Saturday, October 24, 2015

First Days in Uganda

Trudy and I arrived safely in Entebbe on Thursday night, and have spent the last couple of days in Kampala the capital of Uganda. We've arrived in the rainy season, which doesn't mean steady rain, like we get on the west coast, but instead the morning sunshine  steadily builds up to a sky filled with dark grey clouds, which finally can't hold any more water, and open up with a heavy, hard, but warm rain, which is often over within an hour or two. The bougainvillea in extravagant colours climb up the walls and birdsong in the morning and cicadas in the evening fill the air with smells and sounds that are at once familiar and foreign. Adonai House, where we're staying, provides the perfect touchstone for us before heading out to Mbarara.

Our main business here in Kampala was to check out the craft markets - in three main locations - to see what's being produced here and what gaps might be filled by the crafts made by the Bitengye Designers. We have made a good friend and contact in Resty, who is the Manager of the National Crafts Organization, and who is already selling their work, and asking for more - "Please send me everything they make." Good news to pass on to the women when we see them. The one drawback of this opportunity is that the women don't get paid for their work until it sells. They have become used to us paying them up front for what they make. But it is still a means for them to sell their work.
Today we head up to Mbarara, where we will meet up with Alice and all the other women. It's a five hour drive, with a mandatory stop at the equator, but it will feel good to settle into Canada House again, and to get ready for the workshop with the women. 

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