breathing in deeply

There is something about flying over the South of France that inspires one to try to write great things.

Pulling out my laptop, I began to type, my fingers clicking against the black and grey keys in the darkness of the dimly lit cabin. But as the words poured forth from my fingers like ink on wet page, I realized that in a sense I was not writing about the truth, for I was not writing about things that had happened, but rather about something that was about to come. I anticipated what it would be like to return to Uganda. I wrote about my return as if it had already occured although truly it had yet to happen. I have described coming home so many times...and each time it is very much the same. Last year. Two years ago. The year before that.

The last forty minutes of the ride from Europe to Entebbe always kill me. Sitting still for eight hours hardly bothers me now; I've grown so accustomed to the steady plodding of the plane moving through clouded air. It takes time to fly. But those final forty minutes have no mercy on such a soul as me and when the descent into African airspace begins I become as antsy as a child on Christmas Eve.

I caught my first glimpse of Africa as I climbed down the metal ladder steps pressed against the side of the British Airways plane, the final steps in the long journey back. Looking out, I imagined I could see the green reeds by the lake, and the blue and grey haze that hovers over the water like damp cotton. The red clay color of the Ugandan dirt adding such color to those first glimpses of Africa…the rusty orange, heavy, ever-present, staining dirt. The color of life. But all was shrouded in the darkness of night and yet I was still able to breathe in deeply the smells of Africa. Clay, Sweat, Humidity, Rotting fruit and stale Nido.

My work permit has expired and I had to buy a new visa upon arrival. When they asked me questions, I lapsed back into my old accent without even noticing.
It is good to be back.


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