Friday, June 28, 2013

Africa Time

After two days here in Jinja, a couple of things have happened...Firstly, I am falling in love with Uganda! Secondly, I am learning what it means to be on "Africa time," similar to Fiji time = always late or no real concern for time. Thirdly, I've realized motorcycles are not as scary as they seem. Everyone uses motorcycle taxis or "boda bodas" to get around here (sometimes even with 3 passengers), and they are quite fun! There are also Matatu which are basically taxi vans where complete strangers all pile in without seatbelts, which I will experience when I go to the village. I also learned that the roads are chaotic whether you're a driver or a pedestrian, it's simply a free for all! Unfortunately, I'm also learning how difficult it is to find gluten free food here, but so far I'm making do on fruits, vegetables and nuts. Finally, I'm experiencing truly being a minority and constantly being reminded of it when all the locals constantly call me "mzungu" (white person). Although it's in a friendly manner and it's really cute when the kids say it.

Day one: I was quite disoriented and jet lagged but still managed to do quite a bit. I had my first boda boda ride and went to the Arise and Shine Babies home where I got to meet all the adorable kids! Then we took the eight disabled kids on a mini field trip to go swimming at a hotel pool nearby which was really fun. I met the project coordinator and determined that I'm going to be working on HIV and family planning with women in the village in addition to teaching at the school which I'm really excited about! I also met most of the volunteers at dinner last night, which consists of a lovely group of people from all over the world. Everyone is so nice and helpful, and I feel comfortable with most of them already. I don't go to the village until Monday, so I have the weekend free which I'm taking advantage of.

Day Two: This morning I went with two other volunteers on a wild goose chase to try and sort out an educational workshop for family planning/ HIV for health day in the village next week. We started at TASO, and then were directed to USAID, then MSH only to conclude that we wont have a drama group performing an educational workshop at the event.

I also went horseback riding along the Nile River and through some villages where all the kids shouted "Jambo Mzungu" as we passed by. The scenery was extremely beautiful and I even saw some monkeys!

Horseback riding along the Nile River

Tomorrow I'm going white water rafting on the Nile with some of the volunteers, which will probably be just as exciting as it sounds as long as I don't pick up any parasites! Then next weekend, fingers crossed it works out, I may be going to Rwanda to see the genocide museum and Hotel des Mille Collines (Hotel Rwanda).

So to recap, I love it here and I wish I was staying longer than one month! Oh, and I haven't gotten  malaria yet so that's good.

1 comment:

  1. Anna, I discovered your lovely photos from Uganda which lead me to your blog post. It's amazing reading how you managed to get all the way there by yourself. You are very brave and driven to make an impact on these people's lives. The photos really make us appreciate what we have and to not take it for granted. I would love to do something like this one day. Good luck and safe travels.

    Rachael Koscica