Bits and pieces ( or, Sue's all over the place.)
Apr 29, 2012
|Wet season has hit, it's been overcast, stormy and decidedly chilly in between episodes of the usual sunshine. Much like the weather I find that my mood and general sense of being of top of things changes from day to day. It was too soon to say I am settled ( last entry) but I recognise that I'm here for 15 months so need, at times, to grit my teeth and get on with it. I think I'm recognising some homesickness and am so missing family and friends. Equally the enormity of the scale of the responsibility of the job has hit me; the chief exec returns to be UK based in two weeks , leaving me here to run things with the young muzoongo (white) accountant and some very inexperienced Ugandan managers. I struggle with being the person responsible for the decisions of the fate of our 25 children when I understand so little of the ways of this country. So, a bit of a wobble but hopefully it will pass.
The photos show my Easter excursions on the bodaboda tour and to Murchison Falls Safari Park. If you look at just one, look at the one of my walk to work. This is through a valley and doesn't show the crazy road on which I compete with bodas, cars, lorries buses for road space but does show the beautiful valley through which the road travels. Perhaps also look at the one of the graffiti on the wall of Idi Amin's prison, the visit there brought the history of the country to life and was very moving.
I have written a lot about feeling perplexed by things in this country and thought I'd just give a few examples and also some headlines from just one day's English language newspaper:
- 72 rounds of ammunition were used at a city centre riot last week in a conflict between two different Moslem groups - a colleague got caught up and inhaled tear gas.
- this does not reflect how friendly the people are most of the time, reflected in a rather disconcerting exchange between me and an unknown young woman at the vegetable stall:
Her: 'you have beautiful skin'
Me ( rather pleased); 'Thank you'
Her: 'I don't, I have pimples.'
Me: 'I had pimples too at your age'
Her: 'Except for this ( points to an spot scar on my chin)
Her: ' And this...points to the side of my nose where I know there is no spot...)
Her 'And this....'I move away before any more flaws are pointed out.
- yesterday, and frequently, I was greeted in the street: 'Hello Muzoongo' Very friendly but how would it be back home if i greeted a stranger : 'Hello Black person.....'?
Just a few things from the paper which give a flavour of life here:
- A car thief was lynched/burned to death by a pursuing mob when the car broke down.
- 'Power cuts to end in July - Museveni - the president said, I want to assure Ugandans that we shall never have electricity shortages again. The problem of electricity will be solved forever in July 2012'. Can this be true?????? I am sitting here with no electricity supply and my PC battery is nearly dead.
- Afican Union Forces join Kony hunt.... the AU has joined the hunt for the Lord's Resistance Army rebels in the Central African Republic. The Operation to capture him has killed 460 rebels, and captured 72. they have rescued 865 adults and 101 children....'
- 'Men get 100 hours community service for burning forest....they burnt the bush as they hunted edible rats....'
- Campaign on Nursery Education - a voxpox view of one father interviewed said he did not think nursery education was even workable seeing that he had four girls who are culturally supposed to stay home and emulate their mothers to become good wives in the future. His eldest son is four and useful in keeping the small goats around the home....'
The incoherence of this entry reflects that I have spent the weekend largely on my own with too much time to think about the strangeness of things here. I must find some friends and get out more!