Trooper is drowning already. Homework is piling around her, her bed is covered with papers, her desk has no surface, her face has that “what the hell” look about it.
Princess cooks, between bouts of less homework, she has perfected the art of perfect banana bread.
Both are surviving the change. There are well weathered in this “move around and start all over again” malarky, even though they hate it. They have fit their shoulders around the feel of their new uniform and are learning the ropes of new hallways, the strange jungle of making new friends and the touch of a different morning routine.
Sometimes I wonder how our heads don’t spin out of control with all this change. We are nomads who have to jump in and adjust, no matter that the smell of the old mingles with the new. Some days I am living a parallel life, I am in my old house listening to African birds and lying under a burnished African sky and I am simultaneously looking out of my window at a desert and an Arabian sunset.
When I enter the cafeteria here at school and hear the musical Arabic voices I am simultaneously back in the Kampala lunch room, with the Ugandan breeze touching the heads of those I know so well. As I sit in my classroom and tell the students to please stop talking in class and if they must then please only speak English, I am immediatly back in my old classroom telling the girls to stop their chitter chatter, feeling the heat of the windows press on my back and brushing the red dirt off my black skirt. When I drive past a cleaner-than-thou mosque, resplendant in marble, I am walking through Bukoto market worrying over the Boda driver who nearly knocked me into a ditch.
I am the old me and the new me. the past and the present mingled with memory and tears, hope and fear all at once.