After a solid 19 hours of being on a plane and a one night stay at the Park Inn in Amsterdam, I can finally say that I’ve made it. I have to say I am a little tired, well actually a lot tired and sleep hasn’t been coming easy. Jet lag, 85 degree nights(with no AC obviously), and a mind that won’t stop thinking is a deadly combo when trying to catch some ZzZ’s. Subtract those things from the equation and you have a Patrick who is very optimistic and very excited for what’s in store. In fact, I have only been here for 4 days and I have a grasp on why people love it so much here.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been greeted with a “How are you?”, a “Good morning”, a “Nice to see you” all in 4 short days. I’ve come to find that greeting is extremely important here, which is a thing I sort of take for granted in the US. There have been multiple times when I have seen someone off in the distance that I may or may not say hi to, but just to avoid a potentially awkward exchange, I pull out my phone and look my home screen, as if it’s an urgent message, right as I walk by them, conveniently avoiding any social interaction. But I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one who has pulled that MacGyver-esque move.
But in all reality it’s those simple greetings that have really been helping me adjust here. I feel a warm welcome in a world that’s so new. The Ugandans want me to feel valued, appreciated, and most importantly, they want me to feel like I am home.
Which is more than I could ever ask for.
And this is my new home!