Amelia’s Uganda Diary #2

Wow! Who ever thought that learning to relax could be such a challenge?!?!

Coming from the US, I’m used to structure, and to the saying, “To be early is to be on time, on time is to be late, and to be late, you had better be dead.”

Well, things just aren’t that way here! Time is nearly irrelevant, so people just go with the flow.
I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively laid back and mellow person, yet here and now I am finding that may not be true. I get antsy waiting around with nothing to do. And that, I have been told, is the problem. Because I’m used to the fast paced, ever busy bustle of my life in the US, I don’t know how to relax and just enjoy the present time. My brain and hands scream to be occupied with ANY task, whatsoever, as long as they are busy.

I can say that I have made some progress, though! The other day, we (my husband and I) were approached by a member of the Xavier Project, which helps Congolese Refugees assimilate into Ugandan society. He asked us to play a concert for them to showcase some of their members’ talents of rapping and singing. This was a Tuesday, and the concert was scheduled for that coming Saturday at 2 pm. We were introduced to a few other musicians and the singers, with whom we had three practices, none of which we were successful in getting through one whole song!

Saturday at 2 pm came and went, with no sign of the sound system, stage, or organizers. Then 3, 4, 5 ….. Finally, FINALLY (!), around 5:15, the drum set and 1 speaker showed up. It was nearly 6 by the time everything else came together and we got started (with no sound check). Fortunately, the crowd (who all stayed, waiting that whole time, because that’s how things go here), loved it, and we were thanked and applauded graciously. In the end, it was indeed a blast.

A couple of weeks ago, such a scenario would have caused me to stroke out. But I got through it!

Back to the original point: learning to relax. I don’t believe one can understand how high-strung-life in the US or other Western countries can affect you until you have immersed yourself in a different culture. I always had immense difficulty meditating and falling asleep because my mind was racing with a billion and one thoughts about what I was gonna be doing tomorrow, and the next week, and two months away. Now, I feel like a couple years living this new lifestyle will really help me mellow out. I’m in the beginning stages of purifying my mind, body, and soul (just gotta convince people to stop burning trash…), and I can’t wait to see the results!

My new motto: Just chill, maaaaaaaan!

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