Reading Uganda: Tropical Fish, Tales from Entebbe

The book I chose for Uganda was Tropical Fish, Tales from Entebbe by Doreen Baingana.

Such a good book! Well-written, great characters, a super solid sense of place; it’s everything you hope to find in a work of fiction, but so often don’t. I really enjoyed it, and highly recommend it.

The story is told through the viewpoints of three sisters. Their experiences of the world are all very different, but one common thread is that they are growing up during a time of conflict, doing the best they can to bring some normalcy to chaos. The setting is during Adi Amin’s rule, but the crazy-making by the people “in charge” could apply to anywhere, anytime.

Like now, for instance.

“The change was gradual and the result normal, like many other thing’s about Amin’s time, including the every day fear in the air. She remembered how everyone had laughed in astonishment then got used to it…
Everyone adjusted to the upside-down week, the upside down life, including other unbelievable and ugly things she didn’t want to think about. The bad smell had become familiar.”

Mount Khadam, Uganda
Mount Khadam, Uganda
(Image by Eright via Wikimedia Commons

Country #42: Uganda

 

On to my 42nd country, which is Uganda.
I tend to get a little obsessed with West Africa, so a stop in the East is most welcome. I look forward to my time here!

 

Reading The Gambia: The Sun Will Soon Shine

Though she be but littleshe is fierce.” – William Shakespeare

The Sun Will Soon Shine by Sally Sadie Singhateh is all the proof  you’ll ever need that a powerful story can be told with the slightest of touches.

Clocking in at just over 100 pages, this slim book packs a serious punch with a protagonist you love right away; you deeply feel her pain, and her triumphs.

A Woman Walking, Gambia
A Woman Walking, Gambia

 

Country #40: The Gambia

Back to West Africa, and I’m thrilled! This will be my first in-depth introduction to The Gambia, and I’m truly excited about it. A country surrounded on three sides by another country (Senegal), and dominated by a single natural feature (the Gambia river), just the physical dynamics of the place seem super cool. Very ready to jump in, meet some new people via my reading, and have the chance to cook some more delicious Western African food.

Here we go!

 

Wassu Stone Circles
Wassu Stone Circles (Image by shaunamullally, via Wikimedia Commons) Senegambian stone circles (megaliths) which run from Senegal through the Gambia and which are described by UNESCO as “the largest concentration of stone circles seen anywhere in the world”.