The uncle I never met until now
We had to get a motorbike and ride for 40 minutes to get to his place.
Meet my uncle Taban. He refused to get a phone, telling me “I don’t understand this machine, I tried but i gave up ”. the only way to get him is to come to his place.
He is a very hard working man, despite seeing him for the first time, I felt like I have known him all my life.
This is the first time I meet my uncle. Because of the war he and my dad were separated. While my dad fled to north Sudan (where I was born ) my uncle and his family came to Uganda. He lived in Rhino refugee settlement since 1995, In fact some of his kids were born here.
Ironically my uncle decided not to go home after the the war ended in 2005. He remained behind while all my relatives went back to South Sudan, he just visited them once in a while.
In 2013 war started in South Sudan again, this time it was the South Sudanese fighting each other (check the link in the comments section).
In a strange turn of events, most of my relatives returned back to this refugee settlement, my uncle had to receive his family and other relatives back to Rhino refugee settlement.
My uncle’s family were not brought back to their house though, they were resettled to a different part of the camp, 40 minutes motorbike ride from the old house where my uncle still lives.
As I write this piece all but two families have left the place of our stay in the village. The place we once called home has become deserted, houses burned and looted. With no one coming for your aid the best way is to leave and come to Uganda.
The camp life is not “heaven”. There are no economic opportunities here. My cousins told me unless supported from outside, the only way to get money is by selling your food rations, an act of total desperation, selling the only thing you have of value in order to get money.
In short, the camp offers you two things, safety (lack of violence) and food rations.