How is it going in Uganda?
I have been trying to come up with words to describe my first month here. I can think of lots of words, actually, but the one word that keeps coming to mind doesn’t seem like enough to satisfy people when they ask.
How has it been, this new beginning in Uganda?
It’s been…well, good!
My naturally introspective soul has paused occasionally these past few weeks, reflecting and wondering. Shouldn’t I be feeling…more? Shouldn’t I have had a thrilling mountaintop experience by now, or maybe a night of crushing loneliness? That’s how my big transitions have usually gone in the past, whether it was moving somewhere new or coming back to States. Is it okay to feel this okay?
I don’t know if my heart is just settling down as I get older, or if it’s from so many years of preparing for this move, but since I’ve been here I’ve pretty much just felt…content. Moving in with my sister and her new husband Collins, jumping right into work with Petros Zoe Initiative, it has all just felt right. And that has been really lovely.
There are definite benefits to moving to a place where Erin has lived for three years already. It has saved me a lot of heartache and embarrassment from making silly mistakes. It has provided me with a built-in community that was ready to welcome me with open arms. And the hard work that she and Hannah have done these past couple of years to build up Petros Zoe has paved the way for the foster care program we are now working to create.
This “safety net” has come with greater expectations, however. Instead of using my time to settle in slowly and figure out things like where the grocery store is, I had to hit the ground running to keep up with everything happening here. I’ve already started going to meetings by myself and volunteering at church activities, not really because I felt ready, but because there wasn’t really another option. Life here is pushing me harder than I would normally push myself. I thought that I would start to feel overwhelmed or exhausted, and though there have been moments, I’ve been surprised to see that my mind and heart have adjusted pretty fast.
Here are some fun things that have happened in my first month in Mukono:
-My sister got married! Having a front row seat to Erin and Collins’ first weeks of marriage has been a strange privilege, but I think I can confidently say that we are great roommates.
-I joined a missional community (like a small group) through my church! I am learning how MCs work, so that I can hopefully start my own for foster parents one day. And I’m meeting new friends, which has been fun.
There have been some not-so-fun things too, if I’m being honest:
-I miss speaking Spanish every day. But more than that, I miss the ability to understand everything people were saying around me and to me. I didn’t realize how much I took my knowledge of Spanish for granted these past few years. I know I won’t be satisfied until I can communicate in Luganda, so wish me luck as I begin studying.
-Even though I feel like I’m adjusting quickly, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m the “New Girl” in town. I want to know everyone’s name, and not have to be introduced in every group I find myself in. I want to be able to navigate all of the city streets without getting turned around, and to not think so hard about the exchange rate before I decide which loaf of bread to buy. There are so many things I want to know already, but there is no substitute for time. I have to be patient, and be content with the fact that every day brings me closer to being just another girl in town.
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me or sent me an encouraging message. I know that is the main reason why this transition has been so easy. Until next time!