Yesterday, a place I love was attacked. Yesterday, people of all nationalities were killed while watching the World Cup Finals in Kampala, Uganda. One of the places that was bombed was a place I know well. In 2008, I sat in that very same rugby club and watched the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with people from all over the world. Everyone cheered as their respective nations walked around the stadium and I will always remember how happy I felt at that moment. They served good food, they had comfy couches, everyone who came there had a smile on their face. That night in Kamapala, Uganda at the rubgy club was one of my happiest. And now that place is gone. In the last ten minutes of a thrilling match the world split apart for those in my favorite rugby club as well as those at a nearby Ethiopian restaurant.
I don’t understand this kind of disrespect for human life. I simply can’t comprehend this type of hate. Honestly, at this point I don’t care who perpetrated this attack and why- it won’t change what has already been done. Later, I will wonder and speculate. Today, however, I just want to remember that place as it was and send all my thoughts and prayers to those who are in hospital recovering and the families of those 74 who will never recover. Today, the attackers will not occupy my mind- they don’t deserve first thoughts- first thoughts are reserved for those whose pleasant and happy night was brought to an abrupt and violent end.
One of my favorite Ugandan hang-outs is gone but I won’t ever forget the way it was. My memories will not be tarnished by hatred. I will not be afraid to travel back to the place I love, the place where I have found some of my most joyful moments and experiences. Despite last nights events, Uganda will remain in my mind as one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited. A place where I not only witnessed peace, but where I found my own.
It has become apparent to me, in the past couple of weeks, that my life is a series of random events that are seemingly unconnected and unrelated to one another, and yet they make up this bizarre and typically pleasant life of mine. My paths are not really paths. The road isn’t a road at all.
I had a devastation a few days ago. A complete and total devastation that resulted in two days of crying and a box of donuts. And then, on the third day I was somehow saved quite unexpectedly. It hasn’t necessarily lessened my sadness over what happened before, but it has acted like a balm on my heart and soul. I feel so unusual. Happy and sad at the same time- I’ve never experienced that. It’s surreal but a soft satisfying kind of feeling. If it was a color it would be lavender. If it was a sensation I would say it was like hiking in a hot and humid forest all day and then slipping into a cool and clean pond of water- completely silent and still but full of life.
I feel like I’m looking at my life in a completely different way and yet it’s the same. I can see all the not really paths and not really roads and they all connect but in unexpected and unique ways. In my imagination I picture them as the dirt roads and paths I loved so much in Uganda (and these certainly qualify as not really paths and not really roads). Somehow, I love it.
Oh! I also wanted to say that I think everyone should listen to the following bands because their music is sublime and sees me through life’s devastations and joys.