I've discovered that I have the ability to travel at the speed of sound. But not physically. I will see or hear something or catch a familiar scent and suddenly I'm 8,000 miles away. In a millisecond I'm listening to my students chat or watching Kampala traffic or breathing in the smell of an African rainstorm. We had communion at church and I took the cup of grape juice and was immediately in Adjumani, taking communion with the Ma'di, sharing homemade bread and flat, warm Coke that the women had carried in on platters on their heads. A customer calls my phone at work, speaking British English and before I can even reply to his question I am sitting at the faculty table in the dinning hall, laughing uncontrollably with the other teachers as I arm wrestle Teacher Samuel and everyone is pounding the table and shouting about how much stronger Africans are than Americans. A random warm day breaks the monotony of winter and I walk outside my home to find myself stretching awake to hear the sound of chatter in Ki-Swahili drifting through my open windows. I drive home facing the sunset and lose all thought of my current phone call as suddenly I am instead watching the sun rise over the equator, glinting off of Lake Victoria and shinning almost as brightly as the smiles on the friendly faces that walk past me.
Haha today as I was breaking ice off of the front porch I remembered trying to explain to my students and co-workers how cold winter in America is. Living on the equator, they don sweaters when temperatures drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I had been so excited one day when we went to the shopping center and I looked down to see a freezer holding frosty Coca-Colas. I called Bro. Tonney over and had him stick his hand inside the cooler right next to where the frigid air was blowing out and told him, "See? That is how cold the outside air is in the winter in America." Understanding and shock registered on his face and he informed me that he had changed his mind - he no longer wished to see snow.
I miss it.