Happy Birthday tooo meee

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May 13th 2007
Published: May 13th 2007
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House of HopeHouse of HopeHouse of Hope

My favorite kiddies and Jillian the great oh and me
I woke up in Africa today and it took me a few minutes before I remembered that I am twenty years old. Thats like grandpa status....I guess its a good thing. Well...happy birthday to me.

This is my last week in Uganda. I don't even know what that means. I am so excited for everything ahead of me. Thats why it doesn't feel sad. Looking back to my original entries, I knew that Uganda was going to become a huge part of who I am. It certainly has. Its been an incredible couple of months here. How do you find words to conclude this experience? How do I explain how empowering it feels to know that I did this on my own? How do I say goodbye to my Ugandan friends, My leapyear group? How do I go home?

I'm just going with it. One step at a time. Breathing.

I have been rockin' out with my friend Jillian. I picked her up last Wednesday. It was a wonderful reunion. We ran screaming towards each other and jumped into each others arms. On the ride back to Kampala, I was in a slight daze. It felt

house of hope students
so natural to be around her and then at the same time, I would remember that she is the first to see me after everything I have been through. One of the first things she said to me was "Emma, you look beautiful. You look free!" I feel free and I'm glad that the people I love can see it too.

I woke up last week with an incredibly deep appreciation for everything Uganda has brought to my life. I came searching for the human connection that I am so fond of and I found the roots of that connection here in Africa. Its hard to describe what I mean, but Africa possesses an energy that feels like ancient wisdom. It holds the answers to so many of life's big questions. I found what I was searching for.

I've been taking Jillian to all the places that I love. We went to House of Hope this weekend and spent a few days with the children there. Those children are incredible. Yesterday we made our way back to Kampala and we went to see my Burundian Refugee drummer friends. After that time we stumbled upon them in the ally way, we have gone back a bunch of times to hang out with them. They gave me the best birthday song I have ever had. They drummed for me and sang this beautiful song praising my parents for bringing me into the world. Every once in a while they would switch to regular old "happy birthday." They put so much energy into the music they create and it felt so good to have it directed at me.

Tonight Jillian is taking me out to dinner and to the movies, I am a little sick so I need to take it easy. Tomorrow we are going on a three day safari and then on Thursday we are going rafting on the Nile. We have a really exciting week ahead of us. Touristy, but awesome. Then Saturday, I fly back to California for my final retreat. I will be home in Vermont on June 1st.

I really don't know how to end this, so I am just going to stop here.

Webale Nnyo Uganda!!



14th May 2007

emma i love you happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23rd May 2007

Tu es formidable toujours, Emma!
Wow - I hope to see you at graduation, Emma - beacoup de felicitations pour tous que t'a fait! Amities, Ron (your ol' - and truly ol', not like 20 - Compass theater guy...) See you in VT?
23rd January 2010

Your journey looks fantastic! I came across this travel post as I research Uganda from DC. I am writing a brief article about a bicycle donation program. I hope that your adventures have continued and good luck!

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