Right here, Right now… Ready, set… FLOW!

It’s hot tonight. Maybe it is just the energy from the spinning laptop on my lap- but it seems warmer than usual.

My fever broke last night, and this is great news for many reasons- one being that I am out of Advil. A cough lingers, and remnants of an ear infection threaten to return- but I say, “No, No, No”.

Annex staff speak a cocktail outside my door; Lugandan with a splash of English- on the rocks.

Bed-nets and bedding washed from yesterday still say, “Come one, come all” to uninvited little black biting bugs- really, bedbugs? At a joint like this?! I would have expected better, although I have seen some wall lizards (out of the room of course). It’s $7.50/ night, I have grad school loans… what do you want from me? (btw- the Annex is a fine place- the staff are EXTREMELY friendly, they scrub the place for like 6 hours every day, and the price is right).

Clothes, souvenirs, notebooks, and gadgets are scattered on my side of the room. Yet I am convinced that I will have no problems getting all my stuff into the bags I came with- or maybe even one.

Acholi Beads necklaces, earrings, and bracelets rest on the second tier of my cheapy (yes, I’m sorry “Made in China”) blue plastic wheely cart for 16,000 Ugandan shillings from Uchumi. They are given to L and I after we conduct interviews with each woman. Colors and styles vary, but one thing is constant. I know the reality and eyes of the hands who made them.

A black bag overflows with laundry in the corner… The thought, “Tomorrow is definitely laundry day” frequents my mind, but does not convince action to be taken. Tomorrow is DEFINITELY laundry day.

That World Cup jingle echoes from the cantina below- “Oh Oh Oh Ohh Ohhhh” (do you know the one, I can hear it my head…) Sorry USA, call me Landon Donovan:) I guess I am routing for Ghana, or Germany- it’s a G- thing.

Already 8pm here- the call to prayer at the neighboring mosque is calling for knees of those who believe.

Green soup and mango puree for dinner at the Orchard. (Better than it sounds, trust me… really). Goodsen was there, and we shook hands for the first time- this is how Ugandan friends greet one another. I guess I have a few friends in this neck of the woods.

One mosquito bite, two… three mosquito bite, four… I wish I had my sword.

I bought two giraffes. They are long, lean, grass eating machines. On a batik, of course. It was no bargain- almost $25, but wiggled down from $40. The artist signed it, and welcomed me back for more. I said, “uh huh… see you soon.” It was not a lie at the time (and may not be now).

Finished “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” last night. It’s hard to finish a good book- it’s like ending a relationship. Even though you know things will be alright (because they have to be), it’s still hard to turn that last page, draw close to that sentence, reach that last word, and let it linger for a second until you close the sleeves and smile an accomplished smile. Maybe it’s not like a relationship- you can’t just pick it up again, or can you? Would you read it with a fresh set of eyes, older, and more wise? Or would you pick it up out of haste- in confidence knowing it would present the same words- but would you read them differently now, knowing all you do since the time you last met?

Norwegians at the sink, and cheering from a goal below interrupt my train of thought- I’m distracted… oohhh, I know why- they are GERMAN! Swiss- Deutsch from the sound of their cutesy intonations and interrogatives posed to one another. Ah, yes, zee Germans… Why are they all (3) brushing their teeth at ze same time?! Uh oh, using sink water… they’ll feel that in ze belly später.

Craving some chocolate. L and I found a good little café that offers escapes into quality sugarland at a fair price- and a fair distance (but is it fair trade?). You really got to want it to get there. By the time you do (if you go the long way) you have probably burned off a fourth of it… yum, I kind of want to go now.

Thinking about home a lot. Not necessarily being there. Just thinking about it. Dad says it has been hot- in the 90s. My cat, Zuri, is now a member of the catch and release program- plays with a mouse for an hour and then releases it (whether it is by accident or not- she would never admit). She is legally insane. Really. We had her tested when he got her feline leukemia shot. It happens in one in 374 cats. You should have yours tested today- there is medication.

Why does this room only have two outlets?! What if there were girls staying here, and they needed a fan, a computer (for music of course), and a straightener plugged in. I did not bring a straightener (for whom would I straighten my hair?), but I am just curious, “What if”.

Africa. I am in Africa. I am really in Kampala, to be exact- and this does not feel too much like Africa. Bodas and mutatu conductors whizzing right past you, with no concern for toeses or noses, pollution that burns the eyes and stings the nostrils, and people- oh! the people!- can I get a smile?! Sure, life stinks occasionally, but very few look happy here. (Is this not P.C., because I am a Mzungu, and am going back to the States after I have seen “Africa!”, and the majority of these people will never make it out of the country?) The waitresses sulk and rarely show emotion. The men and women walk straight into you on the streets to Café Pap, and are not phased when your eyes are screaming, “REALLY?!” behind your Mzungu sunglasses. I want to see some greenery, some giraffes, a little hippo action, maybe even the virgin African night sky- where infrastructure has never been and no Chinese company seeks residency. Kampala confirms that once you have seen one big city, you have seen them all. I often get that feeling when I am in one. It is great to visit, but I prefer a simpler and quite life- one that does not keep you up with fuzzy conversations and the buzz of city lights. I want to hear some crickets, and smell the fresh evening transition into a hot African night. One that sizzles and teems with wildlife (and people!), but offers peace and serenity a land rover ride away.

Thanks for reading my rambles ladies and gents.



P.S. Tomorrow I am definitely doing laundry!


4 thoughts on “Right here, Right now… Ready, set… FLOW!

  1. kierst.
    mom says you are on an an excelerated program.Coming home in mid july and heading to slo then san diego. you have a wonderful mastery of the english language. hope you write a book some day. Similar to “Aid To Africa”.
    you haven’t spoke much to socio-economic issues befalling the women of Uganda. have you tried spending a day or a few living with them rather than just spot visits?
    i learned living with the people sleeping in the jungle caring for the sick and helpless was of great value.
    respect and love came fromsharing their sorowers and joys….

    i am sure you will see how these people are ripped off even by those who arein the business of helping them succeed.. You and the many like you shall be of great service to these people in years to come if you don’t become “faint of heart”

    be safe and come home with a few mosquito bites lol
    its getting hot here ,if you like the Giants like mom and grandma they are doing pretty good… give me a call and the 4 of us can take in a game before you leave for slo.

  2. getting over being sick, interviews, the World Cup, jewelry, laundry… i know exactly what you mean. keep up the great work. miss u and L!

  3. Thanks for the great updates Kiersten. Makes me want to go back.
    Monterey is having its ups and downs this summer. Really foggy and cold on some days and gorgeous sunny, Carmel beach weather on others. Its super quiet here though, not like the school year!
    If you have a chance, our Sierra Leone articles are being published on The WIP, check them out! Would love to discuss with you when you are back. All the best, Mary

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