Finding a new home in Africa

Reaching Uganda :The Pearl of Africa :Part 1

Home is where the heart lies. I am not talking about buying a piece of land to build a house or buying an apartment in a sought after location with all modern amenities for a comfortable living. It was somewhere in mid-January in the year 2017 when I along with my husband had reached Uganda for the first time. Although for him, Africa was quite familiar as he had already worked in almost five to six countries in the East African region.

I had just got married in India a month back during that time. Imagine the heights of anxiety and apprehensions that I was surrounded with, on my first few days in a new country in a new continent. A month ago, I had just resigned from a job in IIT Guwahati where I was quite happy with my work and life and also I was near home for every weekend to see my parents.

Life was taking me through a different route. A married girl miles away from her parents, siblings, away from a job for the first time and of course the Indian crowd. It was a multitude of changes which I had to accept and manage myself in a very short period of time. I still remember how much desperate I was to hunt for some work, be it banking , NGO or any decent school or educational institution in Kampala,the capital city of Uganda. It was a really very tough time for both of us to find myself a desirable job in a country far far away home.At times my husband even got ready to quit his job for my sake but i always forbade him to do so.

Months rolled on.I gradually began to accept life as it is with my inner self always persuading me to find solutions to my problems that cropped up at various stages of my life. It is my honest confession. I had always been more than an average student in my entire educational career.A career good enough to have landed in some decent government job in India and would have fetched a fortune of peace and stability in job life. This is how most Indians think. But today I really do not regret at all. I am happy for what I am. I have surrendered myself to time, the supreme element of life.

Another turning point …..It was somewhere in the month of August 2017. I suddenly became a victim of dental problems.Medical facilities were not that sound in the country.Moreover, the cost was abnormally high here.It is like unless one buys a good amount of medical insurance, one cannot afford medical facilities here. Moreover, during that time I had some urgent calling from home which needed my immediate attention and response. So I immediately decided to fly back home.And yes, in the process, I missed my NRI tag just for two days! I could just complete 178 days of my stay here in my first league. But the best part of this trip really paid me well. My hard work and persuasion to take transit to the teaching career corporate sector bore me fruit.I succeeded in UGC NET in 2017 (an examination in India to be eligible to be an Assistant Professor in Colleges and Universities).I had been preparing and sitting for this exam for a few number of times , like most other peers of my times ,amidst hectic corporate schedule of yester years .But this time of course ,a preparation with no work pressure in Uganda really helped a lot .

A new journey on a day of love

Today is a special day, a day of love, “Valentine’s Day” as the world celebrates. In fact, the whole week had very been special for lovebirds around the world. But, of course, love has a deeper meaning than celebrating it on a single day or a week either. If you have ever listened to your soul and loved someone to the moon and back, be it a person or any hobby or whatsoever, I am sure you will understand what I want to convey.

Coincidentally, I am setting out for a new journey for my love today itself. I actually want to give a home or a shelter to my thoughts and expressions in the form of blogs. This journey should have begun a long time back but due to some reason or the other, it always took a back seat. My friends, colleagues and all my well wishers have always been the prime source of inspiration and encouragement to give me this final push. So my heartfelt thanks to all of you to make me realise my skills and take it to the next level. I have always been a very expressive and aggressive person with regards to my flow of thoughts and communication.

As a guest lecturer in Marketing in Kyambogo University, Kampala, I have always been teaching my students about the importance of respecting oneself, listening and responding to one’s soul and most importantly the art of communication in our daily lives. Communication is not only confined to the echelons of any society in this world. You need not be a Shashi Tharoor to scatter “Farrago” of communication or use jargons or bombastic words only to show off your in-depth knowledge of lexicon or the Oxford Dictionary. What is the use of communication if two persons do not understand what one is communicating? Since my first days of working in an African environment, mostly being around with the student community, I have been understanding well the importance of communication. Also, it is my first teaching job in life and that too teaching students of a different country and a different continent, who are not raised like students in India. Culture plays an important part in communication. What is good in India may not be the same here and vice versa. The exchange of accent, tone and most importantly a brief understanding of syllables were the initial takeaways for both sides. It was more like a student exchange program or a confluence of ideas related to culture, race and the land of origin for the first few days. However, my subject of teaching posed no serious problems or threats to my new career as knowledge remains the same across the world. But, I again started reading books by Kotler and Keller in Africa too to brush up my knowledge. This time, the editions were a decade new to me since I did my MBA ten years back in 2008. Will share more experiences in the coming days. Keep loving and sharing my stories. See you soon until my next blog!