So there is a saying we use here in Africa, TIA. It means This Is Africa. I’m pretty sure it’s from a movie or something. Here are some circumstances I have used it for in the past week or so.
No power for days at a time. TIA.
No water every couple of days. TIA.
Showing up to the school and finding that a class is just sitting there without a teacher. TIA.
Teaching that class for the day without any idea what you are doing. TIA.
Being called beautiful every time you go out in public. TIA.
Getting proposed to at least three times a day. TIA.
I’ve also created my own acronym: NIA, Not In Africa.
Dr. Pepper, NIA. This is something I am rather upset about because I heard a rumor that I would be able to find it in Uganda. So far that rumor has been false. I am craving it like a pregnant woman. I even had a dream about it.
Donnettes, NIA. I didn’t really expect to find these here, but a girl can dream right?
Anyways, we arrived in the little ol’ town of Hoima last Thursday and have just been living it up ever since. We are living with a missionary family from the Philippines. They have 4 kids and they are all so wonderful. It has been a busy and humbling week.
We have been volunteering in the pre-primary school. It is chaos. The kids are little heathens, but they are so cute at the same time. A little girl came up to me during lunch time not he first day and melted my stinkin heart. She knelt down in front of me (a sign of respect in their culture) and offered me her piece of bread. I tried to refuse, but she said it was a gift and walked away. Next thing I knew there was a pile of bread and cassava in my hands. I couldn’t help but laugh when my friend Lindsey walked in and just gave me a look like “Why on earth are you holding half the students’ lunches?” I couldn’t allow myself to take what was already a meager lunch from them (and I wasn’t hungry) so I gave the students back their food. So their craziness is made up for by their pure innocence and cuteness. The way they say, “Teacha Kally” everytime I walk into the room and hug me makes me fall in love with them over and over again. Even when they are punching each other and crying and screaming, “He beat me!”
We have also been going to secondary schools to do HIV/AIDS prevention. We basically go and discuss this issue with the students. We talk about why it is such an issue and how we can stop it. It has been sad to realize the reasons why so many of the students are having sex. Often times it is in order to have someone to provide for them financially or for a girl to be able to get a job. On a lighter note, when we ask the students to write questions they use this as an opportunity to confess their, obviously, genuine love for us.
I took my first bucket shower. It was actually quite enjoyable. We usually don’t have power. The water stops working occasionally and the food is an adjustment. I thing crossing the Atlantic did something to my taste buds because I thoroughly enjoy fish now. I actually prefer it over the pork (maybe that is because the pork still has hair on it, but either way I like the fish). Mom, you should be happy about this.
Some other new foods I have enjoyed:
Sugar Cane- straight off the cane. Fun to eat and so cheap. We got a whole cane for like 10 cents.
Passion Fruit- right off the vine. Uhhhhhmazing.
Papaya- I don’t think I had ever had this in the states, but I wasn’t missing out on much. Kind of smells like throw up.
Cocoa- Weirdest texture ever, but so good.
G nuts- Like a peanut, but better.