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October 19, 2012

2

Friday Fun 28: Aural Nostalgia for an African Day

by Mark Meynell
Dawn view from just above our house, looking out towards Lake Victoria

This is a random Friday Fun. It’s not especially funny, although some will probably think this makes me seem very funny, putting me in the same bracket as collectors of birdsong CDs. Too bad. It just so happened that I was searching for some old files on my computer and came across these – I’d completely forgotten I’d made them. But in the few days before we left Uganda in the summer of 2005, I took my rudimentary digital recorder out into the garden and just let it listen.

We lived in a suburb of Kampala called Makindye Hill – it was semi-rural really, rather than suburban – our neighbours included a chicken ‘farm’, our Ugandan landlord, and a few metres down the hill, a ‘traditional healer’. One of the unavoidable, universal features of city life is the noise – what is wonderful about being in an African city is the intensity of the sounds of wildlife. And in the evenings, this is always intermingled with activity – life is lived much more al fresco than in the frigid wastes of Northern Europe. So the second gives a bit of a flavour of that.

Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine the smells, the sounds, the heat, the life…

Makindye Morning

Makindye Evening

Our road was a little track of Kizungu Lane – a name which used to cause great mirth amongst my students for it means ‘White Man’s Lane’. It dates from colonial times when the hill was quite a posh ex-pat place. No longer the case but the name kind of stuck. Can you imagine a street with the opposite equivalent name in the UK?!

Entebbe Afternoon

Our last 48 hours in Uganda, before our flight home to London, were spent at an Entebbe guest-house. The national airport was only a couple of miles down the road. It was an intense day for us as we prepared to leave – we were very sad about leaving a country we had grown to love and friends we would miss. But even weirder, is that as we contemplated coming to live in central London, something else was on our minds. For our last afternoon was 7/7…

So who knows what the future may hold? One day, we may be back…

DAWN, from just above our house, looking out towards an inlet of Lake Victoria

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oct 20 2012

    What a priceless archive – wish I had made a similar recording of a Southern African dusk/dawn before I left Port Elizabth, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to bring myself to listen! It’s not dissimilar to your East African audio.

    Reply

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