Sunday, January 9, 2011

I promised I'd be back! Here's a few updates:

I continued feeling ill and ended up going to urgent care in my hometown the day after Christmas. For some reason my blood pressure was alarmingly low and the nurse wanted to send me to a hospital. But it got a little better and the nice Indian doctor took some blood and put me on extra malaria medication, assuming that's what I had. As my condition improved over the 4-day treatment of pills, I was also convinced that I had had malaria, but a more mild case of it since I had taken my antimalarial pills as instructed for the previous 2 months. Anyway, after I had finished that medication I received a phone call saying the tests were negative. So what it was that I actually had remains a mystery. I'm just glad it's over. And while it was kind of crappy timing since I didn't enjoy my time at home as much as I would've liked, it was nice being there since my family took care of me and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. I did get very cabin-feverish and bored, though. Tyler came down to keep me company for the last couple of days, which helped.

I got some sad news on Christmas morning. The girl I had written about named Lucy was involved in an accident. She was hit by a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) and passed away. I usually try to find the bright side to any bad news but sometimes you'll come across a story and the silver lining is too distant and blurred to really make out. As I mentioned before, I have very little experience with death, and having this occasion involving an innocent little girl makes it that much harder.
I am curious, and more anxious, to hear what kind of condition the kids are in once they return to school next month. Please keep those children in your thoughts/prayers, and I will ask about them.

I also need to ask Freda about the older sister who was taken up north last month. Freda left Uganda yesterday, and I bet it was one of the hardest departures that Herman and Annie have had to say to any of their volunteers. Freda was really a gift to them, and they were able to enjoy each other's company for three months, which is much longer than the average visit.

I really miss Uganda. I miss the kids and the people I worked with, the weather, the sense of community, and people's attitudes. I miss the laid back sense of time that everyone had. I miss being around people who didn't have much but were still content and thankful for what they did have. In my first day back to classes, 3 of my 4 professors complained about their classrooms, basically about how 'ancient' or 'disgusting' they were, because although the rooms were all clean, the desks were uncomfortable and the projector screen wasn't big enough, etc etc. I thought back and remembered how excited the Lungujja girls would be to take spelling tests leaning over their knees, writing on the concrete floor. People's standards, expectations, comments, everything is in perspective; and I'm so thankful for mine.