I have been meaning to post this for the past few days but I still cannot put my mind to how I’ve procrastinated and downplayed the need to put up this post. Also, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people reading my blog. From the US, to Uganda to Singapore; wow, you, my readers are definitely amazing. Thank you for taking the time to read this Kitgum girl’s take on life.
Now, I would like to put you up to speed with the latest developments. Last week was rather uneventful I must say. I’ve been living life on the fast lane ever since I got here. In comparison to the other two weeks, last week was rather slow for me; which makes me think it partly contributed to my failure to post a new piece( I am laughing at myself right now! Isn’t it amazing how we are always full of excuses? Always finding something or someone to blame for our failures?)
So, anyway, to the fun part now! Last Wednesday, Melanie and her husband Dan hosted us to dinner at their house. We picked up her adorable cute babies; Will and Leah from daycare! My, my, my! Leah confirms the old adage that says, “Dynamite usually comes in small packages.” She is the most lively three year old I’ve met. She talked the entire journey from her school to her parents’ home; which is roughly a 15minute drive. She had interesting stories too! She had computer class that day and she told her mum and I that the teacher had taught them to re-boot the computers. I was highly amused. Also, she had amazing stories of how Jesus had made her strong and that she was Rapunzel (except she’s Princess Rapunzel with short hair)..And she loves Princess Sofia and Jake and the Neverland Pirates( go watch Disney Channel, Nickoledeon or Cartoon Network to understand who these characters are!) 🙂 Her little brother Will is an interesting fella! He is very observant and he tried to figure out who I was the entire journey. Also, he is a baby with a healthy appetite. In his mother’s words, “he eats like a horse!”. Bless him! This Friday, I get to Shadow with Dan at Ohio University. I am pretty excited about that. I cannot wait to tell his students what life in the media is like in Uganda. The lasagna that Melanie cooked was to die-for! It tasted amazeballs!(Amazing would be an understatement)!
Now, to the culture shock. Melanie and Dan’s cat Noah suffers from anxiety! (I didn’t know cats have emotional issues! I bet the veterinary doctors here have a field day diagnosing pets with human health conditions!). So Noah was on anti-anxiety medication. (Lucky him! I don’t get to calm my nerves down before exams!) I found that pretty hilarious! Also, the good people in this land have no wall fences. Like nada! As in their houses are exposed to the world. With all the shootings I read about in the papers, I shudder to think that people would not tighten security around their homes by erecting wall fences. In my dearest dusty Kampala, we have all sorts of wall fences, the high ones with broken glass, the brick ones with barbed wire to shield off robbers and bad elements, the ridiculously short ones that do not serve any purpose but the psychological comfort of the homeowner..In all their shapes and sizes; the bottom line is, we have wall fences. I don’t know if we are paranoid as Ugandans or if we are cowards. But cowards live longer! So I maintain my position that wall fences help to shield our homes from prying eyes. Which makes me coo in wonder at why most people here do not have them!
Also, we had Pizza at J & R’s..Okay, I didn’t have pizza..Patty did. We went out with a couple of friends of Patty and Mike. Lovely people! Yes, they are lovely! Thankfully, I’ve not yet met any mean people during my stay here. I hope I don’t meet any till the end of my stay! My life is complicated enough without having to deal with the drama of a mean person! 🙂 Anyway, so we set out to have Pizza but in true Ugandan fashion, when we got there I saw other more “attractive items” on the menu. So I ditched the Pizza and ordered a steak. I should have stuck to the Pizza. First of all, the fries that were served were so tiny. Like little pieces of cheese. And then the steak; which I hoped would be well done was almost elastic like a rubber band! Imagine my horror when I tried to cut it with a knife and it was stretching across my plate. I almost thought I was going to hit Sandy at a certain point. It kept jumping up and down the plate like a restless excited puppy. Note to self: when at J&R’s strictly order for pizza; or wings!
So, the Super Bowl was last night! America’s big game! To tell you the truth, like other Ugandans, I think American Football (not soccer my Ugandan friends) is a rip-off of the glorious game of rugby. To sum it up in Pastor Matt’s words; “It is a game where 80,000 stadium spectators who desperately need exercise are watching 22 people on the field who desperately need rest!”..The hype was too much! People had SuperBowl parties, commercials overrun the usual television programming. I was baffled. And apparently, the game was a decisive one to determine the “SuperBowl World Champion”. My dear American friends, the US is like the only country that has a competitive football league. The rest of us actually have world-involving sports like “soccer” and our teams fight tooth and nail to make it to the “soccer world cup” or “rugby world cup” every four years. And these games actually involve tens of countries. So please enlighten this Ugandan girl how American football has suddenly become a “world sport”. In exciting SuperBowl news, Bruno Mars put up a lovely half-time performance! (Dear Beyonce, it actually goes to show that you can pull off a show without being too skimpy and overtly sexual in your performance!)
This weekend I was introduced to the members of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church during all four services. I got to wear my “bubu”(traditional wear). My mum would have been so happy to see me in it! Speaking of my mum; I got to know last week that she was unwell and that she had been hospitalised. That really shook me. I had a meltdown at work. But I have amazing workmates and they prayed with me(Thankyou Sonya, Lynette, Ashley, Melanie, Karin and everybody else that stood with me!) Melanie and Karin also made sure I got in touch with the people at home and I got to know her situation. Which was very relieviing. Also Mike and Patty(bless them!) kept checking on me to make sure I was okay and checking with my brother to make sure everything was fine at home in Uganda. My mother and I have a very deep bond. I am sure my siblings also have a special bond with her but I guess God created me differently from my siblings. I tend to feel pain more and I get more wound up by situations than they do. The past few years my mum has been in and out of hospital. There was a period last year when it was particularly scary! And I was doing the hospital rounds with her. So being far away from her especially when she needed me was emotionally nerve wracking for me. I just thank God that my siblings and my Aunt Akoki were there to take care of her. It was so frustrating for me to be thousands of miles away from her in her moment of need. I guess part of this journey these past few months is that I am going to learn to deal with situations however unpleasant they are; and not to give up on my goals because an obstacle has blocked my path. My mum is now so much better and recovering well at home! I thank God for that!
In exercise news, we missed two sessions last week so Patty and I decided to overdose on two classes on Saturday. We attended both Yoga and Zumba classes, one after the other! The Yoga class was my first ever. The Yoga instructor was great but my body was just not cooperating. The spirit was very willing but the body was weak. That one hour of Yoga was the hardest physical exercise I’ve done in a long time. By the time Allie came in to teach Zumba, I was so tired like a stuffed cabbage that cannot roll over! I just fought to make it through the Zumba class. Thank God I did. But I was so hungry afterwards I went and got myself a Spicy Chicken sandwich. Darn you Wendy’s for tempting a girl that’s trying to stay healthy!(I just put all the calories back on! What a waste Sarah!) I am still beating myself up about that! Also, I have eaten so much bread this past week that I think my stomach is about to start growing mould! 🙂
I finally got to read the book “Death Be Not Proud” by John Gunther. It was so sad! And now I am delving into “Brimstone”; a “Da Vinci Code” type of book. And I discovered The first book in the Game of Thrones series is in the house! Anyone who knows me knows that my appetite for books is insatiable. So this has been a glorious find indeed! I cannot wait for some free time to absorb myself into it!
Anyway, tomorrow Patty, Mike and I are going for a Lady Smith Black Mambazo concert (they are a South-African musical outfit)..I CAN-NOT-WAIT! Whoop Whoop! Also, I am speaking to one of the women’s circles from church this Thursday! And then I have the Shadow at Ohio University on Friday.And I am sight seeing in Cleveland this weekend .Many new experiences to look forward to! A lovely three weeks so far…..Blessings!