Waking up in a new house feels like starting life over again. Over the weekend, I packed my household into boxes and budeeya sacks, and moved them into a three-bedroom house in a village far away from Kampala city, writes Dr Stella Nyazi in a facebook post reproduced here below;

Here, the villagers still arise early, put their hand-held hoes onto their backs, and walk to their gardens for farming. The young boys still gather at the football pitch next to the big church to play soccer every Saturday morning. The village dogs still bark when a car drives past the gate to their compound. And huge cobs of maize planted alongsides village paths still grow untouched by thieving hands of passers-by.

I have not yet seen the city’s typical young men with unkempt hair sitting on shop-verandas to play zaala, duulu, or matatu cards for money. Instead, the unemployed youths lay bricks to be burnt into huge tanuulu piles, work as porters on the innumerable building sites mushrooming all over this village, or work as apprentices for big bosses who make pavers of every fashion.

I like the slower pace here. The morning air seems colder, fresher and crispier. I feel like I can start breathing again. I came here to mend my broken soul. I came here to heal my disappointed self. I came here to untie the  bandages on my bruised, wounded and battered personhood, to wash them clean with iodine, to pour healing balm on them, tie them up with fresh bandages and to allow them to slowly set. I came here to recover from the blows dealt to me by the state’s evil arms.

Sometimes, one shifts from the maddening crowd in order for one to refuel. Retreat is an important component of self care.

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