Friday, 31 October 2008


I was eager to go here, but then something else short-term opened up in my neighbourhood. My former mdosi was quite understanding juu we had agreed that due to budgetary constraints on her side that woulda seen me travel bila per diem allowances and get my lodging/housing covered only up to a point, I would be looking for something long-term at home. I’d have gone anyway, and used that experience in the ‘tell me an instance where you went above and beyond the call of duty at work’ interview question. And honestly, it was offering great experience. What I have now has potential to turn into a long running commitment. To be fair, I have offered to work for her (former mdosi) after-hours due to the time differential-seven, soon to be eight hours. We’ll see how that goes. But I’m very encouraged. Then there are the benefits of working close to home; seeing my family and friends often is priceless, I don’t have to freak out about the winter (the weather is near perfect all year round, I think), the people are wonderful, and the food? Wee wacha tu!

I just handed over my first weekly report. Goodbye Accra, hello Kampala.

Friday, 03 October 2008

East African Community

Today I returned home from the longest bus ride of my life. I was on a bus containing mchanganyiko maalum of people from UG, TZ and KE, among others. The bus driver happened to stop somewhere ( I still can't bring myself to pee in public again-yet) and some people from UG took the longest time to come back, at what point the driver decided to leave. Lucky them, they were not alone and one of their friends managed to convince the driver to wait. In the meantime, friend number 2 called one of them on the cellphone and told them to 'don't even run, fly!' As friend no.1 got back to his seat after the bus finally stopped, he mumbled something to the effect that the driver was not doing right by leaving his buddies since 'they paid money' to get on the bus. This ticked off a Kenyan man, who argued that there's no reason he should be inconvenienced in his efforts to make money simply because some people had paid money to get on the bus. An argument ensued, and went out of topic when the Kenyan man referred to the Ugandan man as 'young man'. The 'young man' felt that the 'older man' was taking advantage of his age to speak down to him. Friend no.2 told friend no.1 to 'shut the fuck up!'. Those we had been waiting for came in at the heat of the moment, and a man from Singapore asked the late -not dead, just late-gent (not the ladies who were with him) to apologize for inconveniencing everyone, which he duly did and enjoyed a friendly conversation with Singaporean the rest of the way.
It then dawns on the bus driver that there are additional people who need to get onto the bus and get off at the next junction where they'll take the bus to Mwanza, TZ, but there may not be enough seats. He then embarks on a mission to convince us to 'squeeze' for them, sometimes using English, I believe, so as to appeal to non-Kenyans and non-Tanzanians. For the first time a Tanzanian lady speaks out. "Kama wanaenda Mwanza basi waTanzania tubambane". It turns out there are enough seats for everyone. Oh, well, karibu kwenye Jumuia ya Afrika Mashariki. Yesterday I heard that a recent poll revealed the reason most Tanzanians are so opposed to the EAC idea is that Kenyan men would steal their women.

Note to Rose from Kampala: There was a certain middle-aged looking mzungu man waiting for you outside the National Theatre at about 10:30 am on Thursday, 2nd October 2008. It'd be a good idea to describe yourself or what you'll be wearing next time you go on a similar date.