Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This morning, the sun rose in the east, my boda-boda driver drove too fast causing me to panic, and the coffee at IDI is watery and bland.

In other words, it was a normal Kampala morning.

Of course, the searing memory of Sunday night still looms. The death count rose to 74. At the hospital where I work, people still linger, waiting for any late news on friends and relatives. Doctors and nurses still look bleary-eyed, overworked and overwhelmed.

A city begins to recover, and I am both impressed and disturbed by the resolved of my Ugandan friends and colleagues. They are devastated, of course, but have plowed forward in a way that is surprising. Yesterday, my coworkers made small talk while I stared into space, shellshocked. Today, another colleague came and told me that they were going to play football after work, and he wanted to teach a mzungu how to play "the beautiful game."

People grieve differently, but I think living in Uganda has, if not conditioned people to tragedy death, at least exposed them to it in a way that I have not. Having barely slept the last two nights, I am still grappling with what happened. Ugandans, reslient and proud, seem intent on moving on as quickly as possible.

For me, the most difficult part of this entire ordeal has been reconciling that something so horrible could happen in a place so wonderful, and to a people so kind. After having lived here for a month, the stunning contradiction between the warmth and beauty of Uganda, and the cowardice and destruction of the bombings, is too much to bear.

Tragedies happen all over the world, and life goes on. For me, this has been an acute reminder that we live in a dangerous world, no matter if you are in Washington, D.C., Kampala, or anywhere else. The last 48 hours have been truly awful.

I'm looking forward to beginning the process of moving on, just like my Ugandan friends.

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