One day a week I’m free from work at Amecet. What do I see in beautiful Uganda?
What strikes me? Which scents do I like and which not? I’ll describe a selection of what I do and see on my days off.
With a colleague volunteer I’ve gone for a walk in the other direction, to the village. To have a look at Uganda as a country. Houses in all sorts and sizes, rondavels (round houses with a reed roof), stalls made of branches and lots of small shops. Everywhere we hear the word ‘mzungu’ and children wave or come running towards us. It’s fantastic! Every time you hear mzungu your eyes try to track the sound (sometimes close by, sometimes far away) and sometimes it takes a while before you notice the shiny face or the waving adults. Yes, waving adults too. Old or young: from behind a little wall, from a door opening, hidden behind the legs of the mother, riding a moped, hanging out of a car, on top of a truck.. But it’s never annoying. I feel safe and totally comfortable..
On the way there’s a big truck having trouble on the middle of the road. Some men are lying under it and there are some shoes and slippers here and there. All cyclists, mopeds and cars carefully drive by, no one agitated. Another TIA moment 😉 We turn into a gravel road and walk on until we arrive at a real village with round shaped houses. Some are even made of clay here. Great to see while walking through the beautiful green landscape. Boys are playing with a bicycle tyre and a stick. Like the hoops our grandparents played with. Great!
Next we take a boda to Soroti. I often choose to go by bike, because it goes more slowly. This way I can better enjoy everything around me. I also feel a bit guilty to let somebody work so hard on a bike, while I’m sitting at the back like a ‘princess’. But I also realise that this is his work, so I’m providing work for him. So my good feeling is predominant.
My favourite part of Soroti is the market. It’s dark because of the narrow paths, with lots of stalls fully loaded with fruit, spices (lovely scents and colours), slippers made of car tyres, the butcher (You can smell from afar the big portions of meat hanging on hooks.. I can hardly stand the smell), the chicken farmer, textiles and plastic washing tubs. We decide to eat a rolex. A rolex? Not a watch, but a thin wrap with a baked omelet containing paprika, egg and some spices. So good! And a welcome variation after all the rice 😉
Here also I take a lot of pictures. Showing them to the people is a great success, they laugh a lot!
At the end of the day we walk back alongside the sport fields. Lots of people there! Football and volleyball are being played there. We would love to have a look at the volleyball games and maybe even take part in it, but we have to be back at Amecet before dark, so we’d better continue our walk. We watch the football games. Some children wear proper football shoes, other play barefoot. And the field… Let’s say it’s not quite like a golf course ; Lots of sand and some parts are grassy. But it doesn’t matter at all, it’s still football and it’s being played with great enthusiasm. Great to see! We pass the well, where everybody fills up their jerrycans, and walk back to Amecet..
Who of you recognises descriptions like these from the same or other parts of Africa?