Sunday Morning in Kirombe

Kirombe Garden

Kirombe Garden

We have been asked how high we want to jump for the Lord, we have raised our voices in praise (singing hallelujah over and over again).

Kirombe Garden 2

Kirombe Garden 2

The shouting church that fills the day will start later. For now, there is a song that lasts a long time, maybe half an hour although it seems more. It has a vocal line reminiscent of the sustained first note in ‘Hey Baby’, by Bruce Channel from the early nineteen sixties:

Hey, Baby

Hey, Hey Hey Baby

I wanna know

If you’ll be my girl

Hey, Hey Hey Baby

I wanna know

If you’ll be my girl

That one, it’s the first ‘Hey’ that features in the hymn we hear every Sunday morning. You could if you were a musicologist, suggest an obvious connection, early blues then rock and roll derived from slave chants that trace right back to Africa (and this area was heavily enslaved). It seems rather unlikely doesn’t it? I think it is just one of the many connections we can make as we start our Sunday in Gulu’s suburbs.

Kirombe Environs

Kirombe Environs

Charles our askari (gateman) always rushes off for church at the first sound of the singing. The children around us have been up and shouting for a while. The man with the truck next door has had a good go at revving the engine. You can hear the crunch of hoe on ground as women dig the earth that was made wet and workable by last nights rain, more to come today by the look of the heavy sky.

Kirombe Skies

Kirombe Skies

Small birds twitter and cheep, something is disturbing the larger birds, I can hear insistent warning notes.

Kirombe, Across the Road

Kirombe, Across the Road

There is no obvious sense of season here, just wet and dry periods and climate change has broken the rigidity of those timings anyway. Without the familiar quadripartite year that we westerners are used to, I have no idea when, or if there is a specific nesting season for birds. These warnings suggest there is and something, probably someone is disturbing the nests.

Kirombe Garden 3

Kirombe Garden 3

Damsel and dragon flies hover, other flying insects are their normal irritating selves. The frogs and crickets have stopped now the sun has come up. Lizards and geckos run the walls.

Kirombe Garden 4 (there is a lizard in here somewhere)

Kirombe Garden 4 (there is a lizard in here somewhere)

Two large black and white butterflies bounce through the orange, pink and white flowers that Mary has planted.

Kirombe Garden 5

Kirombe Garden 5

We have just noticed that mangoes are growing on our mango tree, ready at the end of November apparently.

Kirombe Garden  the m Mango Tree

Kirombe Garden the m
Mango Tree

We spent last night at the Blue Ethiopian, a local restaurant/ bar, saying good-bye to a volunteer returning to Barcelona. We were a cosmopolitan lot: Filipino; Italian; Spanish; British and Ugandans from across the country. We ate the Ethiopian menu that you also get across the region: Tibs and chips (stewed beef with peppers) Key Wot (the same but with sauce) and injeera (a grey fermented bath mat like, flat bread with pickled and fresh vegetables or meat). Food comes quickly at this place, an hour as opposed to the usual two hour wait. We walked back in drizzle, many people out on the road, looming out of the dark, huge trucks thundering down from Sudan, probably en-route to Mombasa, the usual bicycles without lights, motorbikes ditto or headlights on full and badly adjusted so they blind everyone, a few cars ditto. Like most areas of Gulu, it feels safe at night.

And, the power was on when we got back, a good evening all round.

Kirombe Garden 6

Kirombe Garden 6

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