Putting ITunes on shuffle is a funny thing. Music is memories. Taking me back to my past self as I sit here in my hotel room in Nebbi. Funny enough, Robyn’s song “Do You Really Want Me” just came on (Sara and dad I think you remember this song from junior high carpool days.
There are moments in life when something about the future becomes so clear and unavoidable, as if there is something inside that needs to get out and explore. I remember clearly the car drive with Bjorn on the way to Santa Barbara for my sister’s wedding when I decided that I was going to leave GFW and move to Uganda. It is possible. Anything is possible, which can be so miraculous and beautiful and also very overwhelming.
Yesterday, I had such a moment. I was teaching yoga to Sarah in the garden at the hotel with smiling and laughing children peeping through the gate. During every updog, I made funny faces at them and they thought I was the funniest person ever. At the same time I had another observer. Sarah, sister-in-law to my colleague Lillian, who is helping Lillian take care of her four-month old baby Zion, was also watching us practice yoga. Afterwards, she asked me if I was a counsellor. I said no, but that I can always listen. She proceeded to tell me with tears rolling down her cheeks how lost she was feeling in her life. I wont go into the details for confidentially sake, but it really made me think about going into therapy or counselling work. Lillian is also a counsellor for MEMPROW and is here to provide support for the girls who are going through the training. I talked to her about it today and she told me that she studied IT at university, but it did not feel like her calling. She is in the process of getting her Masters in Counselling while she also plans her wedding (Nov. 10 with 500 people! My first Ugandan wedding) and takes care of her four children. She told me she loves the job and I can see how it is really helping the girls here. Two days ago, she took a girl to get an HIV test because she thought she could be positive. Thankfully, it came out negative!
This new idea has really taken my plans a bit off course. I have been looking into different counselling programs and at one point today I thought I would cancel my plans of going to Cape Town and instead apply for a psychology or counselling program in the States. After talking it through with my parents, I decided that I would take this year at UCT; learn as much as I can, while solidifying my next step. I want to gain as much knowledge of different options before I turn the plane around and change my plans, so if anyone is a therapist/counsellor/psychologist (Auntie Lisa or Pam?) or anything please let me know of your thoughts and ideas! I just talked to my sister, Jess, who studied Psychology and was thinking of the same thing. She gave me good advice about the negative aspects of the job: loneliness, working with crazies, going nuts yourself. Ahhh, so much to think about. But, at this point in my life, I feel that skills are more important than anything.
I am glad that I am finally making use of my yoga teaching skills! During the social survival training I have been teaching mini-yoga classes to wake the girls up and reenergize them. They are really liking it! Even today, Sarah asked them what they are enjoying and one girl said the yoga sessions with Kim 🙂 They especially like the dance and wiggle session I start off with and the loud exhales. There is more laughter than silence, which is refreshing. I am also teaching Sarah every night after work. We sometimes have guest visitors like our friend Eve tonight and Lillian two days ago and the occasional curious children observers. It is also a fantastic way for me to continue my teaching practice and own practice.
The downpour of rain is so soothing right now. A couple hours ago, I decided to walk to the store and get some water and a rolex (egg wrapped in chapati) when it was still dry outside. As soon as I got to the store the water started coming and it only got worse. Hanging under an overhang I made some new friends including the owner of the shop who offered to drive me home. But, I was so close, I would just wait it out. The impatience was kicking in after 10 minutes so I decided to go for it when the rain slowed down. Before I knew it, I was running through the streets, hearing people laughing and yelling muzungu. I wonder how often they see a white lady run through the streets in a downpour laughing. I still had a big smile on my face as I entered the gates of the hotel. It was so invigorating 🙂 Hopefully, it will subside in the morning so Michael, Sarah, and I can go on our morning runs. We have to go at 6am before it starts to get hot, but it is worth it. Watching the sun move up over the landscape into the expansive sky is a beautiful way to start the day.