Life is slow and simple these days. We are on day 49 of lockdown. I’ve been getting out of the house more often and walking to HEAL as well as to town to pick up a few things. Most people are wearing masks. The number of cases are slowly rising, but it is all cargo truck drivers that are testing positive.
I’m enjoying having plenty of time to cook and try new recipes. I am currently eating my mac & cheese leftovers from last night. I found a great homemade tortilla recipe and made chicken tacos. I even made pumpkin bread from an actual pumpkin! You have to make almost everything from scratch here because you can’t buy things like canned pumpkin or tortillas in town.
Lake Victoria is continuing to rise from all the extra rain over the last year in East Africa. It is currently at the highest level ever recorded. Therefore, flooding has occurred in parts of Uganda as well as other countries surrounding the big lake. Flooding is always devastating, but the severity is only heightened when it occurs in the midst of a lockdown from a global pandemic. Jinja, the town where I live, sits along the shores of Lake Victoria. Several of our preschool and childcare families live right along the edge of the water in a fishing slum called Rippon. This week we will be distributing food and helping some of them move to safer homes. Thankfully one of our social workers lives right across the street from me, so she has been helping me figure out how we can effectively help during this lockdown. I am also thankful that our staff are still getting paid even with the James Place being closed.
It’s easy to get sad and lethargic when I’m stuck at home and not able to drive anywhere for almost 2 months. Each day I try to find something hopeful. Yesterday I found hope in one of our 3 year old preschooler’s improved English. Sunday I found hope in a coworkers call to check in on me. Today I find hope in the sunshine and beautiful lush plants of Jinja.
Life is simple and mundane these days. Doing simple daily tasks take longer here than in Nashville. I wash all my dishes by hand, sweep the floors almost daily because the amount of dirt/dust that collects in here is insane, cook meals from scratch, and hand-wash clothes. A lot of people back in the States think that life in Uganda is full of adventure and exciting days, and while some days truly are that way, the majority of my days are simple and mundane, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on. To be honest though, I love the simplicity of life here in Uganda. It is refreshing and allows me to focus on things like community and relationships instead of productivity.