In the past few weeks, I have spent time with amazing people who have enlarged my familial connection in Africa. Some of who were initially web acquaintances but have since become amazing and inspiring people that I will treasure for the rest of my life – Grace, Catherine, Stella, Eva, Joan, Jane, and Johnson. They shared with me the warmth of their company and re-connected me with the genuine hospitality of Africans. I will miss their inviting smiles, scrumptious food, and pleasant company. In their presence I felt my whole being acknowledged and accepted. I felt free…free from pretense, raised defenses, or the pressure of having to prove something. I was valued for me.
I truly believe that if one allows themselves to become fully immersed in a culture during travelling, good things really can happen in new surroundings! One thing I definitely noted was Uganda is not quite so different from Cameroon, my ancestral home. Amazing striking landscapes, lively people, the superb nightlife ambiance, and the unvarying climate. On the not so pleasant side of things, the similarities also include rife political tension, rising cost of fuel and commodities. In Uganda, I discovered an extension of “home” and increased my appetite to explore other African countries. I took great pleasure in learning some of the culture, sampling the culinary delicacies (heavily matooke-based), and enjoying the various ethnic rhythms.
It is worth travelling! I believe that by travelling one’s world and life experience is further expanded and consequently forever changed. In Uganda, I became connected to another world outside of my norm. For a brief period in time, I disconnected from routine and in the process discovered more of me. As I wait for my flight, I can already feel my heartbeat quickening to match the fast-paced rhythm of daily life in America. Part of me is grateful to return, but another yearns to hold on to the spiritual release, tranquility, and excitement of Africa.
In the weeks to come, I will attempt to present my experience in East Africa. I spent time visiting secondary and nursing schools with the phenomenal Sexual Health Improvement Project. The newest partner with Threads of Our Fabric Project focused on youth gender empowerment on sexual health issues. Additionally, roaming through Queen Elizabeth National Park and stopping by the fish port at Lake Edward. Finally, witnessing deadly political riots, saddening spillage of the ongoing unrest in many parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Let’s take a journey into the Pearl of Africa – Uganda.