It has become easy for me to assume that through continual interaction with the community and previous adventures around I have become able to traipse through even the most rural locations of Ngora without losing my direction. Yesterday, it became easy to realize I was a fool for this assumption made.
In attempt to break up the monotony of a particularly frustratingly day, I decided to trade the dress slacks and long sleeve for my highschool soccer shorts and spanky’s cotton long sleeve (sun here is brutal). With buzi already anticipating Runner’s High by my actions, I stretched and departed in a direction previously never undertaken.
Not many people will speak in blogs or otherwise about the beauty of Eastern Uganda, and fewer still about Teso Sub-region. Generally I’ll have to admit that the SW is much more picturesque; even still, Ngora still has its fair share of jaw-droppers. Traversing on new trails is always a treat, and the further you get away from “the town,” the more ideal the view becomes. Within 35 minutes Buzi and I were surrounded by nothing but blue skies, beautifully untampered hedges lining the trails, and our own panting breaths. A second later, Buzi bolts---he’s seen a wild pigeon. Instantly a whole cloud of fluttering white rises into the air, faltering for a moment before realizing their threat has no skyward mobility, then lazily retiring to the next shady spot as their chosen respite.
Stunned by the beauty around me, it took a group of women who stopped me (they wanted to greet, ask me how my place was, talk about the rains---the normal) for me to realize I had no clue where I was. Faced with the option of admitting defeat and asking the ladies for directions around or running around in circles…I chose the latter. Eventually Buzi and I made it to a valley low enough to have standing water in the fields (Buzi loved this, by the way; he took to water immediately) which meant---I thought---that I was back in a region that I knew. I was wrong, of course; it would take 45 more minutes of intermittent running & backtracking to get back to a road that was familiar. Buzi got a thorn in his foot and was panting like a crazy man. Credit where it’s due: despite my many turn-arounds which he must have known were incorrect in the first place, he remained faithfully trailing me.
After it was all said and done, Buzi and I had gone running from 12:30-3:30…the dead middle of the day. Buzi collapsed outside of my house, unwilling to deal with the marginally higher temperature of my non-ceilinged room. I brought out his water and laid down beside him on the cool concrete. What a journey!
Experiences like these make me question if I do them enough. This was 3 hours of one day of one week, and yet the experience is something that will stick with me as a great part of my time in Teso. I guess I just wish I could have taken the time when it was there to take; a year ago I didn’t have 1/5 the things going on that I do now. If a man is only old when regrets take the place of dreams, it’s as though I’ve started to get a few gray hairs.