I almost asked Herman to pull over, I felt so sick. I was sitting in the car, on the way to Entebbe airport, and convinced myself it was nerves, but then I thought it was strange that I would have a more nervous stomach on my way home than my way here. Okay, so maybe it was the combination of nerves, Uganda’s TIA roads in all of it’s potholed, polluted, pitch-black glory. I had also consumed about twice the usual amount of food as I would in a normal day in Uganda, thanks to last-day festivities in Kampala and Busega.
But by the time I was waiting to board the airplane, I had changed my mind and was convinced that it was actually malaria. The body aches must not have been just from the strange sleeping positions I’d assumed nightly, and this temperature of sweat just isn’t normal. And, wasn’t there air conditioning in this airport when I got here? Reading my itinerary printed off specially for me at Passport Travel turned out to be not-the-best idea for calming my hypochondria, considering how I traced any slight ill feeling of mine to match any the vague ‘flu-like symptoms’ described for malaria, then moved on to the warning about how putting off treatment is what puts people in life-risking danger. I’ve come all this way and now I’m going to die on a plane or in an airport from a damn mosquito bite.
But the plane was cooler, I got some rest, and now I’m in Brussels, feeling pretty much back to normal. There’s SNOW! I could actually hear Christmas songs now and not feel totally out of place. In Kampala the plastic Christmas trees, foily decorations and advertisements felt like a giant fraud in the midst of the dust cyclones, beating sun and overall heat of the city. But now it feel like I’m back to real life. But then at the same time I feel removed from something I attached myself so closely to, and in such a short time. I’m curious to see what kind of impact my trip will have had on me, but I‘m sure it will be positive in some way or another, to some degree.
I definitely plan on keeping up with Annie and her family, both biological family and the Ttega group which I think is really an extension of her family, as well. Thatt might even be an understatement. People in Uganda will refer to you as their sister, daughter, or whatever family relation they assume is age-appropriate. The entire time I was in Uganda, Freda was endearingly referred to as ‘jaja,’ grandmother. Edith told me I was like a sister to her, and everyone who knew Freda called me their daughter by association. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to privilege of surrounding myself with such a welcoming group of people as a second family, but if I ever do I will consider myself all the more blessed.
As I hear about the happenings of Ttega I will be sure to update. Herman and I set up his own blog which I will post here as well, once it’s up and running and new posts are written. We tried to set up a PayPal account for him also, but unfortunately they won’t even give him the option, regardless of his UK-based Barclay’s bank account. It’s funny that he can set up an account to send payments, but not receive them. I can see how those things frustrate him, how it’s so difficult to tap the right resources just because someone’s living in Uganda. I sense a little skepticism even in wiring money through Western Union, but TIA. It’s kind of no surprise, hearing about all of the internal corruption in the government offices, businesses, even the mail system. Basically, it sucks. It sucks when a person is trying to do something good and there are so many discouraging obstacles. If anyone knows of an alternative for Herman to collect donations from abroad, please do let me know and I will relay that information.
For everyone who’s been reading along while I talk to much about myself, thank you. Thank you for all your support, financial as well as moral, I owe lots of favors from this experience = ) Like I said I’ll continue posting so check in every once in a while, I think there are still plenty more lessons to be learned from the equator.