Tis the season to be thoughtful. Sometimes when the holidays settle down and my brain has time to jump around through thoughts that have been pushed aside to allow the day-to-day actions to be completed & I always end up sailing deep into memory lane when I was in Uganda, Africa. To not turn this blog post into a large emotional journal entry, I will keep this simple. August-October 2010 I had a lot of money saved up from working. I refuse to use my money for pointless things that I really do not need so I decided to go to Africa. I applied to teach and live in Uganda for a month or so and I was accepted. I purchased my plane ticket and within a few months I was on a plane by myself going to a 3rd-world country where I knew not a soul. When I arrived I was escorted to a small village called Golomolo near Lake Victoria where I lived among 300 orphans in a hut without plumbing or furniture (you get used to it almost immediately). I taught art & science to the children and I fell in love with every single one of them. The emotions I experienced I can not describe in depth enough for people to understand what a beautiful experience it was, I have never cried so much in my life, and leaving was the hardest thing I ever had to accept. I write this today because I woke up today thinking about my time there and I started to tear, I really miss the connection to humanity I felt while I was in Africa.
Honestly, my first few nights in Uganda I cried almost every night. I felt guilty for taking advantage of so many things I had back home and how easy life was for me. I wanted to give every child that same life and so many times I wished to trade places. But the thing was, these children were as happy as could be! Happier than any kid I’ve ever seen in the States and then I thought “why would I want to take that away?” That is the beauty of culture. I admit, when I returned home I tried to work on some paintings I started in Africa but I got too emotional while trying to finish them so I have about 4 canvases that are not done and I wonder sometimes if maybe they are as complete as they will ever get. People ask me if I’d ever go back again and I reply, “If I could I’d be on a plane there right now to stay.”
If you’d like to see more pictures of this life-changing journey I’ve got more on Flickr