Money Poor(er) and Time Rich

Kate writes:

One of the things I like about living in rural Uganda is that although we don’t have loads of money (or more accurately, no shops in which to spend it!) we have relatively more time on our hands, especially as the ‘commute’ to work takes 5 minutes.

Some of the things that I have enjoyed doing / making are:

Growing vegetables!

We eat well, although there is not much variety, so it is a real joy to be able to eat freshly picked salad or yellow squashes that we have grown.

Making Christmas decorations

I was very excited when I came home to find a ‘christmas tree’ from a tall bush in our living room. There is obviously no Woolworths nearby (nor will there be when we are back in England, come to think of it) to purchase decorations – so I had to make do with what was available. Back in November, we bought lights and shiny christmas wrapping paper from Kampala. I enjoyed many an evening making paper chains out of wrapping paper and ‘podgy’ stars out of scraps of material and stuffing taken from an overly high pillow, while listening to christmas carols. Not only was it fun, I doubt many people have christmas decorations that match their sofa or dressing gown!

Making a dressing gown and tea cosy

Kate's home-made tea cosy and lamp I made a dressing gown out of traditional Ugandan material – it kept me occupied for a while, and kept Doreen amused (she is a very experienced seamstress and I went to her for advice on a number of occassions. Her advice often started with ‘Hmm. That’s an interesting way of doing it…’) We found that our tea often went cold before we finished the pot, so we now have a tea cosy that matches my dressing gown!


Our living room is much more cosy since we acquired two lamps from Ann. Nevertheless, it seemed a shame to put the Christmas tree lights back into a box to be used next year. My sister has been known to brighten up the dining room at Christmas with spare lights coiled into a glass vase. Unfortunately, vases are not readily available here. Unperturbed, I cleaned out an old squash bottle, turned it upside-down with the lights inside, and made it stable by taping the neck into an old tin can filled with sand, covered with some left-over shiny Christmas paper. It may not be the trendiest of lamps, but it certainly brightens up a dark corner!

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(Based on the tag(s) life and uganda)