Comfortable in my own skin

3 September, 2012

I am the minority in every sense of the word. In our car ride back from Rwanda yesterday, all the IMME students were riding in the same van. Turning around in the car, I realized every single IMME student has blue or green eyes except for myself. 1 out of 8 has brown eyes. What are the chances? But that messed up ratio flew out the window today when we came onto campus and thousands of students flooded the campus. Attending the dining hall was an experience. It is so very easy to spot a USP students out of the bunch. We literally stick out like a sore thumb, or rather, a color-deprived human. It’s interesting.

I really want to become comfortable walking around campus and down the streets to and from home, but it’s hard to be sure. It’s clear I don’t belong on the soil I’m treading. I am stared at, to say the least. I’m sure in due time, campus life will become a bit less staring and more eye contact and conversation, but even then, I will never be able to fully blend in here. What a concept. 

It’s bizarre being on this campus. I feel like a freshman at a massive UC back home. My life normally exists on a baby campus where you know almost every face and greet one another in passing. There is no way on earth that could be the case here at UCU. It doesn’t exactly help us USP’s to blend in.

Moving on, though, I am currently looking into being in the choir/chapel worship team. Hope, one of the UCU honors students who attended the Rwanda trip with us, helps lead it and is quite insistent upon me joining. I would absolutely love to, especially if it helped integrate me into campus life more. However, the IMME program was not designed for students to be involved in extracurricular activities and practice would be at 8pm on campus. I am hoping to talk Rachel (our IMME program director) into it, but we’ll see.

Today was the first day of classes. There are no Ugandan students in any of my classes. This disappoints me. However, I do have Ugandan professors for my Ugandan Religions and African Lit classes. The classes are small, which I like. They should be good.
Tomorrow is the first day of campus chapel; we’ll see how that goes.

Life at my homestay is going well. Two more weeks with Jenna, my temporary roommate from America, then I’m on my own. My brothers are off to their boarding school, so it’s going to be just Mama, myself, her grown daughter Jennifer and Jennifer’s 12 year old son Mark, for awhile. I’m adjusting to bucket baths, the food, the timing and simply being. And aside from the demon-possessed dogs that sound like they’re tearing up another animal right outside by window almost every night at 3 am, I am sleeping well. No bug bites yet either!

I guess I’m getting comfortable in my own skin. Every pun intended. It’s going to be a process, though…a long process.

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