After a weekend away, students return ‘home’ to mainland

The Banda Inns, home to Media School students during their stay in Kampala, Uganda. (Madeline Dippel | The Media School)

The return journey from Kalangala seemed long. We had had a refreshing weekend trip, without feeling the need to work or the pressure of our fast-approaching deadline.

As the women and I, along with professors Mike Conway and Jim Kelly, clambered onto the boat, sunburnt and worn out from a weekend of doing mostly nothing, most of us attempted to rest.

We were mostly unsuccessful, however, and instead passed the time reading our assigned book, Unbowed, by Wangari Maathai, watching a movie or talking with others on the boat.

The man Gwynneth, Bente and I sat next to, Paul Isanga, kept up a serious and interesting discussion about the state of affairs in both America and in Uganda, including the politics of both countries and our topic of HIV/AIDS.

Back onshore, the moment we saw our driver, Henry, from the Banda Inns, all of us erupted in smiles. Not only were we thankful to be on the mainland again, but we also were on our way back to familiarity.

On the way home, I got a little car sick and drowsy enough to sleep for the remainder of the drive. Once we pulled into the Banda Inns, Amelia shook me awake.

“Hey Maddy, wake up. We’re home,” she said.

It was true: We were home. Living in the same place, even for just two weeks, made it comforting to be back.

I struggle to think what it will be like when we have to leave.