on a run in entebbe

25 Sep
just about every morning here i go on a run while the sun is rising. we try to leave before the sunrise because, like many places where electricity isn’t the area’s strong suit, the roads are empty and life is peaceful in the dark. less boda-bodas (a type of motorbike that is the primary method of transportation) to dodge, people to run around and wave to, and occasional old cars to run off the road to avoid (there aren’t road signs/speed limits here, so things can get pretty precarious). 

about 70% of the roads we run on are red dirt roads. dirt roads with cattle, goats, sheet, roosters, turkeys and camels (yes, camels) grazing on/alongside the roads. always an adventure! i try my very best to follow the road naming nomenclature, but it’s not the easiest feat when roads don’t intersect in the neat tidy line based city planning scheme we use back home. things are a lot more natural here, things just flow. dinners take 2 hours to be served. on many occasions, i have ran past men peeing, unabashedly, in the ditch on the side of the road. things just are. 

the other morning, i walked out of my little room and was surprised by how humid it was out. and a little windy. i looked up and saw dark clouds. normally the mornings are crisp, clear, and sweet. there was definitely a storm brewing. here is a thing that i love about the weather here: weather is local. there aren’t sweeping fronts that move across the continent like they do back home. for me, i no longer have the anxiety associated with tracking a storm system moving across the country and knowing, with minute by minute precision when the storm is going to unleash it’s fury on my home. no warning bars at the bottom of the tv screen beeping loudly. the storms are local, and just occur. without all of the forewarning and anticipation severe weather experts bring, the weather becomes natural and beautiful and full of power and awe. 

we began our run. the wind smelled of rain, and the wind rushing through the banana trees was loud and invigorating. as we ran down the road (path) leading to lake victoria we could see, out over the dark, choppy, endless expanse of water a huge lightning bolt flash. the thunder rumbled and white caps became noticeable on the black water as we neared the lake. it was invigorating and powerful. once we descended the hill and were right on the bank of the lake, the clouds opened on us. cold rain, in large storm related drops splashed on my face and i didn’t feel scared. 

if you’ve known me my whole life, you know how scared storms make me. i’ve spent many nights in my parent’s bedroom closet, where it was safe and quiet. actually it happened so frequently that i had a selection of thick woolen blankets pre-stacked to create a makeshift mattress. i used to blame my huge fear and storm related anxiety on being blown away inside of a tent on the outerbanks of north carolina as a child. but the more i think about it, the more i realize that my anxiety might be based on knowing a storm is coming towards me and the heightening anxiety that comes from the associated warnings. 

but here, where the storms just are, when i hear a storm growling outside, i just curl under my blanket and enjoy the sound of the rain against the tile roof. 

One Response to “on a run in entebbe”

  1. Kimberly Cale September 26, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    What a wonderful experience! So happy to share the blame for your reaction to thunder and wind storms! <3 I love you!

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