June 14, 2009
I hope everything is going well in the US and everyone is enjoying their summer I know that I certainly am. Being here has made me get rid of a lot of my irrational fears such as getting dirty, killing bugs, sweating, and lizzards. But one thing that certainly has not changed is my fear of birds. Now I'm not as nervous as I used to be about little birds or walking in the same street as a chicken but in Uganda they have these birds which are their versions of the vulture and they are literally an average of 4 feet tall. I thought I was going to have a heart attack the first time I saw one their beaks are the size of my arm and their wingspans are 8 feet. They are the scariest things I've seen so far :(
Other animals are pretty cool thought I'm going to Murchinson Falls in two weeks (a national park) and I hope to see really cool animals like lions there but I see monkeys all the time! I normally buy a banana for breakfast on my way to work and now that it's been a while I walk to work alone (ugh still at least 5 miles everyday through the jungle :/ ) but yesterday I was walking and I was the only one on the path when I looked up and a monkey was staring at me. I got really scared just remembering Mom's stories about mean monkeys in India but it started to walk towards me and I just threw the banana at it and ran! I've never been that close to a monkey in real life looking back it was pretty cool!
A lot of you have emailed me some random questions so here goes...I've been picking a lot of the local language I mean not enough to carry on a conversation but definitely enough to greet people and be polite. Also I know how to say thank you, this was good, and I don't eat liver! I prepare all my own meals sometimes people invite me over for meals but most of the time I just buy vegetables and make stir frys all the time. Let's just say I will never eat another cabbage again after coming home! People offer me food a lot when I come to check their water facilities and since the people here are so poor I feel bad refusing food that is very valuable to them. So I've gotten really good at swallowing. Last week I had to swallow an entire papaya and two pieces of goat liver to be polite! The power goes out probably about everyday or so and it varies for how long. It's really not that bad because I've gotten used to cooking and reading by flashlight but it's annoying because I have a tiny fridge that I use mainly to keep bugs away from food. But the fridge has an ice box which I never use but it's an old fridge so there's no way to turn the ice box off. Basically everytime the power goes out the ice box melts and my apartment floods :( but hey that takes up time so I don't get bored!
Anyway this week I'm only working 2 days because I'm going to visit some friends from UNC in the mountains near Congo so I should be able to email more cool stories on Wednesday or so! Again I hope everything is going well in the US. I miss you all so much and can't wait to come home and see you!
PS-this old lady in my village gave me a Ugandan name! Kisakye (che-saa-che) it means his grace...haha at this point being called anything other than white girl is nice!