Week 2 – Settling In.
Sunday 13th March
We are still very much in the honeymoon period of our time in Uganda everything is still new and exciting. It’s not quite normal life yet. We are still adjusting to a different kind of life here and settling in. I’ve started to notice things about this place and people and take a comfort from the familiarity that it is creating. For example; approximately every other night there is a huge violent storm. Intense thunder and lightening and incredibly heavy rain. It happens around 3-4 am and lasts for some time. I lie in bed and listen to it as there’s not much chance of sleeping through. After the storm it gets really hot again for a couple of days and then it storms again. The noise is another thing. It is never quiet here. It is at night when i notice it. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is but as soon as i get into bed and close my eyes I hear noise. Kampala is built on many hills and we live on top of one of them. The noise from the valleys below swirls around the hills snaking its way up to us depending on which way the wind is blowing. One minute we’ll hear the bars and clubs from Kabalagala or the Muslim Vs Christian debate that seems to happen daily over loudspeaker on the main road and the next it will be dogs howling or crickets from our neighbourhood. There are always people shouting. There is always noise. Quite quickly this has become background noise to me. A sort of soundtrack to Kampala. I don’t notice it so much but without fail every night; whether it’s because of a fierce storm or because of the loud bars I wake up in the night. And it’s loud. We’ve got into a routine of going to bed quite early. I’m up for school early and with the early nights the disrupted sleep isn’t too much of a problem. The sounds have become reassuring to me. The sounds of life!
Then there’s the guns. The first week I was alarmed at the amount of guns. I can’t count how many guns I see a day. Whether its when I enter and leave school and see the gate guard, or pop down to the local supermarket or the bank. Then there’s the police post at the bottom of our road and the one that’s half way along my route to school. On every street corner it seems there is someone with a huge gun! Granted most of these people are in some sort of official looking uniform but many look like they are about 15! Then there’s the random few people who I see wondering the street without any kind of official looking uniform carrying their giant gun. Apparently it’s not usually like this and security is just heightened post presidential elections here. We’ll see. I’ve got used to seeing guns everywhere now. It’s so unusual to see this in the UK but noone here reacts to it, it feels calm and peaceful on the streets and the people with the guns have all been really friendly!
We’ve settled into a sort of routine here; I walk to work at the school first thing and then hop on a boda boda home and work remotely on everything going on back in the UK. In the afternoon we’ll run errands (currently that is view/buy/haggle over furniture) and then come back, walk the dog and chill out in our beautiful garden.This week we have achieved a few things – we have purchased a car! This has made our lives so much easier. We have a bed frame (yay no more sleeping on a mattress on the floor) we have a cooker and gas canister (yay we can cook). We have invested in a Tivo Water filter. Although it will take some time to make our money back it means no more plastic bottles of mineral water. We just pour tap water in the top and an hour and a half later we have drinking water. We have even been on our first road trip (To Entebbe for a day/night) and had a compound barbecue with our neighbours and new friends. So we’ve been busy and with my sister and her boyfriend arriving to stay in less than two weeks we definitely need to get some more furniture and the spare room sorted!
Entebbe – beach below.