Here we go. It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for since late October when I got an email from Phil and he mentioned something about elections. Some people have been asking who’s going to win over here and of course I relay those questions to the local staff here. This is done 50% of the time out of anxiety and the other 50% out of curiosity. I think the curiosity comes from political discussions I had with my Pop at the ages of 4 and 5. (I was proud to be an American at an early age. I got a signed picture of George H. and Barbara Bush from my Memaw and Pepaw. You would have thought the sky was falling when I got it. Norman Schwarzkopf was a hero of mine.) I’m at the point now that I could care less about American politics because the country’s not going to be run the right way, which is my way. (Joke Haha.) However, I do find other countries’ political processes and their citizens’ feelings quite interesting. I’ve learned that 6 parties have candidates in the presidential election. Last year they thought it might be tough for the incumbent to repeat, because those 6 parties used to be part of bigger parties. We’ve asked the locals if they think the democratic revolution that’s sweeping northern Africa might make its way here. The answer we get is that Uganda’s a dog that’s afraid to bite. They are more concerned with stability than change and change usually doesn’t occur in this region of Africa without blood shed. Uganda has had the same president since 1986. This guy’s presidency has included the civil war against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army which violates human rights in the name of God. This president is tough and many folks here believe that he has redistributed votes in the past. In other words they hold elections here in order to make the democratic west happy. It’s good to hear the Ugandans say that they would rather keep things the same, but it also makes you feel sympathetic for them since it seems as if in the past 3 decades they really haven’t had a voice. Remind me the next time I complain about the Electoral College to think about the Ugandans and how they’ve had the same man since I was age one. Imagine having Martin Van Buren as president for that long and the boisterous Van Buren Boys (8) running the streets at night (Seinfeld). Here’s the current president’s campaign rap. You’ll enjoy it. I did. Since the election is Thursday, the campaigns have uped the ante. There are a lot of trucks running up and down the roads with load speakers blaring whatever it is their candidate is saying. When coming back to our neighborhood from church today there was a man dressed like a movie star speaking for the current president. He had quite a crowd surrounding him. It was enough to cause a traffic jam on a Sunday, which is a rare occurrence. The president likes to have planes flying around town with his rap playing. A lot of times I’ll be in the office and all of a sudden you’ll hear “Do you want another rap?” and I’ll say “No, no I don’t want another rap.” If you have any other questions about the current atmosphere let me know!
Now that I’m off the soap box I can tell you about making chapatis and a rolex and what I think is Kampala’s way of making Valentine’s Day a romantic day or rather ten days. Yesterday, I went to the rolex stand and bought a rolex for 1400 shillings or the equivalent of 60 cents. That’s crazy, right? I bought a quality product for that cheap, but Jessica’s had eggshells in it. Now before you start thinking “How in the world did eggshells get into a watch?” I’ll go ahead and say it’s street food. It’s basically an omelet sandwich with chapatis acting as the bread. A chapati is like a tortilla. They’re made the same way: flour, butter, some oil, and occasionally onions are thrown in for a crunch. We went to the Greene’s (staff member’s family) house and helped make some and let me tell you what, they were good. They tasted like pie crust, muy bueno. There are pictures of both a rolex and chapati making.
I bet y’all are wondering about the Valentine’s Day reference. Well, we found out Monday or Tuesday that we won’t have power from 6 am to 6 pm from the 14th to the 25th. T.I.A. (This is Africa) though and who knows if the power will be back on at night. So, there is a chance that some of the couples here will have the chance to have dinner by candle light on the 14th and possibly other nights of the week. We have no idea if this something to do with elections or if they’re trying to prevent unpredicted blackouts or if repairs are being made. The only thing we really need electricity for is the refrigerator, but that’s only if you have meat in there. We’ll just do without meat for the week. Maybe they want the people of Kampala to try out vegetarianism for a bit. We’ll have inverters and generators running the power in the office so we won’t go completely out during the day. It’ll be good though.
Parting thoughts: Last week I forgot to comment on some thoughts I’ve had on communion since taking it. It was a lot easier focusing on the community we have through out the entire world when I was surrounded by my fellow brothers and sisters who were of African descent. I know there have been many times when I had a hard time thinking of that while back home. I usually try to think of the folks I met in Honduras and how they’re doing. Last Sunday I sat in a room of Africans and thought about them and home. It was pretty easy to get a glimpse of the Kingdom and see how much bigger it is than our communities back in America. God is big! God is good! Have a blessed week and please pray that the elections go smoothly here in Uganda.