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

December 19, 2010

Pond water? How’ll that get anything clean? I’m using a plastic fork.

Filed under: Peace Corps,Uganda — Jeff @ 12:54 pm

Woke up this morning. Grabbed my empty jerry can and walked to the neighbor’s cistern to fetch rain water to brew my morning coffee. It was dry. Too much of this vital water source has been diverted to help fill the digester of the new bio gas plant adjacent to the kitchen. More on that project later. So, I asked about alternate water sources. There is piped water from the hills and the neighbors indicated that the closest tap is in the village, perhaps 1k from our homes. I walked to the village with my brave 20L jerry can only to find a dozen or so containers lined up in from of the spicket. One of the children hid and cried as the ladies replied to my greeting. I was close to tears myself 2 hours later having only filled my can with 5L of water and feeling the need to ready myself for church. [I’m being a bit dramatic here.] I wore my newly made tunic, which of course brightened my mood. Let me skip past the rest of the day. You see, at church people spoke, prayed, and sang in Runyankore. At the gospel concert that afternoon, the same + political speeches. [It might be hard to comprehend just how isolating it can be to live in such a remote area without a common language.] In between I chatted with the brothers who live next store — Ben and Kenneth, 25 and 17 — who both speak a bit of English. They seem to enjoy the sporadic conversations in which we engage. Yet now I sit on the edge of my bed, eating a bowl of delicious rice and beans with a plastic fork. I refuse to wash my dishes with the pond water I hauled up the hill this afternoon. Let it rain.

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