“The Field” turned out to be a bit more fun than anticipated

October 2

Over the weekend, I visited Sparks in Soroti for a welcome break from the monotony of NTV, news half in Luganda and bad Nollywood films.  Soroti is a flat place, or so I was told, except for the occasionally giant boulder jutting out of the landscape.  At 8 am, I deftly maneuvered the Mbale bus park, not a small feat if you consider our complete failure in Mbarara.  I got on the right bus after refusing to listen to anything anyone told me and sitting on my bag, waiting for the right bus to come or the wrong bus to start actually leaving, whichever came first.  Otherwise, as some will know, I could have easily spent 4+ hours waiting on a hot bus with bad music before actually leaving.  As it was, I had a sermon on the bus, which I rudely ignored as I didn’t want to pay for it.  Finally, we proceeded to traverse some more beautiful Ugandan terrain to arrive in Soroti.

Luckily and without any prior intention, I managed to arrive for Sparks birthday, which made the visit even sweeter.  I could only stay Saturday and Sunday to get back to Mbale to travel to Pallisa and continue the technology needs assessment.  But we managed to have some fun with some good home cooking, Ugandan beer, and episodes of Sliders.  It was over too soon, and I was shuttled off on a Taxi (minibus, picture) where I sat 4 to a seat (excluding the infant on the woman’s lap who sat two seats over from me) and then somehow a thin older man managed to fit in the “space” in front of my lap.

That went on for over an hour.  Then he finally left and I had some space.  Overall, jostled and bruised, I managed to return to Mbale in one piece.

Then I had my funniest and personally most painful Ugandan experience, I slipped getting out of the shower at the guest house of the Mbale hospital.  I fell so hard that it hurts to walk, to sit, and I have some sort of strange pain in my rib area.  I’m going to assume that that will go away.  But in terms of things to worry about, I know now that wet slippers on painted cement are high on the list.

After my ridiculous accident, I wanted to treat myself to the best Indian food in Mbale.  It was tasty, though possibly not the healthiest option.  If you, or anyone you know, for some reason find yourself in Mbale, I highly recommend the Hotel something Indian place that’s new and on the corner by the taxi park.  Ask around, you’ll find it, though you’ll have to buy someone soda.

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