Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Rain rain rain..

Right now it's raining so hard I can barely hear myself think, and it was even hailing at lunchtime, so no conversation there! It's hard to believe somewhere so beautiful and idyllic can turn so grey and wet so quickly - and in an hour's time you won't be able to tell it's even rained today. Coming from somewhere like Glasgow, where it rains just as much but isn't so beautiful in between, one of the weirdest things I find hard to handle here is that life just stops when it rains. 'It was raining' is a perfectly viable excuse for coming to work late, mainly because the transport system (boda-bodas - those motorbike taxis I mentioned before) ceases to function at the slightest raindrop. I've even had drivers ask me if I want to stop when it started raining - no, thanks, I'd rather be on my way home than standing around in the rain!

But it does mean that this part of Uganda is rolling in food crops - most families have their own plantation of at least matoke (platain) and the stuff turns up in the oddest places - next to the hospital, for instance. If you eat Ugandan food your plate will always be piled high with matoke, irish (normal potatoes), sweet potatoes, posho (like south african mealie-pap but more solid, a paste made of maize flour) and rice, with possibly some pasta thrown in, then some beans and g-nut (peanut) sauce at least, with the option of meat, eggplant (nothing like aubergine), cabbage and/or spinach. I never wonder why I'm not losing weight in Africa, in fact the reverse may well be true..

I only have 10 days till I come home for Christmas, and I'll be sad to leave this place, even if only for 2 weeks. I've settled in, found friends, even family, from all over the world, made my house my home and found my feet at work. Three months have flown by like three days, but it also feels like I've been here a lifetime! Actually, a lifetime is looking even more appealing. I seem to find my feet in Africa much better than I do at home, the openness and kindness of the people are addicting. Men can pay me compliments and I know that it's just because they think that I look nice today, whereas in the UK men are scared to do so because it's a sign they might 'fancy you'. People walk down the streets holding hands (even men) and colleagues at work give each other big hugs on mondays because we missed each other during the weekends.

Ok, maybe I'm making it sound a little like a hippy paradise, but what I'm trying to get at is people here have few pretenses. If they like you, they'll show it, there's no British fear-of-showing emotion holding them back, even if everything else can be a little weirdly British (it's obvious they're an old colony, but that's for another post!). They even talk about their faith at work (shock horror!), and I'm not just talking about 'I went to church on Sunday' but 'God answered my prayers today!'. This is definitely something Ugandan I want to take back to Britain with me when I leave in July.

In other (exciting) news, Lindsey and I finally have the internet at home, and we seem to have the best deal among the muzungus we know. Yey!

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