Thursday, September 03, 2009
Kampala: people, potholes, laughter, shouts, blaring music, outdoor pool tables, garbage, puddles, construction, traffic, police, whistles, lights, shadows, neon, buses. Kampala: lines, forms, rules, meetings, come back tomorrow, try again later. Kampala: oranges that are actually orange, apples, incredible Indian food, pizza, icy cold water, hot tea. Kampala: the ARA staff who comment on our kids' growth since they've known them since birth, running into old friends, but also the anonymity of being awash in a city sprinkled with foreigners. Kampala: optimistic lists of tasks that fizzle in the reality of crawling traffic and inevitable inefficiency. Kampala: the awkwardness of being in Uganda but not quite home, of abundance that is not quite America either. Kampala: the pressure of thinking ahead for weeks or months of grocery shopping, of juggling visas for 6 people in two countries and movement back and forth, of last-chance-to-do-this or that for another three months, of the truck being in the shop for days, of seeing piles and piles of clothes or pots or fruit or suitcases or shovels or books spilling from tiny shops onto sidewalk displays and wondering "do I need that?". Kampala: going out for dinner (imagine!), being uninterrupted as a family, sitting in a friends' garden all day for quiet prayer without a call from the hospital or the panic of work undone. Kampala: a few days is enough, but I'm glad we can come here.