Moving day

Up to this point in time, I have been staying with my lovely Ugandan mummy. But I was only meant to be here for the first four weeks (we are now on week 7). When I asked richmond a a few weeks back, when I should be leaving he said, “Yesterday. But mummy’s enjoying having you so much that she’s happy for you to stay!” So that has been very nice, and saved me lots of money.

At the start of my trip Elder Gerald invited me to stay with him and his family. I am keen to experience as much of the culture as I can, and that includes the different parts of the city, and the way different people live life. On Sunday afternoon I moved most of my stuff over to his house to join Joan (wife), Jeremy (son) and Teddy (sister). My bed has increased in size to a double bed, which is very comfortable, but I have lost my ensuite (which was a lit of a luxury anyway!) We eat dinner as a family, which is nice, rather than on my own or with mummy.

This is a good example of how the culture has developed between generations. Gerald has a relatively young family, whereas mummy’s children are all quite grown up. You can see where men used to be served first, and eat alone (or with the other adult males in the house), now the family eats as a unit, and the children are only related to the floor when their isn’t enough seats!

We close the evening with prayer as a family, sharing our schedules for the week with each other. When you staying with people you always value feeling part of the family, and in both houses I’ve stayed at, I’ve very quickly felt at home!

Expat Life – Part Two

The second family I stayed with was Gerry and Moira’s Nobel. Gerry grew up with my mother (Linda) in Northern Ireland, and they sang in the choir together. Morris currently works at the international school as an assistant head teacher. Gerry had his hands in many pies (I think that’s the best way to explain it). He original came out here as a doctor, and then with a business partner developed a model to provide medial insurance to low income families. This later developed into a multi-million pound company with Gerry becoming a social Entrepreneur, guest speaking at places like Harvard.
Long story short, the corruption in the government here led to the company being forced into receivership (I think), and Gerry has been involved in a very long legal process to right that wrong. He’s still very much an Entrepreneur at heart, with a few different business ideas on the go at the moment. I’ve very much enjoyed spending time hear about them all and learning from all his experience.

The house they live in he described to me as a “bit of a Dr Seuss”. Here in Uganda there are now rules preventing you living in a house that isn’t fully built, so it’s very common for people to build houses in stages. Gerry, Moira and Lizzie’s (their daughter) are very much in the middle of development, with doors on the side of the house where stair cases will be and open space where walls will eventually be. But the view is nothing short of breath taking. And so far tops by best view so far. It’s panoramic, with Lake Victoria on the right and green hills spreading out to the left, dotted with little houses. It’s wonderful. You can sit on the sofa and just watch the view – not through the window, because there is no window, or wall for that matter to put the window in. But I like that, it’s like being outside, while being inside.

Expat Life – Part One

This week I’ve been enjoying the expats lifestyle visiting two missionary families here in Kampala. The night was spent with Ken & Judith Finch, who first came to Uganda with CMS Ireland working in a rural setting in a local hospital. Now they work at the International Hospital in Namuwongo and live in a very nice, modern looking apartment block, overlooking Lake Victoria.


Being in Uganda over six weeks now, I haven’t actually seen much of the lake, except in my visit to Jinja. It’s actually a lot bigger than I thought it was. Lake to me, being from Britain is something I usually walk around in an hour, surrounded by trees and full of wild life. I was only wrong about the size (can you tell geography was never a strong gifting for me?) lake Victoria is a little (only a little) smaller than Ireland. Now if your from the U.S. Or anywhere else in the world a lake this size might not be such a strange concept, but in Britain, being small, we do most things on a smaller scale. One thing that always makes me laugh is how big everyone outside the UK thinks the UK is! They are shocked when I tell them it’s smaller than Uganda (much smaller).

After a wonderful meal, and some time in front of the television (which I’ve enjoyed not having for the past six weeks), I retired to bed. The next day I had the house to myself, I ate a very English breakfast of a tea (English tea you would be surprised how many English brands are here) and toast (I’ve only had bread for the past six weeks) with marmalade. Sitting on veranda, Lake Victoria out front, the swimming pool to my right… Ah, this is the life.

I spend the rest of the day enjoying the pool (it’s good to exercise again), reading, enjoying the BBC channel (a taste of home) and eating hobnobs!

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