Into Africa: A Journal of a New Life in Uganda

by Sharon Walling

Uganda Flag


Tiny lights from small houses diamond-stud the darkness. I would like to gather all them all and cast them into the sky by my house in Masindi. But perhaps the lack of lighted hills will enhance the million-star sky I hope to see. Are there stars in Masindi? There must be. I want to wish upon them every night.

We are on the 12th floor of the hotel, in a quietly elegant restaurant. We dine on a mélange of green beans, eggplant, and fresh root vegetables pulled from the rich African soil and fire-roasted. It’s mixed with light balsamic vinaigrette seasoned with a spice I’ve yet to identify, and served on crisp white cabbage. Little, round fresh-baked rolls and aromatic onion bread with sweet butter accompany our meal. Bread and wine. That’s all I really want.

The glass-enclosed restaurant revolves, and over a period of an hour, I see many different views of the Seven Hills of Kampala. The hills are clad in romance. I feel a deep connection to the determined revolution of the floor beneath me and the evolution of my perspective of Uganda.

The server is a tiny Ugandan lady ─ soft-spoken, and almost regal. Yet she serves us as if we were royalty. Her peacefulness is drawing me in. I want to sound like her. I want to smile with such knowing, “This is good.”

Tonight, Kampala is slightly cool. African rain has scented the air with hope. An orange orb dances behind indigo clouds, and just for a moment, I think it is an autumn moon, though there is no autumn in Uganda. But at home, in the United States, it’s autumn, and for me tonight, Kampala feels like fall. The floor beneath me revolves again and can I see the North Star. Its constancy gives me a sense of peace. I am not lost ─ I am turning – revolving. I see differently. My vision is changing. I continue to watch as the windows on my world change my inner vision of autumn to summer. A new beginning; a new romance.

Sharon Walling is an American writer who is journaling from Uganda where she and her husband will be living for the next two years. This is Part One of her story….

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