A century lived in a day. Visits to local officials, sitting in the cramped sweltering jeep listening to Carissa try to negotiate the return of her bags with Egypt Air and security at Entebbe (is it the baggage people refusing to give the Egypt Air man the luggage or Tariq refusing to pick them up despite the letters? ANd where is Tariq?) Meeting with the social worker, interminable, surreal budget meeting ("how many people can sit around a million schilling table?"), wondering why our project directive seems so opaque to the man who's supposed to be our lead on the ground (who is in fact in Sudan), hot walk to the project to try to get some exercise. John Kamul from the hotel who promises to take me to the Rwenzori hills next time I'm here.
The tension between really describing the truth of the minutaie of the project, which seems like a snarl of eels, the edible ones indistinguishable from the mildly electric, nothing straightforward, nothing as we imagine it might be, everything a sidestep, and knowing that the people who support us have north american lenses. Not trusting my own lenses anymore, not knowing where I filter for the truth of development that the experienced soldiers reassure me of, or where I should be standing up and weeping.
And tonight, the children. The children. THe little ones singing the pragmatic songs of africa. "When you meet and elephant, what do you do? Nothing but PRAY." They drop to their knees, giggling. The big kids telling us their truths, truly trusting us, everyone in tears, everyone drawing us pictures of love such as I've never received before. Two of them drawing pictures of me. Derrick plastered to my side, carefully folding everyone else's love letters to me, to the Canadians.
Six year old Moses' picture, in six pieces, explained to blair. This is a maple leaf. And this is a house. And this a flower. And this is the ugandan flag. And this is a steer. And this is someone chopping. The chopping is a stick figure, with machete, another figure on the ground splashing blood.
I have never felt so much like I don't know what the hell I'm doing in my life. Tonight I sobbed.