How to make a friend in Uganda. business consultant, NGO worker, former Peace Corps volunteer, activist: searching for sustainable solutions to eradicate extreme poverty

October 26, 2010

my new house

Filed under: Peace Corps,Uganda — Jeff @ 2:24 pm

I am so happy to finally be at my site and to be able to tell you all about it. Yes, training way a bitch but I am finally through all of that — by the skin of my teeth — and am living it up in here omuri southwestern Uganda. Scroll down to the end of this post and you will find a picture of my new house. That’s right! For the first time in his life this sub/urbanite has his own home with its very own four walls. It is the perfect size, on the left I am converting one of the bedrooms into a kitchen, the middle room is (very) public and then the suite to the right is a bedroom and bathing area. The family who owns the property and lives in a compound not fifty feet away is very friendly. Only one member is fluent in English that I can tell but that is a pretty amazing godsend as there seem to be only a handful of fluent speakers in the entire village. I am required to increase my local language proficiency before the next test in three months. But it is not for that reason that I am eager to hire a tutor. I just want to understand what people are speaking to me, and, well, to be understood myself. My accent seems to be particularly difficult for Ugandans to pick up.

So I guess I should tell you about the two times I’ve been to church. A few weeks ago I went with Chelsea to a service in Wakiso. I guess it is what might be called a “born again” experience. When we entered the congregation had gathered and were praying. It wasn’t at all contemplative. From what I could pick they were angry about something. Better I didn’t understand what they were uttering I thought. Then the praise and worship started. Most of the words were in Luganda but that didn’t stop Chelsea and I from participating. Perhaps I should stop and tell you about the people on the platform. First, there was the solo musician: a keyboard player who kept a strong midi beat pumping through the speakers. Next there were three backing vocalists. They sang. And a lead vocalist kept everyone engaged. But that’s not what kept me smiling through the service. In the back were three dancers. At times, when not distracted by the rows of orphans to the right, I found myself joining their chorus line right there on the floor next to Chelsea. Good times. The sermon wasn’t all that memorable except for the fact that the pastor and translator would alternate between English and Luganda at whim. Odd. I cross-referenced scripture until I found myself reading Leviticus. Okay, so this Sunday was a bit more liturgical. They term it Pentecostal here. All Runyankore for 2 hours. Notable was the time for questions and comments during the service and the long auction at the end to sell the donated vegetables. I was regifted greens to prepare for dinner.

I’m getting sleepy so I better stop here. This week is definitely better than last and I can see it getting even better from here. Tomorrow I get to help milk the cows!

my new house

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