How can you count good-byes?

Have you ever purposefully said good-bye to someone not knowing when you’ll see them again?

Our good-byes started at our farewell party on Saturday. We spent the entire day prepping food by peeling potatoes, beheading and plucking chickens, and chopping and stirring onions & onions for sauce. Besides spaghetti, most of the food was African and was well received by all of our guests from the different parts of BHTF. Thankfully, we even had enough food for all of the random neighbors who showed up to the party. Apparently it’s normal for strangers to join in and we all had fun dancing. The little kids pulled me into their bouncing circle and we tried to introduce salsa to the adults.

Owen before the party:

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On Monday morning we went to our last staff meeting at the clinic. Already we’re being replaced by so many more mzungu teams that have come in. It was another reminder that our time was ending in the village. šŸ˜¦ Later we went back to the farm to paint the new dormitories green, orange, and red. Afterwards, we played some volleyball while waiting for them to serve rice and beans for lunch. They eat GIGANTIC portions at the farm! It’s funny how more food doesn’t mean more money. Or more hunger to finish it all without holding your breath. But it’s okay because we got to walk it off heading back to our house with Amos.

Tuesday was our very last day in Kaihura so we had to make it special. Early in the morning, we cooked breakfast for the over 50 kids living at Home Again. Everybody was there since school is on holiday. I think they enjoyed the eggs and jam + butter sandwiches, although one of the “more spirited” kids named Victor demanded millet. Ugandans love of millet is definitely something I’ll definitely never understand.

In the afternoon, the girls who live at Faith’s house came to the orphanage and we had a field day. Niara led games including limbo, three-legged races, and red light/green light. We also gave out presents. I wrote letters and folded them into origami cranes but others made cards or developed photos. Some of the older children returned the favor and wrote us our own letters. They were short and very sweet. As we left, we gave out hugs after hugs and exchanged tears. I’m not sure if many of the little kids knew what was going on but I guess it might’ve been better that way? It’s hard to think of them even only a day after and not feel like there’s something missing. Like Cato.

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In the evening we played our final volleyball game and Amos brought yellow “Kings of Kaihura” jerseys for us to wear. Unfortunately our playing was cut short since we also wanted to do a sunset climb to see Kaihura from the top of Dorcas hill. It was beautiful, even with the oncoming storm clouds.

The next morning we sorted everything we had into donation piles. I’m impressed with how willing everyone was to give away their prettiest skirts and fluffiest pillows, along with toiletries and medical supplies for Home Again, Dorcas, and the clinic. All of our suit cases are now considerably lighter. When we started to pack our bus, visitors appeared to say good-bye. The sky was gray and so was the mood as we once again exchanged hugs and good wishes. Our cook, Pelouse, has 3 adorable children Nora, David, and Jennifer. Jennifer’s about three years old, repeats everything you say, and has the darkest, prettiest skin. She is literally the cutest girl ever and all I wanna do when I see her is pick her up. My longest good-bye was probably with her.

After a 4 hour drive, including a random stop to buy potatoes, we finally arrived in Kampala! It’s hard to believe that this city exists in Uganda when it is so far beyond Kaihura, not even comparable to Fort Portal. There are sky scrapers and movie theaters. The roads are crammed with boda bodas and cars and people and very, very close to almost accidents. We ate at a small mall which had a 24-hour supermarket, escalators, and a restaurant that could’ve been in the United States! The food was delicious and our eyes were bulging at the sight of sundaes and smoothies. Stephen and Master Bright, a Hope Academy teacher, drove in the van with us so this was our last meal with them but hopefully not our last time seeing them.

Now we’re in a giant, beautiful guest house with basically stable electricity, hot water, wi-fi, a toaster, coffee maker, and fridge. Mind. Blown. I guess the transition back home won’t be so bad. As far as comforts go at least.

PS. If you hear something about Ebola, just know that that’s nowhere close to us. So no worries. šŸ˜€

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How can you count good-byes?

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