of existing on paper, there are many things that will remain crystal clear in my mind . This is not because they are not suited for public ears but rather because it is hard to explain many of the intricate and intimate observations I have collected.

I will keep these tucked away until I am again reminded of them. I imagine myself in some new foreign place, when I smell the distinct and familiar scent of the village. Or maybe I’ll be greeted by a stranger whose smile and spirit is reminicent of one of my favorite Ugandans. Perceptions overlapping.

I am not leaving a village but rather taking everything and everyone with me, they are now permantily part of my soul and my story.

This interconnecdness is what makes humanity a global family. My story and the story of all who I have been priveldged to meet is something I can’t wait to share this with everyone across the pond.

See you when I see you…

Inkwenda (Love)

Steph

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “28th Birthday – Full moon and full circle in Uganda

  1. I loved your words and your experiences. You return with knowledge and insights that many people never have an opportunity to learn. You will probably never look at people anywhere in the same way again. I have admired your follow-through with what you started and finished. Love you…Laura

    On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 10:39 AM, Africa! Africa! Diaries from a mud hut…

  2. Thanks Laura! Looking forward to seeing how I live back in the first world…lots of things to enjoy again and new challenges! Hopefully the boys and I can head back to Texas soon! I would love nothing more than a relaxing weekend at the Lakehouse! Love you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s