Monday, May 31, 2010

Katosi

Katosi
Yesterday, Avery (the other UNC intern) and I arrived in the village we are going to spend the summer in, Katosi! I really really like the town, because it already feels like home. It is right on Lake Victoria, and it is so incredibly beautiful! I hope I can go on a boatride sometime, but I will not go swimming I promise!

I really like the house we are staying in! It is right behind the Katosi Women's development office, and is the home of one of the founders of the organization. We call her mama Gertrude! The house is really nice, even though we have no running water and no electricity (it may come back on sometime in June!!). It gets so ridiculously dark here, and at night I sort of feel like I am floating among the stars! I swear I actually saw the milky way. We also have to pee in a whole in the ground and shower outside, but we are getting used to it!

We also have some chicken and two cows, one is named Anna. They kind of scare me, because they are so huge, but today I fed Anna a banana peel, and now I think he likes me. There are women hanging around the house and patio pretty much all the time, and I can tell they are really hard workers and really care about the community.
After we settled in, we walked around the village! There are a lot of shops and markets, and I think I already made friends with a lady who owns one of them. I might go to her shop every day and drink lime fanta! There are also a lot of schools around the area, so hopefully I will get to work with as many of them as I can!

We walked to the top of a gigantic hill (maybe even a mountain) and saw the view of the lake and everything around it. The peace corps volunteer who is also working at Katosi Women Development Trust thought we could see all the way to Kampala!Katosi is pretty much a little village surrounded by the jungle, and I love it! We went to go feed some wild monkeys, but they refused to eat the banana I was trying to give them! it sort of hurt my feelings:) haha

A few days ago, we had our internship training to learn more about Katosi Women Development Trust. It was really interested and informative, and the more I learn about it, the more awesome I think it is. Basically the organization is made up of 13 groups of women around the Mukono district. The leaders figure out what the women need and then implement things like training sessions, agricultural programs, microfinance/loans, and water and sanitation programs. They try to break the traditional gender roles, but in a way that doesn't cause any problems (like they teach women how to construct gigantic cement rainwater collectors, even though women do not traditionally work in construction).

I can tell things are going to move sort of slowly here, but it is obvious that the development trust does get things done. I hope I can work on some of the community gardens and also implement the kicks for katosi (and maybe expand that to kicks for kampala) internship project!

So everything is going really well! The only hard thing is trying to cook, haha, which I am not very good at in the first place. Basically the only food here is rice, fruit, and vegetables. and some bread. I am a horrible cook in the first place, but with no microwavable food (there is a gas stove), I am even worse. Last night, Avery and I cooked Spagetti. It was yummy, but it took us over an hour to make! And this morning for breakfast, I ate the leftover cold spagetti with my fingers. until i found a dead mosquito in it. then i stopped, haha.

I love Uganda, and I will try to update everyone more soon!