Saturday, June 12, 2010

Finally an update from me (Jamila)

Hey all. Sorry for the lack of updates-- internet access in Busia is really shady.

Here's basically a run down of my life:
Miranda and I rented a house not too far (about five blocks) from the Orphanage. There are two rooms (a "sitting" room and a "bedroom") and one bathroom. We are paying 500,000 shillings for two months, which is a little over 200 dollars. Not too bad for two people!

We eat breakfast at our house (bread with butter/bread with peanut butter and tea/coffee) or at our director (Ken)'s house.

I teach P5 (4th grade) English at New Hope. It's really frustrating because the teachers dont seem to care that much about the students, basically--and the kids are all really behind on everything. To be promoted to the next level they only need like, 30% correct on their final needless to say, they're all at the base level in all subjects. My class has 18 kids, ages 13-15. The school system here is different, explaining the ages.

Miranda and I eat lunch at Ken (director of New Hope)'s house everyday at 1pm. We have the same thing (more or less) each day- rice, beans, meat, chapati (delicious fried bread item), avocado, sweet potato, regular potato. We have the same thing for dinner most days, too. On good days we'll have pineapple or fish (or spaghetti!). They also make this BANGING passion fruit juice. What? Delicious.

In between teaching I hang out at the orphanage and play with the kids or talk to the older orphans. The youngest is 2, the oldest is about 20. They're all the best. There is a 2 year old named Joseph (I die with joy) who is getting adopted by a very white, blonde, rich young couple in Kansas (along with Matthew- the most hilarious divaest of diva babies).

There's no cold water (or ice, for that matter). I lather myself in sunscreen and mosquito repellant daily, which is actually kind of gross. My feet are perpetually covered in foreign muck.

We met up with the other volunteers from UNC this weekend to watch the opening games of the world cup. I personally dont give a what about sports, but it was kind of cool to be in AFRICA watching the world cup take place in AFRICA, you know? Today we took a boat ride in Lake Victoria and then to the source of the NILE RIVER. The circle of life type stuff. It was cool.

Random Uganda tidbit: There are goats everywhere. And chickens. "Free Range" has a whole new meaning here. Also, Every morning at 5am we hear the Muslims chanting (through their literal loudspeakers) to wake up the entire town and call everyone to the first prayer of the day. Awesome.

We were without power or water for three days last week and it was guaranteed my lowest of lows. You don't know "roughing it" until you've washed your underwear in a basin in the bathroom and then hung it beneath your mosquito net. Cute. TMI? Blame Africa.

Until next time.

1 comment:

Casey B said...


im casey, a past AGRADU intern, and one of the first at New Hope. I "sponsor" an orphan, Nabwonso Jacquline (also spelled Nabonso). I would love if you and Miranda could check on her and find out if there is anything specific that she needs that I could send. Thanks so much and I am sooooooo jealous of you two. New Hope is where the magic happens. oh and tell all of the others that Auntie Casey says hello...especially Menya:(

ps-make sure you trek to kenya...i know its against the rules, but its super hilarious:)