I did not realize how much effort it took into running a blog; or writing posts. I have hardly had any time in the last two or so weeks to sit and pen down my thoughts and the things I’ve been upto. Yes, I have been sucked into the world’s rat race and I don’t know if I should laugh or cry about that. Mostly, I get home tired and just blackout at the end of the day. I haven’t been to the gym in almost three weeks and I’ve piled on all the weight I had shed. 😦 Today, I was supposed to be working on a report(which is due for the 14th of April). Unfortunately(or fortunately; whichever way you look at it), I realized that I have the wrong document and the original document that I need is on the desktop of the P.C I use at work. I am bummed. However, some good has come out of it. I get to post on the blog.
These last few days have had me questioning God about so many things. It’s particularly been a week of sadness. Mike lost his mum, my friends Doris and Brenda lost their dads and my aunt Josephine lost her husband. My faith has been tested because I prayed and prayed for some of these people to get well from their sickness. I felt so let down. It didn’t make sense to me when people tried to tell me that it all happened for a reason. I wondered why he let bad things happen to good people, why he has to let us deal with loss and grief. It’s been hard trying to reconcile my faith with the things happening around me. I know he makes things beautiful in their time. However, it is hard to remember that when curve balls are thrown at you.
On a lighter note, I went to Pennsylvania(PA) last weekend. Larry and Shirleen Johnston picked me from Ohio on Friday. The drive was very eventful. PA is nothing like Ohio. It is more mountainous and there are much bigger farms(with cows, deer, horses). I’ve only seen corn fields in Ohio. It took us about three and a half hours to get there. The folks of Community United Methodist Church passed by Shirleen and Larry’s house to say hello. It was very nice of them. I got to meet lots of young people(Boy,was I excited to see them!). Many members of the church have gone on mission trips to Uganda and they absolutely love the country. We had fruit pizza and great conversation. Ashley and Heather spent the night. It was really fun to talk into the wee hours of the morning(2am actually). On Saturday, Jeanine, Heather, Shirleen and I drove into Pittsburgh. It is a lovely city; definitely much bigger than Columbus, Ohio. There are endless tunnels(where lots of Hollywood movies have been filmed) and bridges with fascinating designs. There are also well preserved buildings with some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve seen. We rode up and down the incline( I held my breath the entire ride because I was afraid the ropes holding the carriage might snap at some point. Yes, I am afraid of heights like that!) And Heather and I took selfies in the back of the carriage.
The walk across the bridge was eye-opening. There are hordes of homeless people inhabiting the crevices under the bridges, often times erecting tents in which they lay their frail frames when the sun goes down. I imagined what they must be going through; living without a family, trapped(by circumstance or by choice) in a space where sunlight hardly ever reaches, smoking cigarettes(and damaging their lungs in the process) just to stay warm in the bitter cold, sitting on metallic slabs on the cold, windy bridges begging for pennies to be able to buy a hot meal. Images such as these make me want to give all I have. Many times on this trip, my heart has been tugged at; I’ve seen people in dire need. People more broken than I’ve ever been(And I thought my life was pretty messed up! Sigh*). Jeanine says the local county has programs to take care of these homeless people. Many of them purportedly have mental issues and prefer to live under bridges than in shelters. I wonder though how they fight off rats and other rodents that compete for the same dark spaces in which they live. It makes me grateful that I have a bed to go to every night.
I loved the square. March Madness Basketball was going on and all the restaurants seemed to be filled with people keen to follow up on the matches. The train station had beautiful stained glass windows. Used as a fort during World War II, it has been converted into an upscale restaurant.
I attended all church services at CUMC and met so many nice people(Thank you for having me over Pastor John and Pastor Rich!) I met Ty who connected me to a Fulbright scholar doing work for the President’s Office in Uganda, and Whoopi(real name Walter; a visionary gentleman who started the church’s missions to Uganda. Whoopi, I am sure God will sustain you to still make other trips to Uganda! I certainly hope to see you there!) I got to meet Donna(who eventually brought me back home) and lots of other amazing people(thank you folks at CUMC! I had a blessed weekend). I hope I left an indelible mark on the Sunday school class I spoke to. I hope they will remember to thank God for what they have and grow into grateful, responsible Christians.
One of my favorite memories of Pittsburgh was standing at the Mountain top and peering down at the city. It was the most delightful view I had seen in a long, long time. The icing on the cake was standing in the middle of the bronze sculpture of the Native American chief and George Washington attempting to broker a peace deal between the settlers and Native Americans of the time. Also, there are a few snippets of Shirleen, Larry and myself.
My love affair with Pittsburgh is not yet done. I hope to come back sometime in the future(Shirleen, fingers crossed!). For now, I am enjoying the remainder of my time in Ohio. School starts earlier this year than it usually does. I am excited to be going back to school(Yes, I love to read, study and write school reports! And I am NOT ashamed of it!), to see old familiar faces, to sit on the first floor section of the library where I’ve sat in the same chair, at the same table for the entire time I’ve been at school; to go to the shelves that contain Greek mythology and Medieval History and immerse myself in the ancient world, to have my nerdy friend Raymond talk about Mass Communication theories every single second of the school day and hush down Daphine, my Mukiga friend who is very talkative(with the help of Geraldine 🙂 ) I had not realized how much I miss certain things about home. I am so excited that I will get to meet Tina’s baby, to have Easter with my mum and siblings, to start on new work projects, to go for Market days in Kireka, to take strolls in the morning to Kyaliwajala, to talk to my grandfather more often, to eat matooke and groundnut sauce,to take matatus to town, to walk everywhere, to see Bernie, Palmer, Sarah, Kuku, Annet and all my friends, to get free calls on my mobile without being charged; I guess to just be HOME.
As I start my last lap, I will sit down and take stock of the time I’ve been here. I’ve been blessed beyond measure and I am eternally grateful for everybody that has ensured that I have a lovely Ohioan experience. However, right now, I am ready for some nice warm weather 🙂 So I can’t wait to be home.