I'm sitting at Heathrow Airport. Paying an arm and a leg to use internet for a few hours. But how else are you supposed to pass a 6 hour layover when you don't have the money to shop in the expensive stores?
Anyway, I had an overnight flight from Entebbe, Uganda to Heathrow, London, England. I generally don't like overnight flights. They're cold and they feed you food at weird times. But I actually slept some this time, which helps a lot. I'm also currently drinking a cup of coffee which does wonders for my outlook on life. (Although not my typing skills...I just wrote my outlook online. :))
At any rate, I find myself in London. Freezing with just one sweatshirt and jacket. Although, my feet are hot because I'm actually wearing socks and shoes for the first time in almost a year. And my brain is confused as I look around and see shiny designer stores and fancy cafes all in crammed one place and crawling with trendy looking bazungu (white people). I wandered through the airport bleary eyed and dazed for about 45 minutes before I could choose a place to sit. And I tried to buy a bagel at one of said cafes but could barely choose between the 5 different kinds. I don't know if it's the lack of sleep or the mixed emotions in leaving Uganda, but right now I am overwhelmed.
I am so, so thankful that I will return to Uganda in January, but saying goodbye was hard. There are a number of people I have gotten to know this year that won't be there when I return. I will miss them dearly. I don't like change and while I can't wait to go back in a few short weeks, I am sad knowing things will be different.
I also can't help but think where I was a year ago...at orientation with Africa Inland Mission. Getting my plane ticket to leave for Uganda, hearing more details about what I would be doing and where I would be living. How has a year passed? All those unknowns, those questions I had a year ago have been answered a million times over. An unknown place has become home in so many ways. The unknown people have become friends, neighbors, and coworkers. The unknown work has become a daily act of service and (usually) joy.
I am thankful. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. I am tired. I am full of joy. I am so many things I can't put it into words yet. A year ago I planned to go to Uganda and 'computerize a library'.
A year later my heart is changed. I am changed.
*More to come I'm sure as I continue to process everything in Uganda and the library from this past year.