A Journey with Friends

Not so much of a post today, just a few thoughts. A couple of days ago, I was transferring some of my pictures from my broken computer to my new computer, when I came across a video of my daily commute in Uganda.

Jinja, Uganda

I was volunteering for a charity called Soft Power Education in the Jinja District where we were painting a school. A couple of days after we arrived, the kids went on Easter break, so a few would usually hang around and watch, or sometimes grab a roller and join in. It was hot and sweaty in the classrooms, which made painting that little bit more difficult, so we’d pass the time by singing and dancing as we went. The children were particularly fond of the Les Misérables soundtrack.

It was my second time in Uganda. The first time had been on my Africa overland, where I met some of the best friends I’ve ever known. Now, two years later I found myself back in the country, joined by two of those friends (Kate and Siobhan), as well as a friend from home, Kerry. We hadn’t quite been able to match up our schedules completely, but we managed to get around a week and a half together across the globe.

Kibii picked up early each morning, and took us to school in the back of his truck. We’d jump in, claim our positions (a different place each day), put in our iPods and cling on for dear life as we whizzed through the Ugandan countryside. Sometimes we’d chat and laugh, or sometimes stand in collective silence, lost in thought or simply watching the world as we went by. We’d repeat the process in reverse on the way home. It was my favourite part of my day.

Ugandan Commute

The road was as bumpy as they come, and by the time we got to where we was going my face was always orange with dust that clung to my sunscreen, my hair, a frizzy mess, my legs  bruised from climbing into the truck and by the way home, I’d added paint to the mix. I looked like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards, forwards and side to side and that was before we even started the engine. But the smile on my face was always wide and I never bored of the view. The orange and green of the landscape, the blue of the sky, the waves of the people and the contented expressions on the faces of my best friends.

Dirty Feet

Uganda Soft Power Education

My Girls

Call me corny, I don’t care, but the journey to school and back reminds me of my friendship with these beautiful girls. We steady each other when the road gets bumpy. We can stand in silence, with no need for words. We laugh with each other. We laugh at each other. They always make me smile and remind me to not take myself too seriously. We’re on a journey together, but not necessarily always on the same journey. We see things differently, even when we’re looking at the same things. We dance together, but always to the beat of our own… drums iPods. We’re in different places, but I know they’re always there.

I miss that commute.