Buzungu, Precious, by Amanda McCutcheon

Everything here is gorgeous. We’re on our way to Gulu, and I’ve never been so in awe. I’ve spent the last hour waving to people that are walking by our van. They are so pleasant and excited to see us.

I notice all of the children dressed up nicely on their way to school, though most aren’t wearing shoes. People shout and laugh as they see us smile and wave. All of the concentrated or sullen faces break apart with the flash of pearly white teeth and sparkling eyes. All just because I took a second to make eye contact and wave. I love all of them. My heart hurts a little. I think this is my favorite place. Even the smells are comforting. Occasionally the air will be filled with a waft of fresh fruit from a vendor, mahogany, exotic flowers, and of course- burning garbage. The weather is so nice. It’s cool, like being in fog early in the morning.
I read mom’s card for me today. It was encouraging. I honestly think I could live here. I keep daydreaming about what it would be like to wake up each morning in Africa. There is a lump in my throat from just watching a family walk by. They call us ” buzungu” which is Swahili for white, which is associated with “precious” I wish there was a word I could respond with, to let them know I think they are precious too.]]>