Today's goodbye at the office was bittersweet. There was another bridal shower to attend, then I ordered in pizza and soda for our office as a "thank you."
A Ugandan custom that I don't think I've explained yet is the way everyone speaks at an event. For instance, even though I've never met the brides of the shower previously mentioned, I, along with every other woman in the room, offered congratulations, well wishes or advice. In my thank you party to the office, the advice was turned to thanks and well wishes to me from my office. As someone who does not like to be the center of attention, it was a little bit uncomfortable, but that didn't last long because of the things they had to say.
Nearly everyone in the office mentioned my "out-going" character and evidence of faith in my life. Now, I have the Meyers Briggs results proving I'm an introvert, so that surprised me. But one of the interns took it a step further to explain that to me. He said he had a perception when I arrived that I would isolate myself and avoid intermingling with the rest of the team. He admitted I proved him wrong and have encouraged his opinion of Americans who spend time in Uganda. Regarding my faith, I was not expecting a mention of that since everyone else in the office is a Christian, like myself. They said they were encouraged by the way my life reflected my faith, in the way I dressed, spoke and treated the people around me. Hearing that, somehow during my short 6 weeks with them, I was able to encourage the faith lives of my coworkers and friends was a very humbling moment to me. A moment where I realized the powerful impact that actions and words can have when they are communicating the same thing.
Of course we needed to have a quick photo shoot before I left!
|I found it is hard to get everyone together for a group picture...|
|But we got it eventually!|
|Selfies are big, especially with the mazungu. They are definitely a fun and goofy group.|