I’m super excited to go home. It’s becoming more real that very soon I will get to see the people I love face to face and be able to enjoy the comfort of my home and community. I can’t wait! But, as I mentioned in a previous post, it is a bittersweet thing to leave and there is a weight that comes with these last few days here and all there is to process about our trip so far. Though my excitement outweighs the sadness, tonight I’m reflecting on a few things I will miss most about our life in Uganda. They are (in no particular order):
-Our laundry line. What started out as a major stressor (no laundry for the first 2 weeks of our trip) has turned into some of my sweetest moments here. Hanging laundry out on the line in the early morning sun, hearing the chatter of people walking by on the street below and the roosters crowing nearby. The sight of cows grazing, children playing, and birds and trees dancing in the breeze. Huge white clouds moving slowly by, the orangey-brown of the road and my back patio juxtaposed against the brilliant blue of the sky and the lush green that covers everything else… Laundry has not just been a chore here, it’s been a discipline that has taught me to move slowly and pay attention to the beauty that is often hidden by the ordinary.
-Walking. To pick up fresh fruits and veggies for dinner. To the local bakery for a treat with the kids. To favorite restaurants, birthday celebrations, wifi hotspots, the pool, or our neighbors home. Traveling by foot has felt good, has slowed us down, and has opened up opportunity for more conversation and a deeper knowledge of one-another. It’s also given us some great stories and memories (ask us about the time we walked home in the dark from Let’s Do Coffee with Batman himself).
-The international community. My life, and the lives of my children are enriched and enlivened by the stories of those we have met on this journey. People from all over the world, here for all different reasons, bringing their culture, language, food, style, and spirituality with them. They are people of passion and determination. Many of them have chosen to make sacrifices to live in Uganda and to serve the people and the country. I never imagined Kampala to be a place of such international community. The diversity of people was a huge and welcomed surprise.
-Being ever-present with my kids. As a working mom, I don’t often get the opportunity to pass weeks at a time with my children. These weeks, though they have been insanely full and unordinary, have given me the opportunity to connect with my 4 kids in ways I don’t get to at home. Some of the key moments I’ll treasure and miss- “school” time on weekday afternoons with Macy and Owen at the dining room table. Laying in bed with Macy and Owen, talking about their highlights of the day and then telling them stories of the adventures of the Wiglud family (who needs to worry about efficiency at bedtime when there’s no school or work the next day?). Pouring buckets of soapy water all over the back patio and playing, I mean, “mopping” it all up. Holding little hands while walking (slowly) to whatever destination we are headed towards and talking about whatever musings currently occupy those young (and very active) minds. Always being present as the first responder- for every need, big and small (“I can’t find my xxx,” “I need help wiping,” “(Sibling name) won’t share the (item of desire),” “I’m hungry,” “(Loud, high pitched screaming sound)” “Can I have a treat?” “Will you play with me?” “Can you read me this story?” “(Crying, crying, and more crying)”). Being challenged to pick up soccer games with Macy and Owen (inside AND outside the house), and legitimately having to try not to lose. Slow breakfasts with the whole family around the table. Walks to pick flowers for the dining table.
These moments and memories are seared deep in my core and are carried with me as I head home. I am hopeful that they will be assimilated into the way I live and how I parent moving forward.