Uganda is My Family

Been back from Uganda for about five weeks. I’m homesick.

I had a wonderful time in the Pearl of Africa. For more than five months, I enjoyed adventure, friendships and a sense of being in a place where I am loved, welcomed and appreciated. Kind of like being in the living room at a family gathering.

kida meal

Nothing was better than being invited into a home, to share a meal and time together. I felt honored to be in the midst of those with a gift of hospitality. Shared times, shared stories, laughs and food. Families do that. I’m fortunate to be considered a member of several African families.

What is it about this place that attracts me so much? Well, people are real, they’re authentic. No one puts on airs. If they want to impress their guests, they do so by extending a hand in friendship.

I learned a lot through these visits and meals. There’s sharing, there’s support, good conversation. My Rukiga improved and my appetite grew to appreciate the African diet.

The holiday season here at home is about to begin. Families will gather for their annual Thanksgiving or Christmas party. Memories will be made.

This year, you’ll have to excuse me if I seem to go through the motions. My heart will be elsewhere, longing to share precious moments with my family in Uganda.

Modern African Family

Throughout Africa, many generations live together. In this photo, the son sits next to his mother. He dresses like any Western teen, will work hard at what he can get. The mother does much of the domestic work, cleaning and cooking, filling water jars. The daughter-in-law nurses her young child before she helps with work around the family compound.

There are babies everywhere. The Ugandan family has 6.7 children per household, an unsustainable number. The Bwindi Community Hospital conducts regular family planning outreach to nearby communities.

african family courtyard

This scene was captured moments after lunch was served to me and my host, who was visiting his wife’s family.