It is late morning and my day has turned upside down. Not totally a bad thing as I stopped by Java House to up a Malindi Macchiato and stopped by BBrood for some wonderful dutch bread and am now settled back home at my flat with the patio and kitchen doors both flung open wide. The breeze is delightful and the coffee delicious.
But to explain why I am home, I must start from yesterday. I am working with a wonderful young man, Jake, on a project and yesterday met Jake and his mom for lunch on the other side of town. As my route wound through the streets of Kampala I encountered neighborhoods never before explored. Turning onto a street near my lunch destination my driver and I came to a halt in the middle of a rally for presidential opposition candidate Besigye. The massive parade numbered well over 1000, maybe many more, and they were coming straight for us! Excitement, fear, trepidation, sheer panic… Maybe some of each. I sat frozen as the cheering, screaming crowd, some of foot, some on bodas, some in vehicles streamed past. My driver assured me we were fine but I was not convinced. I wish I had been brave enough to take pictures so you could see. To my relief, only a few minutes late I arrived for a delightful conversation over lunch.
So that brings me to why I am sitting here at home enjoying the coffee and breeze. You see, I had a day long meeting planned at the university followed by dinner with a dear friend. First, my friend called early this morning and postponed until early next week as she was not planning to come to campus after all. She was planning to teach later today at a location off campus. Okay, no problem. So after breakfast we dutifully headed first to drop off Carly for work then deposit me on campus. Traffic was the worst I have seen today so it was taking some time. As we were nearing campus one of the colleagues participating in the meeting today called asking if I was still planning to come to campus. My first reaction was to look at my watch thinking perhaps I was late but I was not. “Why, yes”, was my questioning reply. He suggested perhaps we postpone until tomorrow as some of the others were staying away just as my friend.
So you may now ask why. President Museveni is scheduled to be on campus for a rally this afternoon. I know that when there were US presidential candidates with their entourage and all the reporters and the tight security for all the pre-caucus activity the past several months on my home campus (we were the epicenter) my first option was to stay away if at all possible.
So for today, I will take for granted that the campus will be full of crowds and excitement and am content to only imagine what it might have been like today…… Ugandan elections are now one week away. I can feel the anticipation and see the increased security around town building. I will watch his rally, like most here, on the evening news.