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A lazy week-end in Kampala marked 18 months in-country

Aug 24 • 1869 views • 2 Comments on A lazy week-end in Kampala marked 18 months in-country Africa, East Africa, Kampala, Lake Victoria, Travel, Uganda, Volunteering

Another hangover, another powercut, o yes it must be Sunday morning … the dog’s lying on the floor by the front door staring at me, reminding me it’s time for his morning walk. Working from home has made me lazy – it’s hard to believe that 18 months ago to the day I arrived from the UK, fit and full of energy! I’m still running once or twice a week, but it’s a bit of an effort these days. I’m OK once the legs have warmed up, or I’m on the flat, or downhill, but these Kampala hills can really crush your motivation.

It’s been an idle week-end so far. A friend bought me lunch yesterday at Cassia Lodge, a beautiful hotel set high on a hill overlooking Lake Victoria. Stacey flew to Zambia last night where she’s giving a presentation to the East and Central African Nurses Association. She’s spent the last two months interviewing nurses across Uganda and I’ve spent the last few days working on her presentation. It made a change for the subject matter to be nurses rather than elephants!

Jan’s been busy cooking Stacey dinners and printing her transcripts so Stacey treated us both to lunch. A very relieved Stacey was full of laughter again.

In the evening we were invited to dinner at an Irish friend’s house. “It’s nothing special” he said, “you must come round and help me eat this food or it’ll go to waste.” When I said I don’t eat chicken he said, “but you do eat lobster?” What can a girl say? Specifically, what can a VSO struggling to live on her allowance say? And so off Jan and I trotted. For this occasion we decided that arriving with wine in the usual Tetrapak “just wouldn’t do” and we were right. We were treated to Irish smoked salmon and capers, followed by mint and chocolate ice cream , washed down with Jameson, of course. The food was like a dream.

Back home and I don’t even have any milk for my morning tea. There are always bananas in the bowl, I make sure they’re there for Simpson and Eva, but there are only so many I can eat in a week and I had two for dinner on Friday. The unreliable fridge and lack of an oven have put me off cooking; it’s not the same cooking for one anyway. It’s become too easy to ask Eva to pick up bits and pieces for me when she’s shopping for our lunch. I hardly even go to the market anymore. I love bartering but Eva gets a better deal than me and watching my shillings gets tiresome.

I’d been looking forward to starting up English lessons again with Hans and his French wife Kiki. They had their Visa card stolen while on holiday and Europe and are now reviewing their finances so the lessons are on hold. It’s a bit of a blow. Two hours English lessons with them every week can double my monthly income.

My thoughts now are on a big party I’m planning for my birthday in a month’s time. Luckily I’d already asked everyone to contribute 10,000 shillings (approx £3). For this, Eva will be preparing a Ugandan buffet and a friend is organising for one of the street vendors to slaughter a goat and roast it on an open grill in the compound. “And you will eat some” he says firmly. “No I will not” I laugh.

The theme for the party is “Come as something you might see on Safari” so it should be a giggle. I’m inviting all the VSOs, the Programme Office and a variety of ex-pat and Ugandan friends. I love hosting parties. We still talk about last year’s. It went on until 4 am before we went clubbing.

MAP I drew for last year’s party. Someone told me it was too detailed but with very few roadsigns and no streetlights, finding your way to a house party is no mean feat. DOUBLE CLICKING on this map will open it full-size in a new window.

I have a big house, the catch being that it’s also the organisation office. I find this a struggle sometimes: hard to switch off from work. I was ill last week and I really didn’t want to see anyone. Next month I will be sharing my house with Rob and Janice, two older volunteers, who are returning for three months. They’re nice people but I was a bit put out at simply being told they’re coming to stay: two people – for three months. But, the change may do me good.

I miss the Bush. I haven’t been on a field trip for three months and hoped I’d be there this week-end.

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2 Responses to A lazy week-end in Kampala marked 18 months in-country

  1. lizziema says:

    Can I come to the party? Sounds great fun. Wonder what I'd come as, hairy baboon, no a parrot I think. Have fun!

  2. […] pulsing rhythms. The drums and the sound of people ululating fill the night air on market days. Even after 18 months here it still sounds magical to […]

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