Baha’i House of Worship

A smiling woman with short curly braids wearing a brightly patterned dress stood facing backwards towards the congregation, carefully directing the choir in the two pews in front of her. Women sat in the front row, while men sat in the back row singing the bass part. The melody sounded familiar, a variation on one of the hymns that I used to sing in school … Continue reading Baha’i House of Worship

Mengo view

Our bedroom window faces southwest across the Kampalan suburb of Mengo. It looks across rusted tin roofs and palms trees to the pylons on top of the Lubaga and Namirembe hills. Woods smoke and clotted humidity permanently cloud the air. Although we don’t open the curtains often, I retain a detailed and nuanced mental map of our neighbourhood assembled from the polyphonic soundscape that we … Continue reading Mengo view

My Ugandan office

I am sitting at my new desk in a small lightly painted office under the lee of palms and jackfruit trees from the compound next door. Two chickens are clucking around the open doorway in the bright sunshine. I share this office with Lorna and the office administrator. My brow is beaded with sweat; it must be about twenty-eight degrees. It hasn’t yet rained today. … Continue reading My Ugandan office

Arrival in Kampala

Long-term lists, short-term lists. Ticking items off lists. Contracts to be signed, contracts to be terminated. Fees paid repeatedly. Unexpected expenses. Unanticipated purchases. Phone calls, interviews. Calendars consulted and dates agreed upon. Vaccinations. Different categories of possessions packed and moved to storage and to various homes. Multiple goodbyes and send offs. Packing away lives, packing away possessions. It has come to this again. Why do … Continue reading Arrival in Kampala

African food – the best so far

The local cuisine of pretty much all of the countries we have visited so far has consisted of sadza, a thick mash usually made from maize meal, served with a rarely identifiable meat of questionable quality. Like the beer (see previous post), it has not been something to recommend Africa by. However, further up the east coast, from around Malawi onwards, enticing snacks appeared in … Continue reading African food – the best so far