I had recently picked up some popcorn and had it sitting on the shelf for quite some time when I decided today was going to be the day I attempted to make popcorn to snack on while watching yet another episode of Skins (a complete waste of my life). Bear in mind, this was my first attempt at making popcorn the old fashioned way. So, I get all excited and pour a bit of oil into the pot and open the popcorn container. To my surprise (and horror) I am greeted by little black bugs. Awesome. I decide I don’t want to waste all the popcorn so I pour it all out and wash and rinse it. I put in one kernel and turn on the heat on the stove. After less than a minute I hear a pop and feel something graze my cheek. Curious as to what potentially blinded me, I looked inside the pot and found the kernel had disappeared. I put another one in and within a second it came flying back out. I realized I severely miscalculated the time it would take the oil to heat up and in my idiocy completely forgot the lid to the pot. I put a third kernel in (still having no idea where the first two ended up landing) and heard a pop within seconds. I took this as a cue to add the rest of the popcorn so I lifted the lid and poured the rest in only to be met by billowing smoke and the sound of something going terribly wrong. After a second or two everything went back to normal so I thought the initial panic I had was unnecessary. I stand back and listen as the popcorn pops vigorously for some time then decreases in frequency. I turn the stove and gas off and lift the lid of the pot, only this time greeted by black billowing smoke and the smell of death (okay, burnt popcorn, but it smelled rancid). After the smoke clears (filling up my bedroom and living room/kitchen areas) I peer into the pot and find charred remains of the popcorn. At this point, I feel utterly defeated and decide to clean up and snack on a bag of Skittles. I had to keep the doors open for a good thirty minutes before the smoke cleared.
Why do I even bother?
In work related news, we had the launch of the Red Cross Student LINK group at RCSN. The date had been moved up from February 23rd to February 22nd. I was worried it would be a complete disaster. The only real problem was the low initial participation by the students and the late start. Power had been out all morning so we (“we” being more the students in the LINK group than me) decided to wait until we had power to begin the event (why we didn’t use the generator still puzzles me). The event was supposed to begin at 10 am (I was told 9 am but I am assuming that was for preparation because on the invitations the time was 10 am) but we didn’t begin until 1:30 pm. It was very slow at the beginning (much like most programs I’ve attended here) but the ball got rolling eventually. For the most part, the event was fun, there were some questionable performances and speeches in Luganda, which I obviously didn’t understand, but for the most part everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves. THERE WAS EVEN CAKE (I know I’m probably going to get some flak for not inviting more PCVs…Sully)! Some donations were even made (granted, it seemed to be a strange part of the program, almost an implied tradition at some points) which makes me feel more confident about being the assistant patron to the group. Hopefully this means more people in the community will be willing to help us in financing some of our programs. Mama Prima, the mayor of Rakai, seemed very enthusiastic about the launch of the group and the potential for more outreach (I even got her mobile number after the event, which probably isn’t a big deal to anyone but me, but it made me feel special). I hope to be able to work more with her in her outreach initiatives. She seemed to be receptive to my passion for outreach and education, namely working in the field and being more active in communities. Hopefully things come to fruition.
Things are starting to be a bit more “normal” here. The day to day is getting better (on most days) and I feel a little more useful and appreciated. One of the tutors has asked me to teach the skeletal system to his anatomy and physiology course, which should be interesting. I continue to express my lack of interest in teaching (not that teaching is beneath me, on the contrary, I feel I need more knowledge and experience in order to be a useful educator, especially for future nurses. I simply don’t feel knowledgeable enough…) but it seems I won’t be able to really get around it, so at least in this case I will be able to teach something I’m interested in. I hope to be able to teach more psychology lectures in the future as well. I think if I teach twice a week at most, I won’t be going too far out of my comfort zone but will still be filling in the need the school seems to have.