Living in Lockdown in Uganda

We had all just arrived and settled into the Lweza Training and Conference Centre. There were 27 students and about seven staff members. We were beginning an intense eight-week course with the Institute for the Development of Languages and Translation in Africa (iDELTA). The COVID-19 situation in Uganda had been getting worse, but it was still a surprise when the government ordered a lockdown. Public transportation was stopped. Private cars had to have special permission to travel. We were well and truly staying in Uganda!

Fortunately, we had a large area for walking, biking and playing soccer (football). We met outside under the trees when it wasn't raining. One guy had brought his barbering kit, so was able to keep the men looking neat and tidy. I borrowed his scissors at one point so a friend and I could cut each other's hair. In Africa, if a man cuts a woman's hair, or vice versa, it implies they are sleeping together.

The various countries formed football teams and we had our own playoffs! Nigeria won. It provided great entertainment for the other students and the Lweza staff. We even had a cup for the winning team!

We formed a bubble and everyone stayed safe during the course. Only three staff people got COVID (I was one of those), but after me, no one got sick. We were grateful for the lovely surroundings and that we had plenty to do with the coursework. Everyone cooperated, and we were able to complete the course one day after the lockdown ended.
Nigerian players
The winning team: Nigeria
iDELTA Cup Trophy
The iDELTA Cup Trophy
Meeting outside
The Barbershop