Monday, September 26, 2011

Come Walk With Us

In the morning, before the sun gets too crazy hot, I strap Leo into his buggy and we head off for a walk around the neighbourhood.  We've lived in this this part of town for nearly 8 years, before then we spent 12 mad and slightly drunken months living in a banda at a campsite overlooking the swirling eddies of the river Nile below.

Why did we move from such a sensational location?  To be honest our one room accommodation (and adjacent long drop toilet) literally hung off a muddy bank.  And it was after one colossal storm that saw us swinging through the front door above a huge drop off that we called it a day (our livers were to thank us too) and searched for an alternative abode in town.

The following photos give a brief insight into the area where we live.  Many of the houses are lived in by large Ugandan families whose children run, laugh and play around the unkempt gardens, as do their animals.  Chris, Leo and I live in our rented house with Ugandan neighbours either side and behind us.  Several expats tend to reside on another side of town close to the famous Jinja Golf Course that curves down to the Source of the Nile, where cattle and goats graze on the verges with wild abandon. 

Interestingly Uganda has a large Indian population.  During Idi Amin's reign he ordered their expulsion and they were given 90 days to leave.  When Museveni, the current president, came to power in 1986 he invited the Indians back.  Many of them still retained their land and house titles which meant they could return to where they were living before.  Several families live in large and ornate houses and depending on the time of day the smell of curry and incense can be caught on the wind.

We're probably 15 minutes by foot from town and there's often a constant flow of traffic going past our front gate.  Chickens pick at the insects by the driveway and people wander past the high green hedge bordering the garden where the Karamojong ladies bend to collect fallen sticks and tie them in bundles before placing them on their heads.  Piki Piki's (local motorbike taxi's) putt up and down the road.  Stray dogs encourage late night barking and Leo and I are usually awake to hear the Islamic call to prayer at 5am.....that's when I crash my head back into the pillows and dream of more sleep!  Local hotels often have weekend discos but on the whole mid week entertainment is thankfully kept to a minimum.

In the late afternoon we may go for a second walk, taking a slightly longer route.  Some of the roads are pot holed and there aren't any pavements.  The askari's (night watchmen) pass us on their way to work, nodding a greeting and waving at Leo.  Children fall out of school around this time and shriek and squeal at the 'big white baby' and we may stop at the dukas (local shops) to buy popcorn or bananas. 

And if it's raining?  Hmmm, we're fair weather walkers in this house and the rain in the tropics falls so heavily we take the soft option.............and stay in.

Getting ready to roll....

Swinging a left out of our drive

A Pakistani family live in this wonderful house which is currently being painted

One of local high schools in the area

The lady sitting beneath the tree is making chapatis, she also serves sweet tea

The bright blue container sells fruit, vegetables and household items, ie little bags of washing powder

Many of the houses in the area are of this style

The roadside 'dukas' where we get popcorn - you can also get a haircut should you wish

 A pretty good stretch of road without a single pothole

The sign says it all

During the Second World War Jinja was the Uganda Centre for the King's African Rifles.  The Jinja War Cemetary contains 1 burial for the First World War and 178 buriels and commemorations of the Second World War.  The cemetary is situated on the road behind our house.

One of the headstones in memory of the fallen

Through the gate in our driveway looking out across the road


Thanks for joining us ;)


Amelia said...

Beautiful! I'm so glad you shared!

Anonymous said...

The shots are good, but the stroller..well, there is a whole beautiful world in that stroller.

anymommy said...

Fabulous. But now I want to come and walk it with you in person.

Ggirl said...

Thank you ladies. Stacey, I have no idea these days if you can walk without a Starbucks Chai?!