Uganda smells.

In a good way.

There is always something to smell in Uganda, whether it’s burning trash, a freshly cut pineapple, or wet dirt after a torrential downpour. Living here in the United States I miss that. Once in a while I’ll catch a whiff of someone grilling burgers or a full trash can but it’s more of a “one off” than a constant. In Uganda your 5 senses are on full alert. It’s always noisy, you’re almost always sweating, you can taste the dust that gets in your mouth, there is so much activity and color your eyes are constantly darting back and forth from sight to sight, and then there are the smells. I loved walking through the village smelling the dawn of a new day. Chapati and eggs frying on a skillet greeted me each morning, car exhaust and body odor carried me into the afternoon, and fresh fruit and the scent of rain said good-night to me.

I miss Uganda, I miss Africa. It’s the little differences that make the big difference. It’s the greetings shouted your way throughout the day, the thrill of a boda boda ride through a traffic jam, the exhaustion of a 3 hour soccer match that stand out. Africa makes one feel alive, truly alive, and that’s something southern California just doesn’t do for me.


5 comments on “smell

  1. Paulski says:

    Word, brother.

  2. Nick says:

    Amen brother! California cannot compete with the wonders of Uganda.

  3. Marko says:

    Once I was explaining to some Americans who had come to visit Gaba that there was no garbage collection and that people burned their trash and that’s what the funky smell was. They were like, “Uh…that’s marijuana smoke, Mark!”

  4. You just made me homesick for Uganda. I went for the first time in February and will be returning in December. The first thing I wrote in my journal upon arrival: Uganda Smells.

    No lie, those two words. And it does. Horrible and wonderful and everything else you could imagine. And you’re right, every now and then I’ll get a little whiff of something here and there and I’ll be thrown back to her for a minute. Beautiful.

    Excellent post, thank you!

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