Saturday, June 22, 2013

Home vs Homesick

It's a wonderfully lazy Saturday here in Kampala.  I've been mildly ill since getting back from London (a fun combination of weekly migraines and daily headaches, intestinal distress, and cold symptoms off and on), so I'm purposely trying to take it easy.  That's been hard to do while seconded to a different section this month, but I'm trying.

This morning I went to the farmers' market, which is about all the energy I could bear to expend.  I bought a market basket full of gorgeous broccoli and cauliflower (the dry season has produced some absolutely phenomenal heads of both!), stocked up on veggies for a taco salad later this week, and had a lovely brunch with a friend.  I made the egg/pesto/bread/cheese vendor laugh when I took mock offense at his suggestion of substituting feta for ricotta in a recipe (since they had sold out of the former), the pasta vendor noticed I hadn't been there in a few weeks, and I ran into plenty of people I know, if even only by sight.  Kampala is home, for now, and I am enjoying the comfortable familiarity that comes with settling in.

I came home and made a hearty broccoli cheddar soup, using the local broccoli and some sharp English cheddar I brought back from London.  It's simmering on the stove now.  The cats are cuddled up together on the couch, blissfully happy to have me in the house. 

It wasn't until I spoke to my mother that I got an unexpected pang of homesickness.  My hometown is celebrating its 250th anniversary, and my mom and nephew were heading down the hill for a narrated carriage ride through town visiting some of its historic sites.  The weekend also includes community meals, a concert, and a town photo with everyone who shows up.  I love that kind of thing and am sad to miss out on the fun. 

Feeling both at home and distinctly homesick is a strange phenomenon, but one that is instantly familiar to anyone in the FS, or even expat, community.  I guess anyone who has moved away from their hometown experiences this, really. 

So now I am going to enjoy a steaming bowl of broccoli cheddar goodness and watch a beautiful Kampala sunset over Lake Victoria.  Not a bad place to be, really.

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