So I know I’ve, seemingly, fallen off the face of the internet earth. A combination of travelling almost nonstop for nearly three weeks and meeting my match in my first tropical disease have rendered me both (mostly) internet-less and incapacitated.
But I’m back! And want to thank all of you who emailed, facebook’d, or otherwise contacted me to see if I was okay. It means so much!
To make a lengthy tale one of brevity: We delayed our time in Gulu for a slew of reasons, chief among them that we love the Sisters and crew, and we managed to score a ride down to Kampala (a surprising but delightful addition to our journey tramping across the nation). In between getting back from Juba and leaving for Kampala, I contracted a pretty serious bacterial infection. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but needless to say it has been a long while since I have been this ill. It was most certainly bound to happen sooner or later traveling here, and I confess I was most grateful to be at the Sisters with access to their free clinic (and most especially their abundant, loving care). Currently I’m not 100% better, but certainly more functional. I imagine it will be some time before I’m back to full-let’s-go-get-‘em!-Lizzie, but I continually remind myself how lucky I am to have access to antibiotics and time to rest.
At any rate, we’re now back in Kotido for a spell before tearing off again to traverse the continent (well, country).
But that’s not what I really want to talk about today; what I really want to share is why we, rather spontaneously, went to Kampala for two days.
We journeyed to Kampala because tucked into the Oasis mall is a movie theatre.
And in that movie theatre was the one and only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
No twelve-hour drive or bacterial colony abiding in my gut can stop me from seeing Harry Potter. Told you I was a freak.
And let me tell you, friends, it was beautiful and perfect and so, so sad. I am not one who easily cries at films or television (the exception being any emotional scene with Kurt or Blaine on Glee). I think, in my entire life, I have actually shed tears during five movies.
This time, I wept almost the entire film through.
I won’t post any spoilers, but I will say that I fully believe that the two Deathly Hallows films are the absolute best. It’s no secret that I’ve found most of the films thus far to be sub-par, btu to be fair: these books are (obviously) important to me, So if it wasn’t exactly how I pictured it, or if the directorial decisions made didn’t make sense to me, than of course the films were not going to live up to my very high expectations.
But with the Deathly Hallows films for the first time with the movies, every addition or cut from the original story made sense to me. The acting was superb, the costumes and scenes often exactly how I pictured them in the books, and I felt it was a beautiful conclusion to the cinematic rendering of the story.
As we were making our way down to the city, it occurred to me that this time four years ago, the seventh book proper had been released. Reading it was, if you can believe it, even more emotional for me than watching the film. The books, after all, were always the most important to me. In so many ways, Harry Potter is my childhood. And that summer, 2007, was an enormous growing summer for me.
For the summer of 2007 was when I first came to Africa, and the first time I felt an enormous awakening in my soul. If one can manifest a time when childhood ends and adolescence really begins, that summer was it for me. Half of it was Africa, half was Potter. Judge all you like, these books matter to me.
So in a strange way, my adolescence is coming full circle this summer. I have finally made it back to Uganda- and experienced a helluva lot more growing pains. Traveling internationally by myself, being with adults almost exclusively, dealing with a serious illness away from my caretaking mom- these, among so many, have been big places of painful personal growth. And then, the last film of Harry Potter came out. While I couldn’t go to a midnight release in full regalia, munching on Chocolate Frogs with my fellow Potterheads as we grew more and more anxiousexcitedsadthrilled as midnight approached, in a way that was part of my emerging into adulthood. In much the same way that the summer I turned fifteen made me feel more like a teenager, this summer as I am approaching my nineteenth birthday, I feel like I’m growing into more of an adult.
When we were actually in the theatre, I sat alone in a row near the back. It wasn’t very crowded, so it was plausible enough. My reasoning was two-fold: firstly because I cannot stand it when people talk during films and did not want to be distracted by chatter, and secondly (and more importantly), because Harry Potter has always been, first and foremost, intensely personal for me. While watching the last film I wanted nothing but me and the movie.
Which is, in a strange way, perfect. As much as the Harry Potter culture of wizard rock, conventions, vlogs, and fandom is a part of my adoration for it, at the end of the day I started to read the books when I was six before all of that was truly born. So as I started my psychotic voyage down to obsessive-borderline-crazy-love for the Boy Who Lived alone, so the journey came to an end.
But let’s be real. It’s never over for us.
— current jam: ‘open at the close’ oliver boyd & the remembralls
best thing in my life right now: antibiotics!
fantas: i’ve lost count, but i think 15? let’s say fifteen.
PAGES READ: 12! yep, ladies and gents, thanks to one delightful gann i have acquired the FULL TEXT of tolstoy’s classic! since i have been ill and on the road i have yet to read much, but there. it’s under way!