8/11/15 – 10/11/15
I finished a lot of my projects with Peace Corps. I always go through some sort of anxiety when I spend a lot of time alone in Kampala. I worry about looking after my backpack full of my electronics, getting arrested or mugged, falling in a ditch, or being slammed by a truckful of coal/cows. I get too much in my head when I’m here. As per usual, I made my way to Garden City’s Sound Cup Café where I got my usual cup of coffee and muffin. I got very wired and anxious from the strong coffee, since I eat very little food during my travel days. I had hoped to hear back from my job applications as well as from a Ugandan from whom I was hoping to see. I was disappointed by both. I had no responses from any of my 20 job applications and my Ugandan friend ended up postponing our meeting until he eventually just told me that he couldn’t go out because “he was broke”.
Monday was more productive and social for me. I spent the majority of my day in the black hole that is the Peace Corps Uganda Office. I turned in my edited video projects, returned the loaned Peace Corps laptop, passed on information to the new swag coordinator for Peer Support Network merchandise, and got some pro-biotics to help lessen my gastrointestinal gas problems.
I honestly feel very lonely whenever I have to go into Kampala by myself. It’s hard trying to make new friends and not feel isolated if my main goal is doing work with faster internet speeds, while having no permanent base of operations. I feel on edge and roam from host sponsor apartments in Ntinda to subpar guesthouse rooms near parliament. In-between I frequent cafes where I get coffee and free water while I hold in my pee because I fear leaving my belongings behind. Yet I come to Kampala to fulfill my Peace Corps office duties, have a warm shower, and acquire goods that I couldn’t get anywhere else in the country.
At times, it’s cool to be walking on the potholed roads of Kampala and feeling like I’m still in a village of sorts, except that it’s much bigger, more developed, crowded, and lonely.