An expat Christmas in Kampala
It hardly befitted common (misconceived) notions of the starving in Africa: there was marquee after marquee of food.
I’ve never seen so much food in my life, honestly.
The buffet was immense.
Here I am ‘busy saving the world’ – apparently – spending my first Christmas in Africa and we’re all wasting platefuls of food. I was quite disgusted at how many rich Ugandans piled their plates high with food and didn’t eat more than a few spoonfuls of it.
The Speke Resort Munyonyo is where we impoverished volunteers had decided to blow our December allowance. Living on a volunteer allowance means you end up eating the same food, day in day out. This one day feasting at Speke more than made up for the penny pinching! (How my belly hurts just remembering my repeat trips to the various marquees!)
There was a double marquee of Ugandan food, another of international food including various pastas.
There was a small marquee dedicated to Chinese stirfry!
Another marquee was full of cheese – CHEESE! in Uganda! – which was mostly plasticky and a bit foul to be honest; but of course, that didn’t stop me eating far too much.
The last marquee I visited had a massive cake. I’ve actually been inside a REAL Ugandan church the same size as this one (but the roof didn’t taste so sweet and lovely).
Christmas in Kampala was fun – apart from the bloody weather. It started drizzling the moment we arrived at Speke Resort. It didn’t stop raining until the next day as we packed our bags into the car to leave! So much for making use of the fantastic (almost Olympic) swimming pool.
“This is the last time I spend the Bank Holiday with you!” I teased Cheryl (we had previously spent a very wet week-end at Lake Bunyonyi at Easter). Is she the Wet Weather Omen?
Twenty of us VSO volunteers and families had a poolside table booked … so we could watch the rain come down… it seemed, rather than enjoy sunbathing and swimming, as planned.
Christmas Eve was spent fumigating the kitchen cupboards: “Oh how festive!” you cry.
And so onto my first Kampala New Year’s celebrations…
“There’s not enough sex on your blog” was the feedback on last year’s blogging – and that was just from the family!
So, not wanting to besmirch the family reputation, out I went on New Year’s Eve … on a Mission.
The evening started with a few drinks with fellow VSO volunteers Jo and Liam and pharmacist friend Cheryl, at her accommodation in Nsambya hospital.
In the bathroom, Cheryl’s new housemate Gerald nearly steals the show! With antennae of at least an inch long, wiggling at me from underneath the hand basin, I don’t hang about to see how long his fearful body must be. [In my first year living in Uganda. I had an obsession: with cockroaches].
En route to (miscellaneous) Kampala nightclubs, we pass the nuns as we walk down through the hospital to catch the boda bodas into town. The traffic is hell: dust, pollution, vehicles everywhere, everyone in a hurry to go to church, return to the village or simply GO PARTY.
I was too busy dancing at midnight to see the fireworks.
Typical Uganda, it was several minutes after midnight that our countdown to the New Year started…
Was it the Full Moon or was it the tequilla? Long awaited moment with a Certain Someone was but a blur and I woke up the next day wondering if I’d dreamed it all…
It’s not easy being a single woman in Kampala: the social life is fantastic but where are all the single men?
The Dutchman is married, the Ugandan has a girlfriend, the Congolese guy is cute but has terrible breath … I get upset sometimes but tell myself “at least I have Baldrick.”
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Last night I decided to laugh about it.