Molly in Africa

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Final blog entry!

Well, I’m finishing up my time in Uganda and wow has it been wonderful!

The discussion group was great. I really enjoyed the five boys/men who participated and I was realizing yesterday that it really did go as well as I had hoped and in some ways, even better than I had hoped. We talked about such a wide variety of topics- from family to faith and how to overcome obstacles to planning for the future. I know that it will be a big task to try to compile all the information into a presentation but I’m so excited about the prospect of being able to share some of their stories with all of you.

As can be expected, I am not sure how I feel about leaving- it seems it changes day to day and sometimes even minute to minute. This morning I found myself surrounded by about 15 kids all singing and doing hand motions to a song I taught them and I couldn’t help but smile as I heard them singing this American children’s song with their Ugandan accents. Minutes later I found myself being wrapped in a huge hug by a different member of the rehabilitation class who quickly challenging me to a tickle fight that was filled with such uninhibited laughter that we drew the attention of many around us. When those joyful moments happen I can’t even imagine having to leave the CRO community again.

However, half an hour later when I was walking the streets, I found a couple kids that I knew from CRO who were back on the streets. This is not an immediate disappointment to me because often times it is hard for the kids to completely leave the street life at first so I know that sometimes it is just part of the process for them to still be on the street in the morning. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the three kids I saw. One of them was sniffing and therefore was rude to me (and the social worker I was with); the second one explained that he was back on the streets because one of the staff from CRO had chased him away last time he went and so he didn’t want to go back; the third one didn’t have a uniform and so was not allowed in to CRO. By the time I returned from the street walk I was frustrated and confused and wished that I could speak the languages here better so that I could be more helpful to both the children and the staff.

One of the hardest things about leaving this time is that when people ask when I’m coming back (which they all inevitably ask), I have to keep saying I don’t know if or when I’ll come back. While I was definitely sad to be leaving last time, I had this confidence that I would be back within the next two years. I still feel like I will return but I have no sense of how soon that will be.

Here are some of the things I will definitely miss once I leave Mbale: the greetings I receive from the children in the mornings, morning devotions with the staff, surprising locals by responding to the greetings they half jokingly give me in their local language, the conversations had in our discussion group, spending countless afternoons with Joshua and Moses, rolexes (my favorite food in Uganda- chapatti (a thin bread-like thing) rolled around a plain omelet with tomatoes), Iddi- the boy who stays with us and is possibly the nicest person in the world, of course the staff from CRO, randomly being asked to sing a solo in front of a group of children or people and being greeted by 75843029857 children as we walk home each day.

Alright, well it’s time to go enjoy this beautiful place that I am living… I arrive home on August 10th and return to school within a week from then- hope to catch many of you Chicago folks at that point!


At 8:40 AM, July 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for another update, Molly. I enjoy following your journey.

At 4:15 AM, July 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mol! Great to hear from you - and not a word about malaria. You must be feeling 100%. Thanks for sharing your feelings as you wrap up your mission.
Love, Aunt Ter

At 12:09 AM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,
I enjoyed reading some of your blog this summer. I hope I can catch you in Chicago when you're back.

At 7:55 AM, August 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A shame I did not find your blog before today... Been without Internet access this summer. I really got emotional reading your post about Dan, I really miss him.

I two weeks I am going to Hald, the school I went to in Norway, to teach the new students about CRO. Really looking forward to meeting Mukulu, Moses and Faridah.

The world here at home is so different, Mbale seems so distant, and it really is also.. Starting my fourth year of my masters degree on Monday. Another life.



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