That which I’ve come to enjoy:
-A dirt path stretched under foot as I run past cattle being herded and hut roof being thatched.
-A cucumber from the garden after a run
-The ever present sound of Ugandans laughing
-Schoolboys in bright pink school uniforms
-The old moozay who sweeps my compound, speaks no English, but is always willing to sit with me for a while.
-An afternoon rainstorm on a tin roof.
-Electricity and running water.
-The lady who recognizes me in the market and sells me good tomatoes
-Seeing quadruple the amount of stars I thought were in the sky, and wondering if this is the same sky Abraham, Moses, and David watched.
-That strapping 30 chickens to the handlebars of your bicycle is perfectly acceptable.
-That I never see anyone wearing a Detroit Pistons t-shirt.
-The knowledge that people can live hard lives and still be happy.
-An encouraging word, from someone who goes out of their way to give it.
-Watching little kids jump up and down as they pump water from the well.
-Having no clue what Im doing, but struggling to do it well.
That which I’ve come to detest:
-Those who lack empathy and do not seek understanding, myself included.
-The smell of a hut foor that has just been smeared with cow manure
-Alcohol distilled from maize.
-Adults who attempt to make their peers laugh by running with the white guy whom they don’t understand, because it’s easier to make fun than to care.
-The word, “munu”
-Sweating in bed.
-Feeling as if you’re always the butt of jokes.
-Having no privacy.
-Not being able to watch the Lord of the Rings marathon at Christmas time.
-Questioning whether relationships are genuine.
-Not having school mascots.
-Going an entire year without hearing someone say, “Boiler Up.”
-Not being able to hug the people I love.
-Never seeing anyone sport a really good mohawk.
-Knowing God is near, and yet missing Him completely.
I got a cat. I’ve never been a cat person, and honestly, I don’t know why I got a cat. The other day, I literally had to save Gammoudi from a tree. As if I were both an old lady and a fireman, I struggled to get him down from a branch 20 feet up at midnight. It’s been all right though. Actually, right now I have two cats as I’m taking care of my friend Mike’s cat, Tiara, as well. They’ve taken over one room of my house, they eat eggs like that Japanese guy eats hotdogs, and Im able to converse with them about as well as I was able to converse with girls in the fifth grade, which means there’s not a lot of verbal communication back and forth between us. But, I like them, Im grateful for them, and if I can train Gammoudi to cook his own eggs and wash my dishes, we’ll be in business.
A few weeks ago, I got into a big argument with the administration at my school. I had been training with about 10 of the students to run a 5k race that one of my colleagues was hosting at a nearby school. The girls were running nearly every day with me (yes, I sprinted past them at the end), worked hard, and then at the last minute, the school told me they would not pay to transport the girls the 40 kilometers to the race. I was VERY upset. I said some things I probably shouldn’t have, and some things were said about me. I don’t know why I mention this, except to say that… it’s really hard to forgive sometimes. I know that I should, but I just… can’t. I feel like this probably isn’t an unusual circumstance by any means – getting into a disagreement with one’s superiors. I just don’t know why its so hard to do what I know I should, which is let go. As far as the race, the girls didn’t go, but they were able to get t-shirts from the race, so they were about as happy as could be. I guess it all worked out. Plus, I got to absolutely dominate some girls on our 2-mile runs, so I got that little confidence booster as well. Ha!
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