‘The toughest job you’ll ever love.’ So far I’ve only experienced the first half and I’m determined to see this experience through to the end of the sentence. I’ve never worked harder with less to show for it. Now that I have a workable site (no, not ideal), I am trying every which way to accomplish our three goals: exchange technical assistance and culture +/-. Yet, I already feel the clock ticking to the end of my service.
Since arriving here in Uganda I’ve noticed a preponderance of poor design and construction (the 99%). There just doesn’t seem to be any appreciation of permanent, well-designed architecture. [Think of the wild wild west 200 years later.] So I’m building this cabana. Of late I’ve been thinking that it might be nice to see if there is any local expertise in thatching a roof out of the available grasses. To that end, I’ve spied a couple of thatched cabanas on the hill opposite the church. At dinner (an hour ago) I asked my priest if he knows who owns the land. He replies that it is the former MP. A big shot. Ok? I press the issue further and find that this ‘former’ member of parliament is “under custody” and it might look suspicious if I try to enter his property. Another dead end. Yet, every request I make seems strange. Stone for the foundation? But I thought you were using timber posts? Stack the wood off the ground? But why does it need to dry? This makes me wonder if I too will be put “under custody” for building the best damn outdoor kitchen in the district. +Build something beautiful and I might just find the smile at the end of that slogan, with or without the technical or cultural exchange.