Friday, August 28, 2009

Uganda makes me want to watch the Lion King

So I made it! After two days of travel and over 20 hrs in air planes, I stepped foot into Rwanda. It was amazing to fly over parts of Europe, like Italy and Germany. Not long after I made it through customs and got my visa, Entebbe welcomed us by shutting off the power at the airport. But it gave me my first real chance to see the Ugandan sky at night. The stars are amazing.

On my first whole day in Uganda I got dropped off with my host family. They packed 6 of us in a tiny van with all our luggage, our jari cans, basins for washing, mosquito nets, gum boots, and trunks. As we wobbled us the red dirt roads to our homes I started to panic a little and started praying fervently for a roommate and sure enough I got placed with a girl named Denise with our program.

As we got out of the van I was greeted by my mom, Edith and my brothers and sister. They quickly carried in all our luggage and we were pretty much on our own. We had our first homemade Ugandan meal of rice, matoke (cook bananas that taste nothing like bananas), noodles, beef, fish, and pineapple.

I asked my mother how many children she had and I pretty sure she didn't understand me b/c she responded, "I don't know." My sister then asked her in Lugandan and she responded 10 and I was shocked. Turns out I only have 1 sister named Judith and 3 brothers named Mark, Brian, and Simon. Cousins here are called brothers and sisters. My dad came home late that night from school meetings- His name is Julius and he's the headmaster of Mukono High.

The house is pretty great. It's simple, but they have a tv, dvd player, bootleg dvds, and a computer. Here the bathroom is where you shower and that's a concrete room in the house. You was out of a shallow basin....I still haven't figured out the art. Outside is the kitchen with wood/coal/charcoal burning stove. The toilet is also outside. We have squatty potties here and it's pretty much just a hole in the ground. My first night there I went to use the squatty potty and when I opened the door a rat ran into the hole. I made the mistake of looking down into the depths w/ my flashlight only to find huge cockroaches. I decided to be brave and let's just say during the process the rat ran out btwn my legs into the squatty potty where Denise was. I didn't scream, it was a proud but terrifying moments.

I also got to watch my cousin Lamula and the maid Prose slaughter and butcher a chicken...oh my word. Poor chicken. Aunt Becky, if you're reading this, I still love meat :) They cut that thing's head right off and the chicken twitched really hard. Then they put the decapitated chickens into boiling water and pulled the feathers off, cut them open, pulled out their insides, cut them up, and cooked it. Crazy!

Well my battery is dying. I'm headed to Rwanda tomorrow for 10 days. It's a 15 hr ride.

Peace out girl scouts!


Alyssa Walter said...

Great to hear from you friend! I'm praying for you and look forward to more posts from you! love ya! have fun, stay safe, touch the lives of many :)

k.seger89 said...

Ooh Kristen. You never cease to make me laugh. The part about the chicken was cracking me up here at work.
Some of the words you used in this post didnt make a lick of sense to me but that's because I'm not in Africa!
And I hope you get to watch the Lion King there!

Love you so much and I'm missing you a ton but glad you're having fun!
Can't wait to hear about Rwanda!

Becky said...

HI Kristen,

Aunt Becky here. Well, I'm so glad you're safe and your trip so far sounds amazing. You're my new hero.

And I must say, if watching that chicken die didn't make you a vegetarian for life, nothing will.

You're on the adventure of a lifetime - enjoy every single minute of it. Stay safe and watch those rats!

LOVE YOU - and no one in Uganda will be the same after your visit!

elaine.birkey said...

Hey Kristen!
It is so good to hear that you arrived there safe and sound! I'm not going to lie I think that you tell even better stories in writing. I couldn't keep myself from laughing. Today I told a story and well i had to laugh at myself because no one else seemed to think it was a good story. but i know you would have :) I'm so glad you have a roommmate I bet your going to love it! Have you met my cousin yet? Ok well i can't wait to hear more from you!

Love you and miss you!

P.S. Tonight there was a kareoke party with dancing. You're presence was much needed.