Enough Perspective

Itye ninning ?  I have been in Kampala for almost eight weeks now.  I arrived with all the intentions of becoming a prolific blogger.  I quickly learned that a solid Wi-Fi connection and access to uninterrupted electricity are not Third World Realities.

Since arriving at the end of August, I have moved twice.  Each instance was more or less prompted by regular power outages.  My first apartment in Mengo had a flat screen TV, a DVD player, a stainless steel fridge and a microwave, but often no electricity to power any of it.  I learned to anticipate the power outages, and arrange my day so that I would have at least cooked, eaten and rounded up my flashlight by the time the whole neighborhood went dark.  Procrastinating on assignments was no longer an option.  It’s nightmare to watch your battery life on your laptop drain while you are not even one quarter way through a paper that is due the next day.

I now live in beautiful Munyonyo, which is considered the Beverly Hills of Kampala.  To the untrained eye it looks like any other neighborhood.  If you however have lived in Kampala for a few months, you will notice the well paved roads that lead to this enclave.  You will notice the view of Lake Victoria, the beautiful resort hotels, the many mansions inhabited by American, Russian, German and Chinese expatriates.  I especially noticed that power outages were brief and mostly weather related.

After eight weeks, I feel like I have gained enough perspective to acknowledge all the draw backs of living in a Third World country, while also acknowledging the beauty of Uganda and the resourcefulness of its inhabitants.