Emails were flying back between us and our shipping company daily, and still there was no sight of the container of goods we shipped from the UK back in November last year. Dave spent an entire day stuck in the worst traffic Kampala has seen for months to complete the required paperwork to release our possessions, and still, nothing.
And then all of a sudden there was an email. “Are you around tomorrow? We can deliver then.” From nothing to everything all in a moment! That seems to be the way things work here, more often than not.
So it was that on Friday last week, Dave and I waited in our house for our container to arrive, and arrive it did, loaded onto the back of a truck which could just squeeze its way into our compound. Alas, it couldn’t fit beneath the low electricity cables that run within the compound itself, and so the excellent delivery men shuttled our furniture and belongings from lorry to house in a smaller vehicle.
We stood in our lounge, ticking off box numbers as they arrived to ensure we weren’t missing any, and watched the growing mound of stuff appear before our eyes. It was all finished in a remarkably quick time, and we were ready to start unpacking.
The majority of our boxes seemed to contain kitchenware, replacing the pots and pans and plates and glasses and mugs and more which we had been borrowing from MAF. Other boxes boasted piles of bedding and towels, some extra clothes, and tools to go inside Dave’s bright green toolbox. A few items of furniture (the sofa we bought after we were married, and a wonderfully comfortable bed we were given by some incredibly generous friends before we left) completed the picture, along with the solar panels and inverter also bought for us before leaving the UK.
Unpacking is always a tiring process, made more so by having to swap over all of the bits and pieces we were borrowing in exchange for our own things. Linen needed washing, cups needed cleaning, and the list of items to return was slowly ticked off as we gradually rediscovered what we had packed so long ago. And then there were the endless decisions; where should this live? Which room should we organise first? What kitchen cupboard should I use to store potatoes in? That last question took much longer to answer than it should have! Fortunately Dave was able to take a couple of days off work to give us a good start getting everything organised.
Uganda is definitely feeling more like home now, with personal touches sprinkled about the place. There are still a couple of boxes to sort, those little odds and ends we need to find a home for, but now that most things are organised and unpacked it’s wonderful to sink into our comfortable bed, with our familiar pillows, and feel that this is where we are and this is where we’ll stay.