On the Road Again…or Is This A Rollercoaster?

Leaving Uganda is more bittersweet than ever this time around.

I have been homesick for weeks and really wanting to be with my wife again. She’s three months pregnant with our first child, and I absolutely cannot wait to see her, share this joyful anticipation, go to appointments and classes, and prepare our home for a new addition to our family. It has been nothing short of heartbreaking to be so far away during the early part of this time, but I must say that she has been an absolute star. She has made every effort to include me in everything that’s going on despite the distance. With everything that has transpired in the last couple of weeks in Uganda, this is the face that keeps me striving homeward bound:

Jenn at Cape San Blas last July

It is depressing to know that when we return to this beach, it will soon be ruined by tar balls and other oil damage. I remember when we could stand up to our chins in the water and still see our toes. We have great memories of this and so many other places along the Gulf Coast. The spill will put a damper on the heart of beach season and far beyond, but our stolen liesure remains insignificant in the face of the enormous environmental, economic, and emotional devastation all across the Gulf Coast.

Although this can never detract from the excitement of a return home, I am also leaving a place I love and people who have become my dear friends, hosts, and adoptive family in Uganda. So many amazing events and happy times filled this research stint. We broke bread, danced together, and said goodbye to friends at Backpackers’ Hostel, my half-time campy home over the last six months:

Me with Marco, Boda Concierge Extraordinaire

We met new family members and blessed them to take our Ffumbe sisters into new homes:

Christine Zawedde introduces her soon-to-be husband to her family

We marked these occasions, identifying with drum and song who we are and where we have come from:

Me, playing the mubala (slogan) of Ffumbe clan

We saw beautiful places together and learned of their significance to locals:

Ssezibwa Falls from the bottom and the top

We refreshed our bodies and souls in the natural beauty of Uganda.

Ssematimba and me cooling  off in the Ssezibwa River

I have many stories to tell since I last posted, and those will come as I gather my notes, photographs, and recollections of this place. For now, this montage only scratches the surface of a deep and soulful journey that, like all others, must now come to an end. The return home is always a happy thing, particularly as I am returning to the excitement of new life and the promise of more interesting changes to come. So I know it will be a long time before I can return to Uganda, but I must say goodbye for now, fair friend.

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