Monday, 19 October 2015

A Colourful Weekend…

Happy Election Day, Canada! Of course, I’m writing this at a time when some of you are just getting out of bed… ugh, this time difference thing is really putting a damper on my Election Day enthusiasm! And while most of you will be waking up to the news of who our (new?) Prime Minster will be tomorrow, I will have to wait until mid morning, or later in the day.

Anyway, Aaron and I are settling in nicely. As part of this, we decided to make the most of our first weekend in Kampala. This started by making our first meal – a delicious concoction of rice and veg*. We didn’t anticipate it tasting even remotely as good as it did, so we thought it to be a successful first attempt at cooking in Uganda.

On Saturday, we took our first drive in a matatu (a bus, similar to the trotros I spoke of in Ghana). We went into town a) just to get an idea of where we were and b) in search of the open market. We didn’t stay for very long, but it was good just to walk around for a little bit and attempt to get our bearings. Plus, we bought mangos, which are one of the top 10 reasons to live…

In the afternoon, we made our way back into town, where we met up with Bosco, a friend of a friend, who is studying at one of the local universities. The three of us attended the (wait for it!) football/soccer match between Uganda and Sudan. I know, me voluntary going to a sporting event, and happily must be making a number of you concerned, but I assure you, I’m okay! Uganda won 2-0, and aside from the hot, hot, heat from the sun that was raining down on us, it made for an exciting day! I especially enjoyed the enthusiasm from the Sudanese supporters who didn’t stop cheering on their team from before we entered the stadium (we could hear them while we were outside) until probably long after we entered the taxi park after the game ended! There was also a Uganda supporter dressed as a wizard who was throwing out pieces of sweet potato root**… but he was more creepy than enthusiastic, I suppose!

Sorry, it was really hard to snap a picture of the action, as the sun was directly in front of where were sitting!
But, all cannot be so smooth for an Orange Canadian, particularly when technology is involved. For whatever reason, my phone doesn’t seem to appreciate the beautiful sun Uganda provides us, and has encountered some issues with its ability to work properly. So, on Sunday we made another trip back into town, where Aaron helped me pick out a new phone***, but for which I negotiated down to a fair price, with his council. Afterwards, we encountered a super sketchy sir who claimed to be a legitimate phone service provider. After he became a bit too aggressive when I asked if I could have a receipt for the money I was about to pay him, we both felt something wasn’t right, and we walked away. I ended up getting it all set up on my own after purchasing a SIM card from a seemingly innocent young chap on the side of the road.

On our way back to the taxi park though, I earned a bit more street cred. As we were crossing the road, a man attempted to grab my necklace, but had really bad aim, so instead just gave me a good smack in the chest. The thing is, as much as I would have been heartbroken to lose this gift from my step-dad, I was more afraid for the guy who tried to nab it from me. I mean, at a very fundamental level, he obviously needed whatever money he could have made off of it, far more than I need to wear it proudly around my neck. But, in Uganda, there is a thing called mob justice, in which if the sir had taken my necklace and been caught, he would have been beaten up. And, even though I think there needs to be some disciplinary action for such an act, that is not my way to go about it. Anyway, I am fine. I’m not sharing this to create worry or make anyone think that Uganda is unsafe, because I truly feel safe here, minus the driving styles of the majority of vehicle operators. I more so just thought this was an interesting tale, particularly since the symbolism of the pendant**** is to keep me safe.

Anyway, we returned back home to no power. But, while we were out, we found a pack of cards. Since the power was out, we proceeded to spend the remainder of the afternoon playing every card game we could think of*****. It still wasn’t on by the time we started making dinner, so we had one epic meal****** by torchlight (aka flashlight), and then put on a movie. It was about halfway through the film when the power came back on, and despite how awful/amazing it was we continued to watch. Kevin Costner – where have you been all my life?

Good luck today, my fellow Canadians – we need it!

- the Orange Canadian

*We’d bought meat the night before, but unfortunately we didn’t have power, and thus, didn’t trust the safety(?) of the meat.
**Apparently this is good for stamina… Bosco asked the man sitting next to us, and he informed him that when we chewed on the root, he could “preform” for up to 4 hours. I think I’ll pass.
***It looks like a chocolate bar… and I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of tempted to make sure it isn’t one.
****It’s St. Christopher, who, amongst other things, is known as the patron saint of safe travels. So… it worked? Scott gave this to me as a graduation gift, in the hopes of its ability to return me safely each time I travel. And – so far, so good.
*****Aaron was reluctant to give in to my demands to play Go Fish, but once he saw my enthusiasm for the game, he was hooked.

******Seriously – we made a tasty Indian curry! It was awesome!


  1. Electricity outages are pretty much daily. Usually it comes back on just as the sun is setting (~7:30ish). Sounds like you are enjoying Kampala. Let me know if you need any advice/help.

    1. They sure are! I'm not usually bothered by it - it just means a daily technology detox! It's really only difficult when you're trying to cook dinner in the dark! :)