I’m on a secure ‘compound’ (walled garden), five minutes walk from Nam’ (a suburb of Kampala approx 15-30 minutes away, depending on traffic). In Nam’ I can get public transport, use the internet (well, in theory at least!) and do all my food shopping (more about that another day, what an experience that is too!) There’s a shanty town over the wall, just 100m away, so there’s a constant buzz of human activity (not to mention drumming!)
Heard a big THUMP behind me on my walk and a man jumped down from a tree with an enormous Jack fruit, a foot long. (And it wasn’t in his trousers).
A few notes from my diary:
First day in my new job, shame I couldn’t iron my clothes! It was all very relaxed and am learning to go with the flow. Spent the morning listening to Patrick and Enid understanding more about UCF’s immediate needs.
I recognised Patrick as soon as I saw him. Our Luganda lessons had taught us the importance of formal greetings so I was taken aback when he gave me a big bear hug!! I used my few words of Luganda to great effect when we arrived at the house; I held out my hand and said ‘osiibye otya’ and Enid and Sophie went crazy, screaming and laughing for a good five minutes. I thought Enid was going to expire! It was so funny and a tremendous welcome.
Hoping to meet two of the Directors this week and 4×4 driving lessons are planned once I get my Ugandan driving licence (though this is just a formality and not a prerequisite to driving!!)With all the other changes going on, almost forgot I am starting a new job as well, almost seems incidental. Meeting the Trustees in London and spending some time with Mike (the founder, who lived here for ten years) means I knew quite a lot about my new role. Still can’t believe my luck, this is such a great placement.
Electricity, we have some! Not all fixed yet but landlord arrived at 7.30 this morning. Most of house has been rewired now. Feels strange to have light and power! Once my bathroom has been rewired I will even have hot water! (But a power shower it aint).
There is a cluster of volunteers my side of town who I met up with yesterday so support network is building nicely too.
Michele has been asking about the men, well some really gorgeous young men on our first night out, playing the drums and doing the traditional African dancing. I just need to find out where the “h- edu(ma)cated” men hang out (and get a bit of a suntan first!) Still, plenty of time for all that – mpole mpole as they say here.
Avocadoes are ripe and dropping off tree into our garden compound but the paw paw aren’t ripe yet. It stinks out there tho, Simpson thinks there’s a dead rat over the other side of the hedge.