Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some Other Reality

I first came across this from directions from DeT’s blog.

Day before yesterday, it was.

Has been on my mind since. On and off.

I worry about work, making ends meet, earning enough to support myself, my lover, making plans for the future. Yet just in the same country, to the north, the struggle to survive is complicated by the ravages of war. Clan against clan, neighbour against neighbour. And the incredible devastation of this war.

For a time, an endless, nerve wracking time, I lived in the north of Uganda. The misery of war I saw. And experienced. And lived.

Its so much safer and easier to live in Kampala. To rage and talk about the foibles of the music stars, and the latest soaps and, all those things that we think about. Bebe Cool is importing a Hummer. Pastor Namutebi’s brilliant yellow machine stops the crowds, and who has fought who and so on.

So much harder to think about what has been happening in Nothern Uganda. Or just across the border in Southern Sudan. And Darfur.

Looking at the pictures on BBC site, I remember the flatness of land. Very unlike the south of Uganda. Scrub land, tall grass, few trees, but corpse of the same. I remember the mud huts, grass thatched ‘tukuls’. I remember the devastation of a recent rebel attack. Cars ambushed on the roads, people burnt alive, in cars and houses. Children abducted. Others moving miles, trecking miles on a daily basis to sleep in the presumed safety of the towns.

What is reality?

We can get lost in the pain of our own lives, forgetting the worse pain that others experience. Hollywood, Nollywood, and others, they shrine life in a box, in a brief wrap of material which seems so unreal.

It’s amazing, the variety that we call life.

We can get lost in the pain, forgetting the beauty. And we can get lost in the beauty, discounting the pain. And we can create a virtual reality of a world around us, which is far removed from what actually is.

But once in a while, it is important to have a reality check. And this is a reality check.

The village of Apungi illustrates the losses in the war.

There are 15 compounds spread over a square km. It is one of 24 such villages in Abia Parish in northern Uganda's Lira district.

The villagers began returning to their land from camps in December 2006, after gaining hope in the current peace talks that are under way in southern Sudan.

But as the community were reunited, their loss was revealed.

Doesnt cut it to note that we live in a very violent, ruthless world. Sometimes I almost get ashamed of the confort of my living room. Wont stop me from admiring others...



Grub said...

The troubles in Northern Uganda are indeed upsetting. I was recently in Kampala for the Amakula film festival and saw War Dance. Certainly made a lot of people think.

gayuganda said...


A tight rope between the guilt of being fine and the despair of not being able to do something about it. Like Darfur.

DeTamble said...

You lived there? :-| Why?

gayuganda said...

Ah sis,

will out me if I say why.

And you sis, I cannot tell. Ah, because you will tell!

Precious anonymity


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