As I have begun my next journey in SubSaharan Africa, spending time in Uganda working for Oxfam, I was thinking about the diversity of the places I have lived in the continent. How in Ghana I was in international dorms, living with a wealthy Ghanaian woman who traveled more in the USA than her own country. How in Senegal my hut was my happy place. Filled with murals I painted, always occupied by various children and myself, sweaty and hungry. And how my room in Mali was large and often empty as I preferred to spend time with my family in our courtyard. Selling frozen water to children, watching the news or learning about the Koran from my brother.
Upon arrival in Kampala, I was picked up at the airport by a friendly driver and brought to a hotel with wifi, a lovely patio overlooking a garden. Was served a full breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes, mangos, papaya… As I fight jet lag, I am thinking about how isolated this experience is from my previous trips, in many ways easier as I can shower, eat, sleep when I want to. But realizing why most people can come and work in a country for a short time, as I am now, feeling connected to the people and the place but without ever having a meal at someone’s home or attending a wedding or planting some crops.