My neighbor Joshua stepped on and broke my glasses as I was unpacking when I first got back. I had to go to the optical shop in the “mall” in Kampala and get new glasses. As you can imagine, glasses are expensive universally and so it is the last thing Ugandans pay for. Therefore, there are very few options for glasses. I also have a problem in that my face is very narrow and small. They had no children's glasses and only 3 petites. I had to remind myself that I rarely wear glasses out in public so really what did it matter what they looked like. I ended up with a bright blue wire rimmed pair. And to make matters worse as I was leaving the shop the following week when I picked them up, the nice Indian man behind the counter told me he was even able to get me the lenses that change in the sun! He said it with such pride and like I should be very excited.
This was all several weeks ago and I’d forgotten about the color changing feature. We’re in the dry season now which means it is so hot you can barely breathe most days and there is dust everywhere. You can look out and see the dust swirling around. This has irritated my eyes and made it hard to wear contacts all the time. On Friday, I decided to just wear my glasses. I was on my way to a school in the bush and I was stopped to greet a man along the way. After the lengthy greeting process he told me, “Madame, you look so smart in your dark specks.” Ha ha. I started laughing because I’d completely forgotten about that lovely feature. It really was an annoyance though as the day went on. I’d go into a building and have to wait several seconds for my glasses to shade back down. Yet, somehow, the Ugandans I encountered liked the look.