There was an inexpressible excitement I got when I reached home. From the Entebbe Airport to the Bus park in Kampala I took a taxi. The City had a tremendous change. The skyline decorated with many upcoming nice buildings. The portholes reminded me that I was back to Uganda.
I made a phone call to my family, informing them that I was already in Kampala soon to take a 5hrs bus ride to Gulu my home town. Excitements filled the background.
My Little Sister as Usual reminded me to come along with a Banana. I quickly got one bunch from the Bus park.
It was a smooth Bus ride to Gulu. All along I was thinking and my heart was smiling. I couldn't imagine the joy I had that day because I would see my family again after being some thousands of miles away for a year.
Reaching home, everyone commented that I had gained a lot more weight than they way I was before.
My English had also changed. Some people said I was talking with the words coming through my nose. I had not know that my accent was getting Americanized.
They had a me settled down. The following day a couple of friends and relatives came up to say welcome. We had a grant goat roasting and everyone ate and celebrated my presence.
During the summer, I defended my MA thesis and had enough time later to settle home and also visit the our Village, Attiak. This has been our first time to stay for a week and more in Attiak after 23 years. We were push out of our ancestral land due to the LRA rebels activities in Northern Uganda making us Internally displaced persons in refuges settlements in the town suburbs.
I was so nice being there again. The local leaders in the area told us that our compound was used several by the Rebels and the Government as a venue for peace talks. This was because my late grand father was an influential figure in the area.
The natural vegetation in the area, physical features, the rising hills and calms valleys were just so nice to watch. The place was so quiet and with great fresh air. Sweet sounds we heard from the songs of birds. The true pearl of Africa for sure in the village.
The natural beauty that I had not experienced in ages when it became a battle ground for over 2 decades. All the sweet sounding birds, the calm blowing wind, the dancing of the trees, the site of wild game were just so amazing.
I couldn't imagine I would say bye bye to them again.
Much as it was that enjoyable, it was a moment of real working to make the place look a home. We had to construct temporary shelter for ourselves to sleep in, clear up a path leading to home. Cutting the grass, uprooting tress and leveling the compound was the main occupation.
I was becoming used to the Shower while in the US. But during the summer, if we wanted to take a bath, we would go to the river. The nearest Borehole was 3 miles way, we would only use the borehole water for drinking. We could not get enough water from there for all the domestic chores including bathing.
Some days I would venture out to have some moments with the community members. One of the those moments was in a community school-the only community school in a radius of 7 square miles. It was great being there because I had the chance to work with the children in making their school compound children friendly. I talked to the pupils and helped them to set goals and target for their future careers. It was so painful noting that most girls from the age of 14 were out of school. The school hardly has teaching and learning materials. Sports equipment like soccer balls, net balls etc, were not even seen.
I was such a joy being with them. I had moments with the parents also during school community meetings.
Working with them reminded me of my Primary school days.
Parents so willing to offer a better destiny to their children, but they find themselves chocked up in a number of challenges.
I was so impressed, seeing the faces of children, parents and teachers delighted when they felt inspired by the little words, presence and work that I did with them in the school and during the community meeting.
I was so touched when I saw people going hungry, never forgetting to help their neighbor. The joy that their faces depict True sense of solidarity was just over whelming.