A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

East Coast Friendships

Over the last 6 months I have learned more about friendships than I thought I needed to know. When you reach your late 20's you think you have a good understanding of friendship. The drama of middle school friendships are over. The drifting apart of high school friends is passed. The staying up all night learning minute details of each other in college are through. Yet, as life continues and the true friendships stay, you learn what it really means to remain friends.

All through my time in Africa I had great friends calling me once a month, writing e-mails, and sending letters and packages. I felt supported and loved. I needed those notes of encouragement and reminders that I was still loved back home so that I could keep living my life in Uganda confidently. While that may have been a testing time for some friendships - who is going to stick with you when you live 8000 miles away - I didn't feel the test until these last 6 months when I was living in the U.S. again. Who is going to accept that you are different now? Who is going to ask the probing questions that make you be honest with yourself and with your friends? Who is going to call you over and over even when you don't have the strength to return their calls? Who is going to get on the next train when you are having the saddest day of your life and come hug you? Who dares to keep living with you when you barely know what living is in that moment? I am usually strong and friendship doesn't seem too hard. But I recently went through a time when I wasn't the strong one. I needed my friends to be strong for me. I needed them to ask me how I was really feeling. Friendship was hard.

I am very thankful for the friends I have. These last few days in the North East have revealed more friends who have stuck it out with me -who want to know who I am and who accept the differences and the things that have stayed constant. Thank you for your understanding and your love! May we continue to weather life together.


Molly, you make me see life more abstract. You help me live in the gray and be happy there. You ask me hard questions and let me ask you hard questions. I value your advice and am honored when you ask for mine. Thank you for taking me into your home and letting me live a bit of life with you and your family. Your daughter makes my heart melt. I am so proud of the mom you are and the wife you try to be. Thank you for sticking with me. I am so thankful for your friendship.

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures with you Molls but here is a piece of you I absolutely love!

Celeste, you are a new friend but one I have been through so much with already. You understand a part of me that most cannot because they haven't lived it with me like you have. You also understand this crazy time of adjustment and I am thankful for your words letting me know I'm not alone in these feelings. You make me smile and remind me to be young at heart. Who else makes getting face paint and airbrush tattoos so much fun? Your joy for life is infectious. Thank you for being there for me. Kwagala nnyo Mukwano gwange!

Celeste, me and Thomas - RPCV's from Uganda at the Jazz Festival in Boston 6 months after leaving Uganda

Diana and Paul, you remind me of all the experiences we have been through together. Your recount of life leaves me breathless from laughter. You both ask questions that challenge me to be thoughtful and not flippant with my response. Your sense of time gives me hope that parts of Africa can live in America. Thank you for your firm gentleness and your genuine interest in who I am and who I will and can be. Your friendship is so special.

Me, Diana and Paul at the beach in Maine - ahhhhh

Bridget, where do I even begin? You are so insightful. You know how to put yourself in someone else's shoes and feel for them. Thank you for you phone calls, emails, letters and packages over the years, especially over the last few months. I can't thank you enough for trying to understand me and changing with me. You don't let me get away with much. Your fight and exuberance for life make me want to live fully. You make me laugh so hard I almost pee my pants at times. Thank you for all you are to me and more.

I decided this wasn't too scandalous of a picture to post
since you have already put yourself breastfeeding on your blog

I love you! And Parker too.
This trip East has reminded me further of how blessed I am to know and be known by some pretty incredible people. Thank you dear friends for living life with me.


  1. love! Loved our weekend together. I may be the one who pressurizes you to get temporary tattoos... but you definitely get me out of my homebody body... DRAG me to boring ole' Maine... and show me the adventurous life of a heart-stealing gypsy woman... :)


    and holy moly, rose is ADORABLE.