Running free

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

I was out for a run this morning, returning via the Esplanade. It was just after seven am, the sun was shining, the air crisp and cool, and the sea calm. A perfect morning for a run, the scenic surroundings helped along with a blast of praise music through the iPod ear phones.

I imagine the activity going on in homes I pass, as they prepare for school and work– breakfast, bathing etc. Slowly more dog lovers appear complete with doggy bags, leads and tennis balls. On my right Stena ferries glide across the horizon Belfast bound. More cars and work vehicles appear and the signs of life increase. The whole scene described is in shades of blue and grey.

It strikes me that my morning run in Uganda looks, smells and sounds entirely different.

In Uganda, the picture is different and it is in warm shades of red and orange. The sun will slowly climb up the sky, deep orange just before seven am. You can feel the temperature slowly rise as it climbs and you are glad that you have decided to run before it gets too hot, despite the fact that you don’t feel quite awake! The air is already warm and full of dust as you inhale and exhale. Staff members are beginning to report for duty by foot or bicycle. Children in pink uniforms are slowly walking toward school, stopping to stare for a moment at this muzungu with the red face and laboured breathing run around the football pitch. Then they move on with their books and piece of firewood (their contribution to the kitchen supplies). People arrive at the local bore hole with yellow 20 litre jerrycans to collect water to supply the household’s needs for drinking and cleaning.The birds are noisy. Even though it isn’t yet seven thirty the day is well under way. Toddlers watch idly as mums are busy in the kitchens outside their houses preparing tea, maybe porridge if the family have enough money. The smell of smoke fills the air. The sound of sweeping can be heard as the compounds are swept up by young children.

Very different worlds but something remains the same. I come home in both worlds breathless, hot and awake to ‘my men’. Rory and Gideon have breakfast underway; they greet me as I return with a big mug of tea and hugs.

Sometimes I struggle to know where home is as I appreciate both worlds. I have come to the conclusion that ‘home is where the heart is’ – with my men, be it Uganda or Ireland.

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