I took a cab (8 hour bank search instead of just the 4 hour ride--uch.) and as we drove into the African sunrise, I smiled and laughed. The rainy season has just begun and the land was brimming with extraordinary greenness and rich browns. The large maribu storks peered down on me from the tops of the trees; they are magnificently ugly. The women wear their finest clothing as they walk down the dirt road with bundles carried on their heads. The sides of the road were filled with miles and miles of sugar cane, casava, coffee, and corn (c,c,c,c). The windows were down and I became immediately coated with African dust. I was dirty and I was happy.
Time ticked away slowly, as it naturally does here in Africa, as I awaited my cliff. We approached Mbale and: Wanali. Majestic and awesome. She stood in silence, the drop from her peak as straight as the line in my back. The clouds above her, her crown.
By the time I took my second trip back to Mbale (another 4 hours, but this time in a crowded matatu, taxi-van meant for 14, but stuffed with 20), sunrise turned to sunset and then quickly into dark. When there is no moon and no electricity, it becomes obvious that the stars, in all their beauty and utility (light) were created for us. The wide, open sky does not make me feel small, like it used to, but makes me feel great.
I got back to Hadassah School and it was late, but the children were waiting up for me. I got off my boda-boda (motorcycle) and they came rushing towards me. We had tea and shared a cake that I brought from home. We said Shma, sang Hamalach Hagoel (which I taught them, which they still say every night), sang the Mosquito song (pronounced mo-skwee-to--but then again, shouldn't it be that way since there's a Q?). Since Purim just passed, they kept getting Mosquito mixed up with Haman (same tune, so cute). And then, as though not a day had passed, when we were done singing, they all yelled out, "Kiss! Kiss!" (the boys and girls separately), and I went around and gave each of them a kiss on the cheek, or leg, or arm, or whatever I could reach before they pretended to be squeamish and shy away.
And today Abraham and I began rekindling our friendship (I slipped him a lollipop). His older sister, Esther, says that he talks about me often.
So, what am I doing here, you ask? Well, I decided last Thursday that I really just wanted to see all my friends in Uganda and realign myself back with the basics. To do a bit of good (I brought matza) and to get a bit of perspective. So I'm hanging out here on the equator, right in the middle of this crazy world, in this very beautiful place, for 2 weeks of vacation.
Mommy made me get a mobile (m,m,m,m) and here's my number: 011-256-78-222-3172. It spells nothing. I'm 7 or 8 hours ahead. I won't be angry if you wake me up. (On the contrary.)
Off to the market I go to buy vegetables for dinner at Yael's.
P.S. If you'd like to donate to the Send Sarah to Africa and Still Enable Her to Eat and Pay Rent When She Gets Back Fund (the SSTAASEHTEAPRWSGBF), please send your check or cash to: Sarah Gold 6400 Patterson Ave. Richmond, VA 23226. I am officially about to run out of money.