Wednesday, September 17, 2008

16 Sep 08

Right now I’m in the office waiting for the others to arrive. There’s been a whirl of activity. We’ve moved into our new house. I love my room. There isn’t any electricity or water in town. I still don’t have a phone. I’m going to run out of computer battery soon, and I’m going to have to beg the office to turn on the generator. I hope there’s enough fuel. There is another American girl living in our house, one Kenyan man, one Ugandan man, J, and me. The other American girl is 33 years old and was living in Kenya this winter when the riots broke out. She heard machine gun fire each night as she fell asleep, but she didn’t want to leave, even though she could have been evacuated to Tanzania on a special plane for those holding American passports. So she didn’t leave. She talked to me a lot last night; I think I’m the first Westerner she’s seen in a while. Somebody’s looking for Nescafe for our kitchen. I need my Nescafe. Some things are really frustrating here.

Our team had a great day today, and got so much accomplished.

It’s raining now, and cold. I put a basin outside to catch up the water in (so I can wash my hair later), and took a hot tea to Kevin, our (female) night security guard. She walks around our compound with a big shotgun. I like her. She’s cool.

I thought of two things I would like to write my graduate thesis on. One is [redacted], but my Ugandan friends say that I cannot write about that because [redacted]. The other is the Karamojong conflict. Ho-hum, we shall see.

Even Later

In some ways it can be a problem living with other people! I spent all night talking about everything with my Kenyan housemate and my Bostonian housemate. They are so interesting. Now there is no more time to get work accomplished tonight, though!

J showered with STORE-BOUGHT DRINKING WATER today. SERIOUSLY. He stood outside and poured it over himself and scrubbed. Because he didn’t know how else to bathe. Oh my god. He’s having a REALLY hard time adjusting to the inconveniences of life here. He barely ate all day, and once he decided to cook his own food, he was too afraid to enter into the vegetable market to buy onions. It was muddy and crowded. He was also afraid to eat bananas that he bought off of the street, because “Sometimes fruits are unsafe”. He asked me if he should wash them before he ate them. BANANAS. Bananas, which you peel yourself! Oh my god. The poor kid. I wish I knew how to help him adjust. We aren’t telling him some things; like, that last year at this time, both the electricity and the water stayed off in Kitgum Town Council for a month; and, that fuel for our stove may take months to get here, because Kampala is not shipping gas to the North (no reason, just because). (Oh, yeah, Kampala REALLY cares about the North.)

No comments: