Rain… rain… rain… weather in Uganda – eh! You’re disorganising me!
Rain stopped work.
Rain stopped play.
Rain stopped John our askari going home – until two hours before he was due back here for the night shift.
Rain meant that seven people were cooped up in our little house (my office!) while I’d planned to catch up the backlog of work…
It certainly rained on someone’s parade: the National Resistance Movement’s public holiday parade to be exact – and it was soggy public holiday weather in Uganda for the rest of Kampala’s population.
Simpson surfaced at midday, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a mega lie-in. I scowled at his good humour. I’d got up early to work – and my plans had been scuppered by the weather in Uganda.
It was 3 pm by the time everyone left the house, my work day obliterated.
What makes it worse is having to look at the destruction in the compound from last week’s hailstorm.
I thought the roof was going to come off our house – the rusty iron sheets certainly flew off the house opposite!
The landlady started yelling at me when she saw the wall, insisting that I was going to finance the whole thing.
“No way!” the muzungu shouted back at her. She’d intimidated me once, but not this time.
Yes, I may have let the Bougainvillea grow too big but it breaks my heart to cut the flowers off in their prime, deprive the birds of their roost and expose our compound to passing strangers. (Ugandans tend to hack plants back to an ugly bare stick!) The bush was huge before we arrived, otherwise the rock hard, sun-baked branches intertwined amongst the railings would not have wrenched the railings out of what a friend called the *fake wall. The railings were secured to brick posts by a mere 5 cm of cement. John knocked the mortar off the old bricks with a stick – so it was hardly built to last!
The wind and rain entered the house horizontally through the mosquito mesh covering the ventilation bricks above the windows. A fine brown water spray covered every surface in every room; even the laptop came out of the affair muddy!
The noise from the hailstorm was so loud we didn’t even hear the wall come down.
“The fence got knocked down” said Jemima. Fence? What fence? I wondered. I tried to picture a bamboo or iron sheet fence near our house but couldn’t.
And then I opened the front door onto what looked like a bombsite!
Weather in Uganda continues to amaze me.
Top Dog Baldrick has come into his own and is finally earning his keep! He seems to be enjoying barking at every passing person peering into our newly exposed compound.
I need to destress. The live-work situation in Namuwongo was often stressful. When you work in an office, you can leave your stresses behind at the end of the day. When you work from home, it’s not always that easy.
This is my choice though, I must remember. Or as a friend once said be careful what you wish for!
*The friend appears to be as fake as the wall… another chapter for the book?