My dear friends Betty, Fred and Louis have reappeared in my life. They used to be my neighbors but were transferred deep into the village last year. Louise has grown but still has the exact same face at the age of 2½ as he did at 1½ years. Fred also hasn’t changed though he is now in P6 and boarding here at St. Theresa. Betty feels the education is better for Fred here and he has more of a chance. Fred comes to visit regularly and has taken up his former role of jack fruit cutter. He climbs the trees behind my house and knocks on the jack fruit testing to find the ones that are ready for eating. He then cuts it up and passes sections out to my neighbors and me. I think we’re all happy to have him back!
In other news, 2 of my best friends at site have been transferred. Jen and Annet (and Grace) have left St. Theresa. This has been a difficult time for me. The past 2 years have been filled with conversations, errand running and routine life living with these 2 dear friends. They have shaped my love of Uganda and its people. They have taught me so much about living as a Ugandan, culture, relationships, school and being a woman. It was difficult to see them go. I always thought I would be the one to leave them but they have been the ones to leave me. I don’t like to be the one left behind.
When the day came for Jen to move out, her new school came with a truck to take all her belongings to her new one bedroom home. Most of the teachers from St. Theresa had stayed into the evening to help her finish packing and load up the truck. It was a beautiful site of friendship and support. They offered words of encouragement and advice as they lifted her bed and carried her suit cases. To Ugandan teachers, transfers are a way of life. They may be sad to see one another go but they don’t dwell on that. They look to the future and offer prayers and support to the one leaving. Though I have shed many tears over this change, I too offer my love and prayers to my friends who embark on a different life. I know they will open their homes to me whenever I visit. And, visit, I will very soon.