Monday, November 8, 2010

Ngora else I'd rather be

So after 26 hours of traveling, a week in Lweza, 10 weeks in Wakiso, I've finally started to settle down in the location where I'm actually supposed to live. It's been quite the experience, and I'm happy to say that thngs are going quite well.

One of the things I've learned is to stop being surprised when crazy things do happen here in Uganda. I still get annoyed by them, like when I lose all of my electrically useful instruments, but I'm no longer saying "where the hell AM I! What is going on!" I kind of just accept it for being part of the location and living conditions that I have, after all, volunteered for. I am typing this as a goat is being chased out of the house where I am living, by the 3 year old daughter of the house maid. Said 3 year old, Orelia, has just finished her first cup of Ajon, which is the local Teso brew. Yes, it's acoholic. I know. I'm working on getting the mother to stop her.

Life here has been extremely busy, if not efficient. I have been to tons of meetings, and each time I find myself sitting in the middle of a group of people, shoulder to shoulder, for something like 4-5 hours. This would be fine if they were speaking in a language that I could actually understand, OR if all of them weren't staring at me every chance they get. I have counteracted this experience with copying down copius amounts of symbolic logic problems into my "waste time" notebook, which I'm able to write in and seem busy.

The meetings are not useless, however. I am meeting the people that I am going to be working with, around, through, over, and under in the next two years. Many of these people who are found in meetings are present in several others; it seems it is a group of about 20 people in Ngora that pretty much run the place in every aspect. I am very proud and very happy to say that my supervisor is absolutely one of these 20. There are many doors that are continually opened each day, because of him and because of my ateso speech that is ever-growing in size and vocabulary.

I have also gotten into a bit of a groove, with regards to my daily routine. I usually wake up around 5:30, work out until around 6 or 6:30, then shower and (most likely) fall back asleep until around 7:30. I go and sit on the veranda of the father's house, where I write in my journal about yesterday and the days goals. Then I eat breakfast. There is a huge block of time in between 8 and around 2 which always, always gets filled with something that I'm not planning on. Then after lunch, at around 3, I always always get hit with something that I am supposed to be attending and am "being waited on" for. At 7 I take tea, and at 9 I eat dinner with my boys.

Ah, my boys. Where I live right now might be thought of as the living quarters for the father of the church, but it could much more easily and accurately be described as a fraternity lodge. There are 5 guys living inside the house, along with a house maid and the daughter mentioned earlier; there is also another father that lives around 20 feet away who frequents our lodge. The boys and I drink Ajon pretty much at will, and I'm constantly having to turn down bottles of more domesticated beer (much to the dismay of one of the Fathers-in-training). It's all quite a good time, to be honest.

The house becomes closer to completion after each day. The water is set up, and the plaster is done; the veranda concrete is layed and cured. All that is left is a fresh bucket of paint, a possible power supply, and a cleaning out followed by a moving in. I give it a couple of weeks, but I think I'll be very very happy there.

Am in the process of writing an article for DTH (UNC's college newspaper). I'll let you know if it actually comes to fruition. Also got some news from swearing in, and you get to see my pearly whites on the front page:

Does anybody have an online susbcription to the Economist? I'm feel like now that I'm other-worldly, I should try and become a bit more worldly while I'm here. If I can get the online subscription, I'd be able to print it out each week at a local duka. Thanks!


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