it has been a long time

29 Dec
i haven’t written in a long long time. in over a month, nonetheless! (side note: nonetheless is one of my favorite words because it’s a three in one word like notwithstanding) 

if you’ve been following the news at all, you could deduce some reasoning for my disappearance from the blog scene (half of the countries i’m concerned with have been on the brink of civil war/tribal conflict). but i’m not letting that stop me from writing a few words about life and love etc. 

well first off, i am coming home mid january, and that is coming up so soon! i have to pinch myself to remind myself that it isn’t just a dream! i am really coming home! here i will list some of the things i am looking forward to most: bagel sandwiches, water pressure, drinking water straight out of the tap, cannolis, using my cell phone, going grocery shopping, weekends, air conditioning, cooking, and having an actual shower (also christopher and my family). don’t get me wrong, i have loved and loved my last 5 months in uganda, but i am just growing homesick. 

but i really really will miss working with the guys here, who live by the motto “de oppresso liber.” they’re super serious when something is going on (sorry for being so discreet, but check the news and make your own deductions), absolutely hilarious when there isn’t, and have surprised me daily with the things that come out of their mouths. “hey, real quick – if you had to be one animal in africa what would it be?” “have your pants shrunk? or are those supposed to be highwaters?” “if i shaved my head, would you shave yours?” it’s just been fun. i wish everyone else in the world knew how to balance so effectively being super efficient and skilled with knowing when to have fun and build an incredible team. i’m honored to have been part of the team here, and will miss it when i leave. 

i hate the mindset in the world (and also in the military) that crying is this absolute sign of the weakest person that has no control over their emotions. it really bothers me, not because i’m in a constant state of crying (i’ve finally learned how to control my once uncontrollable habit of crying at the first sign of bad news), but because emotions shouldn’t be shunned. regardless, i make sure not to cry in the office or in a “professional environment.” so, at the end of a long and tiring day, i often call christopher and vent to him from the safety of my room. at the beginning of this month, i sobbed to him about how sad and miserable i was thinking about the fact that i wouldn’t be home for christmas. that my little brother wouldn’t wake me up at the crack of dawn to open presents, that we wouldn’t eat those pillsbury cinnamon rolls as we open gifts (which is super weird since my mom is an expert baker and makes incredible homemade cinnamon rolls), that i wouldn’t be part of the christmas morning nap, and that i wouldn’t be there to dress up and go to christmas eve mass with my family. i was so so sad, and i didn’t want to burden my sweet mother with my negativity, so instead i turned to my rock that which is my christopher. it just so happens that the night which i sobbed away all of my grievances to my ever strong boyfriend also happened to be the night that CAR was falling apart. i heard a knock on my door and tearfully (read: dramatically) had to end my call with christopher. i walked into the office and my tear-stained face wasn’t met with eye-rolls or negativity, i was simply spun up on what was happening, given my task, and then surprisingly asked quietly (as to not draw more attention) if everything was ok. quickly we all got back to work and made things happen. i was surprised, even after i had gained my composure, how the normally tough facade these guys carry so easily melted away when someone would put their hand over the receiver on the telephone and mouth the words “is everything ok? are you ok?” before turning back to a high speed conversation. it was an eye opening experience for me. i thought that these guys, the creme of the crop, would have no sympathy for my moment of weakness (which i very much thought was going to be in private). but instead they showed both sympathy and later, empathy. 

i’ve learned during my time here that in this organization, people are judged based on their ability to do their job. not their rank, sex, or past accomplishments. this is something that i am going to miss when i go back to north carolina, where politics seem to rule all, but something also that i will take with me on my journey through life. 

but needless to say, i am so excited to come home. 

xoxo,

annie

 

also for your viewing pleasure-
here is me a few weeks ago with a native ugandan fruit, the jackfruit. it tastes as weird as it looks:

Image

no seriously, look at it:

Image

 

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