To be home again

Today I went to the village – my father’s ancestral home. I was last here last year. I found grandpa seated on the veranda of their house. Grandma; in her green gomesi was seated on the kitchen veranda. They were both unshelling groundnuts as hens and ducks played at their feet.

As soon as she saw me, grandma, beaming with joy, tried to get up but her occasionally frail legs failed her. Normally, I would have run into her arms. But the times are far from normal. We couldn’t even shake hands. She welcomed me to sit on the mat with her. I went over to greet grandpa. He recently lost his sight due to cataracts so he depends on his wife’s sight and his other senses.

“Lwiza, thank you for coming to see us,” he said when he registered my presence. I like how he pronounces my name. It does things to my heart. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved the village.

As a child, the village fascinated me. From the wide variety of fruits to devour, to the way the moon shone so bright it made a torch useless, to the catchy hymns at the village church, to the many trees on which we could hang out… There was a particular tree we loved. It still stands next to the boys’ quarters. Everyone had their own branch. We would just hang out there until we were called down to eat.

While grandma went to greet mum who was unpacking, grandpa asked if Maria was part of the class that “over failed.” I laughed. He said he had heard about it on the news. I told him Maria is yet to join LDC. I didn’t tell him about how final year of law school is almost breaking her. I didn’t tell him how she misses out on all the fun moments at home because somehow, everyday is a deadline for her to beat.

We catch up a little more while unshelling groundnuts. I remember hating this as a child. I don’t know if it was because my fingers were still tender or maybe the groundnuts were too dry or not dry enough. Whatever it was, I didn’t like unshelling groundnuts. But here, with them, I find myself enjoying it.

Grandma calls my cousin Thaddeus to light the fire. He’s supposed to make tea and groundnuts for the visitors. This is what I like most about being a visitor. The chilling while food is brought to you. If I could do, I would just visit people for the rest of my life. Grandma says the people who visit you are your real people. Pesh wouldn’t agree. Even as a child, she didn’t like visitors.

They ask about Alex. They ask if he’s planning to marry soon. I laugh. Not because the question is funny but because it’s very African. When mum joins us for tea, she finds the conversation has gotten very “African.” Apparently, neighbors got into a quibble because one said the men who married his daughters were better than the ones who married the neighbor’s daughters. Apparently, the more the cows, the better the men. Anyway, the story ends with the cows being stolen.

Grandpa says that’s what happens to ungrateful people – “when God blesses you, just thank him. Don’t go looking and worrying about what others have or don’t. Just thank God for what’s on your plate.”

So… tonight I am grateful to be home again. I’m grateful to be able to drink from the wells of old wisdom. I’m grateful for my three grandparents. I’m grateful for family and friends. I’m grateful for their good health. I’m thankful the moon is out tonight and shining bright as ever. I’m also grateful Capital Fm is somehow crystal clear yet in Tororo town we can’t catch even just the s of their signal.

What are you grateful for? What’s on your plate?

21 thoughts on “To be home again

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  1. What an outstanding way to tell situations. Nothing is impossible for God and healing is his as well.
    Thank you for sharing Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful story. This resonated with me and how my visits to my hometown village in Lebanon used to be when I was a kid. When you visit that same village when you’re an adult, you sure gain different perspectives, but it always feels familiar and it always like home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, it’s been a while. Since 2010! But as a kid, I I used to go every summer. I can’t wait to go back again this time, and introduce my husband to my hometown. And, introduce my hometown to him ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The good thing with grandma’s place is that there is always food 🤤 and they have very warm welcomes.
    My grandma calls me “my husband” which is very very satisfying 😌

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes!! The food is always there.

    😂😂😂must be satisfying. My grandfather can’t call me his wife because I was named after his mother. But our last borne is “his wife.”


  6. I am grateful to have found a Ugandan community of bloggers….I was missing out all this time.

    Also your work is so visual, I love it❤

    Liked by 1 person

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