Thanks so much to the people who've already helped out with the fundraising for the Bunabuyoka medical clinic, school roof and water filters for the Namatala slum. We're still trying to raise the funds needed for all three projects but the whole team expresses gratitude and amazement toward all those who've contributed. It really means a lot to us.
Things have been really good here. I went up to Bunabuyoka Monday and Tuesday last week. It was an incredible, incredible place! I have pictures and videos that I'd love to post to show you but...they'll have to wait for another day. The location of this place is mind-blowingly beautiful. It seems like it must be another planet or something because it's so green and I find myself blinking repeatedly because I'm sure my eyes must be deceiving me. I'll have to post pictures. It's unreal!
Downside: I experienced my first squatter toilet while I was there---which wouldn't have bothered me if I wasn't violently sick. haha I don't know if it was the food or what but my body revolted. It was funny because of course I'd get super sick when my digestion center is a hole in the ground the size of a video casette. Hilarious. I got a lot of practice and now feel well-versed in a skill that I...will not be putting on my resume. I felt oddly proud, however, being that not high maintenance. haha
The next morning I was still feeling sick so instead of staying another day we had a couple hour hike out of the village. Then we had an hour bus ride in ...not cold weather. So I was getting increasingly hot and nauseous during the taxi home. My whole body was feverish and I was certainly I'd throw up at any moment. Listening to the sounds of the other volunteers voices was nice. It distracted me and I felt like I didn't have to address it. When we got home, the country director was informed that I wasn't feeling well and just said, "What's wrong?" And...if you know anything about me, when I'm in a stressful situation, just show any concern for my well being at all and I'll cry. haha It's awkward but kind of hilarious. I didn't know what was wrong with me but my body felt like it was on fire, I was kinda loopy and just felt horrible. Thankfully, a cold shower was just the ticket, followed by some meds and sleep. My fever was only 101 and one of the country directors thought it was malaria. haha It wasn't. I'm fine. I was tired for a few days but the first day was the only one that I was actually a mess.
Things have been going well though. Today we had a 2.5 hour drive in either direction to district conference. For some reason it was a very pensive day for me. Thinking about how I got here, what I'm doing here, and where I'll be when I go home.
Just the other day I was looking through some facebook pics and kind of laughed at how differently I look here. haha My hair was in place....ish, I wore pencil skirts, funky tights and ballet flats. Now my hair is dancing around in all directions, make up is for a special occasion and skinny jeans are not plausible. haha
It's just crazy that I live in Africa. I just never would have thought I'd be THAT girl to live in a third world country. Not that I ever thought I was high maintenance or anything but...this is wild! haha I love every second. I love the volunteers and the people of Uganda. But sometimes I'm riding into town on a boda or hiking into a village or walking home at night and just wonder how I got here. Trying to retrace all of the little paths that somehow got me to where I am. I then can't help but wonder where I'll be in 5 years...or even 5 months. I just try to take in the moments--wherever I am, however I'm feeling, whatever the hour and just appreciate the opportunity to experience it--any of it! Even when I was sick, it was funny. Funny that I was living in a little village in the most green lush place I'd ever seen. Just happy to be there--in any condition.
Sitting outside our house after dinner, talking with our guard David, I noticed how lovely the African sky is. No, it's not the bright, vibrant Italian sunrises and sunsets--those took my breath away everyday. But the sky here was beautiful to me. It was a dark grey, but the trees were so distinctly black in front of them, they seemed like paper cut outs or something. And the moon seems small, but it lights the night. It feels peaceful, it feels good.
Yesterday was Ryan's birthday. Rebecca made him felafel and I made him pineapple upside down cake on a stove. It was an experiment...that went very well. It was delicious and I was oddly proud of the fact that I cooked a cake on a stove. You do what you've gotta do without an oven. :) The whole HELP team is in Jinja for the weekend rafting the Nile. So Rebecca, Holly, Ryan, Jenny, David and I sat around the table eating dinner and dessert just enjoying the evening. It felt like we were at a college dorm or something. It felt cozy. Like we were all just hanging out celebrating a friends birthday.
I just love taking everything in. I'm fascinated that I'm here-doing this. I love it. I'm happy. It's right. But I can't help but wonder what tomorrow will hold. Who will I meet? What will I learn from them? What about the day is going to be hilarious? I can't wait to live tomorrow but I'm always so thankful for today. For the little details that distinguished it from all the others. It wasn't perfect, but even its imperfections were beautiful and made today unique. I want to always go to bed saying "I loved today." "I loved this day." Yes, there are things to look forward to, lots to do, lots to anticipate, but I want to love today. This moment. Here and now. I wasn't intentionally trying to quote a Mika song but I don't regret it. That darling brit with sleek skinny ties deserves to be quoted I feel. :) Anywho, this post was random and I'll post pics and vids next time. But I just wanted to write down some random thoughts that have been dancing around in my head lately. I love you all very much.