Ok guys, sorry about the break, but I had to attend my sister's wedding in Niue - think that's allowed :)
Anyway, back to Uganda! On our first day we woke to the bright light and morning noises of washing, water boiling for tea, and birds. There was a rooster that morning that woke us early, but it didn't make an appearance again for the rest of our trip. We think the neighbours had a roast that night.
As we didn't have much on our schedule for the day (time to settle in and rest up) we decided to go walkabout. Pretty much each time we come we try to go wandering at least for the first day. It gives us an idea of where we are living, a chance to meet others living nearby, and suss out who's the best local rolex guy.
We stayed in Kyaliwajjala (said, Charli-wah-jala) with our friends, as I mentioned before. As all the family will feature in our blog at some point, I'll use this opportunity to introduce them:
Joyce, with whom we stayed last time, and her kids Lara and Lagum (who are nearly finished high school). Alice, whose bedroom we were graciously given for our stay, and whom we met on our first trip to Uganda and who invited us to stay, is Joyce's sister. Their brother, Dennis, has also been staying there for some time.
As it was Sunday, Joyce and Lara had headed to church early. We, of course, missed the boat by sleeping in. Paul and Lagum were still asleep when we got up! And Alice was still in Nairobi. So we had some brekkie and headed out. Paul (Lagum's friend) thought we were crazy and would only make it 10min in the heat as he couldn't stand it. But, the trick in hot places (I find), is just to take it easy. Walk slow, chat to some new friends, and enjoy the scenery. Then it doesn't seem so hot and you can walk further, things just take longer. Ugandantime my friends :)
First stop: ROLEX. If you have never been to Uganda, you are missing out on this seriously tasty meal. Guys will have a stall on the side of the road with a small charcoal fire with a flat piece of metal on top as a "pan". In the morning they will make a big batch of thick and large chapatis, about 25-30cm across. Then when you rock up and ask for a rolex, you will witness the most amazing cheffing skills ever. First, 2 eggs are cracked into a plastic cup. Bits of onion and tomato are shaved off into the cup with the chef's super sharp knife, his only utensil. He then sprinkles some salt from a little bag on the side. This is all whisked together with the knife and then, after some oil, spread on the sizzling hot pan (again, using the knife). When one side is cooked, he will (get this) roll the omelette over with, yes, just the knife! It never breaks. It is always perfect. I don't know how, I have tried so many times and can't do it. Then a chapati is put on top and the whole lot is rolled up and put in a bag, sometimes handmade from pages of old school books. And there you have it: rolled eggs: ROLEX! Delishioso.
After meeting Robert and Peter, the brothers running our local rolex joint, we headed up the road about 30min or so past bodabodas, matatu taxis, and the general bustle of busy Kampala roads to Metroplex, the local mall. This is one thing that was so different from our last trip. There seems to be a mall in nearly every suburb. And these malls are big (but big in a different way to NZ malls). Metroplex has 3D cinemas, a food court with about 5 different vendors, and a large Shoprite supermarket, among many other shops. It also is home to the cafe that makes the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my life. True story. Another thing is the lack of potholes (well, marked reduction). Streets are clean, clear, mostly smooth. I had to do a double take at first - this is not the Kampala I recall! Things really had changed a lot in 4 years. At first it seemed like it had changed for the better, but as you will see, there are always two sides to everything.
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!