Thursday, November 24, 2011

Afoyo Matec

In Acholi: Thank you so much.

Nothing creative today, just a list of what I'm thankful for.  You know, because it's that holiday.

[1]  Framilends. Family and Friends, because they're not really separate.  This one is obvious, at least in my book.  Really, everyone, thanks a ton for always keeping in touch, however much you can.  It makes this trip a lot less lonely, which it often does become.  I know the fellowship folks highly stress limiting the amount of time on facebook/email/skype/gchat, but the few times I do get in touch with you, it really does make you feel not so far away.

[2]  Eccentricity.  According to one professor who lives next to me, I have plenty of it.  Most likely, it got me where I am, which isn't really in a terrible place.  Additionally, children tend to love it, more likely laugh at it, and everyone just has a good time.

[3]  Electricity.  We don't get a lot of it here, and when we do, there's a small part of me that that prays to the power gods for granting us a few hours of non-candle, computer-charging, and vision-able shower time.  As I'm typing this, I have about half an hour left of battery, so the pressure's on to finish and publish this before I'm submerged in the dark vacuum of communication that is Uganda.

[4]  Pineapple.  It's incredible here.  Certainly puts American fruits to shame.

[5]  G-Nut Paste.  Essentially homemade peanut butter with sesame seeds.  Also incredible, and also puts American peanut butter to shame.

[6]  Music.  Keeps a part of America trucking along with me, but I'm also collecting a small pool of songs from the countries in which I'm staying.  Ergo, amazing life playlist is slowly but surely being constructed.

[7]  Anti-Diarrhea Pills and Non-Squat Toilets...  Self explanatory.

[8]  Sending Mail.  I LOVE THIS.  Whether it's snail, e, or messages on facebook, writing makes [and I'm repeating myself at this point] this trip a lot less lonely, and time is really killed faster.  I'm also having a crazy fun time attempting to send postcards, which I imagine to be kind of like shooting a shotgun at a flock of geese and doves and hoping the bullets make it to only the doves.  Not that I'm shooting you.  Maybe with love.  Which brings me to

[9]  Receiving Mail.  I don't want to compare, but this care package [also probably breaking the 'limit communication' rules of the fellowship, but hey, I'm sure it must happen all the time] came in yesterday.  Postcards, homemade brownies/fudge [I could never tell the difference between the two], a traditional Madeiran stock pouch [what? safety belt?], CHRISTMAS TINSEL, and FLOSS.  Ah, my hygiene has yet to be compromised on this trip.  Regardless, even if you don't send me an awesome spring-loaded cardboard box full of things I love, a simple email just telling me about what I'm missing in your life right now is enough.  I might be traveling, but I certainly don't want to be kept out of the loop while I'm away.

-| It's not that I now love Cassie more than you, but... |-

[10]  Travel.  I know this one's super obvious and also not very creative, but this has to be the craziest thing  I've done [so far] in my life.  And I'm loving every minute of it.  I'm changing in [what I think is] all the best ways possible, and I'm learning a TON about the world, myself, strangers, and how much people at home will always mean to me.

[11]  Water.  Whether its cold, hot, drinking, or flushing.  Travel to a third world country and you'll realize how much you need this fantastic fantastic liquid running through you.  Not that I didn't before.

[12]  Humility.  I guess I didn't really know what this was like until I started break dancing, and a flock of small Ugandan ten year-olds laughed at me just moving my feet.  Sure, there's that pang of frustration and wanting to stop immediately, but you learn to deal with it, ignore it, roll with it, not care about it, or even prove them wrong.  I'm a firm believer that knowing how to be super embarrassed is good for the soul, the mind, and the ego.

[13]  Hellos.  You'll never know how much a stranger will help you out, or will end up playing an incredibly important role until you greet them.  I've met photographers, doctors, firemen, nurses, surrogate families, teachers, friends, mentors, and incredible advice-givers because we decided to greet each other.  Try it sometime.  You'll be surprised how far it takes you.

[14]  Goodbyes.  You'll never know how much someone means to you until you say these, and realize how much you don't want to leave them.

UPDATE | [15]  Haircuts.  From nuns.  Losing the heat helmet, especially on the equator, is more than enough reason to celebrate by hopping on the next boda into town, feel the wind on your scalp, and be slightly jealous that the local hair style is shaved.

UPDATE | [16]  Insistent Surrogate Mothers.  Especially when they're really pushy to clean your backpack covered in dirt from India and Uganda.  Although the sentimentality is washed away, you can't help but appreciate that it's because of the maternal need for cleanliness that's keeping your bag looking like it's just been bought from the store.

UPDATE | [17]  Vision.  Oh, and I get to see things like the one below on a regular basis.  Of course the camera doesn't capture it perfectly, so imagine it to be 10,000x more awesome.


1 comment:

  1. Yay! You got it!! I tried to make that pouch *just* able to accomodate an american passport, so you can keep it on you while you're travelling shady streets.
    I'm thankful for you Joshua, and the powers that be that are keeping you healthy and surrounded by awesome people. Lots of love