Thursday, December 6, 2007


Apologies for the overlong silence. I am now back in Uganda after spending three weeks up and down the East Coast—Portland, Cape Cod, Boston, Cape Cod, Sugarloaf, Portland. It feels good to unpack the suitcase(s).

Uganda has a smell. It hits you the second you step off the plane. It’s warm and earthy, and intoxicating to return to. Every time I arrive in Uganda and smell it, I’m reminded of my first arrival—when I was uncertain but excited, tired but relieved—and in remembering those feelings, I experience a different kind of relief: a certain pride at how far I’ve come in not feeling so uncertain anymore and the comfort of returning to the place we've made our home. Knowing the smell is fleeting and I would all too soon grow used to it again, I tried to enjoy it this time as long as I could, taking deep breaths as we waited in line for our visas (due to both the front and back doors of the plane being open for disembarking, we were the very last people off the plane and hence the last people in the visa line), as we searched the fancy (for Uganda) new luggage belt for our suitcases (packed with granola bars and three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs), and as we scanned the crowd outside the airport and discovered P.’s smiling and familiar face. It waned the closer we drew to Kampala, overpowered by wafts of cooking meat and smoke as we made our way along Entebbe Road, and had all but disappeared as we unlocked the gate to our apartment. But by then I hardly noticed—N. came over to hear about our trip and afterwards we put in an episode of Entourage Season 3 and ate a box of our imported macaroni and cheese and were awash in contentment.