As I begin my last week in Africa this year, I find myself bouncing around like a pinball; bouncing from sad to happy, from wanting to get back and see everyone to not wanting to leave my friends here. I feel like I was just beginning to get a handle on things here and now it’s time to prepare to leave.
As I think about coming back to the US, I wonder how I’ll fit back in there, or if I’ll even be able to fit back in. I’ve been gone almost 5 months and everybody’s lives have gone on; the kids have grown, the young teenagers are becoming young adults, some will be getting ready for college, and all of this has happened without me being around. Then I think about those I’ve met here and wonder how much they will grow up and change before I get back. I wonder when I will get back to Mbale since I don’t know if I will be coming back here or going somewhere else in 2014.
I’ve learned a lot! Some of it I’m still trying to figure out. I’m not always sure what I’ve learned even. Africa is so different than America that I wonder if I’ll ever understand Africa. Then I wonder if I’m even supposed to understand Africa and even if that’s possible. The needs here are so great that it’s a struggle to know what to do. Being an American, the first thing I want to do is try and provide funds to help out but that seems to be a trap. They are so in need of funds yet funds don’t seem to be the answer. So I’m left wondering, “What is the answer?” and “How do I fit into that answer?”