Morning Commute

The pre-dawn in Kampala is alive. Hours before the sun peaks over the horizon, government workers, other commuters and students are on the move.

The headlamps on cars, matatus and boda-bodas shine weakly on the already-crowded streets. Young girls, with orange blouses and white socks, set out for class along the side of the road, rehashing homework facts before the day’s lessons begin.

The only concession to urgency is the fact that they have left home early. The pace is relaxed. Like their peers in the West, they have appointments on their schedules. What they don’t have are private cars to school, public school buses, or the angst of trying to get somewhere on time.

This is a weekday morning in Africa. I am on my way to the airport to collect my baggage which is two days late from London. I’m thinking about how I can collect the luggage, then get through security in time to make my already-delayed flight to Bwindi.

As we speed past traffic toward our destination, the shadowy figures and vehicles move with a purpose but with patience. They will get there when they get there.