The doors of the Kenya airways flight opened into the humidity and sunshine of a Ugandan afternoon and we sensed a home coming. After the wan winter of Kenya with its muted dust and misty sunless days, Uganda was a riot of color and heat. Dense green foliage shading from banana to mango leaves. Red earth. Painted signs. The deferent friendliness of the taxi driver and helpful unhurried kindness of the young lady running the guest house. The buzzing swarms of boda taxis. The sweat. It is hard to explain, but Uganda was our home for so long, there is a way that every aspect we see gives us a sigh, a relaxing into the world being right again.
Last evening as we arrived we met up with a young man, now 21, whom we met at age 1 as our neighbor when we moved here. He spent a good bit of his life in our home and yard, and after his father died we supported him through school. Now he is enrolled in an accounting program in Kampala. Boys have their stages, and you should stick with then and see them through. What a joy to hear his thankfulness, his commitment, the way hardship has refined gold.
Today we helped Josh load his truck then headed out of the city, cruising along across the country, remembering each tree and turn on the well travelled path. Great conversation with Josh, a lunch meeting with Pat in Fort Portal, and then the NEW ROAD.
Until Scott can download pictures there is no way to describe the transformation. What was once a hellish jarring mud sucking bolt-shaking strenuous path is now a broad smooth paved gentle highway. The sheer scale of the construction is mind boggling. It is disorienting. Surreal.
And just this week the construction reached the mission, our old home. Our kitubbe where our kids and other spent hours of play and kids club and where we greeted visitors is gone. The hedge is gone and half the soccer field. Mounds of earth, smoothed and graded lanes, and a half dozen massive pieces of machinery took their place. Scott and I walked around, greeting many friends, gawking at the change, pulling dusty Lubwisi from far back in our brains, remembering names.
The insects throb in the warm night air, the echoes of a team meal and surprise bday cake drift away, and we prepare to tuck under a mosquito net. It's good to be home.