I am meeting such a wide variety of people here, people that I know, had I stayed in my previous world, I would never have met. It breaks down so many pre conceived ideas to mingle and chat and even befriend people that I had no chance to meet before.
Let me introduce you to a few of them:
The Super Camper family have travelled all over the world with their 3 children in tow. They have seen and experienced so much of the world that I fear their children will always feel like outsiders in their home country, Britain. They are amazing and unique children, however, bright and alert, energetic and motivated, informed. The mother paints and mothers, the father plants seeds and fiddles with solar panels.
The new Super Camper family I have only recently got to know. They have lived in various countries in Africa as well as Ireland and Denmark. They are far more comfortable out of their home countries than within them. Irish, Swahili, Danish and English is spoken by all members of this family. These are the campers that remember wine and blow up mattresses. They put my holiday suitcase to shame.
Then there is a family I have come to call the Perfect Family. They have three adorable children, a chic house complete with fashionable furniture, a patch of land amidst their enormous garden when they grow their own lettuce; they speak both Spanish and French at home and are always dressed in a style more befitting the Cote d’Azure than Kampala. They are simply delightful.
There is my friend I call the Danish Beauty. She loves this country in a deeper way than most, being married to an Ugandan and working in the field of Journalism. She often finds this place tragic and I think it is because she is entwined in Africa, in a way few are. Her husband is one of the gentlest men I have ever met. He is brilliant yet sad, in love, fatherly and resigned. When they leave it will make the first of many holes in our Ugandan social life.
There is a family of four that have the most beautiful house in Kampala. It faces the lake and is filled with ethnic furniture that they’ve gathered in all their exotic posts. Sitting outside, watching the sun set is one of the best places to be in Kampala on a Sunday afternoon and I always return to my little box mildly depressed. This family has their grip on the artistic calendar of the city, and are always to be found at concerts, exhibits, shows and galleries. There is an air of glamour about them, but one that sits well with the ability to kill a snake that might wander across their lawn. They are immensely capable of making anything beautiful and the food they serve is divine. I think I will call them the Beautiful Ones.
Of course there are also the teachers who are without any great exception young and adventurous. They are prepared to take a major dip in their salaries to come out to Africa for a bit before going home to settle down. They generally don’t stay beyond 2 or 3 year but while they are here they do it ALL.
Then there is Indiana, my good friend and occasional hero. He is a successful business man, entrepreneur and father to two of my most favorite children. He has been in Africa for 20 years and it is unlikely will ever leave. He accepts Africa and Uganda for what it is, not fighting to change it nor complain about it. He knows this place deeply and like the old timers here has a special bond with Africa, one that lays an air of resignation around him.
More to come soon….