Northern Uganda

This started as the on-line journal of Africa Anonymous while she was an Graduate Fellow researching and working in Northern Uganda. You gotta be good. You gotta be strong. You gotta be 2,000 places at once.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The beginning of another Uganda ending

Pole pole, the reality of leaving Uganda again is setting in...

Last night my colleagues had a little going away party for me at the luxurious Hotel Pan Afric, where I spent two and a half months wasting away before moving to the guesthouse. I just realized how much I love this job and the people I am working with. Thomas, a driver, who had previously told me that he wants to give me a cow, took at least 30 pictures of me. We kept teasing him that we didn't believe that he actually had film in his camera, as he was snapping photos non-stop. Ever since he learned I was leaving, he comes into my office, sits there silent, unable to talk (and I dare say it looks like he wants to cry!), just shaking his head and wagging his finger at me. Yesterday he gave me an ID picture, telling me that he wants me to carry "the Black Man". Other staff have offered to accompany me to Chad.

So yes, we had a lovely party and even French champagne! Given my fondness for cava and Prosecco, I volunteered to open the bottle - I accidently took the cork with the covering, causing the bottle to explode all over myself, much to the delight of everybody else. My boss was supposed to bake a cake, but in Lira style, the power went out just before he went to work. I also received a few serenades, including John Denver's "Leaving on Jet Plane." Somehow appropriate for a Colorado gal. I managed a brief speech incorporating every Luo word I know (bicycle, egg, tree, thank you very much, how are you?).

I will be leaving Lira on Friday, and to say the least, it is all a bit surreal. I am packing my suitcase and carrying it elsewhere, but also look forward to the day that I can unpack for awhile.


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