Well, Americas – it’s been a wildly wonderful couple of months.
From Uganda to Edmonton, Canada to Comitancillo, Guatemala to Nicaragua – back to Edmonton, up to the frozen valley of Peace River, Edmonton and all things Edmonton, again, over to Canada’s warmer coastline to the west, Victoria to Tofino to Salt Spring Island, then leaving my motherland by water to Seattle…and finally…here I am.
Back at another airport, typing out what I know will be my last post soaking up a fabulous internet and power connection. I’ve got roughly four bag’s worth of clothes and books and camping gear and electronics to my name (four?!, I know, but after thirteen months of living in Uganda the first go-around, I’m far less frugal than before).
I guess I’m all set. I suppose I’m ready to go…
A lovely new friend in Seattle asked me just last night: “What will you miss the most?”
Loved ones. It’s always the same answer.
Sure, I’m already missing taking hot showers and the relative ease of doing dishes, laundry, clothes and “cleaning” house. I’m already frustrated with poor internet connection and power outages. I’m craving what I know I won’t eat and drink for some time – pastries and sushi and Americanos.
But certainly – it was all the wonderful people with whom I shared the last couple of months. Friends who picked me up at the airports, a number of times and prepared their guest rooms for me and all my luggage. My parents, who really are the greatest parents in the world, with whom I spent two fabulous weeks in a very cold small town in Canada’s north (and then a few days on a mama-daughter getaway in Tofino, BC). All the best friends in Peace River, Edmonton, and BC with whom I spent so many hours visiting, sharing, laughing and catching-up on life’s adventures. And for those loved ones I didn’t get a chance to see – know you’re on my mind, in my heart…until next time!
I am grateful for my family and friends, for all the love, support, kindness and encouragement.
I am excited for the year ahead in Uganda. I have an incredible community of family and friends and colleagues and contacts with whom I can’t wait to see again. Two months away from Uganda has felt like two years. I’m rejuvenated for the work – can’t wait to launch the Child Family Health Program with KIHEFO next month. To continue listening to and documenting truly inspiring stories from community members and health/social frontline workers and, of course, women farmers.
To grow food! And hopefully, lots of it. It’s my goal to grow exclusively, alongside my Omusiri-loving colleagues, for KIHEFO’s Nutrition and Rehabilitation Centre. And my rabbits, yup, now there are twenty-some of ’em!
A lot of great work and humbling learning experiences await. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty again, to work under the shade of plantain trees, to watch grey herons hunt for worms and other little critters in my garden, to plant seeds (from all over the Americas) and see how they grow on Africa’s soils. To adapt to a much slower pace of life…
And then, I have this incredible book to write. Sitting here in Seattle’s airport, I can’t tell you how rich I feel on story right now. I’ve just wrapped up research in four different countries – Uganda, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Western Canada. I’ve recorded conversations and interviews and interactions and farm-tours with over 80-some women! I can’t wait to get back to Uganda and start the real writing process.
The journey back to the Americas has been more satisfying and inspiring and wonderful than I could have anticipated. The socioeconomic and political privileges I have that enable me to move across borders, cross oceans and work in places that are not truly my own – I will forever acknowledge and feel grateful for.
While these life choices haven’t brought forth any kind of real financial security – I feel rich from the people who have supported, taught and challenged me in so many ways and especially those who have shared with me their stories. I feel rich on what I have learned about life and more than anything, myself.
Blessed journey it’s been and blessed journeys to come.