Finding a new home in Africa continued……..
Reaching Uganda :The Pearl of Africa :Part 2
Before I begin my second innings, let me write a small note of thanks to all my wonderful readers for their continued support and encouragement .
Thanks, viewers for the loads of love and support that have been consistently coming across the globe and reaching me on real time here. I really loved the way how people had reciprocated to my messages or posts in various social media platforms and their eagerness to know about Part 2. In less than a month’s time, 1000 views to my blog site are beyond my expectation for a minion like me. So it is indeed a blessing I must say.
So let’s start now with the next part of my story.
It was somewhere in August 2017. I had just reached India. For the first time I was travelling alone in an international airline, with four back to back flights till I reached my final destination, Guwahati, my home. You could very well imagine the feeling of reaching one’s own motherland after such a first time experience. The feeling of happiness on reaching my own soil started as soon as I reached the immigration counters of the receiving airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Tears of joy rolled down my face after getting my passport stamped as arrived. As if I was surrounded with a feeling of some achievement or some small kind of victory outside one’s own soil. The feeling kept on elevating throughout my subsequent domestic flights to reach Guwahati. I reached home safe and sound. People were happy to see me back after a long time.
A couple of months rolled on. I got busy with my exam preparations and also I managed to devote my best time to my parents at home, trying to put my hands in household chores or outside work related to daily life. I also met my closest friends and my ex-colleagues of India in between their busy schedules. It was a good way of reviving oneself and telling them real stories on the other side of the globe and listening to theirs after a long time.
It was 5th November, 2018. The day of UGC NET examination in India. I gave my best effort that time. Also , I was already four months away from my husband. He was at his job in Uganda. It was not easy to continue like this for months. But we have always been supporting each other in fulfilling each other’s life goals, wherever we are. His role in my transition phase is magnanimous and worth mentioning. In December, as usual, he reached India for his yearly home trip and we spent some days together at both my place and my in-laws’ place. After a month, it was time to pack our luggage and bid goodbye to my native place and return to Uganda. For me, the feeling was a bit different from his. I had spent almost five months at my home in Guwahati. And I really didn’t know when will be that next time to avail such a long break for homestay, considering the fate of a married girl. Alas! An emotional adieu and a sad return!
We were back to Uganda, my husband’s workplace. No sooner had we reached there than the results of the NET examination (which I was talking about in the last part of part 1), was announced. I did not expect such early announcements. It was a mixed feeling for me. I was so contented with my success because this examination which is actually very tough in the national level. Secondly clearing the exam after a decade of my MBA graduation made be double happy. And now that I had succeeded, I couldn’t afford to sit there in Uganda without applying for a few relevant posts in India.
“They say the universe has a great sense of humor. That sometimes having your dream come true can feel like a nightmare. Because getting what you want always come with strings attached”-Gossip Girl. (Gossip Girl is an American teen drama television series based on the book series of the same name written by Cecily von Ziegesar.)
The same feeling haunted me at that time.
In this way, a couple of months passed by in Uganda. However, I kept myself busy with the online applications of relevant jobs in India. Then one day I decided to go back to India in the hope of getting a good job or enroll myself in a PhD program in a good institute. So, I flew back home. But to my utter despair, I couldn’t make it to the best choices for PhD. After a few days, I got shortlisted for the post of Assistant Professor in a renowned college in Bhubaneswar (a city on the East coast of India,capital of Odisha). Without any second thought, I flew to this place in the hope of something good and hence our future settlement in India, leaving offshores forever. But alas! My bad luck again. There was an indefinite postponement of the interview as per the recent notifications of UGC regulations of those times. This implied that there was no point staying in India at that point of time as the same regulation was valid for all other colleges and universities as well. I came back to my hometown, Guwahati.
Just a few days after all this, I got an ISD call from an unknown number in Uganda. But to my utter surprise, I found out that the number belonged to none other than the Head of the Department of Management Science, Kyambogo University, a government university in Uganda. I was elated with joy as she had offered me a job in her university and I was supposed to report in the next ten days as classes were beginning after the long semester break. I was even getting job offers as guest faculty in my home town. But I had to take a quick decision of choosing this one from Uganda so that my husband could peacefully continue his job there. So it seemed that it was time for Africa again. However I was under no pressure to do that but a kind of moral conscience or compassion for him for all the sacrifice he had done for me to establish my new career, came to the forefront and backed me to take that upfront move. This was because I could not bear to ask him to quit his long-standing job just for me and also he had no immediate backup plans of jobs or any business.
I reached the African continent back again in August 2018. It seemed as if life was sending me back and again to this beautiful place for some reason or the other. Frankly speaking, when I had arrived at this place initially in 2017, I did not like the place at all, keeping aside the beautiful nature on one side as I had basically nothing to do. I was just waiting for the weekends to move out of the house along with my husband when he got somehow free from his busy project schedules. Life was really terrible for me in the first part, doing nothing basically except cooking and maintaining the house.
It is my honest confession, my dear readers, as time progressed, I started viewing life in a different way. I have always believed that one must have simple and straight forward goals in life for self-sustenance, whether one is single or married, working or not working. Slowly and steadily, I learned to welcome every move that came on my way, good or bad with equal élan. The highs and lows of life had taught me to overcome both sides of the coin. Today I am somewhat happy with the person I have evolved with times. Happy teaching and learning, happy touching minds in a different country, in a different continent across different cultures. Learning about their crafts, history, festivals, food habits, dressings, attending public functions and marriages are adding to my knowledge store every day.
The other most noteworthy point to be highlighted about this part of the globe is its surprising similarity to our Meghalaya (a state in North -Eastern India and my neighbor state of Assam). You might be shocked to hear all this! But, yeah, it is true in Africa too. The first thing that generally strikes any mind about Africa is that it very hot and it’s called Dark Continent across the globe. However, I have found that it is not so everywhere across the continent.
Uganda resembles Meghalaya for quite a number of reasons……..The abode of clouds, casting hill station- like looks with beautiful pine trees and maintaining decent mercury levels with soothing temperatures from dawn to dusk throughout the year. The waterfalls spread across the region, the lofty hills throughout the towns and villages and the breathtakingly beautiful golf courses in the capital city and outside the city. Apart from the natural beauty of this country, Uganda is the hub of the United Nations in the entire East African Region. Like Meghalaya, the inhabitants of this country are jovial and active. They too have a deep love for football and music. Moreover, the tone of the language bears so much resemblance to our various indigenous tribes of North East India. And yes, one most important thing, the women power and their independence. Like Meghalaya, women are very independent here with respect to her choices of work, dressing and living. The women selling local fruits and vegetables on the roadsides or the markets bring me vivid memories of my yesteryears stay in Shillong, one of my previous workplaces. Also one of its neighboring countries, Rwanda is even much more equivalent to our Meghalaya with respect to the picturesque beauty and its cleanliness. Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda stalls tall with its reputation of being the cleanest city in the entire continent. One can even sit near a gutter and enjoy one’s meal comfortably. In this case, Kigali corresponds to Asia’s cleanest city, Mawlynong, a place in Meghalaya. For me, it’s a throwback of the times I had lived in Meghalaya.
The above-mentioned similarities make me somewhat feel like home outside the home (motherland).And I am happy about it. Every day, I try to relate my experiences here with those of my homeland. Slowly and steadily, my apprehensions and insecurities of initial years calmed down to a significant level and almost gone now. And here I am! Today I am happily teaching as a guest faculty at Kyambogo University and sharing experiences with my students and colleagues. I try to thank God for every beautiful sunshine and the picturesque views I come across every day –be it on the way to work or going to the market for daily needs of life. My hidden love for nature has now erupted so much now with nature’s setting here that I can’t help capturing everything that catches my eye and arrests my soul. I am so passionate about photography now. I am also passionate about telling life’s real stories, beautiful or ugly. I want to showcase the beauty of truths of life and the power of perseverance and positivity and hope in our lives.
Truly I am at home! Found my home and some sunshine.
Happy reading until we meet again with my next post!