thoughts in my head: a time for leaving.

It is no longer possible for me to avoid stating the obvious: my time in Uganda is drawing to an end. According to the countdown widget on my Mac, I have precisely 3 days, 10 hours, and 46 minutes until my plane takes off from Entebbe International Airport, commencing the twenty-four-hours-plus journey back to the states.

Clearly, as I have avoided blogging about my departure, I have some mixed emotions about leaving. This summer has been profoundly awakening and incredibly difficult; I don’t want to leave Uganda, but concurrently I am seriously craving an enormous, greeny salad and to have time to cuddle with my kittens and share space and love with my family. And, as I may have mentioned, this is my first summer away from my college friends. While emails and facebook messages make me abundantly grateful for the internet (no matter the speed), I have really been homesick for Mount Holyoke and all the wonderful, wonderful women I feel I’ve known for a lifetime already.

So, I have hot showers and Elmo’s Diner Greek Grilled Cheese with Chicken sandwiches and skype and riding my bike to the movie theatre to look forward to. But I also will be missing chappati cooking lessons with Rhoda, taking boda-bodas to craft markets and eating delicious cuisines of all kind. I will no longer wake up every day to see the gorgeous, boundless Ugandan sky, no more basin baths or mosquito nets or cups of tea shared with the Sisters or Bishop. Time will shift; appointments will be kept to the minute, meals held earlier in the day, and the Slowness and steeping of moments like strong tea will begin to dissipate as I hurry to buy textbooks and pack up my postcard collection, scurrying to ready myself for a new semester.

It’s a bricolage of senses, of moments, of feelings. Having time and space to be alone will be most welcome; a spell for thinking and processing (and let’s be real, editing the hours upon hours of footage I’ve taken) will be healthy and renewing. Transitioning is not going to be easy. I wrote here, long ago, that my biggest fear for this summer was not contracting some horrendous tropical disease (been there, done that…sort of), bodily harm, or being homesick. My greatest fear was feeling like a stranger in my own skin upon my return to the US. Being so changed, so molded and formed I no longer fit anywhere- a child of two homes, two hearts. Forgive my clichés, but the worry is still knotted, contracting and pulling and I’m doing my best to quell, to que sera, to c’est la vie.

A friend and mentor of mine, a woman who knows more intimately than I the difficulty of living in two places in your heart, once gave me some very practical advice pertaining to traveling in Uganda: put yourself in the hands of someone you trust, and let go of your own agenda. They will take you where you need to be, when you need to be there.

As in many gifts given so freely to me here, this piece of wisdom is one I treasure. It is applicable beyond the realm of the pragmatic, and in this vein I can only hope and pray that in my letting go all will be okay- lost at sea or up in the clouds, wherever the road my lead.

current jam: ‘turn, turn, turn’ the byrds

best thing in my life right now: chappati lessons! rhoda has been teaching me, and as i video’d the whole thing (like you’re surprised!) i am fairly certain i shall be able to make a decent ugandan chappati once back in the states! a taste of home at home.

fantas: 20

2 thoughts on “thoughts in my head: a time for leaving.

  1. Nancy Hawthorne says:

    I think we were connected through Mary Day Saou or Audrey Warren on Facebook and somehow we are friends, and somehow I found my way to your blog, and some how I am seated at my computer with tears rolling down my face reading your thoughtful reflection and realizing that the Holy Spirit wrote them also for me to read. I left Uganda Saturday after spending 7 weeks with United Methodist Women’s development projects mostly in the Busoga and Buganda regions.

    I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be ‘home.’ Feeling at home with many in Uganda and feeling at home with my friends and family here. For me home is not only where people know my name, but also it is where I find my truest self. I feel like you are “so molded and formed” that you were never born to fit anywhere — you were born to stand out. Now, you must forgive my clichés.

    I am proud to be your sister! (When I was with one of my Ugandan friends and he saw another white woman he would say, “There’s your sister.”) I am also thankful that you too have Uganda streaming in your veins and through your heart — Safe journey and nice time.

    • Lizzie McMizzie says:

      Nancy, thank you so very much for your beautiful words. Reading comments like yours are precisely why I started a blog in the first place- and even more deeply it is so comforting and reaffirming and so, so GOOD to know my sister profoundly understands the struggles and joys I am facing! Thank you for sharing, thank you for somehow finding me! I treasure your every word! May God bless you and keep you.

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