Weekends we have free time to venture, unless of course we’re working. The work is never done. Today, Tyler, Keisha and I decided to hike up the mountain to the falls. Right behind our street the village spans up into the mountain. We started our trek up the narrowing dirt roads filled with cows, goats, chickens, lush farmland. The beauty is endless, the land is overwhelming. I’m reminded of the concrete I surround myself with and how unhealthy it must be. In the short time I’ve been here it seems perfectly normal to have a goat in your house, animals in your yard and bare feet on the ground. It actually seems unfortunate to live any other way.
We’re routinely greeted with smiles and laughter. Mulembe, aaaaiiiiii! Most families here in the Manafwa district speak Lugiesu among other languages, most speak English, some better than others. All the children yell Muzungu,(white person) how are you? Some say, how are you I’m fine. Mulembe, aiiiiiiiii, (Hello) Uryena (or-ee-en-ah) How are you. Kasila (all is fine). These three phrases will get you far. And of course bana bange mulembe (hello my children). This happened the entire trek. Everyone exchanges laughs b/c apparently it’s funny to them if we speak Lugiesu, and they are so damn cute speaking English. Everyone greets you.
I like talking to the goats, the children find this very funny. I want to find a white goat so I can point at it and yell Muzungu, mulembe! Humor translates everywhere. Ugandan goats are quite frankly the cutest in the world, who knew goats could be so adorable. As we make our way through the village smiling, all i feel is wholeness. I am whole! I get gratitude now. ( Solar, a double entendre for u).
We make our way to the base of the falls and lose our path. An older women shifting cargo on her head leads us up a steep climb. We make water motions and point toward the falls. I’d go wherever she tells me too, I don’t doubt she knows the way/ a way to something I need. We climb, we lose our path again. Standing in the field we see a man with his machete. Relief. Machetes are tools here and a common site. I find most things in this place oddly soothing. He guides us straight up the mountain off trail. I won’t go into detail as my mother reads this blog, but let’s just say I’ll take the path next time. We made it to the falls, carefully balancing our footing, searing in the sun, out of bottled water. Blissed out! We successfully crossed over the falls, trekked down, relieved, content, safe.
The golden/red sun is melting behind the fields, the smell in the air is unmistakably African. The sounds of happiness echo throughout the hills. The temperature is perfect…This is the moment I’ve longed for. The love I feel is immeasurable. My heart is full!