L – Diary #12

Dear Diary #12
5th September 2012
Flag it?

It’s a few days since I posted anything; I wonder why? As anyone who’s written a diary knows, you have to be in the mood to write and my strange life here is an emotional ride of ups and downs. The achievements are definitely ups but then from time to time the enormity of life’s challenges in Uganda break through and it can be quite depressing.

Case in point, the achievement of the “appeal” which has allowed some of my friends’ kids to go back to school this week, yet the numerous children still on the street whose lives have not been crossed by a stranger with western resources.

Maybe it’s just the dull weather and the eye infection that’s beset me.

On the other hand, here is Abdu, father of 7, mending another chair outside the office with reused nails and a hammer without a shaft, a cheery demeanor and a new-found love of tea and toast. There is Jude, next door to the office, whose eye infection has subsided nicely thanks to my antibiotic supply (which means I have to buy some for myself). And here is student Maria, just arrived at the office in a tartan outfit that would make Billy Connolly proud. And Peter has just arrived after a 90 minute motorbike ride from his home; his daily trip to push forward the frontiers of Animal Traction and Community Empowerment. And on his desk is a report I wrote yesterday for our funders, FOAG, which we are working on, as brothers in arms. Outside is my trusty steed Blue Bell with its new inner tube and shiny rims. In a huge tree I can see a million massive bats hanging upside down, their radars resting. And look, here comes Herbert the computer whiz to install the last of the little batteries that will allow ALL the aged computers here to boot up normally. He’s bought some carbon paper too to save him having to write all his receipts twice. Outside again in the dusty, garbage strewn street of Bulolo Road is a small girl picking up her even smaller sister.

And to my left are two flags I’ve made from printouts – a partnership, Aotearoa and Uganda, fluttering in the unusually cool breeze.

Maybe it’s just life.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amanda olley
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 10:35:53

    Sim, You are GOOD at storytelling. I have the picture of Bulolo Rd perfectly in my mind. I can understand how bitter sweet it must be.
    Also did you know teabags, as well as being soothing for the soul, are very soothing for sore eyes. Apparently the tannins do the trick!! Try it …
    I must make my flag tomorrow! xx


    • simthomas
      Sep 06, 2012 @ 11:02:39

      Aha, thanks for the tip. Turned out saline was quite good for it, and so I could keep the teabag for its intended purpose.
      I.m told that you can get good money for non-waterproof Ugandan flags in NZ.


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