Sunday, July 15, 2012

"I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after;
and changed my ideas;
they have gone through and through me,
like wine through water,
and altered the color of my mind."

Emily Brontë

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I've been back in the States for one week now. Amazingly and wonderfully, jetlag hasn't been an issue for me at all! I kept expecting it to catch up with me, but it seems like my body figured out what to do in no time at all. I'm so thankful for that.

People have asked and wondered how my transition back into life in the States is going. Often people experience "reverse culture shock" as they return to their first-world home country after spending time in a developing country. The contrasts between lifestyles are extreme, and this can be hard to accept and difficult to process.

So how am I doing? Honestly, I know that life is just different depending on where you live.

Life in Uganda became my new normal for the past year. What I had available to me was enough, and my expectations were different. The culture required certain things of me, and I had many freedoms that I never had before as well as multiple new restrictions. But that was life, and it was normal.

And now I'm back to my old normal. I have much more available to me, but my expectations are different. Again, I have new freedoms and new restrictions based on cultural norms. It's not better; it's just different.

Although, at the moment, life in America does feel a little bit like Disney World. Everything seems so fun and wonderful and exciting!

I love that it's still light outside at 9pm.
I love that I can be out after dark.
I'm giddy about having my closest friends only a short drive or a phone call away, and I'm taking full advantage of that.
And I love that I don't have to worry about my airtime running out when I make that phone call.
I enjoy the freedom of having a vehicle to drive and appreciate the clear rules of being on the road.

I'm very happy to be home now. Summer seems like a great time to transition back into life in America as people are little more relaxed in their daily schedules. But Mbarara also became my home, and I will be happy when I go back there too!