9 April 2017
Today was Palm Sunday and the group was able to attend Watoto Church in Kampala. My good friend, Gonsha, who is one of the Ugandan pharmacists who came to the USA to study with me was able to pick us up and take us to her church. The services at Watoto are always joyful and uplifting with lots of music, singing, and dancing. Due to a slightly late arrival, the group had to sit in the tent outside rather than in the main church but there is a TV monitor and the whole service is easily seen and heard. Afterwards we enjoyed a light lunch and great conversation with Gonsha at the Good Samaritan Canteen which is located right here at the Mulago Guest House where we are staying.
This evening we went to Tamarai, the very delicious Thai restaurant in town. I think we all could eat here many times! When spending time in Uganda, as I have over the past few years, you get to meet all kinds of people whom you might never have met if you stayed in the USA. Well, tonight we had dinner with Kiran, a Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan whom I met, with her husband, Russ, back in 2014 when I was here doing my Fulbright work. She and her husband were also here at that time. They had been all set to be placed in Sierra Leone for the Fulbright but due to the Ebola Epidemic, their work was transferred to Uganda. Since then our paths seem to often pass in Uganda and tonight was another one of those times. She does consulting work with ACODE, (Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment) which is an independent public policy research and advocacy think tank in Uganda.
Well, we have now been in Uganda 1 week and 1 day. The time is rather strange here. Once we get over our jet lag and get engaged in our work here, sometimes it seems as if we’ve been here for a very long time. Our life in the USA seems so far away. Was it only a week ago that I could brush my teeth with tap water or never have to worry about whether the bathroom will be a traditional toilet (hole in the floor) rather than one with a toilet seat? You can get used to those things pretty quickly, or at least I have after all of these trips. They are now just part of our normal routine here. One thing that you do not have to worry about us while we are here is that we are getting enough to eat. The food options in Kampala are many and the restaurants are delicious. Even when we eat Ugandan foods, they are pretty tasty and the plates are piled very high.
Now we are onto a new week- let’s see where it takes us.