I arrived in Uganda late last night after what seemed like a forever of flights. There was a stop in Rwanda on the way but it was too late to see anything but an inky black speckled with distant lights, tapestry of black.
On the flight I slept and slept and slept, recovering after a bit too much fun in the last few days, making myself again ready for this start.
Arrving felt foreign-strange and also like a homecoming. So much is a familar – the late night arrival god knows where, the smell of heat in the air, the bound up into the land cruiser, the roads with holes like bomb blasts, the white teeth grins. I shifted unthinkingly to a slower speech, that weird dialect of English that is not really grammatical but easily understood when spaced with big smiles.
After an hour drive through the dark, I slept in a bed that groaned and moaned like a ship at sea with the mosquito net billowing gently in the breeze around me. The night was split apart by rain that fell as if the world was ending, like rocks on the roof, punctuated by booms of thunder and angry cracks of light.
It was lovely to wake and find a new world, to have the light reveal the country that the dark night had hidden from me.
Last time I was in one of the crisp dry corners of Africa but here green sprawls decadently over every surface, banana trees flank the road, pink flowers tumble down walls and the earth is rich and red. I can see the gleam of lakes from my window.
I may be here for just a few short weeks. I still don’t know how I will feel, how my emotions will stretch into a new kind of life with so many new things. I am trying to put peace inside, to keep a little space of strength and stillness . Beyond that I guess I will have to wait and see.