Monday, July 30, 2012

Making the house a home.

I cannot tell you how much my heart is gushing with love and happiness right now- and it’s not just because of the amazing Nutella and honey sandwich I just had. Though it was pretty epic (but my keyboard is now sticky!)

My first housemate has arrived to our home here in Kampala- and she is the most loving and open soul anyone could ever ask for. I thought she might be afraid of my for my tattoos, but it turns out we both have life stories and the lessons and pains that come with them. Plus, she’s as nervous as I am! I don’t mean that we’re afraid of the job or the lives we’ve taken on, only that we have a deep wish to find friendship and fellowship with those around us. She also has a mastermind plan for how to run a shared kitchen (really a new experience for me!) so I’m relieved and delighted. Being in a new place with new people- I don’t know about you, but I always worry that everyone will make me out as some kind of freak. … Wait for snarky comment from my brothers…. Continue. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m seen as a human being, too. We both went through our photos from home and introduced each other to the 2D versions of our families. It was also a blessing to see someone as attached to their family as I am! Out here I meet so many expats who have been traveling for years- and already I can’t even accept being away from my parents and siblings at Christmas! Although the others have a lot more ‘freedom,’ I think the close bonds of family are a blessing. For my crowd especially, they are somehow hard earned, and thus cherished. No one understands as family does (as my previous posts attest!)

Room for three in Kampala

I’ve also been making friends outside the immediate circle of my school, which has been amazing. I always like to run with many different crowds- I value many different viewpoints. Through a friend, I have met Shifa and her family- they are the sweetest people of Kampala! Shifa is Ugandan, and with her British husband they have built an amazing household with three beautiful little boys. I mean, it’s a house I’d love to live in. Sprawling, with plenty of room for the family to be together and yet each having their own space, Shifa has decorated it with a finesse I had previously only attributed to my stepmother. It’s gorgeous, with beautiful African art alongside leather couches and flowing curtains. Anyone would gladly own this home in Rittenhouse Square. Not that anyone could afford such square footage. But it’s not only a lush house- the mother makes it a home for her crawling baby and water balloon flinging boys. I attended church with them this weekend, and Shifa stood at the front and sang gloriously with the worship. She is so full of vivacious life, and she is the kind of mother that every woman aspires to be. She could, with a small smile, encourage her five year old son to chew and swallow between mouthfuls of grilled ham and cheese, while simultaneously feeding the baby in her lap bits of bread, and maintaining conversation with her guests and making them feel most welcome in her home and family. I can’t wait for my Ugandan Maama to meet them. They’ll take to each other like glue.

It is people that make a place home. I am so grateful for the people I’ve come to know lately, and will continue to meet in the weeks to come. I’m also especially blessed and grateful for the continued love and support of family and friends at home. You’re the best!

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