I love living in Uganda.
To be honest, it took me a while to say that. For the first 4 or 5 months here I didn't feel like I loved it. Yes, I liked it and, yes, I was (am!) extremely thankful for the opportunity. But love? Not so much.
But then I realized I was spending too much time comparing my story to the stories of others I see around me. Let's face it...too often we play the comparison game. Well, at least I play the comparison game, looking around me and wishing for something different. Spending my time wanting a different life instead of living the one I have.
So over the past couple months I've been working on NOT comparing. Instead, I'm trying to learn to focus on the moments of beauty in each day. And I keep reminding myself that the little stories -- like teaching the neighbor girl to play Go Fish or chatting with my boda driver on the way to work or laughing with the students that come to the library -- are the stories that make my life beautiful. That make Uganda beautiful. Are there challenges? Of course. No place is perfect. And I am easily burdened by the sad stories I hear and see around me.
But the little stories, the stories of smiles, laughter, beauty and love, that make up my days are the reason I am here. Those are the stories that make me love Uganda.