Now it has been almost 2 months since I arrived to Uganda. A lot has happened and I still get surprised about Uganda and everything here. And that happens almost everyday! Today, for example, I saw a coffin behind/in a boda-boda (Ugandan motorcycle) on my way home. Before, I have seen all kinds of weird combinations of "passengers" having a lift on boda; Goats, chickens and swines (living) …but a coffin!
So, I should really, really start write more into my blog.... And I will... I got my internet working again. Problem is though, that power is off almost everyday.
But for now...I could write a long story about every single thing that I have seen here but now I just have to submit to say that one of the many things that I enjoy here is the unexpectedness. Nothing goes the way that I'm used. Not even the friendships or a simple small talk. On the other hand people are very direct (even too obtrusive) but on the other hand they want to avoid every kind of conflicts and will say unpleasant things only when they are force to do so.For instance, one of my local friends met one of my "muzungu"(white) friend and first comment was: "oohh, this one is fat!!" Ore when another friend wanted to compliment me, she said: "Your bum is not small" or "you´re getting fat !" But when I wanted to ask something that was related to my work, I had to ask it several days in order to get any answers what so ever.
Even though, the most important fact is that it is very easy to make friends here. Everybody is so open and curious to get know you and attitude towards other people and towards life generally is so positive. But one of the reasons that they want to get to know you, is also the fact that you are different and, unfortunately, white skin is often related to money on their minds. Because of that I have sometimes faced awkward situations and sometimes I also get tired of bargaining. They almost always put a lot higher prices to you so I'm forced to negotiating about everything, even the price of the ketchup. That's why I'm sometimes happy to go to the western shopping mall (called Garden city or Oasis) in the city, where they have higher, but at least fixed prices.
But regardless of those issues, I feel that I have been able to find some truly good friends here that don't care about my skin colour. When you find somebody that you can share you feelings and ideas, it doesn't matter what origin you are. In fact, that only gives more topics to be discussed about. Though, one negative side with them is that they always serves a lot (and I really mean, A LOT) of food for me :) When I try to say that it is waaaaaay too much for me, they just laugh and say: "We want you to be fat like we, before you leave back home": But don't be worried….Nothing radical has happened yet, not gaining 10kg or anything like that.
So my dear fellows, Africa feels good and after recovering my horrible stomach disease, and my flu that I had during this week, I couldn't feel better. I have obviously adapted well. I noticed that in the very moment that I killed my first cockroach without screaming. Ore when I stopped heating up the water and started taking freezing showers… again.. without screaming. Ore when I stopped use my "kills bacteria's 99,9% surely" hand gel, every other second.
I have also started working in the local project that deals with HIV/AIDS infected/affected kinds and with other vulnerable children (street kids, drug abusers etc.) It is tiring but so far I have enjoyed it. So, days go by so fast….actually… way too fast! But more about that later on.
Now I´m heading to local kids b-day parties and later on to the theatre. So have a nice weekend. Next time I want to say a word about my new "hobby" hiking.... It´s not going as well as I would hope, but at least I´m getting new experiences! J
Weraba!! (Good bye!) I´m enjoying my self here!
Under some words that are involved in my life…
Muzungu = White person and a word that I hear the most. Today around 30 times, and yes, I actually tried to count it.
Boda-boda = Motorcycle and public transportation. I take one every day to get to work. Negotiating price: that's the key word!
Matatu/ Taxi = another public transportation. Hiace where they have put benches that looks like my grand mums sofas. Very cheap and available easily.
Luganda = Language that people speaks in the central area. I started to study it two weeks ago.
Chapati/Rolex= My favourite food here. Like a very greasy tortilla or pancake. Just love it! Rolex is the same thing but with omelette and tomatoes.
Matoke (green bananas), poschu, beans, rice, irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, casawa ( one type of root), geanut sauce (sauce made of peanuts), greenies (something green, like spinach) = Food that they serve for lunch in the office I work. It's not typical that you put your own dish, so I always end up eating like five bananas, three potatoes and rice.
Romis = pineapple wine. Only wine that can be easily find in the shops and which doesn't cost fortunes. And it comes in 0,33 l soda bottle! So handy! Probably wouldn't win the taste competition, but hey….. 0,30 €…. Do I have to say more! :)
Kampala= City centre ,
Nansana= The place that I life. 15km outside of the city.