I have a friend, my neighbor at work until only a few months ago, who is clearly meant to be doing something else. This woman has the engine to do anything in the world she chooses.

Sometime ago, she wrote about her decision to own a boda boda then she realized how easy it was for her. As of today, she owns more than five, maybe more than 10 and she’s not even smelt 29 yet.

She belongs to this amazing network of like-minded young people who make change such a funky concept even for the most cynical Ugandans, beaten and jaded by a stagnant system.

And this is just one example of enterprising young people in Uganda who can get things done if they put their minds to it. It is possible to make noise on social media and also mint money out of it, is what I have summarized from watching this girl from a distance.

I always told her she was in the wrong job because she is clearly supposed to be running a PR company. She is a PR company on her own without even the hustle that goes into setting up an entity that is so notoriously Ugandan. She can take an event that no one would think twice about and make the whole of Kampala talk about it. Most times, many do not even realize why they are going for an event, kumbe it is all because of this woman who does such a great job.

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In a rush

We are told the seasons, they are a-changing. This translates into, “have all the fun you can muster, for very soon, you will not be able to do what you can do now.” So we have been doing a lot of living it up, if you know what I mean.

Probably you don’t…

IMG_20140927_173037Scary as that may be, there are those who are still just as excited about the prospect of winter. I know a few years from now, sentences like, “I wish it was winter now, instead of in November,” will sound as weird as they should.

We are in a rush to get things in order, or at least I am. It is beginning to feel more and more like we are animals storing up for the cold weather. I keep on asking myself what else I should be looking for.

My family and I have had the good fortune to experience American goodwill to the fullest. That thing your buddies told you about Americans being eager to give and give and give? Yeah, they were not making it up.

All this I have to put into perspective. I come from a country where the leaders have the nerve to mobilize people to welcome them at the airport on a Saturday when they could be out there making a living.

It is at moments like this that calls like this guy’s of recent, must be heeded. The narrative should be changed to Tupakasa, I agree.

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Strange beginnings

I could never in a million years ever have thought I would ever start a story like this…

IMG_20140926_141318This is a league I know next to nothing about. In fact, I used to make fun of Americans, who hold a World Series yet no other country plays some of their national sports.

But you can never be too hasty in these things. Fate, or God, takes you and throws you in places you never dreamed of being in. not in a million years.

Now, I am living a life that includes references to the NFL and earlier in the year, I was covering the County Fair. Quaint American lives open for me to document, yet I am still puzzled.

Many times I start and think one day I am going to wake up from this dream.

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walmartToday I had car trouble. I looked around for help and all I could see was blank faces and set jaws, drivers too busy with life to care about a stranger with problems. Most of them were driving to something or other inside the Walmart complex.

Garden City has about 300,000 people but it is still America. Everyone minds their own business.

The longing for home hit me again; this would never happen in Kampala (or Entebbe for that matter). There would be someone stopping to ask, “Boss, tukuyambe?”

I was at AT&T to fix my phone but when I tried to start my jalopy (256,000 miles and running, don’t joke), it just refused to respond. The guy on the other end of the line when I called Jimmy’s Repair said it had failed to turn over.

I had to call the tow truck. Later, at Jimmy’s, it turned out there was really nothing wrong. This old warrior still has some miles in him, bless Honda Accord.

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Staring at the monster

I have been given the opportunity to revisit the Clutter case, something so awesome, if you gerrit, that the great Capote wrote about it . Of course I want to be mentioned in the same line as Capote some day.

But before I embark on that trip, (and writing can be a trip), I must read up on everything Clutter. This is the biggest case Garden City has ever had in the last 70 years.

So, you must understand my consternation when I came across such lyrical acrobatics…

“Floyd Wells, a convict, stared across the room, out the bars at the fading twilight. Almost dark now, the sky, no longer purple. But, veins of gray – the color purple and black make when mixed – still scratched the flatland horizon. At the large, steady, gray desk sat Warden Hand of Lansing Prison; in the guest chair afront the desk sat Alvin Dewey, taking notes. Both men listened as Wells told his story.” -Joseph Geringer, The Clutter Family Killings: Cold Blood.

So as I dive back into this world again, I know it is going to be for another sort of thrill; to show up the big boys.

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Random things

Some of the highlights of our lives in the last four months. There have been many firsts. Far too many. In this period, we went from totally settled Ugandans to something of thrill junkies. Somehow, even if the people we live with now see nothing of it, the excitement roller coaster is still rolling.

At some point, our Entebbe house looked like this with everything almost gone

At some point, our Entebbe house looked like this with everything almost gone

We had to keep memories of what was sweet with us. We didn’t know when we would be coming back to this land we all love.

In a path somewhere in Nyakakoni, Mbarara, western Uganda during the last visit to Kaaka

In a path somewhere in Nyakakoni, Mbarara, western Uganda during the last visit to Kaaka

But before we left, we were treated to some interesting fair wells. Below, that moment before the mugole realizes this is no ordinary meetup. At this moment, the fish and chips are just round the corner.

IMG_20140610_133126Okay, maybe people were just tired after that most tiresome time when we had to go to Nairobi to get our paperwork done. Like when we had to try so hard to look cool in shades…


IMG_20140524_150928Anyway, the journey continues. There are some things I admit I do not miss so much. Like fighting with the charcoal stove as two little girls demand to have their chai.


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On future novelists

Agatha Christie said the best time to think up a new book us when you are doing the dishes. Little girl seems to have caught on.

At Isaya and Rachael's on Harvest Lane

At Isaya and Rachael’s on Harvest Lane

Slowly but surely, we are settling in

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