Back to the UK again tonight. I’ve wrapped up the USAID work and the presidential campaigns are ancient history, the posters of winners and losers alike rotting slowly off the walls of the kiosks on the way to Entebbe. I never did get that ripe mango, but I will when I get back.
As you drive from Kampala to Entebbe, some few kilometres before the town there is a place called Lutembe Beach Resort. I’m not sure if this is the same place I heard of, but my dad tells a story of when he was young in Uganda. There was an old fisherman near Entebbe, who would go down to the water and call “Lutembe? Lutembe!” Lutembe means to climb up, and sooner or later a small ripple would appear in the water. Then a large crocodile would emerge and be greeted with a gift of fish. The fisherman would then take the tip of the reptile’s tail, lift it as if it were the leash of a dog, and the pair would walk up the beach together.
I was talking about this to the taxista who drove me to the airport today, and he seemed unsurprised. He was a westerner, a Munyankole from near Mbarara, and he told me a story about his father, who would take tonto, the banana beer, in the village. Then, as he drunkenly walked home, he would be escorted by a leopard. The cat would appear out of the dark and walk with him to the house, where it would be given a hen and disappear again. Apparently since he quit drinking he lost his feline escort, and I wonder what the true tale really is.
The next stop (after Britain, where I hope to meet my new niece) is Poland on Wednesday, to photograph the Off Plus Camera film festival and finally see my girlfriend again. I will also update my website (long overdue), so my next post will likely come from Krakow, Poland. Basiima ogenze, Uganda. A joy as always.