A Travellerspoint blog


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.

Posted by CateinTO 13:23

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(((((Cate))))) You're doing good work there. That's what the hell you're doing! Keeping you in my thoughts.

by Cindy

I extend my not well known heart to you from across the globe, Cate, to hold your heart in this deep space of "not knowing." I have tears in my eyes and joy in my soul as I contemplate the realness, the beauty, the intensity of all that you are and all that you are doing. May you trust your deep, lived experience of this place, of these people, of yourself---even when the words and the meaning making have abandoned you and tears are the only thing left.

by Tamyra

it is so foreign to think of you sobbing. in general you are the strongest and most stoic person i know. I miss you and love you very much.

by Stephanie

You are definitely making a difference - the tears and the heart-rending feelings often well up, while there and even many years later. Haiti has never left me, nor will Kasese ever leave you. Love what you are accomplishing - unselfish and loving!


by Mom

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