Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Month In Country

Has it really been that long, already? Without thinking, it seems like it has been so much longer than a month that I've been in Uganda. There seems to be so much that I've done. When I really stop and look back, however, it is difficult to create a substantial list of things learned, accomplished, or seen. Regardless, we as a group have completed our first real, tangible amount of time under Peace Corps watch. To some, We have one less month to complete our missions, and to others, we have come one month sooner until our return trip home. As for me? Besides the physical presence of a few family and friends, my mind has found little resistance calling Uganda home.

My diet has varied VERY little since arriving in country. Every day I eat bananas, an egg, tea and maybe a piece of toast at around 6:40. At 10 we have tea with either french toast (sans syrup) and g-nuts (peanuts), in small portions, at RACO. By 12:30 we are all ravenous and awaiting the spread of matoke, irish/sweet potatoes, chapati, g-nut sauce, beans, meat (more commonly bones, than meat, though), pineapple, and raw bananas. I get two full full plates these days. We have another break at 3, where I usually scarf down some clif bars, and have tea. I eat dinner at 8:30, where my host mother feeds and feeds and feeds me, as though each meal is the only meal that I have eaten in the day. After Agnes has sufficiently served me her mountain of food, Michael, my host-dad, usually comes behind and drops some kind of fruit as supplement. Avacados are grown everywhere, and so i usually have at least a half during the course of a day.

My beard has yet to be trimmed in any way, besides my shaving technique at the bottom of my neck, which I practiced at home in order to keep the managers of Spanky's and Squids happy. My host mom made an honest attempt at controlling the hair on my head...but after 5 or 6 wild snips, she admitted little experience with muzungu hair. The rest of the group's experience with salons in the area hasn't exactly raised my opinion of their skill...so for now it remains. I am toying with the idea of trimming the head down to a buzz, and keeping the beard. We'll see.

I have started a self exploration project, which I am to present an idea of at one of the last weeks of training, with my host-brothers. My idea is to inspire and positively reinforce creativity into these kids, and prove to them that there can be a result of increased sanitation and even income, if they are motivated. My brothers and I are going to figure out how to build a hammock tomorrow; after we (probably) fail, then we can go back tomorrow night and draw some designs and think of what things looked promising,and which things we need to alter. The next day we'll implement our new design. Eventually, I hope to have a hammock made for their father, whom is looking upon my own hammock with very envious eyes. I am amazed that these simple structures are not more common in Uganda; they can't even be found, to my belief, in Kampala.

Next week I will be off to Masaka, on the west coast of Lake Victoria. I am staying with a PCV who is in the middle of his masters in environmental engineering, and will be going through a typical week with him and his mission in being a wat/san man. I'm pumped to get a more practical learning experience, outside the classroom.

As for other things...We found a pool (may or may not be chlorinated...) in a place called "Kavumba." It's nice! The first day we went, last saturday, we all got burnt to a fairly well. One in our group got a legitimate 2nd degree burn all on his ankle and shin. pretty nasty, honestly. Even with the rapidly increasing list of bruises that we all are acquiring, our group as a whole is unwavering with positive energy and optimism in the coming years. It really is a great group of people that I am coming with, and I'm proud to be a part of them.

Thanks everyone for all the emails! It's great, great to hear about everyone. It is those emails that keep my mind assured that the people i care most about are safe and doing great things back at home. Keep them up!

Matt

1 comment:

  1. You can buy hammocks in Nakumat! For somewhere around 40K I think.

    - Sara M (Jon B's group)

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