Day 1: Everything Is Brighter In The Dawn Of A New Day

As I journal about these dreams in the light of morning, I’m vividly aware that everything that comes up internally in response to the changing external environment is mine to work with: to heal, to release, to transform, to remember. It’s in the discomfort and newness of life beyond the comfort zone where stuff inevitably comes up.

So what will it be? I ask myself: to live in fear or choose to trust myself and life even more fully than ever before? I choose trust: not blind trust; not cutting off my awareness; but surrendering into knowing this adventure is being co-created with the Universe and that I have my back as does the Universe… all is well.

As I breathe into this choice and awareness, I make a choice to find another place to live. I trust my gut instinct that this isn’t the place for me. And even though I had rented this room for 3 weeks, I commit to talking with Monica about this today when I see her and hanging out in the question of, “What else is possible?”


I spend the afternoon with Monica and get to meet some of the Girl Up Team and her mom (Mama Joyce) who made us all lunch. I sit around with 4 of the team members and get an orientation to their programs. They sing a song, welcoming me to the team. We wrap up our intro with a song, too. These beautiful beings… their enthusiasm for what they do is inspiring. What they do is important and empowering. And I get to be here and play with them? How’d I get so lucky? 😊 Oh yeah… I chose to be here!


I want to get outside and move my body so head out for a walk through the neighborhood. One of the team, Claire, offers to go with me. As we chat and walk along the red dirt road I become vividly aware of all the staring and that I am the only white person around. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced this. It’s intimidating. I’m grateful that Claire is with me. I talk with her about the staring. “Oh,” she says, “They are just all happy that you are here. And…” she says after a pause, “… they wish they had skin your color.” Sigh. The experience of being a mzungu in Uganda has begun. (Mzungu: white person.)


I talk with Monica about my housing situation and my desire to find something different. By the end of the day I have a new place to live starting tomorrow. It’s beyond what I could have imagined. It’s the best of both worlds: a standalone unit with my own bedroom and bathroom on a family compound with a big beautiful family home surrounded by land, gardens and a security wall. And it’s within walking distance to the Girl Up office. (It’s only 1 mile away.) How does it get any better than this?!

(Special shout out to Monica Nyiraguhabwa, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Girl Up Initiative Uganda, who totally hooked me up with the most amazing new living situation. I am so grateful!!) (Photo: Monica & Me)

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