there and back again, or a wanderer’s tale

I apologize for the double-posting today; yesterday the internet failed me.

My fatigue was due largely in part to the twelve hours (or so) spent driving to and from Lira in the span of forty-eight hours. The drive is, as I may have mentioned, rather brutal, but the country we drive through is incredible. Uganda is a nation of beauty that cannot be overstated; the diversity in the landscapes across the country speak to the diversity of its peoples and complexity of its wild and wondrous splendor. So while I’m still nursing bruises from the rough caravanning through trenches of mud and piles of dirt I cannot help but be marveled by all that surrounds me.

And driving anywhere south of Kotido requires one to pass through the most beautiful place in this enormous planet: Abim. Journeying through Abim is an experience I cannot manifest into words or phrases or photographs- the expanse of the boundless sky, the fields upon fields of sunflowers entrenched in the valleys between such magnificent mountains cast a kind of spell over this nook of the world. Abim is not even listed on many of the maps of Uganda, the hills only a small fraction of the landscape, yet I would never want this corner to be packaged up and sold for a fee to every cargo-pants clad tourist come to Uganda for a servacation.

And the other four hours of the journey are certainly not lacking in captivating mystery and loveliness. The trees, the small pools of water, the streams, the fields, the wildflowers; all seem to have sprung straight out of a Van Gogh painting, but with the weight of an ancient, transcendent time that has endured for millennia. In so many ways the scathing of colonialism’s scars stretch wide across this country, but in a strange but beautiful juxtaposition the resistance and ability to hold tight to belief and hope of the Ugandan people gives such resilient vibrancy to all that I have encountered in the Pearl of Africa.

But my favorite part of the drive is undoubtedly in Abim when one passes the mountain, Rwot. I’ve mentioned before this mound of earth is believed to posses remarkable powers, and is incredibly sacred to its community. When in its presence, it is not difficult to see why. Its alone-ness amongst the multiple-peaked hills already gives it a stark majesty, and in the knowledge of its hallowed properties the magnificence deepens.

So, all in all, the road trip is really an essential journey within the Journey I have embarked upon. And Lira itself was blessedly (mostly) mosquito-bite free and full of delicious food (salami sandwiches in particular). Perhaps the best part of Lira-proper was the HOT shower. I might have mentioned the shower here is, well, like diving stark naked into the Antarctica Ocean. Thus the hot water with an excellent, pressurized showerhead was like finding an oasis in the desert.

Anyways, the prompt for today is to depict a photograph of what I’m currently reading. Therefore, I present to you:

The Four Books Currently Being Consumed by Lizzie

The top of the stack is what I intend to read next, but by the time this is posted I’ll probably have commenced. It is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, a loan from housemate because she now knows that Stardust is one of my favorite films, which is based on Gaiman’s book of the same name. I’m eager to begin!

Beneath is, of course, my favorite Harry Potter book: Order of the Phoenix. While I may be cut off from most of the HP excitement ongoing in Canada, the UK, and USA (etc) I’m still participating in my own small way!

Under Order is a book loaned to me by a friend entitled The Red Book. It’s interesting, if not a little campy to read. Sera Beak, the author, definitely has her own unique voice (which I really appreciate) and the book seems to be an intro-to-Hinduism-for-the-modern-Woman. It’s most certainly educational, and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading it in the context of seeking my Great Perhaps.

At the bottom of the pile but at the top of my reading list is The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today by Charles Marsh. This book is easily one of the best and most informative Civil Rights/nonviolence academic pieces of literature I have yet encountered. Marsh is brilliant, his writing poised and perfect, and most essentially I find myself copying down entire passages from these pages to meditate further upon.

So life is good, back in Kotido. May we all live happily, to the end of our days!

current jam: “your easy lovin’ ain’t pleasin’ nothin’” mayor hawthorne

best thing in my life right now: the rain

fantas consumed: 9

last film: still everything is illuminated

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