In my last blog I told you how I was slowly getting used to working in the lab, now I am wondering how it happened that bacteria came to rule over my life. Like a father with his children, I go to bed after having ascertained that the bacteria are fine and I get up early in the morning to make sure they are well. Every day I am busy ensuring that my babies are well nourished, and most importantly I spent most of my time and energy to make them grow.
The rest of our life here stands in stark contrast to the sterility of the lab environment. Especially the last weekend, which we spent in a little village without electricity, felt like an entirely different world to us. Trying to produce the yoba drink in a small tiled room with milk that is heated over the open fire somehow does not conform to the biosafety standards that I have come to know in my short career as a microbiologist. However, producing yoba is a lot more fun when you have actually seen the cow where the milk stems from and even split the wood for the fire yourself.
But not only work, also the people, life, basically everything is very different in the small village next to lake Victoria. The absence of power, paved roads and mobile phone networks brings along a peacefulness that makes you relax in the very instant you arrive. Admittedly, evenings can become quite boring with the only available activity being a card game in the light of an oil lamp, but experiencing how slow and basic life (and work) can be in such a place clearly offsets a bit of boredom. Besides, sitting on top of a rock watching the sun set over lake Victoria while sipping on a beer and singing songs with Ugandan friends is not the worst thing that ever happened to me.
I would like to tell you some more about life in Uganda, but my children are demanding my attention once again. So I will leave the stories about goats jumping around on the table and co-workers cursing Eve because she ate the apple for later.