Greetings from Uganda! I’ve been in Jinja since yesterday afternoon and had my first day of work today. I prefer writing when it’s all fresh, so here goes with some thoughts/updates/facts/observations for you, dear reader (in bullets, naturally):
- I live literally next door to the mosque. So. 5AM and me are becoming fast friends.
- Uganda’s lack of noise pollution laws never goes unnoticed.
- Saving my pennies — can’t wait to get another boda (motorcycle)!
- None of my small Acholi skills come in handy down here, where mostly Luganda/Lusoga is spoken.
- My new colleagues and workplace are great. So excited to continue learning and get the ball rolling at work. Grateful doesn’t begin to express my emotions. I’ll be working mostly on legal compliance and finance related projects.
- Bliss is the best person in my little world. She has been present upon arrival every move I’ve embarked upon since graduation (Gulu, NYC, and now Jinja), and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So grateful to have her in Uganda for my first few weeks.
- I enjoyed a great 5 day stopover in the UK, reuniting with friends as well as gaining the ever-elusive jetlag adjustment headstart that such a vacation allows. It was dreamy to land in UG and not be a complete zombie; I’ve always done the 2-3 day travel saga to/from Africa.
- I miss my old life in Gulu. Mostly I’m so ready to know where everything is, feel settled and sure at work and socially, get my house feeling homey, and of course–make friends. Many of my expat friends are no longer in Uganda, and the few remaining (as well as most of my Ugandan friends) are not in Jinja. It all comes in time, and being gracious to myself this first month will be the name of the game.
- That being said, Jinja is luxury living comparative to good ole G town. Power is infinitely better (literally as I typed that sentence the power went out, could not make that up… missed you, Umeme), mosquitoes are almost a non-issue (relatively speaking), western-style restaurants abound, the scenery (hello, Nile River) is breathtaking, and I purchased funfetti cake mix at the supermarket today.
- I am in a completely different region, town, job, organization and environment. While Uganda is familiar and it truly feels in some ways like I never left, there is a LOT to learn, as well as much to experience, enjoy, and process–ups and downs.
- I LOVE UGANDA. Here’s some link love — my friend Dani’s great ode to the boda, a beautiful video showcasing this gorgeous country, my list of reasons I love UG, and some musings on culture shock.
- I love a challenge. So excited for the growth and opportunity this new adventure will bring. Thanks for following my #jinjajam.
Thanks for reading; here’s a picture of me with Big Ben and my friend Henry, the view from my office balcony, and tonight’s sunset as a reward.