Letters from Sonja: The Unlikely UPC - Kabaka Yekka Union
Imagine if the Ugandan flag was to be green, blue and gold striped with a crested crane in the middle...
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First published: May 21, 2006
March 30th, 1962-
At the moment we have a rainy season again. This time it is the normal one and not as bad as the last time. We only had a very short dry period, before the big rain started. And yet, the rainy season is a real comfort. The lawn is beautifully green but is growing too fast. On the other hand everything else is also growing very well. I have started three new very big flowerbeds. In one of them grow four different kinds of cannas, four different kinds of dahlia, various kinds of lilies, gerberas, carnations and so on, even crocus. [ I "inherited" most of these plants from a Dutch couple, who were leaving the country.] The flowerbed is round with a diameter of about four metres. The other one is oval about the same size with fire-red salvias in the middle, then yellow summer chrysanthemums and various colours of zinnias on the outside. The third flowerbed is parallel to the house and is just coming up. It is mixed and very colourful. Apart from that a great amount of amaryllis are flowering just now. All the shrubs are of a good size by now and are constantly blooming. Also the cactus garden is getting on well. Between the cacti I planted five different colours of verbenas, portulaca, rain lilies and also amaryllis. Several cacti will be flowering soon. The garden is great fun but also a lot of work.
Flowers along the lawn in front of the house.
We will be getting a new dog tomorrow; a bitch this time. She is a three months old pure Alsatian puppy. Her name is Tisa. She apparently was number 9 out of the litter. We have never heard or seen anything of Phylax. He was the ideal dog for the children. We now think that a five metre long python, which has been around Buziga for some time, got him. The python has also been killing the goats of the Africans. We are really very sad about the loss of Phylax.
Last week I went to the theatre for the first time in Africa together with two other ladies, neighbours of mine. Our theatre, The Uganda National Theatre, is still rather new. It looks far better from the outside than from the inside. Maybe other theatres somewhere else are the same these days. I found it far too prosaic. I specially disliked the Terrazzo stairs and the plain walls- everything was so gray. [In the meantime the theatres really are about the same everywhere. I was so used to the old type of theatres, in Stuttgart for instance- with lots of gold, crystal and plush.] I did like the play - Arsenic and Old Lace - however. It was really very thrilling. The actors - all amateurs - were very good in deed. It was a really nice change and I would like very much to visit the theatre again. We first went to the Canton, a Chinese restaurant. The food was very tasty, but we did not trust ourselves to try the rice wine, as none of us knew the results of that drink.
On Monday Hubert and I went to the pictures to watch Suzie Wong. We liked that film.
About a fortnight ago I met a more distant neighbour. Mrs. Calvert is a noble, elderly, very sympathetic lady from Scotland, who has been living in Germany for quite some time.
After that first meeting we had tea together many times and through her I got acquainted with the Scottish cuisine. She was an excellent cook and certainly understood to present the Scottish kitchen very well.
In the meantime the supermarket in Kampala has well established itself. The first Asians can already close their shops. The supermarket is the first shop that really animates you to enjoy shopping. Everything is very much cheaper than in the Asian shops before. As the selection of their supplies is far bigger, one is inclined to buy more. Especially the meat is so appetizing. It is packed in various sized portions in plastic and stored very nicely in the refrigerated cabinets. All this is quite normal for you but for us it is very revolutionary.
Next month the last elections before independence take place. One can already anticipate the outcome of the elections, not very favourable for us I guess. Well, we will see.
There is also a design for our new flag in the meantime. She will be green, blue and gold striped with a crested crane in the middle. Green stands for the fertile land, blue for the lakes and the river Nile and gold for the riches of the land.
As you all know, this eventually did not become the new flag.
Also the independence festivities, which are supposed to last for a week - State Ball, Receptions and so on, are all more or less fixed. For the Independence Week the Government has already booked all the hotels in Kampala. Only what follows afterwards still is not clear yet. We are very much in favour of Uganda becoming independent and hope for the best.
Hubert told me, that as of Monday we would have a German Consulate General in Kampala, which will be transformed into an Embassy in October.
Cuttings from the Uganda Urgus: Uganda is now preparing for "UHURU".
April 3rd, 1962-
A couple of days ago we have received the parcel with the trouser hangers, mending yarn, picture books and "Gutsle" [ Gutsle is the collective name for the various Christmas cookies we bake in Southern Germany]. Many thanks. When I collected the parcel from the post office Michy and Barbara came along. They at once started a fight over the books. As soon as Barbara was holding one of the books in her hand she would not let go of it for anything in the world. On the way home I started reading from Michy's book. By the time we arrived at home he almost could repeat it by heart. They also started eating the Gutsle. I was lucky to rescue a piece of "Lebkuchen" [ a kind of Gingerbread] for myself.
The children, thanks God, are both well. They are always healthy and lively. Michy loves going to school. He now would very much like to go to Germany on a visit. Talking about Germany is his favourite subject at the moment. He is coming up with all sorts of things he remembers from the last visit. I am sure, for the rest of his life he will not forget that the windows were cleaned when we were on the TV tower. [ A window cleaner appeared in a sort of basket in front of the restaurant window about 100 m + above ground.] It is surprising what a small child remembers and what a child considers important. But we really have almost dropped our plans to visit Germany this year. I guess it will be better we wait and see how everything is developing here. Maybe we can pack up completely at the same time.
Gerd wants to move into a house on Buziga. The owner of the house lives in the Bermudas and is in no hurry to reply. [The owner was Mr. Radford.]
Recently a couple from Stuttgart, Mr. and Mrs. Paysan, were here. They took photographs for various publishing houses, mainly animal photographs. Mr. Paysan is the same age as me. He went to the Schickhardt Gymnasium together with a son of Baker Elser. [This was the bakery were we did our shopping.]
Mr. Paysan appears is still a celebrity in Germany. He, for instance, is organizing exhibitions in order to make Germans familiar with Africa, her culture and her artists.
April 19th, 1962-
As I liked the theatre so much I went there again for the second time last Friday together with the ladies from the neighbourhood.
I also met Mrs. Adatia recently. She is English and married to an Asian dentist. She seems to be very happy in her marriage. Dr. Adatia is a really sympathetic Asian. Mrs. Adatia converted to Islam, as her husband is a rather religious person. They have two really nice children. Mrs. Adatia seems to come from a very good family. She is widely interested. It does good to know someone like her .
I also befriended Mrs. Tarpi, who is German and is married to an Irish missionary Doctor. She too is a very nice person with two small children.
By the way, nowadays so much is talked about globalisation. I already felt the globalisation during these times, especially as far as foodstuff and washing detergents were concerned. More and more companies were bought up by giant - mainly American - business empires. Very soon nobody will any longer know that many of these companies used to be good old German companies.
Cuttings from the Uganda Urgus: Uganda is now preparing for "UHURU".
May 6th, 1962-
We just had the 10. Coronation Safari rally, which was won again by the VWs.
The Election results turned out as we expected. 21 seats of the National Assembly go to Buganda. They are elected indirectly through the Lukiko (Buganda Government) That means "Kabaka Yekka" (Nur der Kabaka) The other 61 seats are elected through the people outside of Buganda in a secret election. 37 seats went to UPC (Uganda Peoples Congress) and 24 seats to DP (Democratic Party). The Democratic Party is made up of the last Government. Then there are still 9 more seats, which are elected by the new Government. UPC is more or less a communist party. I cannot understand that UPC and Kabaka Yekka went together in a coalition. I don't think that the Bugandas are aware of the consequences yet. [ The names of these two parties alone made it clear to me, that they cannot work together.] We are acquainted with both, our new Prime Minister, Mr. Milton Obote, as well as the former DP Prime Minister, Mr. Benedicto Kiwanuka. We are also acquainted with other Ministers of the New Government. One certainly cannot say that these are incompetent people - quite to the contrary. Moskau has a very good hand and in fact understands to fish for the best.
Yesterday the Russian Ambassador, Mr. Mihailowitsch Timoschenko, arrived in Dar-es-Salaam. He has been to Western Germany before.
Our neighbour wants to lease her house to a foreign Embassy. The Germans as well as the Americans did not take it. So there is still the chance that we will have Russian or Chinese neighbours after the 9th of October. The house is really very nice but also very expensive. We, however, don't give up. In spite of everything there is still the chance, that things will go well. In fact I actually don't mind who is coming here.
Yesterday I saw Michy's teacher in order to talk to her about his report. She told me, Michy is a real boy. He is very intelligent, lively and very interested in everything; a real chatterbox and a real live wire. If I would not have told her, that we speak German at home, she would not believe it. She told me that there is no difference between Michy and the English children in their knowledge of the English language. With other "foreigners" in the class one would have to help and would notice the "foreigner".
Since somewhat over a week we have seven little ducklings. Barbara enjoys them. They are really sweet. Five are yellow feather balls and two are black.
I just remember that I never mentioned to you, that Barbara has a squint in her eyes. I first thought this would disappear but it does not look like it now. I expect that Barbara needs an eye operation. I want to consult an eye specialist, as I want to know, how long this operation can wait.
It will be decided this week, whether Gerd can get the house on Buziga. If the decision is a "yes" he will start to get independent by June 1st. He already started to collect different items for his own household. He plans on taking on a help, who will work in the house as well as in the garden. He will continue to have his lunch with us, so that he only has to care for himself in the mornings and in the evenings.
We now have a super new item in the Supermarket. It is a cart that does not only carry the supplies for a whole week but also Barbara on a special seat, that unfolds. Barbara enjoys it very much when she is being pushed around in the store. At the same time she is safe and out of my way.
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First published: May 21, 2006