Oli-otya! We can’t believe we’re actually in Uganda! It feels so good to reconnect with good friends. We arrived at the Entebbe International Airport at 11:30 pm with a warm welcome from Gilbert, Babaluku, and Scoebo. The next hour was bumping to Ugandan music in the van as we hit downtown Kampala for some late night noms. We settled at a cozy pizza joint next door to a few of the city’s popular night clubs – Space and Amnesia. As dance jams blared out next to us, we went in on an XL pizza. It was the perfect first meal, as we previously left off having pizza with everyone in Middletown, CT Before heading home, we quickly popped into Amnesia to get a taste of the night life. Lucky us- we got to see a new uprising artist sing LIVE with some epic dancers. We head back to the house around 3 am then stayed up for another hour or so having deep life conversations with Babaluku.
Or should I say half a day? We woke up at 1:30 pm in the afternoon to a pleasant surprise. Just look at this cutie ^_^
That’s adorable Ady. She’s staying at the host house with us. She loves to sing and tell stories. Ady taught us how to say a few words in Luganda, and pulled out a “Birds of Uganda” book and binoculars to teach us about birds in the area. We went outside to spot the “Kite” which looks really similar to the hawk. She explained it was Kite season and we actually got to spot one by a tree near the house!
Late afternoon, Gilbert came over to make plans with us for the week. Actually his Ugandan name is Bwette, so I’m going to refer to him as that from now because it’s awesome. We decided we needed to go buy a phone card, so made our journey towards the shop which then turned into an unexpectedly longer adventure hahah…
First, we made our way up the neighborhood’s hill and came across a stunning view. And just in time for the sunset!
The community here is SO ideal. As we roamed the streets I really started thinking about how much I wish things like this still existed in America. Kids were running around playing with one another in the streets. Families waved out from their homes as we walked past. No one was shy to say hello and gave you nothing less than a huge warm smile as you waved back. I can’t remember the last time I felt so connected to new faces in America, let alone see a face look up from a smart phone.
It seemed silly now growing up constantly reminded “Never talk to strangers.” It was like that exact thing is what made this neighborhood so strong. The children walked right up to us – bright eyed, bold, and curious. Mom and dads right around the corner conversing with their neighbors while stirring up tonight’s dinner outside. Everyone was family, and every child belonged to the neighborhood as a whole. This seemed like the better way to look out for one another and grow. If our classic suburban white picket fence went down, would we be able to join as one big family? Would we be able to overcome our differences through everyday conversation? Through communal connection? I really wonder.
We then got to experience Rolex, a local snack that is similar to a crepe and omelet combined. Super tasty and fresh. After the meal we hung around the neighborhood for a bit. Saroj had a blast playing Ludo with some local guys.
Before you knew it, the sun had set and it was dark out. Time really flies when you’re having fun. We quickly grabbed the phone card and headed home. Ended the evening with a lovely home-cooked meal.