Arrival in Kampala

What excitement on feeling the balmy air of Entebbe as I crossed the tarmac at nearly 11 p.m. on arriving from Brussels. Mary Edgar was faithfully waiting amidst the welcoming crowd. And so was Sharon, her former house-girl, resplendent in new attire, as well as a businessman friend recruited to drive us to Kampala, some 25 km away. Traffic was thankfully sparse at that late hour although the route had been very congested when the three of them had left the capital in the early evening. We hauled my 25 kg suitcase past the armed guard up the flights of chipped steps to the Citi Hotel. I nodded at the East Indian owner, who was still in the office at this late hour and vaguely wondered about his story. Where had he gone when the Asians were unceremoniously evicted from the country by Idi Amin? What had been his return experience? Did he just reclaim his property under the new regime or had it been a struggle? (The East Indian shop that had been reopened in Bududa had only lasted a couple of years for lack of customers.) Gratefully I noted that the power was on. A dribble of cold water came out of the shower although it was hot the following day. Any attempt to use the plumbing resulted in pools of water on the bathroom floor – thank goodness for the flipflops provided in even the cheapest hotels. Mary and I sat on our beds exchanging news to the background din of Kampala, which never ceases at any time of night or day. The “soap people” from Sparta, Ontario, are due to teach Mary’s partner organization, the West Nile Disadvantaged Women’s and Orphans Association (WENDWOA), soap making later this year. Soap will hopefully provide a more sustainable market than bead necklaces and baskets for demand for such products is limited and the market is soon exhausted.

Submitted by: Sheila Havard
International Coordinator
Children of Bududa