Things are slow going here in Rakai. I was supposed to have my house re-painted by now, but I have an eery feeling the painter ran away with my 50,000 USHs. He is supposedly getting married this weekend, or having his introduction ceremony, or something to that effect. I should have known better, waking up to the sound of rain and thunder. I even woke up earlier than usual (ok, not that much earlier) so that I would be decent when he arrived. I EVEN BATHED! Ok, that was more for me and to get the onion blast off my body. It seems whenever I use public transport, I come home with the sweet scent of onion blast all over me (well, mostly my shoulders which fall prey to the pits of my fellow travelers). I hope this doesn’t come off as culturally incompetent. Ugandans probably bathe more than I do, however it seems that deodorant and perfume have not quite hit the market here. I guess if you smell just like everyone else, why worry? Supposedly this painter fella is coming tomorrow around 10. My wardrobe is also supposed to be finished tomorrow. What are the odds neither will get done?
New additions to my house include:
-a bookshelf (I officially unpacked half of one of my suitcases)
-plastic containers (I can store my food and leftovers, if I ever decide to use that stove of mine. I almost feel like I shouldn’t have bought one, however I know one of these weekends I’ll actually be at site and cook.)
-a straw mat (I can finally do yoga again! I didn’t want to put my yoga mat directly on the cement floor for fear of getting it dirty, however now I can use it on the straw mat. Look out world; I am going to be toned again! Ok, maybe not AGAIN, but I will be toned! The mat also gives me a place to eat that is not my bed. Let me just say, crumbs are not your bed’s best friend. This reminds me of a Full House episode where Michelle is having nightmares about her gigantic feet and she wakes up screaming and Stephanie wakes up asking what’s going on. Michelle takes off her covers and there are crumbs all in her bed and Stephanie just laughs. Oh, to be young again…or even just have a television again!)
Now that I have these new additions, my daily routine is somehow shaken up. When I say “shaken up” I mean, instead of eating my usual breakfast of jam on bread on my bed and getting crumbs on my bed, I now eat on my straw mat on the floor. Monday through Friday has still been the same. I wake up, eat a little, take my pills, sneak out for tea, come back to my room, read until lunch, sneak back out, eat lunch and somehow socialize, then come back to my room and read or surf the net until dinner. Then I go into my living room/kitchen combo and figure out something simple, because the rice, beans, and matooke are still sitting in my stomach waiting to digest. After that I either read or watch a movie and then go to sleep, usually around 9:30 or 10, unless there is someone on skype then I may stay up until 11 (woah! Look at me now). This week was broken up by a trip with my supervisor to Masaka, where I got to do some shopping (see new additions above). Lucky for me, the guys in Masaka are just are wonderful as they are in Wakiso and Kampala. I lost count of the “hey baby” comments within 5 minutes of wandering around the town (after my supervisor left me at Café Frik, a completely amazing, expensive, and totally mzungu place to go). After I ate I went wandering to buy some things when I met a Ugandan from Icheme. He decided to talk to me, so I obliged, which apparently meant he was to be my wandering friend. He wandered with me into all the shops I went into until finally I had to say “hey, you can leave you know, I can do this on my own”. Apparently, he didn’t realize that I spoke a little bit of Luganda, even though I had been talking to him in Luganda, which is NOT his native language. I had to tell him to leave me alone twice (obviously not that bluntly, but bluntly enough that he somehow finally got the message). After I successfully found what I was looking for, I wandered around trying to find the amazing bakery. Of course, I get lost, hear a few dozen more “hey baby” comments, to the point where I turn to one boda boda driver and say “no habla ingles”. Yup, I was that person. He looked at me blankly and just shut up. Amazing. I smiled to myself and finally found the bakery, got myself a chocolate cream roll, and then wandered around, got lost again trying to find the Shell gas station where all the taxis to Kyotera are.
The good thing is, my house is getting closer and closer to feeling like home. Almost.
Coming up: HALLOWEEN! Hopefully I have more entertaining stories to tell.