Well I survived week one of school, although week one was really only 3 days, but in my books that is still a long week. Between tricky names getting stuck in my throat and walks to and from the library to check out text books I managed to get to know a few students and learn the ropes. As I mentioned before I am teaching years 7-9 which translates as grades 6-8 and those little year 7 boys are tiny! It is a sharp contrast to the 16-18 year olds I have been teaching for the past 2 years. Those little guys take ages to copy anything down, need everything to be explained slowly and most often twice but they are not yet cynical and their innocence is pleasing.
The only views of Kampala I have had this week have been through the windows of the Beast as we travel between home and school. One thing I have observed is how busy everyone is. While traveling in India I often remarked that a lot of people, in particular men, squatted around for much of the day chewing, spitting and talking with each other. I imagined that in a city with a growing population such as Kampala I would see similar displays of languid behaviour. The Boda drivers do their share of nothing while waiting for customers but on the whole what I have witnessed is a hive of activity. Early in the morning people are carrying water on their heads, pushing bikes loaded with bananas up hills, washing clothes, firing bricks and a lot of digging. Everywhere I look someone is digging a hole.
This city is growing. It has only been the capital since 1962 and at that time was built over 7 hills. It now stretches over 21 hills and counting.
Here are some fun and fast facts about Kampala.
The name comes from the animal, Impala, which happily grazed on these hills and were happily hunted by chiefs and kings. With a little Lugana thrown in (the local language) the city soon became known as Kampala.
There are many mosques here. (With loud speakers.) It turns out Islam arrived here before any Christian Missionaries. So I guess they got here first.
Kampala is only 32 km to the equator but the reason it has a reasonable temperature is because it is 1200 meters high. (That is 4000 feet for you Americans.)
Kampala is home to only 1 of 7 Baha’i temples in the world. It is know as the Mother Temple of Africa. 3limes will bring you more on that when we visit the temple in the coming weeks.
More fun facts, photos and cutting edge visions from the window of a Beast, coming soon!