The sun is setting on my 2nd full day in Uganda. On the flight to Uganda I watched the sunrise somewhere over Ethiopia. The clouds turned their requisite red and orange, slowing letting the deep blues of night fade away for another 12 hours. That moment it occurred to me, as if it was new, that no matter how far I fly the sun will always rise in the east. (Except if you travel to the poles, during which time the sun will not set at all during the summer equinox and not rise at all during the winter equinox, but these are just details.)
Its funny how much we expect things to be different when we travel. When I arrived I knew it would be different here. I catch myself needing to remind myself that I am in Uganda and that I am on an entirely different continent. Perhaps this is because I never spent much time imagining what Africa would be like or that I would visit someday. There are so many observations it feels premature to write anything of significant substance, so I am just including some brief observations.
I’ve loved watching the huge Marabou Stork (1.5 meters tall) soar above the sky of Kampala and crash through the trees. Kampala with 1.7 million people has only 5 working stop lights. The roads are a mix of paved and dirt roads. Most have massive potholes. The Mzungu(white person) is a prized friend. At the open air fruit and vegetable market someone actually grabbed my hand and took some persuading to let me go. Having a personal driver and guide seems like a luxury that I am both grateful and hesitant. I am grateful for someone to take me safely and quickly through the city, giving me a personal view of the city they love. Though I feel a bit like the protected child not allowed to wander.
The massive congestion ceased today, it seems everyone was in churches all over the city and at home with their families. The Pentecostal movement now claims nearly 20% of the population and you can hear their loud speakers throughout the city. Lots of businesses pride themselves on being called the “Grace of God” or “God is good” then add whatever service. My favorite are the butcheries called the grace of God butchery. As a vegetarian it seems so antithetical to the grace of God.