We have moved, out into what I suppose you could call the suburbs. We now live in a place called Kirombe. It is much greener, fresher and less crowded than Pece and the dusty Labour Line in the centre of Gulu, our former home.
The noises are different, well there is the ever present sound of children – people will tell you that African babies don’t cry, their close bond with mothers etc – this is untrue. The non-crying Ugandan baby bawling it’s woes to the world is a familiar accompaniment to our lives everywhere.
Our new house (and it is brand new, we are the first occupants) is near a small mosque, an audible presence during Ramadan and the muezzin duets striking up in the early evening are a new and rather special addition.
- In fact Kirombe seems to be surrounded by places of worship which vary from Baptist style singing to Acholi drumming through to Evangelical fervour (mostly a man shouting for hours).
Some of the music is beautiful, some very strange to western ears. Some of the singing is glorious, some so flat that us old punk rockers could not have aspired to such confident tunelessness even in our glory days. ALL OF IT IS LOUD.
Church services are marathon affairs, many go on all night. But if you mix them together, add in birdsong, distant thunder, children of course and the, almost, audible effect of vegetation growing in the rain, and it makes for an intriguing place to live.
We have made seven bean strings so far, Mary is working on a place/ glade for the bees
“I will arise and go now,
And go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,
Of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there,
A hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade”
W B Yeats: The Lake Isle of Innisfree