Monday, December 20, 2010

Kampala Rant, and Awesome News From Home

After dealing with the Kampala style life for a couple of days, there was no better feeling than getting back to site. Correction; getting back home.

Kampala is awesome for the services it provides, and the mass amounts of material which you can get from there. There is enough muzungu traffic in Uganda's capital to ensure that, if you have the money, you can get pretty much anything you'd like. I ate pizza, had a soft-serve strawberry ice cream, enjoyed a hot shower, and even bought some over-priced mueslix for when I got home, to mix with my yogurt. I certain lady back home introduced me to mueslix, and I guess when I saw it I couldn't resist.

The problem with all of these material items and services that are found in Kampala, you realize, can be found in the reason why they are there in the first place: the people. The crowds that amass in seemingly every nook and corner of the city take its toll on the sanity of anyone not accustomed to it. Every amazingly serene, welcoming, and genuine people that can be found almost everywhere in the village have been replaced with 50 people hardened by the quick and dirty city lifestyle. Smiling seems to be a weakness as opposed to comfort; peoples arms are grabbed, not held.

So whatever. I love the fact that Kampala is and will always be there; I'm just glad I get to deal with it on my own terms. I really hope people don't come to Uganda, hang out in Kampala for a few days, and say they saw the country. Sorry. That's not Uganda.

For now, I'm loving the small luxuries I have afforded to give myself. I recognize them as dangerous; a computer playing Ben Harper into a reverberating (no ceilings + tin roof=automatic surround sound, from bathroom to bedroom to office to kitchen) house that is all my own, reading the summaries of the daily news received through a contact of the U.S. Embassy, printed off on my own personal laser printer (thanks Mama and Papa!) doesn't exactly seem like I'm roughing it. In honesty, these things make it more difficult at times. Sometimes being reminded of luxuries only brings back memories of everything else that you could be having. Where's the refrigerator, the electric drill, the air conditioning, the cheese or endless supply of ground meat? And then you are hit with reality, and realize that you didn't put any water out on the roof last night; you'll have to boil your water today if you want to drink it without getting a ring-worm or amoebic dysentery. Why'd you forget? Oh, you were watching a DVD while drinking a beer? Great job; way to use those luxuries. I guess there is a Kampala in me as well.

Biggest news of the year: My big brother is getting married!!! I have no idea how the man actually managed to convince a person to even CONSIDER spending the rest of their life with him, much less a female, much less somebody so intelligent and driven as the lady which he's asked...but hey, whatever. ---Just kidding, Will. You have always served as a great inspiration to me, both with regards to your achievements, your drive, and most of all your steadfast nature in being nobody besides yourself. The amount of pleasure that you gave me when you called me and told me the amazing news is something I will always remember. Moulin Rouge taught me about what the "greatest gift you could ever receive" is, and I'm really happy and proud that it's been given to you.

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