Monday, June 27, 2011

The Bakiga Window: Watching Evening Arrive in Kabale

The evening view from my balcony in Room 103 at Green Hills Hotel, Kabale.
When you've been as busy as I have today, a moment's respite from it all is a necessity. I've met many familiar faces and greeted many new faces and now is an opportunity for thirty minutes of 'me' time.

It is the evening of Monday 11th April and I am sat on my balcony in Room 103 of Green Hills Hotel, Kabale - a hotel that is as familiar to me now as my own family's home in Warwick, in the UK. As the trip leader, my one perk - other than executive decision making power - is a room with a view and balcony.

This time of day is perfect for reflecting on the frenetic pace of the day behind you with all of its counting of shillings and being here or that at such a time. What an irony it is then that Ugandans don't seem to rush around for anything and yet bazungu are quite happy to, exhausting themselves by 6pm. What was it that they say about mad dogs and Englishmen?

Sitting back, even as the smoke from a combination of coal and kerosene burners drifts up the valley, and even though the silence is intermittently punctuated by the beat from a PA system floating in my direction as the wind changes, this moment is still full of serenity.

So as the last glimmers of sunlight leak out of the valley in the direction of the Congo, for now anyway, I will recline in my balcony chair, reflect on a job well done thus far and contemplate the many things left on my programme for the week.

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