Yesterday began the start of a new journey here in Uganda. We dropped off Jenna at the Entebbe airport last night and even then, sitting in our room with her bed being empty and her presence not there, was so strange. I almost felt abandoned, but I knew that I wasn’t. What I am is blessed. No other IMME student received the privilege of another mzungu in their house who has lived with the family and done the best semester program before. I truly am so thankful in my heart. I cried at the airport when parting ways with Jenna. I’ve known this girl for 3 weeks yet our hearts connected during that time. What a great gal. I’m really going to miss her.
So now, I’m alone with my family. Comfortable is a fine word for describing how I feel at home, but since my journey with them began with a roommate and fellow American, a new journey has essentially begun, because, in a good sort of way, I am now alone. This actually excites me! My family loves me and I really love them. Mama Harriet loves on me when I clearly need it, which is essential to my growth and openness here in their home…my home.
Sometimes looking back, even 24 hours into the past, I laugh at the way God works things out for me, when, in the moment, it seems like utter chaos. I had my first serious seizure last night since I have been on African soil. (For those of you who are unaware, I have been epileptic since age 4 and seizures are not uncommon…nor are mine dramatic or dangerous). It occurred right before we were about to take Jenna to the airport. After coming out of it, plans had changed as to who was escorting her and when we were leaving. I was so emotional and started bawling in front of the family. Despite the fact that I cannot control it, I felt so poorly for having seemingly ruined these last sweet moments Jenna had with the family. But Mama was very loving: holding my hand, hugging me, leading me to my bed. Jenna was so caring as well. It didn’t take long for me to feel better, so I decided to escort Jenna with the rest of the family. This moment, though, was a bonding moment. It showed me how much my Mama really cares about me. In a way, it was a reassuring feeling to experience as I parted ways with Jenna.
So we left at 4, which proved to be a problem and I got busted my USP staff. Don’t ask what happen, but Point A led to Point Z with confusion, seizures, tears and emotion all in between. In short, this trip needed to be pre-approved by staff and shifting plans got me in trouble. I fretted all the way to and from the airport. I think it comes down to pride. I simply don’t want to be “that kid” that breaks the rules. I was so sincerely sorry though and it truly was a mistake, so after signing a personal confession disciplinary paper, all was well.
I have to laugh. All through elementary, middle and high school, I never received a detention or got in trouble for anything, and now, as a junior in college, I receive disciplinary action. I’m glad I feel so comfortable with the environment and my family, but I HAVE to remember that here in Uganda, it’s like high school over again…I must inform my USP “parents” where I’m going, with whom and when I will be back, and receive their approval before departing. Mindsets truly must be rearranged here.
So, I’m starting over. I must begin fresh with staff and begin fresh with my family. New training ground has arrived. Right now I’m tip-toeing, but I’m sure I’ll be running all over it in no time.