So often, we fear the unknown. As much as I was bursting with insane excitement to come back to Uganda, I also had some fear (see previous post for what God has been teaching me on that subject). I feared that perhaps I had adjusted too much to America and would have difficulty adjusting back to Ugandan life.
It’s been overwhelmingly beautiful to realize how unfounded those fears were. I landed in Uganda very early Wednesday morning and spent my first day getting essentials (food, internet, phone) as well as reuniting with dear friends. Honestly, it felt like I had been gone no longer than a day. It was all like I had never left.
Well, that was until I saw my kids again.
On Thursday, my friend texted me to come to the Hope Alive! office because another dear friend was there. I just thought that it would be her that I was seeing. Though it was wonderful to see her, I didn’t realize that being there meant that I would see so many others. It was one surprise after another; one squealing shrieking excited reuniting hug after another. Some reunions were especially emotional for me. How do I even put these feelings into words? The immense joy of seeing loved ones again. The recognition of the loss of not being around each other for so long mixed with the joy of being together once again.
You know those running hug reunions? That was my Saturday. I went to Hope Alive!’s Saturday Club and as I was walking up, about 20 kids came sprinting from a classroom and within seconds, I was engulfed in 20 little hugs. Or, not so little anymore. And that was when I realized that truly, I had been gone longer than a day. Though I was only gone for one year, the kids had grown like I had been gone for 5 years. I could not get over how much each of them had grown up! Many were now either close to my height or taller. Clearly, it doesn’t take a lot to be taller than me but…my kids! Taller than me! Unreal. I felt like a proud mother seeing them so grown; oohing and aahing over them.
I’ve been back for slightly over a week and it has been a crazy time. It’s been full of those reunions but also full of details. Coming back to Uganda and preparing to stay long term means a lot of work. I’m laying a foundation for the rest of my life here. That’s no small task. I’m currently in the town of Masaka preparing for when I’ll return for language study (also reuniting with dear loved ones here). When I return, my new-to-me to car will hopefully be sitting in front of my house and the downstairs will be painted. I’ve been working at getting settled into my house, which will only get crazier when my container arrives. I’m really looking forward to at last being settled. After a year of exhausting travel and not staying in one place, I am anxious to make a home here.
Until then, there are many more reunions to be had and a thousand more details to be done. Gosh, it’s just so great to be home.