Nomad in Uganda 2.0 – Kajjansi

After two weeks in Kinshasa Othy and I returned to Uganda. We parted ways immediately after arriving because I had plans to visit EMI before joining the other CI international staff, and Othy had plans to return to Beni to take up his work responsibilities. It is frustrating that he could go back and I couldn’t, that I somehow got released from a level of my work obligations (I am doing what I can remotely), but he is not. This time in Uganda feels like a bit of ironic deja vu despite the fact that it is a completely different experience this time around. I was a nomad in Uganda for two months in 2014 when Othy and I were just getting to know each other, and now here we are, less than two months away from getting married, and once again I am a nomad in Uganda. I am thankful for this country. It is a place I have gotten quite comfortable and familiar with from my travels through and extended visits over the years. I have been to Uganda every two years since my internship with EMI in 2012. This time I feel more like a “nomad” rather than in a group of “nomads” because this time I am on my own instead of in a big family of international staff. Because we arrived quite late, I stayed the first night at a hostel called ViaVia that had been recommended by a friend. It is a nice spot. I arrived in the dark but the reception was a warm space and burning lanterns along the path guided me from my dorm to an open air restaurant with a nice atmosphere. I ordered ugali and beans and then caught up on some work before turning in.

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The following morning I took a boda with my biiig bag to Entebbe road, took a matatu (taxi bus) to Kajjansi (I paid for two seats because my bag was so big), and then another moto to the EMI office. Every time I visit EMI there are fewer and fewer people that I know from my internship in 2012, and yet I easily become acquainted with the new people because the office has such an open and welcoming culture. They allowed me to move around and work at the desks of people who were temporarily away from the office for the coming days. I stayed for the next week in Kijjansi at the EMI intern house while I started asking around about a longer term affordable place to stay. The interns are a very fun bunch and I enjoyed getting to know them. We had nice evenings of conversation (often over lemon grass tea), and on the Friday we attempted to make banana bread and then watched a movie. Our original plan was to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, but then because of my upcoming wedding we got on the topic of cross-cultural relationships and then Benji said he had a movie called “Qu’est-ce on a fait au Bon Dieu?”. It was a cute french comedy about a traditional french couple who’s three daughters all marry men from different cultures. On Saturday we made pancakes and then a few of us went for a nice run/walk to the nearby quarry. On the Sunday I went with the interns to their church called KIC Lubowa (Kampala International Church). The church meets at a place called Mildmay that has a beautiful view of the surrounding area. On the Sunday night, Larry, one of the staff from EMI, picked me up from the intern compound and helped me move into the home of an EMI couple who were away on home leave and willing to let me live in their apartment. Their generosity astounds me and I was glad to know that I could stay in the same place for the next three weeks until they returned!

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The EMI office is such a beautiful place to work. This is the view from one of the offices I worked at when I took the “boss’s” desk for a few days!

 

The EMI intern compound had a pair of adorable baby goats! The photos on the right are from when I went with the interns to KIC at Mildmay.

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