A Uganda Day

I could let this photo speak for itself:

Doing a Liz at PremierObviously I won’t let it speak for itself, that would defeat the point of blogging…

That’s me, doing a Liz, in the Premier Radio studios in Pimlico. It’s also photographic evidence of my first-ever live, in-studio, radio interview. Specifically, I was there to talk on Woman to Woman about the Uganda trip – it wasn’t just me, Bex phoned in from Durham. [Dave was excluded on the basis of his gender.] It was great to have a chance to share some of the stories and lovely (though weird) to be talking to Bex in such a manner.

It meant that I also had a chance to catch up with Holly (the genius behind the trip) over tea while she prepped me for the interview. Holly visited Soroti and Ogongora in 2011, and obviously had kept a close watch over our adventures. I’ve struggled over the last few weeks with the feeling that I might become a Uganda bore if I’m not too careful, so it was brilliant to chat about things with someone who wouldn’t mind.

After a morning of answering questions about the trip, I spent the afternoon doing the same, this time with an old friend who lives in Kampala. Why didn’t we have our conversation in Kampala while I was there? Well, how’s this for a situation…

On the night we landed at Entebbe, my friend Abby, her husband Sam and their young daughter were watching from the window of the departure lounge. They boarded the plane we’d just got off and set off to London so Sam could have a job interview. On the night we left Entebbe, Sam got off the plane we were to board minutes later. Random. Fortunately, Abby and their daughter Rachel have stayed in the UK for a while, meaning that we could catch up in colder climes.

Years ago, when I first moved into my grotty Bermondsey flat, I was moving in with Abby. We worked together at CMS and decided to get a flat together. Within weeks she started seeing a handsome Ugandan she’d first met at her sister’s wedding in Kampala. Within months they were engaged. 7 months after moving in, she left for Kampala. Today was the first time we’d seen each other since her wedding blessing nearly 6 years ago. Crazy.

Crazy, but brilliant. Processing thoughts, feelings and wonderings post-Uganda has been tricky, but here I had someone who understood both the culture in which I exist and the one I experienced only briefly. We had shared experiences of challenges, humour and cultural differences. I was particularly thankful that she was able to solve a mystery that had bothered me throughout the trip – why was Mbale a familiar place name to me? [It’s where the ‘good’ road stopped en route to Soroti.] It had to be to do with CMS mission partners I’d worked with, but I couldn’t remember who – Abby did and my mind was thankful! [Small things…]

Plus, I got to catch up with someone I’d always enjoyed hanging out with and I met their delightful daughter. All in all, a pretty good few hours.

RachelThe lovely Rachel.

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