*Another prompt from my friends at Pink Pangea
We closed the curtains of the van as we drove deeper into the city. The roads went in every direction, how one could possibly navigate it all I did not know. Our driver made one thing clear: keep the windows closed if you can and keep purses and valuables out of arm’s reach. We had been in a rural part of the country for the past week, and on those quiet dirt roads it became serene; the kids laughing and playing as we went, the women outside their small strip of stores, the men back and forth in their daily routines. You could see the heaviness of drought, but you could also see the beauty of hope across their sun-kissed cheeks. There are friendships that have lasted beyond distance, beyond communication barriers, beyond pandemic. Here, though, in the city the hustle of the everyday grew as we went, the weary of trying to get ahead in a barely treading economy was evident.
We pulled up to a market, where you were supposed to barter for the intricately made goods. But how could I? These people very well knew they could take advantage of the young, blonde white girl, but why wouldn’t I give them what they were asking? We spent a couple hours browsing in what seemed to be an escape from the hundreds of people along each street and the drivers honking just to move an inch. And then we got to leave. We got to head out from the masses of people just trying to survive, and towards our comfortability of the everyday.
I sat on the plane a few hours later, the scenes like a constant loop of a song in my head. You can’t unsee moments like that, but you can lean in and believe for better. Right now Uganda stays in crisis as their governmental stability has faltered through recent elections, not unlike our own situation here. It’s just another reminder we aren’t that different, and loving people well regardless will always win. It’s been a long five years away from my friends turned family that have seen an amass of hard times, but I’m believing near and far the best is yet to come.