Autumn in New England is my favorite time of the year. So, naturally, the lack of fall foliage and spiced cider has got me feeling a bit nostalgic. But, though I miss my friends and family dearly, and though I wish I could spend this Turkey Day stuffing my face with my mom’s mashed potatoes and pecan pie, there is much to be thankful for in Uganda. Here are a few of the things I’m grateful for:
- The Clinic Staff. What can I say? John, Henry, Resty, Sylyvia, Esther, Olivia, Bridget, Maria, Eddie—they are the real heroes here. They are a brilliant and compassionate group of people and I am so glad I get to work with them.
- Healthy babies. The staff babies—Trinny, Colo, Ian and Cuthbert—never cease to brighten my day. Also, John, the clinic director, and his wife just had a healthy, beautiful girl this week! And there are more babies on the way! Engeye is a baby city right now. This, coupled with the possibility of a new maternity center at the clinic, is all very exciting.
- Maama Jackie’s Chipatis. I’ve mentioned Maama Jackie’s Chipatis before in a previous post, but I cannot stress their amazingness enough. Just a circle of warm, flaky goodness. I’m even eating a Chipati as I write this (If I return having gained a significant amount of weight, you will know why..)
- A place to stay with a kitchen, electricity, and running water.
- Runs with a view. I say this having run only a handful of times here. But, the view is incredible and if I coordinate my runs right, I can catch the children returning home from school. I receive a million high fives and feel like an Olympic champion. (I hope I can muster up enough discipline to make running a regular occurrence because it is truly a spectacular experience.)
- The ability to communicate with friends and family back home. Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and email are lifesavers.
- New projects. Matt and I have been planning many things this November, including a literacy initiative for the community of Ddegeya. We hope to begin reading groups (and, if I get my way, dance groups) with scholars and local children December 5th! More on this in weeks to come..
- A Thanksgiving Meal with fellow Americans. Today, we have gathered together with some of our peace corps friends in the Masaka district (pictured above). Between the ten of us, we have enough instant mashed potatoes, turkey spam and burnt apple sauce to feed a small army. We have sangria and holiday films and each other and we are happy.