08 May 2015

Uganda, Part 2

May 30th. That's our departure date. Or 'wheels up' as Brian says in military lingo. :)

It's coming FAST. At this point there is plenty to do. But we are getting things crossed off our list one by one: paperwork, immunizations, etc.

And, my excitement is growing. I look at pictures and realize: I am going to see some of these faces again! The people, the places, and all that I miss, I can and will see again. I often say that my heart feels torn: part of it here in Minneapolis with my husband and community and part of it is waiting for me in Uganda.

I think what is most powerful about this upcoming experience is that I really feel like going back to Uganda is such a natural 'part 2'. What I mean is that one of the most important things when I lived in Uganda from 2011-2012 was building relationships. And it is because of those relationships we have the opportunity to go back. Friends reached out to us, asking us to come back. It's such a privilege to be going back and to enter into the lives of students at KEST. We have the opportunity to continue to build relationships with Ugandan friends and colleagues and it's not something we take lightly.

I've also been thinking a lot about the timing of this trip. It's so fortuitous in so many ways. I've told many people: the door just keeps opening! Here are just a few examples of the things that make this trip possible:

  • My job has amazing summer flexibility
  • Brian's (new!) job is allowing him to take extra time off beyond his vacation days
  • The invitation to go came right after our own conversations about returning to Africa 'someday'
  • We only really started discussing this at the beginning of the year...basically, the whole trip has been planned in 4 months
  • A friend is able and willing to house sit for us and take care of our kitties

Going back, to support students, is such a privilege.We don't take this opportunity lightly. But rather we see this trip as a way to partner with Ugandan educators and librarians, to listen to them and learn from them, to share ideas, to hear stories, and to empower. Our story will be better because of this trip. Our story will change because of the people we meet. Just like last time, we want 'Uganda, Part 2' to be about something bigger than us.

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