Perhaps I have been a little harsh on Kampala, always dwelling on the bizarre, the strange, the smelly or the inconvenient. Maybe I have written too much about what I miss or lack or crave, So I have decided to write aTop 10 list of the Best Things About Living in Africa. It is time to readdress the balance. So here, dear readers is the official positive spin. (Trooper, Princess and Handsome Husband were all consulted in the making of this list.)
10. Excellent fruit and vegetables. They grow everything here and the pineapples are particularly exceptional, and fresh all year round.
9.We are always surprised. Going for a simple drive to the supermarket can turn into quite the adventure. You have no idea what will appear around the next corner, but I assure you, it will be surprising.
8. Full time inexpensive help, We have a fine woman who comes to our home each day to hand wash our clothes. iron our sheets and mop our floors. This is a cheap but lovely luxury. For a bit more money we could also have another fine lady come over and cook our meals. This might happen in the near future, if I have my way.
7. There is no need to ever do any sort of manual labour. Ever. Need a shelf drilled to the wall? No problem. Need a pair of bedside tables to be custom built? No problem. Need your house painted? No problem. Need a tailor? Done. Anything can be done and the price is always low.
6. Excellent free education for both Princess and Trooper. Courtesy of yours truly who walks into that fine institution and teaches every single day. Perks of the job baby!
5. Wonderful weather. It is really the best climate a person could wish for . It is never too hot, never too cold, yet cool in the evenings and warm enough to lie by the pool on a Sunday afternoon.
4. The proximity of extraordinary places to visit whether for a long weekend or an extended trip. There is the best wildlife in the world virtually on our doorstep.
3. Decent restaurants, a movie cinema and high speed internet . Inexpensive fresh roses sit on my dining room table every day, my furniture is handmade and there is a decent bookshop. The supermarkets are full of wine and nutella, what more do we really need?
2. A good social life and plenty to do. If we wanted to we could be out all the time. There is a robust group of expats from all over the world ready at a drop of a hat to drink Beaujolais Nouveau, toast Haggis, dance at a ball, raise money for a worthwhile cause or simply meet for a good Thai meal. There are always people to meet and they are people that you would never, in the course of a regular life back home, run into contact with. Often when I watch my girls around the pool I think to myself that with their friends they resemble a mini United Nations.
1. And the number one reason why it is cool to live in Africa? Everyday we are forced to question the way we see the world. Our preconceived notions are constantly thrown into the air and we never stop learning.