I usually don’t like waking up early, definitely not doing any kind of sport around 7am. But this time I decided to accept the challenge of jogging and explore the city at dawn. I must say Kampala looks amazing in the colours of the morning sun which usually rises on the equator about 7am.
Days and nights in these areas are of a same length throughout the whole year. People from the tropics follow the natural cycle. Because it gets dark here really quickly (around 6.30pm in June), people go to bed earlier than in Europe and they wake up earlier as well. Generally speaking, it seems to be for me the world before Edison’s light bulb. I don’t mean Ugandans don’t have electricity, but their lifestyle seems to be more dependent on nature than the lifestyle of an average Londoner. I believe residents of cities like London or New York simply disregard the natural cycle of a day and night. African societies are, as a result of their warm climate and customs, much less wasteful in energy than the West. That’s something that deserves appreciation.
I ran with my ICS friend Beccy for about 40min from the hostel we’re accommodated right now to the National Mandela Stadium, the main football stadium in Uganda (Ugandans love football and have the best national team in East Africa). The way to the stadium leads through a poorer part of the city. One can see small wooden stores serving local food on a side of a dusty, rural road, children rushing to school, or animals feeding on small pastures (yes, we’re still in a 1.7m city).
The morning jogging was just perfect to get energised before the next intensive day of workshops. The only available cold shower I’ve got here became a real pleasure;). You should know that many Ugandans don’t have access to shower or flush toilets, those who do have, always take a cold shower.
In the afternoon we all got to know our host families allocation. I’m paired with Emmy. He’s really communicative, friendly and has a good sense of humour. We’ll be sharing a room together in the district called Kyanja (northern suburbs of Kampala). I’m really lucky as the house isn’t far away from my business placement in Mulago (approximately 30min-1h way by taxi).
Finally, I’m happy to announce that I know my company’s placement too. I’ll be a business consultant for a 28-year-old tailoring company producing school uniforms, student gowns and curtains. My business partner is Patience. Both my counterparts (business and living) in the photo above.
I’ll get back to you soon!