With the birds singing and the breeze softly blowing through the trees and the sun setting in the Kamwenge sky, I had a flash of soulful peace rest upon me.
A moment of blissful beauty, where the world seemed to swell with intoxicating hope for a better day. At that moment, the words of Arundhati Roy filled my thoughts: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing”
‘What aroused this grand moment of hope?’ I hear you asking…
It is the little things sometimes, that lead me to my happy place.
On this occasion Michael and myself were talking to one of our employees. A man of good Kamwenge stock – a village Ugandan, through and through, until a few years ago when he had the opportunity to go ‘out’ as Ugandans call any place other than Uganda (the Australian equivalent of ‘overseas’). He travelled to Kenya (which borders Uganda) to the big, bustling city of Nairobi. We asked him about his impressions of the place. After the usual – much bigger/busier/more developed than Kampala – we got onto the topic of food.
‘Eh, they have something very nice there called ‘hamburger’. It is soooo nice. Have you heard of it?’ He asked with innocent interest.
We explained that this food called ‘hamburger’ is also in Australia, much to his surprise.
In fact, we told him, there is a restaurant there that is very cheap and provides hamburger very quickly. You can find this restaurant all over the world! In thousands of locations, in many many countries. All selling ‘hamburger’.
All over the world? This was big news to our employee.
We explained further about this infamous restaurant chain called McDonalds – and how people all over the world know it by a giant yellow M – the golden arches.
He had never heard of McDonalds. No idea it even existed. The Kamwenge community (and Uganda at large) is utterly untouched by this money-making, environmentally destructive, exploitative, obesity-generating monopoly that has taken over the rest of the world.
Thus bringing me to my moment of serenity.
And for any McDonald’s management out there reading my blog – leave my new country alone!