I discovered something thing or two about myself today, first that I tend not have over the top excitement when I need to be ,and it doesn’t matter where I am or what am doing, the urge to take pictures never seems to quite hit me.
What is the relevance of all these candid confessions you ask?
About two months ago I won a writing competition by the World Bank.
The guys who selected me were either high on something, or I kicked some serious writing butt and my feelings aren’t coping yet or boundary lines have fallen for me in those biblical pleasant places.
An all expenses paid trip to Washington DC to attend the World Bank Spring meetings for 8 days.
Get this tit bit also,
I had never had a passport to call my own or even left the Pearl of Africa on a plane.
My experience of ‘outside countries ( that’s Ugandan English for abroad) up until now, was a trip to Burundi on Gaga Bus via Kigali for mission.
Any person with high levels of enthusiasm and excessive cheerleader skills like me, would be all screaming and feeling all kinds, sizes and colors of butterflies, but believe me when I say non of those feelings surfaced.
Along the way, the excitement would build up and get dampened by all the paperwork that comes with travelling, (it’s apparently not as fancy as showing up at the airport with your suitcases as seen in the movies) and a yellow fever shot. (Why haven’t they invented a pill or syrup for this yet? )
Oh also did I mention that this trip is a time when am supposed to be sitting my exams?
But thank God for having awesome deans.
The good Doctor Kakooza gave me a free pass. More like permission to sit special exams at a time when the rest of my class will be having a good laugh somewhere not in school.
Am still undecided on whether I got this exemption because my university is better than Strike-rere (read Makerere), or because it is sharp enough not to pass up an opportunity to be mentioned in the corridors of a World Bank Spring meeting or two.
Anyway so I tried to write about the experience but like I mentioned a while ago, my relationship with words went through a rough patch.
But I have a lay over of 4hours at Dubai airport, the Wi-Fi isn’t working like I thought, the place is so damn big, everyone is taking a nap, it’s a whole new world and I happened to carry a nice clear pen and a notebook.
I promised myself to feel excited once I got my Visa and nothing like that or it’s equivalent happened.
Then I postponed that jittery feeling to when I got to Entebbe airport (which by the way in comparison to this place seems like a glorified warehouse with ample parking space) and still I died in my own movie.
Not even my sister Dear’s wailing fest at the airport now turned warehouse, or the incredibly polite emirates crew with their tonnes of exotic food I have never seen or tasted, and nasty tasting things that give biscuits a bad name (I had to try them) gave me the desired effec
Where were we?
Yes the hunt for excitement.
As it turns out, I was looking for it in the wrong place.
I have been looking for it in a feeling and feelings are very unreliable sources of information.
In all honesty, I am excited and maybe a bit overwhelmed and here are a few reasons why.
1. I wrote my essay on the deadline, I neither edited it nor thought about it, and up until the World Bank called I had actually forgotten I wrote.
2.When they called me in to do an oral presentation of my essay, the country manager in an attempt to compliment me, compared me to Chimamanda Ngozi. (If you don’t know who that is, my friends Atim and Luka think I should judge you.
3. I got my passport in one day, and no I didn’t bribe anyone, God just sorted all the mess before I set foot at the ministry of Internal Affairs, and because my sister Luckie is kind of a magician.
4. I went to the place I used to call home, about a week prior to this life revolution, and it must have taken a real actual miracle dressed like Mother Dearest to have come out of there into the sky. (All pun intended)
5. The first visa in my passport is a USA one with an expiration of two years which makes me believe that another trip is somewhere in the heavenly works.
6. I get to go to Washington DC for free and get paid for it.
7. I get to celebrate my next birthday outside countries.
8. I finally have learned to travel light. Usually I am the girl who packs 6jeans, 12 tops and 5 dresses for a 3 day trip to Fort portal.
But I have only one piece of small luggage today which makes me so glad I got an opportunity to make my sister Pesh Darling proud, because she has lectured me about the importance of traveling light all my life
9. I made Mother Dearest really proud, maybe it was the sparkle in her eyes or
the fact that she travelled all the way from home sweet Fort portal, got a hair do’ (which cost me a few minutes of my check in time) to come and push me to the airport turned warehouse.
10. I almost successfully survived a crying party from my sister Dear, but I didn’t win that one. (Can’t win them all right?)
11. Xhosa Girl Sinawo actually called me from Hustle burg. Forget the whatsapp voice notes, it cost her some serious Rands.
12. I have seen the clouds up close and personal and the ocean and wow they look good
13. I have the best friends in the world. Starting from Iryn Kaka who makes it really hard to be her friend because her love and generosity are insanely unmatched to Dada who am very sure has a heart of pure gold, I won a lottery with these ones.
14. On a flight to unknown land, I met a friend, I haven’t seen or heard from in over a decade and it feels so freaking amazing to speak my mother tongue miles away from home in a place where everything is in English or Arabic.
15. I am at Dubai international airport and it’s no where close to life as I know it..
Damn straight I am excited, it may not be packaged in obscene amounts of selfies, butterflies and ululations but feelings are overrated..
Now if only I can get the Wi-Fi to work so I can post this.
ps: The Wi-Fi didn’t work so am posting this from a really long queue at the US border customs at the DC airport!! .
Also forgive all typos, I left home 25hrs ago and haven’t had proper sleep!