How Uganda turned into France

written by Irina Gallagher

RouenThere was once a girl of 23 who felt a sudden urge to travel. It wasn’t that she was never interested in seeing the world before, but somehow, in some mysterious, overbearing way, the compulsion to dive into a far-flung location was all she could think about. It was that very summer, that the girl sent for a Ugandan visa, obtained a series of inoculations, paid a heaping amount of money to reserve a volunteer spot at a Ugandan animal rescue facility, and ended up going to France instead.

It was thanks to biology, really, that this trip took place at all. That yearning to explore ended up, which the girl later discovered, a call to sow the seeds of travel before a baby arrived nine months later. Uganda turned into France by sheer serendipity when the girl’s beloved uncle, who was a renowned physicist, invited his sister (the girl’s mother) to Rouen, France for a conference. The girl, feeling quite confused and unsure about her African adventures, invited herself along. Luckily, the mother and the uncle, welcomed her with open arms. Otherwise, there would be no story to tell.