I just finished my bottle of malaria pills. As I took the last pill, I told my husband.
"Yay!" he said.
"No," I told him. "This means that my trip really is over."
Taking that final, weird little brown pill felt like the last physical connection I had to Uganda. I've been home a week. A little over a week ago I was standing on the red dirt, the sun beating on my shoulders, the noises of birds and monkeys filling my ears. Today, I am home. It's raining. My power works, I had a hot shower and anything I need is within a few blocks away at not only one, but three different grocery stores.
People say Africa is hard, and it is, but what is even harder is coming back to America. I've had friends ask me about my trip and I stumble through my responses because I'm not even sure I understand how to talk about it.
The only thing I can say is that it was wonderful, way better than any of my expectations, yet harder and more heart-breaking than what I imagined.
Honestly, I was never an Africa girl. I have a friend and growing up she would always say she was going to move to Africa and run an orphanage. I always (secretly) thought she was crazy. I never had any desire to go to Africa. Yet, things fell into place and I found myself applying and then going to Uganda for a trip. What I did not expect is that I would become an Africa girl.
I did not think Uganda would get under my skin like it did. I did not know how much I would love the people, the culture and everything, despite its many, many, seemingly insurmountable problems. I didn't know how much I would miss Uganda when I left, and that I would cry talking about Uganda a few days later.
I am still processing. Still adjusting, still thinking about my short trip and I think I will for a while.
The other thing I didn't expect? I liked Sole Hope -- respected what they do before I left -- but I didn't expect to really fall in love with their mission and the work that they do. Sole Hope is an incredible non-profit, and I feel like a fan-girl/ambassador without any shame. Learn about what they do and how you can help.