Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hailing, Hot Cocoa compliments, Jack Fruit

Today was our day off.  So we didn't have any meetings today which was fun...yet odd.  We went for a swim, soaked up some sun, I read Hunger Games and it was oh-so-heavenly.  P.S. Marms, do you think you could send my swimsuit with someone coming to Uganda next wave?  I'd really like to splish  and splash around if possible.  Lemme know if that'd work.

So there was a rain storm of death today. It was insane.  I was at the pool and I took a right nice shower because I was hot and sweatilicious.  So I showered up and when I came out to where everyone was swimming it had started raining.  Now it's the rainy season here in Uganda so there's usually an hour or two every afternoon where we need to pull out our umbrellas and rain jackets.  Today, however, went above and beyond anything I'd seen in a very long time.  Websters definition of downpour.  It literally started hailing at one point.  The sound of the rain/hail pelting the flimsy roof above us next to the swimming area was sooo loud.  Some of us actually pulled out books and started reading because 1. we couldn't hear each other because it was so loud and 2. there was no way any of us were going to be able to get out of there because it probably would have hurt.  So that was one thing that was crazykins.

ALSO, before I forget, while we as volunteers didn't have any meetings today, our country directors had a meeting at the pool where we were at.  They were speaking to a man in charge of a school in a village a little bit away.  One of our country directors came to use the bathroom while I was in there showering and I asked how the meeting was going.  It sounds in-cre-dible!  Essentially there are problems in this village with girls getting pregnant while they're really young and, therefore, is an abundance of AIDS...stuff like that.  So a project proposal is to teach classes teaching the girls about empowerment/self-esteem/and abstinence...or at least waiting past the age of 12 to get involved in that stuff.  Anywho, I asked Holly if I could be involved and be on the team and she said yes.  So I'm going to the village on Monday and will be hopefully starting things after we check out the village and assess needs.  Other than that, I'm excited to work with Child of Hope (in the Namatala slum) and this education program which is going to be huge.

It's a volunteers birthday today--Josh.  We went swimming with him because he wanted to...and none of us were complaining.  He wanted to go to Chat N' Chino in the evening.  Chat N' Chino is soo rad.  It's a little restaurant-ish place that has such a cool vibe.  It's good food, free wifi, and just a really cool venue.  So a lot of our volunteers go there to hang out.  Jenny and I ate some street food for dinner beforehand.  It was crazy.  We split chicken, rice and chapatti and it cost us like $1.50 each (in American moolah).  It was grand.  Anywho, so by the time we got to Chat N' Chino, we split a hot chocolate which looked like this:
Am I fishing for compliments if I order hot chocolate frequently at this place?  Because...yeah, I didn't hate this experience.  haha  Here are a few cute ladies (of many) from our team:
This is Jan.  She's hilarious and always a good time.  She served a mission too so we frequently share hilarious mission stories and never have a boring time together.
This is Sam.  She's a dear.  She sleeps in the same room as I do.  I'm already dreading the day that the girls in my room move out (because they're not staying for the whole summer).  I really lucked out.  Our team is awesome and everyone gets along.  How marvelous is that?!  Very.
This is our guard named David.  He literally guards our house every night with a bow and arrow.  Scary or funny just depending on how you look at it.  So he came home with this MASSIVE crazy looking fruit called a Jack Fruit.  It's easily the size of a watermelon but it looks like it should grow underwater or something.  He had to cut it, wipe the glue substance out of the inside, take some seeds out and then we eat the orange chewy pieces on the inside.  One of the girls compared the flavor to starbursts.  It was good crap.  I love trying new fruits and stuff.  I'll take more pictures next time but yeah...Jack Fruit.  Rad.
Jenny and I had to get eggs on our way home after eating with everyone at Chat N' Chino.  It was already dark so we had to be careful and not linger in places.  The night street food was out.  It was cool to look at all of the things people were selling.  We'll maybe try some later but tonight was not the night.  We purchased some eggs (which they don't sell in cartons by-the-way).  They just put a bunch of eggs in a plastic bag and tie the top--not joking.  We then were going to boda home because the walk would be super creepy-creeps in the dark.  While we were getting on the boda we had like 4 guys approach us asking if we were married, saying we were sweet like sugar....weird junk like that.

We got to the point where we have the boda drivers drop us off.  We don't really want a lot of people knowing where we live so we always have them drop us off early down the street.  Jenny and I were a little scared because we saw a boda rider off the side of the road ahead of us, just sitting on his motorcycle thing, in a yellow trench coat.  I made the mistake of asking if she'd seen "I know what you did last summer" and we were pretty freaked.  We may or may not have held hands...haha...and I asked her to tell me a funny office quote or give me the summary of her favorite Care Bear episode or something. haha We got past and everything was fine...just scary little moments from time to time.

But after we passed him I just took a second to look up at the beautiful Ugandan night sky.  It was dusted with glitter.  It looked so beautiful.  I couldn't help but feel so grateful that I'm here another day and that I have many more to come.  I wake up each morning with people in mind to help, learn and see new things every day, and come home to people that I love and consider friends.  I'm happy to be here and even if some things aren't ideal (like not being able to flush our toilet paper and having to throw it in a separate bin, or getting mobbed with marriage proposals late at night, or showering out of a bucket, etc) none of it takes anything away from how beautiful of an experience this is.  The pretty glittery sky just reminded me how happy I am to be here and how lucky I feel to have this experience.  I should probably sleep because I have to teach Young Womens tomorrow. :)  Love you all, Mals


  1. What did you swim in if you didn't take your suit? Please do not stay out late! I love hearing of all your experiences but not the dangerous ones! Please be careful. Good luck with YW tomorrow. I didn't even know a 12 year old could get PG. That is still primary age! Scary

  2. Oh those poor little tiny under 12 year old girls! What a sad life to be a momma at 12! I'm glad you're taking time to smell the roses (jack fruit, hot chocolate, and glittery stars.) The lovely things sound so lovely and the not-so-lovely things sound awful. Stay safe and healthy my dear. Can't wait to hear how your lesson went!