I was looking out the window at my friend’s house recently. It was an average American neighborhood, really. The road was nicely paved. There were sidewalks lined by the well-kept green grass yards. A squirrel scurried around the yard, looking for food. Children played across the street. A man jogged by. One could barely hear any distinct noises. The air-conditioning in the house was keeping everyone cool on that summer day. The houses had been planned to be there. The neighborhood and the surrounding streets connected. It was well planned out. It was all so…so…American looking.
There is no such comparison to a Ugandan neighborhood. There were no dirt roads. In fact, there was little dirt to be seen. There was no trash littering the ground. There were no walls surrounding each house. There were neither bars on the window that I was looking out nor bars on any doors or windows in the neighborhood. You could not hear the sound of traffic, horns blowing, music blaring, cows mooing, chickens squawking, goats bleating, or taxi conductors yelling. There were no open fires burning trash (which meant no smoke blowing into the house…what a novelty). There was no loud revival/church service/Muslim call to prayer/concert/neighbor parties/any other excuse for a loud speaker to project the event into your living room. The houses weren’t haphazardly put in place.
There are times where it’s hard for me to believe that these two worlds exist on the same planet. They’re so different from each other. It’s hard to explain this to people as there’s no way to fully describe it. Though I can try to put into words what life is like in America to Ugandans but they can’t possibly understand. I try to explain Uganda to Americans and the same problem is there.
I have two homes and both are home to me in different ways.
It kind of makes me feel like a secret agent living a double life. I just need a gun. And Chloe talking into my ear. And Jack Bauer. I need him.
They say that home is where your heart is. It’s true…and my home is a land with dirt roads, livestock running around and the most beautiful people in the world.