Around the corner from a major road, across a grass field littered with trash, and down a muddy path, 1000 people live on 24 acres of land, according to the 2010 Jinja Municipality Slum Profile. These “houses” are mostly 10 by 10 ft concrete block rooms, originally built for single male railroad workers in the early 1900s. There is no electricity, running water, or sewer system. To NGOs this is a slum in Jinja, to me it is the Loco neighborhood, to friends it is home in Uganda.
Loco is a community like many in the third world, where dinner roams in your yard. With no fixtures or appliances, cooking outside over an open-pit, and any entertainment is given by friends singing in the day light. Ignored or threatened by the government, the settlement is always vulnerable. Several families lost everything in a recent fire, but, with the help of local churches and each other’s time, they rebuilt.
Traveling through Uganda, there is a real understanding of true necessity; an average person’s possessions is a very small list. A pastor in a Northern country village Continue reading