The last month!
on Mangos, Monkeys and Maggie (Uganda), 01/Sep/2009 12:46, 34 days ago
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It’s hard to believe we are entering our last month here. Obviously there are mixed feelings about leaving as we have made a nice home and think we have made a good attempt at being part of the community. On the other hand, true home will always be the UK and we are really looking forward to beingthere. Many muzungu tourists pass through Masindi so it takes a while for the local people to know that we are here to stay. I really enjoy walking (or ‘footing it’ as they say here) through town and being stopped by people for a friendly Ugandan greeting and a chat. The conversation usuallygoes something like this:“How are you?” ‘I’m fine, how are you?’“How’s the day?” ‘It’s okay thank you’“How was the night?” ‘It was good thank you’“How’s home” ‘Home is fine’“How’s him?” ‘Chris is fine too’The three stage handshake can take just as long and starts off as a regular shake, then you rotate the hands to link thumbs and then end with a regular shake. This is sometimes repeated several times. Only after all this can you discuss any business.A few people have asked what I am going to miss about Uganda. I think I will need to be home for a while to really know the full answer but the obvious things are the friends we have made here, our house and beautiful garden, the delicious fruit and vegetables, the stunning scenery and the wildlife. I can safely say that I will not miss mosquitos and all the other creepy crawlies, frequent power cuts, permanently dirty feet, the heat (can’t believe I’m saying that!), the all year round dark evenings, sleeping under a mosquito net, bat droppings in the bedroom, etc. etc. Utilities can be a problem here but I haven’t been away that long as to forget the battles we also had in the UK. At least when the electricity is cut off here I can go and see the manager and say “How can I possibly give the big man his dinner with no power?” This is something with which he has empathy and promptly arranges for reconnection!Things I am looking forward to include: family and friends (obviously!), our own home, being in a bit more control of situations, a greater chance of people doing things when they say they will, 5 minutes meaning 5 minutes, constant electricity, the seaside, walking safely in the countryside, driving a car, good restaurants and more choice in the supermarkets (as daunting as that might be at first, I’m sure I’ll soon get used to it). I know Chris’ answer would be a lot simpler: being cold again and almond croissants (ideally from Nightingale Patisserie in Balham)!!One of our biggest concerns about leaving here has been the fact that Rose and family would also have to leave the compound as VSO were not intending to continue with the rental of this house. She has been struggling to find somewhere suitable to live. Then on Friday we had the great news that VSO are keeping on the house afterall and Rose can stay. We’re delighted with this and so is Rose judging by the number of hugs I got when I told her the news!One of the things we’ve enjoyed most about living in this house is being able to share it with our many visitors. It was lovely to see Becky here again last week and for her to be able to see how we’ve progressed in the year since her last visit! She was very encouraging and reassuring. This week we have our niece and five friends staying which is great fun and reminds me of home and the days of having a full house. Here is a photo of our team effort at cooking a Ugandan meal. We gave Solomon and Rose some to try. They very kindly said they liked it but our matooke didn’t score very well! I think Chris is pleased that I won’t be able to buy it back in Berwick.MaggieOur Ugandan meal:Enjoying the evening sun in the garden:Becky buying a bag on Gulu market: