March 3, 2015

My Double Life

I live two very different lives.  I wish they weren't so black and white, and that they could both exist together at the same time.  Slowly my two worlds are beginning to collide.  

I spend the majority of my life being a military wife and a mom.  Dropping my kids off at school, attending teacher conferences and scouting events fill my days.  I do homework with my kids and read them bed time stories.  I grocery shop and cook.  I clean. I work a part time job and am involved in various military functions, including my favorite…military balls!

My other life is in Uganda.  I'm also a mom in Uganda.  Culturally, you begin to take on the name "Mom or Mum" when you have earned a level of respect in someones life, or you are old…lol.  I was called mom on my second trip to Uganda by a few girls that I began to sponsor.  Slowly the older kids started calling me Mom.  And within the last two years, even my drivers call me Mom.  Or Mama Elisa.  These relationships that I have been building for the last four years are no longer just casual relationships with people I see twice a year.  They are ongoing relationships.  I see them more than I do my own extended family!  They are real life people that I love dearly.

When I get off the plane in Uganda, I feel at home.  I know the airport and where to go to report lost baggage.  I know the exits.  I know the parking lot.  I know the familiar faces of the loved ones picking me up.  I know the places to stop for food and a good bathroom.  I am familiar with the guesthouse that I stay at and how the plumbing and electricity work.  I know the guards that protect it.  I know the cooks and their specialty dishes. I know which boda driver knows his way around Jinja Town and won't screw me over.  I have his number!  I have my favorite super markets and street vendors.  I'm learning more and more of the language.

When people ask me where I'm from, I'm stumped.  I'm a Navy wife and a Navy brat.  I'm from the Navy!  When people ask me where is home, I've got two answers, "Home is where his boots are," and "Uganda!"  I can have two homes right?

Every year, I spend more and more time in my Uganda.  Last summer, the kids were able to join me for almost two months.  It was an experience.  I was so excited to share my Uganda with them.  They loved it!  But there is still a very big divide in my life here, as a wife and a mom, and my life there.  It's as if I'm Superman leading this double life.  I'm home playing mom and then a trip comes up and I put on my cape and fly to Africa.

I desperately want my two lives to fully collide. They are slowly.  I used to spend about 3-4 weeks a month in Uganda and this year, it's looking more like two months!  In the meantime, I will continue to be obedient to the calling on my life and live both my Super Elisa lives!