I think this entry might be long. you don't have to read all of it at once. Heck, you don't have to read any of it ever. My new address is posted at the beginning in case any of you feel daring enough to drop a letter in the box with ts address posted on the front:
Hunter Paris, PCV
Ikwera Girls' s. s.
P.O. Box 54
I have been at my site for over 2 weeks now. The students are currently on break until the end of May so I've had some time to meet the community, read, move into my house, think, run, and prepare for the coming term. I've also had time to cook. It is not an enormous secret that the main staple of my diet in the States came from either a bird named Sonny or a Leprechaun named Lucky. these friends did not travel with me though to uganda and i have been forced, in a good way, to begin cooking. my fist attempt came when i wanted to roast groudnuts (g-nuts). the bottom of the bowl i was using was completely charred beyond recovery. my second attempt, rice. slightly soggy ,sticking to burned bowl, but enjoyable taste. my third try, beans. after an hour of cooking i decided i didn't want to wait any longer and consumed beans that weren't quite hard, yet weren't quite soft. also, the beans had created a difficult film on my now burned bowl . since this time, i have had successes and failures, and i think my skin is beginning to smell like rice. but im learning. also, I can make a mean millet porridge.
my home is in the shape of two squares side by side. there is a wall though between the two such that in order to enter square two, you first must exit square one and go outside to the door of square two (its amazing how you can write something that you're pretty sure no one will understand, but because you see it in your own head it's justified to leave it written). in square one is my bed, desk, clothes, 10 spare bic pens, sink, and bathroom with toilet and shower. i am very thankful for all of these items. it is a great blessing to have the running water. in square two, i have a couch, books, chairs, and a separate room for my kitchen where i have a two burner gas stove set up that i think i forgot to turn the gas off of the other night, creating quite a smell in the kitchen, and probably an unsafe environment. also, in my bedroom, if you have sent me a letter i put your letter's envelope up on the wall. so if you want on the wall, do the right thing and write a letter!
in the past week, i have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know some of my fellow teachers at the school i am working at. most everyone i have met has been ostensibly very kind. this has prompted numerous thoughts and questions. the question, "why" comes back again and again. people have said they are happy i am here, some have been very kind, some have been very thoughtful, even when i have done seemingly nothing. so why? the hopeful side of me thinks that perhaps their kindness is a reflection of their true character. so far, i have seen the ugandans as a very friendly people, perhaps their warmth is an extension of this. the cynical side of me wonders if their kindness comes with a cost. does their outer warmth mask inner desires? do they want something from me? do they expect me to provide for them somehow? the fearful side of me wonders if i'll be able to meet their needs and expectations (i know that without God i will certainly fail, and that whatever good happens is because of Jesus). the humble side of me is simply enjoying the fact that each day, i am given the chance to meet a people i could never have dreamt of meeting. i know that i too am not without inner motivations, expectations, and desires. perhaps they too wonder of me.
soccer. soccer(which henceforth will be referred to as football) is an amazing sport. i have a book entitled "how soccer explains the world," and though i have not yet read it, i think i am beginning to understand it. the other day i was in a room (approximately the size of two Carroll high school classrooms) with 300 ugandan men, who, in uncharacteristic fashion, all had their shirts off and were screaming, cheering, and even arguing with each other. at 10:00pm we were watching manchester united vs. arsenal. european football. on the street, every 10th person is wearing a football jersey. kids play the game in back alleys with balls made from rolled up trash, and in very special occasions, you get to ride home on the back rack of a Hero bicycle, under the African night sky, on uganda's unnamed dirt roads, and think about the game you just saw, and the African man whose whole body went into gyrations when Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester put the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards out.
okay, i've got a little bit of extra time going here so i'll talk about running also. God has allowed me to run each morning so far and what a blessing it has been. do people stare? in abundance. do some people make comments? of coarse. but it's amazing. I haven't really found a circular route yet. their aren't a lot of roads which connect other roads. just one road going north-south, and one road going east -west. the roads are scattered with villages. i pass a group of thatched-roof huts. the women and children are already up, hoes in hand, preparing to head to the field for work. the huts pass by. im alone on dirt road with african swamp all around. another set of huts. another family heading to the field. someone says "ibuto aber." I reply, "abuto aber." this get snickers as it was a test to see if the munu knew the language. the sun is starting to come up. though i was cool at the start of the run, by the end i know i will heat up. i pass a school. currently vacant, but i wonder if, in 2 weeks, there will be hundreds of kids who yell as i pass. i don't dwell on the thought for long. im trying just to enjoy.
A Wee Dram O' Ruxpin Muggle
5 days ago