Hello again, well although the wet season should be here until June, we have had some very sunny and hot weather here this week! It has been abit too hot for me, however I have managed to work on the tan and my legs are now slighty less white than they were, which is a relief!
Well I don't think the novelty of my skin will ever wear off with the children at school! I am constantly being stroked on the arms, face and even my feet, basically whereever the children can see white skin! Last week I had one child pulling up my trouser leg and today I even had one child trying to pull down my top and trousers to see if I was white there as well! Of course I soon put a stop to that and let them just take my word for it, that I really am white all over!
To all of you who think I might be wasting away, please do not worry. If anything I am probably gaining weight with all the large portions of carbohydrates swimming in oil that I am expected to eat here. I love it when they cook me potatoes, but most of the time I eat matoke (mashed plantains) or rice, which would be fairly healthy if it wasn't cooked in so much oil. I sometimes have meat, but it tends to be very dry and chewy which I find very hard to stomach and we ocassionally get fish. For breakfast I tend to get given chapattis, biscuits or if I am lucky some sweet bread. I am really missing marmite on toast, cereal and a good cup of tea. I do drink tea here but it doesn't taste the same and we rarely have milk. It is a good job I am taking plenty of vitamin supplements, because as you can see there is not much variety in the food. However when possible I buy my own fruit and eat out as much as I can in order to satisfy some of my cravings!
As well as adding oil to everything, Ugandans also add sugar to many things. My host family cannot believe that I don't have sugar in my tea, as most people add tablespoons of sugar to their tea. My host brother asked me why I don't have sugar in my tea and I replied because I don't like it, I also explained that it is not good for you and makes you gain weight. He was very surprised by this and could not understand why sugar would be detrimental to your health. Knowledge of nutritional content of food is very poor here, however due to extreme poverty people just eat what they can afford and food that will fill and satisfy hungry tummies!
In my family the main person responsible for the cooking is a house girl called Rose, who this week I discovered is only 14 years old! I thought she was at least 20 years old, so I was quite shocked that such a young girl was expected to do so much work. As well as doing all the cooking, she also does all the cleaning of the house and handwashing of the clothes as well as collecting jerry cans of water from the well! She is always very busy and works extremely hard, I feel so sorry for her as she is stuck around the house for most of the day, when she should be at school socialising with friends! Rose is not a member of the family and I am presuming she is probably an orphan and despite her heavy work load she is treated well by the family. Although she doesnt attend school, my host mother is teaching her some lessons at home and she has a home, food and a bed to sleep in. However it is still no life for someone so young, I am sure she must be very envious of her friends who go to school.
One achievement of mine this week was managing to walk around the busy market stalls all by myself. At first I felt abit intimidated by the shouts of 'mzungu', 'mamma', 'Americano', 'sister' and the ocassional hissing, but I soon managed to ignore them! It is certainly quite an experience wondering aroung the market stall, as everyone wants your custom and they will do anything to get a sale. I wanted a pair of trainers, so I tried on a size 7 at one particular stall, but they were too big. So a very sweet man quickly disappeared and returned with what I thought was a smaller pair. However when I tried tham on, they felt just as big, so I checked the size of them to discover he was making me try on the same size 7s I had already tried on! I don't know how he thought I wouldn't notice and when I insisted that they were still too big, he suggested padding them out inside! Like I said people here really make me laugh at what they will do to get some money!
Thats all for now folks, but take care and I will update you again soon.
Lots of Love