When you move abroad, especially to a different culture like Uganda’s, normal just ain’t normal. My family and I have lived in Kampala, Uganda, for three years, and I just re-renewed my one-year work permit to stay here, at a cost of $4,000 plus a bit of “facilitation.” Even with a “green card” and a document glued inside my passport, I still worry that one random day I might not get the choice of whether I’m allowed to stay in the country we now (temporarily) call home. I still worry, when my wife takes our children out of Uganda on holiday, that they’ll wind up stuck in the Ugandan airport’s immigration office because Uganda is mad at the USA, or the officer on duty decides he needs a little “Christmas.”
I mention this because the first rule of moving to a new culture is nonattachment. Do not buy a home, business, or anything substantial until you have been in the country a while and understand the culture and the legal ramifications.
We rent our home and bought cheap, handmade furniture sold by struggling carpenters selling their wares along the side of the road. Our clothing also comes from vendor …
Paul Sutherland no longer lives in Uganda and now resides in Michigan with his four youngest kids, ages 5 to 10, where he and his wife, Amy, try to be an example of Parenting for a Peaceful world in which democracy begins at home.