Life in Kampala. Week 9.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions. I’m really enjoying school. I have a lovely little class of 16 pupils ranging from Canada to Kazakhstan. There is a lot of parent interaction which I’m not used to. However having specialist teachers for art, music, ICT, French and P.E. mean lots of free periods which is a treat!

A few weeks back the staff from school were invited to another teacher at Ambrosoli’s wedding- Zara (from Northern Ireland also) and Sam (a lovely Ugandan guy). It was a great day of celebrating. After a two hour drive from the church to the village we arrived to the biggest wedding reception I have ever seen. As there were only a handful of us there from Zaras side we were quickly seated at the TOP TABLE.


Alas, I spent the evening at the top table of a wedding, helping to represent the family of someone I had met for the first time a week earlier. TIA. It was a great celebration with great entertainment and I even bumped into Pastor Richard, a friend from Jandira, a village an hour away. It really is a small world.

A couple of weekends ago a few of us went away to Jinga for the weekend. This continues to be one of my favourite places on the planet. It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala and spend the weekend chilling by the river. On Sunday I went for a kayak along the Nile and was quickly reminded why I fell in love with Uganda.


This weekend past I had the privilege of travelling with Faith (Pastor Richard’s daughter) to Mbara to check out land for a possible project there. We stayed with Richards brother and wife. I was overwhelmed with the generosity and hospitality of this family. For the weekend I became ‘Joy McMillian- from Northern Ireland in the USA’. Despite having to stomach cow liver on arrival and a feast of beef, rice, pasta, fish, mushrooms, eggplants and avocado at 8.45am the morning of departure it was a great trip. I am now a vegetarian.


It has taken me a while, and I don’t think I’m quite there yet, to adapt to life here. I’m enjoying my job, in a country that I love, and constantly asking myself why I feel so unsettled. At home my family often say ‘you are never housed’. I think this adaption has been the hardest thing for me. The fact is, life in Africa is slow.


It’s a good thing. People here in general aren’t as stressed out about the things that we stress about at home. For many life is a struggle and each day is about finding a way to put food on the table. At the same time, people maintain a degree of contentment, happiness.

I want to embrace this. To find time for things that I don’t have the time to do back home, to read, write, travel, think, and hopefully, in time, learn to find contentment, like so many of my Ugandan friends, in the quiet, simple things in life.



3 thoughts on “Life in Kampala. Week 9.

  1. Wow Joy, what a really touching write-up. Great to see you made the move, I really Love your honesty and the way you see the world! Keep it up and I think you’ll find that contentment. I’m seeking for the same at my present situation but I can’t afford a visit bk to Uganda right now and I miss it and miss all us having a good time! So pls have fun for both of us! Send my love to all and hopefully maybe one day, I’ll come check out your class / school but keep writing honey. You’re amazing! Love, Helen *(I’m sure you’re on the ball re our 2015 Wedding singing chat – I know I am! Lol, wink wink) xxx

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