Saturday, April 24, 2010
I have now changed tactics and simple rain proof the inside. As you see in the picture that follows, I leave an umbrella upside down on top of my mosquito net. In the mornings I simple dump the water it catches outside and thus, I have solved the problem of being awoken by rain drops.
Only in Peace Corps. Only in Peace Corps...
Thursday, April 22, 2010
There has been a lot of busy work taking invitations out, finding organizations who have resources we need and covering all our bases as far as protocol is concerned. Since we are having a march the police need to be informed and traffice officers must come with us. Great! When we went to the police to tell them of our event they had no problems and as we were leaving, mentioned how we'd have to be sure to provide lunch and a little "something" for the officers who would be working with us that day. Now, in the States you are paid for your job and you do it. In Uganda you are paid for your job, you don't always do it and if you do you still expect some bribary. We really have to bribe the police to do their job? I told our group we should just not have them. Everyone was horrified and informed me that if we didn't they would then arrest us for having an illegal event and we'd pay a much bigger fine then simply giving them, "a little something."
If you want to get anything done, you have to accept corruption. At least to some degree. And so, the cycle of corruption continues.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I went back to the doctor on Friday. This time I saw the British tropical disease specialist and it was discovered that I have an acute case of amoebas! I never thought I'd be so happy to have amoebas. I'm just relieved to have a tangible diagnosis and something so clear that can be treated.
This morning when I got up Annet told me my face was beautiful again and I must be getting better. In truth I felt great. I thought for sure I'd had an overnight miracle with the one night of treatment. However, a little bit later, I was doubled over in pain again. It's hard core medication and then a slow recovery. Only these days of medicine and time will heal. But again, I'm just so happy to know I have amoebas!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I told them they could do whatever they wanted but I wanted the twist style. Celeste also wanted her hair done so she came too. I went to a meeting in the morning and let Celeste and one of the girls go and buy the hair we needed. When I got there they'd bought me black and light brown curls! I was very leary but I'd promised so how could I back out now? The girls told me they knew I had curly hair and so I'd already know how to take care of it. Ha ha. Is real natural curly hair anything like fake hair extensions? But at least they had a logical rational for their choices.
Well, 4 hour later, after having 2, 3, even 4 girls pulling, twisting, and tying my hair it was complete. I prayed those painful hours would have produced a beautiful scene. However, my first look made my heart stop in dread. I looked like a two toned lion. I was shocked at how awful I thought I looked.
The girls did a good job but white scalped people are not meant to have braided hair - I'm convinced. After the initial dread (knowing this hair is good for 3-4 weeks!) the girls helped me experiment with different "styles" and I'm slowly getting used to this new look.
Celeste had a tough time too! Her lovely hairdo took 8 hours! They said her hair was too slippery. She also got a different style called kiswahili which means it is plaited not twisted and the ends curl slightly. She fears she has a braided mullet when it is down so has fashionably learned to braid it back.
All in all, we're learning about the pain and sacrifice these African women put themselves through in the name of beauty.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Frederick was very social and involved in everything at the community level. His funeral was a big production with many people attending. I liked Frederick. He always had a big smile for me.
Death in Uganda is always present. Sadly enough, many times it is preventable but due to lack of facilities, medications or personnel people die.
Monday, April 5, 2010
My area is near the capital and fairly well educated. We have one of the best and oldest schools in Uganda in my town. It was started for the Bugandan princesses back in the 1800's. We also are surrounded by village where many of the older generations are illiterate. We have many government schools that don't pay their teachers and health centers that can't meet the sick demands of the community. This population snears at the local rich schools that are full of students from ambassadors, big doctors, government and foriegn business families. But these children haven't had any choice in who they were born to or where they were sent for school.
I was at church yesterday when 8 -10 girls walked in. They were beautiful young girls with manicured hair and nails, their uniforms were spotless and pressed, and their skin was flawless. What really caught my attention was the way they walked. They walked in confidently with their heads held high. They nodded to their elders and smiled at the children. They were polite in finding a section of bench to sit on. I admired these girls and leaned over to ask my friend where they were from. She informed me they were tycoon children from one of the best schools in Uganda.
After church I went home and told Annet about seeing these girls. I expected her to lament about them being tycoon children but she surprised me. She said, "Oh yes. Those are ambassadors children. But those girls at that school are good. They bring things to the needy. And they are always so kind to people in the trading center. Many grow up and go abroad to do great things. They are the Ugandans we should be proud of."
While many blame others for the priviledges they were born into it's nice to hear once in a while that those (myself included) are still good people who can do great things with the freedoms and wealth we possess.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I went to talk to Annet last weekend to really sort things out before I went and talked to this man. I told her I was intending to talk to him and she asked me why. I told her I felt it was important to be honest and upfront with this man and since she wasn't, I was going to. Then she smiled and said, "But Amanda, I already told him you won't marry him, ever. I even told him you wouldn't play sex with him. He knows. He knows." "But Annet," I said, "you told me you told him I need to get my life in order and there was still hope." To which she laughs and shakes her head and said, "O.k. yes. I did say that. But then I told him the rest."
At first I was still a little unsure of how truthful this was. Now, after a week, I have not seen him nor has he been by to "visit" Annet. So, I think it's over...