Tuesday, August 14, 2012
There are different ways to experience good byes. I adhere to a system of good-bye of avoidance and deferment. I emotionally exit well before any departing words are exchanged. I aim for a quick departure with a little lingering and physical contact as possible in hopes to avoid any overwhelming emotions on the spot. I choose to recognize the pains of separation after I have left and safely in the final destination.
In the limbo of “I’m not quite here but I’m not quite there”, I sit in Tennessee with my watch still set to Uganda time and trying to pass a shilling off as a quarter at the local breakfast joint. (I almost got a way with it.)
As family drill me on my trip the questions I still have circle distractingly through my head. I’m frustrated that upon leaving I have more questions than when I arrived. Maybe the most daunting question that I keep asking myself is what I learned. The obvious answer that I respond with is the history and dynamics of Northern Uganda; however, I am still trudging through the emotional baggage that I returned with. This adventure has taught me about the nature of people and myself. Rehashing events and experiences looking for clues the most memorable moments also invoke the most emotion. The day before we left Grace handed me an object in an Achumi bag saying the gift was not for me, but my mother. I was sent with the gift and a message, “tell your mama that I love her and thank her for giving me you”. Potentially the kindest words every spoken to me came from a humble young women I had known for only a few weeks.