Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I am blessed to have amazing men in my life.

Thanks Dad, for being so incredibly devoted, hard working, and supportive. I could not ask for a more reliable father!

I also have been blessed with a grandfather who has been loving, compassionate, and encouraging. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

While I am getting increasingly devastated by my upcoming move and the goodbyes that it entails, I cannot wait to be closer to family! Looking forward to being around for holidays and having the opportunity to give hugs (or even cards) more easily!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

And then there were 10... (days remaining)

Last night the school held a tribute party for departing faculty. It was a lovely night of good company, amusing roasts, and touching speeches.

I love these events-- they always bring out the best in communities. Friends celebrate, lovingly mock, and articulate the depth of relationships. These parties, in various forms, mark the undebatable descent into the final days on international schools' calendars. They signal that goodbyes can, and should, officially begin.

It felt very surreal to be a leaver this year. My friends re-wrote a song that simultaneously belittled and elevated me. It successfully reflected the intimate knowledge my friends have of me-- the good, the bad, and the ridiculous. As I listened to my friends belt the words into a microphone as I watched a slideshow of hideous pictures of myself, I reflected on the degree to which friends in international settings become family. I have been very blessed to have genuine friendships with people who care deeply about each other and me. I am going to really miss these folks!

It's becoming real. Soon, I will really have to say goodbye. I don't want to.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Thought 1: My friend had a dress sale today. I was trying things on when it dawned on me... I'm going to need clothing for something besides infinite summer. Is it sad when LA seasons are going to seem extreme?

Thought 2: I talked to Peter last night and it hit me that I am really going to have several months of down time! No curriculum to develop, no new course materials to read up on, no collection systems to plan. I am already making lists of things I want to do, languages I want to learn, stories I want to record, people I want to catch up with...

Thought 3: I need to be careful, or I will be addicted to Amazon. For years I have had to worry about the precise (physical) weight of each and every item I purchase. Now that I have free access to ground transport, I am realizing the danger. I have bought about 30 used books already that are waiting for me in CA. I just used a gift from friends to purchase some kitchen items (including an espresso maker and a pressure cooker). What can't I find on Amazon? I am slightly scared that I will immediately get sucked into the ease of American consumerism. In some ways, being in communities void of shopping opportunities has made life so easy!

Thought 4: Moving is exhausting. It is 9:02 pm, I have finished my glass of wine, and I am ready for bed. Goodnight, moon.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Reflections, D-18

I know that LA traffic is known for being bad, but I think it is going to be a cake walk after driving around Uganda. Yesterday I drove into town to run some errands and then meet up with friends and was reminded how chaotic life here is. After avoiding stalled cars, unmarked 10-foot-deep holes in the middle of the road, stray goats, swerving bodas with giant wooden beams piled on them, mutatus spewing black smoke, venders frantically shoving carts across major roads, airtime salesmen walking in and out of stopped cars... I reached a roundabout that has potential to flow normally. However, a gathering of traffic cops were controlling the circle and creating more havoc than the 5pm crowds caused on their own. They sent half the cars clockwise, the other half counter-clockwise...needless to say, loud honks and gridlock arose. Then they held my line of 15 cars (waiting to enter the roundabout) for 22 minutes before waving us into the kurfuffle (yes, I was counting). This is one thing I am not going to miss at all.

I went to see my first Ugandan basketball game last night. It was the club league championship game. I was packed into the Kampala YMCA facilities along with several hundred other viewers. We practically sat on each other's laps to watch the surprisingly tight final game. I was surprised at both the quality of play (way better than I imagined it would be!) and the energy of the crowd. Next time, I'll have to bring something to cushion against the cement seats and the knees jabbing into my back (or perhaps a tarp to keep my pants from soaking up the sweat of the man sitting in front of me). A random cultural experience indeed. 

A few friends had a goodbye dinner for me tonight (before end of term hits full swing). I really appreciate the sentiments! When I think about the things I am going to miss, people are number one. I have met some really lovely people here. My friends are experienced travelers, confident individuals, intellectual readers, highly competitive board game players, caring friends, culinary experts, and loving spouses (to each other-- nice models). They have taught me a lot about being a settled, mellow adult (it might be a stretch to call myself either of those things, but I have certainly learned to slow down much more here!).   

Important aside:
Happy birthday, Dad!

That's all for tonight, folks.