Welcome to Kampala

Typed on the 29th of May, late evening.

So, today was a busy day. I ran a few errands, completed a few tasks, and actually got to spend some time talking to both Kim and my parents. But the day started off kinda stupid, as I woke up after three hours of sleep and could not get more rest. Every time I laid down I missed my bed at home and got all emotional. This divide between my familiar realm and me is striking a little harder and little faster than I expected, honestly. But after some time I went into town with George and stopped at an internet cafe. The connection was slow and the place had several power outages, but I got to talk to Kim a little and read some of my e-mails. At the last second G-chat worked so it was nice to talk with Kim for reals, even if only for a moment. We then went to breakfast where I had the infamous MILK IN A BAG. Not a carton or a jug like I’m used to, but a bag. It was kinda weird.

Then George took me to Morris’ work and we rendezvoused for a moment before George left and Morris went back to work. I had intentions of wandering that section of Kampala, but that section was boring and I ended up walking for the sake of walking. Once Morris got off of work we went and ran some errands, exchanging some of my money ($1:2100UGX, if you’re curious) and picking up a cell phone, a replacement power cord, and a pillow. The pillow will be good help in maybe getting real sleep. The power cord probably cost about as much as shipping it here from home, but I thought it’d be worth the extra push to have my computer functioning for the first 2-3 weeks of this whole ordeal, especially since I don’t yet know my address in Lira. The cell phone, well that’s a whole other story.

In Uganda, cell phones are everywhere and you pay as you go. By pay as you go, I mean you walk up to booths and purchase “air time,” which are little strips of paper with codes on them. I text the code to a number and my phone gets credited with that much money. Problem is, it’s the only way I’ve really been able to contact those back home so I’m buying air time like crazy and burning through it even crazier. Somebody get me an internet connection with Skype!

Anyways, as the night wound down George was at a meeting out of town and said he might not come home. Meanwhile, Morris was going to run errands across town and might stay there at his parents’ house as well. So, it’s possible that I have this little house all to myself, and I don’t quite know how to feel about that. My first step was to go buy some more air time and then I left my parents a message before buying a soda and heading home solo. Then I took a nap before talking to both Kim and my parents. So glad I got to talk to Kim again, and as I said goodbye to my parents I got all weepy again. Boy am I a whiner! Alas, I’m working on my computer a little before I give up and go to bed. Tomorrow morning is kind of a mystery, but at least I’m starting to have plans for the week (NACWOLA headquarters for my internship orientation, and I’m going to do touristy things on Thursday as it’s a national holiday). Hopefully tomorrow will be time for me to actually get to an internet cafe with my laptop and post all of these pending blogs.

Here are a few pictures!

This was my first meal in Uganda! I’ll talk more about food some other time.

What am I drinking?! Oh, that’s milk in a bag!

This is Morris and George’s house. My room is on the left, their’s is behind the pole on the right, and the gate on the far right is the hall to the bathroom.


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