Doing some last minute things before we leave tomorrow. We won’t be back until Tuesday evening, which means that we’ll be out of touch till Wednesday or so. I’m really excited! Especially for Gulu. We are supposed to get there on Sunday, which I hope will give us time to see the city and maybe the surrounding areas before we meet with mentors and schools.
I’m really proud of myself today. I walked to town and saw three people that I knew along the way on the street. Augustine, who’s house we went to a few weeks back for a birthday party, a SAS clinic employee, and Andrew, the youngest of Dr. Muhumuza’s siblings. I found him stranded o the side of the road in the middle of a driving lesson because the car over heated. Since I was walking I couldn’t be of much use except to lighten the mood and make jokes. He told me that he had been trying to get in touch with me. He said that he had heard that I had lost a lot of weight. =? I’m not sure who is discussing my weight to Andrew, but I think it is Rachel, another one of the ten siblings. I guess it is a compliment, in a way, after not seeing someone for a year. Either way it makes for a great story in the classroom when I’m teaching about beauty and weight. Here it is desirable to be on the thicker side.
We’ve been generating the statistics for the tests. Not sure what to make of it yet, but I’ll let you all know when we’re finished.
Today I met a deaf student on the matatu. Talk about really peaking my interest. I watched him negotiate the situation so cleverly, asking the conductor where the taxi was going, tell him where he needed to get off, and then explaining that he only had 500 shillings even though the fair is supposed to be 1,000 shillings. Obviously we didn’t speak, but we wrote notes to each other back and forth in my notebook. I’m always impressed with the acceptance and incorporation of people with disabilities here in Uganda. It just simply isn’t a big deal. I think part of it is because it is so common to have a disability of some sort, that you just aren’t special because you have one; however, people who are disability free have so much more patience because they are accustomed to interacting with all kinds of people. There is just a much more integrated community here, whether it’s age, or disability. Maybe gender is an exception. There is some segregation socially by gender, but it isn’t any more than any other place that I’ve been or lived.
We met at the Foundation to make plans for traveling with Rev and Beatrice, the older sister to Dr. Muhumuza. Looks like we are going push on straight from Hoima to Gulu without a break in between. Rev is going to drive us all around which should be interesting. I always love getting to meet with Beatrice. She is stately to say the least, commands respect when she enters the room, always dressed trendy, but still true to the African fashion, is a member of parliament to the dismay of many men. Isn’t thwarted when they try to poison her food, and enjoys well landscaped gardens. I admire her as a multidimensional woman.
Lastly, from there we dropped by SAS clinic where the Foundation used to be housed to catch up with our acquaintances there. One of our friends, Florence, got married this year and is now eight months pregnant. I don’t feel like I’ve changed that much in a year, so it is weird to see people again and they’re totally different (and enormously pregnant). She was giving us a hard time, the way that many people do, because we are getting rather old to still be unmarried according to Ugandan standards. Especially Meagan and Nicole, not me so much. They also know that Americans wait longer to get married and have less kids, so they think it is funny to make jokes and watch us squirm and blush. Its ok, I joke right back about having large numbers of children (which is a changing trend between the younger and older generations of Ugandans. Younger Ugandan women want fewer children than before. Like four instead of twelve. This is often a source of unspoken tension between younger and older generations of Ugandan women and ripe for making jokes). This is about how the conversation goes:
Pregnant Florence: “So Ginger, when are you getting married.”
Ginger: “I don’t know. Not soon.”
Pregnant Florence: “Maybe I should anoint you.”
Ginger (grimace): “No way. “
Ginger: “But I think by the time I come back next year, you should be having another. I want lots of nieces and nephews.”
Florence (grimace): “No. I taking a break after this one.”
We finally finished entering tests! But we’ve discovered that are likely more waiting for us in Hoima and Gulu! In my mind I keep thinking, “Please stop sending us data. I’m begging you.” What a luxury, right? Anyway, Moses helped us with the last of the tests, numbering somewhere around 2,400. Meagan wins the bet, although we still haven’t settled on what she wins exactly.
Moses also got some good news today. He got accepted to a language program in Germany. This means that he can get a visa to go there as a student and live with Sonja. It’s really fun cheering on their relationship. He was so excited that he couldn’t do anything but sit there an smile. So much so that he was getting late for his German class, so we pushed him out the door. Good thing he has us Americans making him keep time.
That night we relaxed and watched a bootleg movie. One of my favorite things to do. It was the best-worst movie ever, so bad that it was comical. I won’t tell you which one it is, but if you’re in need of a laugh let me know and I’ll recommend it to you.