I hate roosters. I feel that I need to put that out there. I had no idea how much I hated roosters until I moved to Uganda. Every day, all day, they just keep going. They do not care that I’m trying to listen to a podcast or a fantastic song. They just make that horribly annoying sound all day; the one that lives at my house starts making noise around 4am, so I always know that I have at least 2.5 more hours to lay in bed. Furthermore, roosters do not just make their cockle-doodle-doo noise once or twice and then silence themselves… Nooooooo they continue to make the screeching noise over and over again until I think I’m about to lose my mind and then, and only then, do they cease… for about an hour.
I consider myself a generally sane person, even relatively patient, so long as I am not in a grocery line. However, when I hear that sound, I worry about my sanity. In all seriousness, I wrote the first paragraph of this blogpost at 4:22am because Senior Rooster was telling the world that he was awake. Prior to writing about this epiphany of dislike, I had a ‘talking to’ with this rooster; it went a little something like this:
Look rooster, I do not care that you are awake, nor do I care that the sun is going to rise in an hour and a half. I have only been asleep for about 3 hours and i am far from having a cup of coffee, so there is nothing okay about waking me up right now. You do not see me coming into your cozy den and screaming obscenities for no good reason, I am only asking for the same respect. If you are trying to drive me crazy, you may have succeeded, considering that you do not understand a word I am saying and yet, here I am, talking to you. Seeing as I cannot sleep through your screeching, i felt it would more productive to get out of bed, walk outside, face the chicken wire and verbalize my annoyance. Would you please not interrupt me! I’m in the middle of a soliloquy. Oh fine! I see how you are, you can make all the noise you want, but I can’t come tell you how I feel…
I have no good transition, but I did not really want to write a post about roosters. Actually, I wanted to share some recent reflections. I am fortunate enough to have some amazing friends and family back home that I keep in touch with frequently. Most recently, I have had an amazing email thread with one of my best friends. We have seen each other through many tough times and celebrated through one another’s achievements. We had falling outs and falling back ins, frustration and forgiveness. We have been able to share almost everything with one another; recently we both reflected on why it is we are who we are and why we react how we react. We recalled the situations from long ago or recently that left us scarred, the times we had no idea that it was leaving a mark on our hearts, but now see just how deeply those wounds went.
I will not go into detail about these subjects, as they have been private for the both of us, but I will say that having someone to share those things with has been so beneficial. Even just being able to write down the words and send them to someone I trust has greatly helped me process. I hate to admit that I need other people; it is one of those learned character flaws that I have carried with me since early childhood. However, if there is one thing I’m learning in Uganda, it is that I need people.
Being here, in Uganda, I have lots of time to process. If I gain nothing else from my time here, I have had ample time to commit to character development and self-reflection. I successfully avoided that for the first six months in country by watching old tv shows or reading, but as I am out of reading material and I am officially sick of reruns, alone time becomes a quiet time, where I often find myself journaling and/or listening to old music.
The realization of needing others came with the realization that people are meant to be in relationship. There are very few other animals that are as relationship-driven as people, elephants come pretty close, but still not quite the same. I treasure the people around me who I can count on to run to when I am overwhelmed and frustrated. I am so grateful to have people both here and home that I can talk to about different things, because most people at home are not going to understand the frustrations here; at the same time, most people here are not going to understand the problems I face due to the emotional baggage I’ve brought with me. I have people from every stage of life that I can turn to when I am facing a certain difficulty. I am so grateful for that.
My friends and family – you all are amazing. I am so grateful to have each and every one of you. Thank you for always being there for me and I hope that I can always return the favor.
— With Love –