Monday, November 28, 2011

Exploding Kampala

Outside the world looks grey, but it's still there.


The sound of a large explosion rousts my consciousness into awareness. As the rumbling from the explosion continues, I lie there in silence waiting for the building to collapse and crush me. For five long seconds, I'm scared.

Outside, I can hear a cacophony of car alarms and the muted howl of wind. Nothing has happened. I haven't been crushed. I start to think that I should investigate just what is going on.

My room at the Kampala Serena is build for sleeping. A plush, king-sized bed and three layers of drapes means that I can sleep in the middle of the day cocooned in comfort and darkness. As I make my way to the balcony, I wonder if I will find the world ablaze due to the works of the Lord's Resistance Army or Al Shabbab. I hear another explosion, this time a bit more distant.

As I peer out into the world, it is dark and grey. Rain and gale force winds whip through the capital. Turns out that the explosion is merely thunder. But thunder unlike I've ever heard before. In North America, the thunder cracks like a high-pitched whip. Here in Africa, it's got umph and when it hits over you (like it must have when it woke me), you think the world is falling.

Secure in the knowledge that this storm probably won't pancake my building, I return to sleep.