Saturday, March 15, 2008

Back to the mother ship

My new Sony Vaio has a reflective screen, which I've discovered is good for one thing and one thing only - seeing the wrinkle I'm getting in between my eyebrows. I can actually see what I look like when I'm cussing out the slow/unavailable/corrupted internet here in Uganda, and my brows are most definitely furrowed in anger/frustration.

On the other hand, it's about 80 degrees and gorgeous in Kampala, and I made it here at what seemed like warp speed - only 15 hours in the air and two hours on the ground in dreary Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where I enjoyed a $10 shot of espresso and made a new friend.

The warm Ugandan air felt like a big hug when I got off the plane and walked across the tarmac to the shiny new arrivals hall (marble floors and velvet ropes - remnants of CHOGM improvements from this past November), and a smiling Kate was there to greet me at the front door. We went back to her adorable new place ($100/month anyone?) near Kasubi Tombs and spent the evening catching up, drinking tea made by a domesticated Colin ("can I make some tea for you ladies? green tea with jasmine?") and finally fell asleep on the new and STIFF velour African couch (made for a pygmy).

So if you're looking for evidence of my having made any great One Mango Tree achievements, you will want to stop reading this post now.

We spent the day yesterday at Kabira Country Club, after trying [unsuccessfully] to sneak in. I only got a minor sunburn in weird spots. Kate and I spent most of the afternoon giggling at the laughing crows in the trees and eating goodfat/badfat salad - avocados and bacon. I love Uganda! We also got a chance to catch up with our friend Abramz (of Breakdance Uganda fame) who happened to be there as well. Hotel Africana hosted a dance contest a few weeks ago to celebrate the new flavor of Mirinda soda (pineapple) and Breakdance Uganda took first place! Watch out world - this man is on the verge of something great.

As for real OMT work, that started today and will continue as we venture to the markets of Old Kampala tomorrow afternoon to scout out fabrics and other materials Lucy will need for her new products. With the help of an NGO in Gulu, we're finding some women in the camps that will be weaving handles of banana leaves for purses. Lots to do - we're taking the bus up to Gulu on Monday morning. We talked on the phone to Lucy yesterday and she shared her excitement about participating in a "real Catholic crusade." We didn't ask questions, but will surely get some details when we arrive in Gulu.

So yes, I'm back to the mother ship. I used to refer to the US as that...but I've come to realize that my Ugandan-ness makes me a little more alien in my true home country. I enjoy being the weirdo.

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