Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Uganda is red.  The sky dips low and red beyond the mountains.  The boats are bright red against the blue Lake Victoria.  The roads are all red dirt, winding up and through Kampala.  My shower water is red when I wash my feet at night.

I arrived in Kampala on Saturday.  I was dropped immediately at my apartment, a one bedroom with neon orange walls and a 20 year old Josef who took care of the place and asked me again and again to explain how in America, he would not be able to drink.  I went immediately out, bought a fan and a coffee maker and settled back in. 

Sunday I wavered in and out of a fever, weak and nauseous.  The CHIA driver drove me to the Kabira Country Club so that I could get out of the house.  This place was epic.  It had a huge pool, with cushioned lounge chairs and poolside service.  There was a big gym and restaurant!  I laid for most of the afternoon feeling happy, guilty, relaxed and sick.

My office is a large house with all rooms opening up to the veranda and front lawn.  We work extremely hard (forlittlepay) and have 10-12 hours days.  But I’m not being a martyr.  Because there is a woman who brings us fruit every day, packed in containers with our names on it.  Fresh papaya, mango, pineapple, carrots and jack fruit. Because the driver’s wife sells us fresh mushrooms from her garden, and our lunch is a big bowl of delicious food for less than a dollar.

My lunch today, was beans, ugali, rice and greens. 

And just in case I get too wrapped up in missing the man I left in DC, or realizing that I’m going to gain so much weight here unless I can figure out how to work out, I look outside our office, and see that we are right next to houses made of tin and children made of bones.  And then I suck it up and go back inside.

But not before getting some more coffee.


  1. Hi Chelsea!!! Tell me when/how we can chat. Do you get text messages? I should download that app. Why did the name change to CHIA?

    1. Changed the name so I wouldn't get sued ;-)

      Let's chat anytime you're free! Email me and we'll set up a time!!!