Another return to Uganda

I really should be cleaning the bathroom right now and moving the stacks of clothes I carefully removed from my suitcases this afternoon and placed in neat piles on rows on my bed this afternoon. I suppose one can call that “unpacking” but it’s not exactly the finished product I was working toward.

I just got back to Uganda after a month at home. It was a busy, wonderful time; conference after conference followed by a series of days filled with eating meat and Bick’s dill pickles, catching up with friends and family,  and catching up on sleep and calories. I landed in Entebbe Wednesday night after an interesting flight from Amsterdam. I sat beside the wife of the Ugandan Ambassador to Germany (ie they are Ugandan and live in Germany) who was a lovely lady in her late 50s or so, with 7 daughters, one of whom is getting married in July and I have been asked to attend. It was an interesting time of her asking me questions but then not being able to understand me over the roar of the plane, the headphones she had on so she could listen to the background music played with the flight tracking screen, and of course my nightmarish Canadian accent wherein some people wonder if I am in fact speaking the same language as them, English.  For the three hours before our arrival in Rwanda she was certain we only had half an hour to go and kept showing me on the screen how close we were. It didn’t matter that I was asleep and had the hood of my hoodie pulled up and over my eyes and a blanket thrown over my head and body. We were getting close, and she was excited. By the end of the trip she was calling me her daughter, patting my arm, and gently noting that I had forgotten to cut my finger nails. Thank goodness she told me since I hadn’t remembered that yet. I think you might get the picture. It was, well, interesting.

I breezed through customs thanks to being a resident, got my bags in minutes and was out the door. Driving to Kampala I chatted with the taxi driver for awhile, called my mom to let her know I had arrived safely, and took in the Ugandan night time scenery. I was happy to arrive at my little house in Kampala, have a hot shower and some gluten-free Kraft dinner and fall into bed. I woke up in the morning, instantly annoyed to hear someone hammering outside my bedroom window. “The nerve!” I thought to myself (actually that is not at all what I thought to myself but this is a family-friendly blog after all). Turning on my cell phone and blearily peering at the time, expecting to see some crack-of-dawn hour I was shocked to see it was 9:41am! Not so early for doing a little bit of carpentry after all I guess.

After some French-pressed coffee and a gluten-free bun (thanks KLM for giving me so much food I was able to stash some for breakfast the next day) I headed out to get some groceries. I had decided to walk to the grocery store and enjoy the weather, only to discover it was lightly raining. Undeterred I did the usual 30 minute walk in about 23 minutes, being sure to go slowly slowly up the absurdly steep hills so I wasn’t a sweaty, wild haired mess when I got to the grocery store, but walking fast the rest of the time. I headed to the pharmacy to buy something to help me sleep, to the Orange store to put 1GB of data on  my modem, and to buy a cell phone charger (the 2nd one I have bought in 2014- I seem to think leaving them in Guelph is an excellent idea so I now have 3 chargers for one phone).  I went and bought about 4 bags of groceries and headed outside only to find it was raining more heavily. Now, I could have walked, but 4 bags of groceries is  a lot and it was raining and those hills are big and despite my 8 hour post-flight nap I was a bit tired. So I hopped on a boda boda and got a ride home on the back of a motorcycle. For a mere $1.75 I sat sideways behind the driver because I had worn a skirt and couldn’t straddle the seat, with my four grocery bags and purse on my lap. It wasn’t comfortable, and felt decidedly precarious so I was glad when we got to my house, before the clouds really let loose.

I worked for the rest of the day, catching up on email, phoning various people, and setting up meetings and dates with friends. I crawled into bed around 8:30, tired and ready to sleep. I did sleep. Until about 1:30 am then was awake for the rest of the night. Oh jetlag. It makes sense that I couldn’t sleep. After all when I woke up it was 6:30 pm in Guelph so really I had just had an afternoon nap.

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