Monday, July 13, 2009

Africa - few funnies

Okay - I will just tell you! Jane Semengoma, headmistress of Namirembe School, just casually said, "Trudy, you have gotten fat since you have been in Uganda!." I walked down to the library where Sarah Baziwe, former headteacher of Bat Valley Primary sat. I asked, "Sarah, have I become fat since I've been here?" She laughed and said,"Yes, you have put on some fat. You needed to. Ugandan people love people who are bigger."

Now, for those who don't know me, I walk/jog every night at home, lift weights, and do about 50 sit-ups. I must admit - I did just meet Wilber today at a place called Nandos and ate a pizza and had ice cream! It was great!! And - yes, I did take my team there the last two days since we were in downtown Kampala. The ice cream lady even recognized me! Sad! Now you know - - the rest of the story. :)

When I have a team here and they stay in hotels, it seems every day - twice a day - they serve potatoes, rice, etc., all starches. This year, I have had two teams - so I have had hardly anything but starches for one month. Now I will move back into Ugandan homes, so perhaps the next two weeks will be considered a diet. NO - I will not send pictures!

The Illinois ladies left this morning. I will miss them. They are true servants - of God and people. I will miss their company. Jennifer is still here, staying this week at Besania orphanage in Mukono. I'm sure they are thrilled to have her with her educational background. She will finish setting up the library and have some classes borrow books. I appreciate her help.

I went to the laundry room at Namirembe Guest House to find the wash man in knee-high wading boots, doing a 'boogy-woogy' dance in a round washtub filled with clothes. He was stomping them good! It was really a hilarious sight. He says he only stomps the jeans to get them clean, but next to that tub was a tub of other clothes. Really, they came out great - perfectly clean! Maybe you should try it and save electricity!

I accidently walked in the wrong room at the hotel. There were two ladies, in separate twin beds. Each had a pop-up tent on top of the bed. They were inside their individual tents taking a nap. Now that is weird! The beds all have mosquito netting - so why a pop-up tent - unless they were worried about touching the sheets or bed. What an odd sight. I tried hard not to laugh as I backed out and went to my room.

Today I met with an attorney about filing as a non-profit with the government of Uganda. We need to do it to set up a bank account here and to make it easier bringing in items through customs. It will be lots of paperwork - but possible. Wilberforce needed to go to that attorneys office about something else, so he accompanied me.

But, let's back up a minute. Wilber picked me at Namirembe School in a van from an orphanage on which he is on the Board. We drove to the orphanage on the outskirts of Kampala. When we had finished visiting the orphanage, we walked down the road to catch what I thought would be a matatu to the attorney's office. Instead Wilber got us both a boda (motorcycle taxi). The attorney's office is in downtown Kampala! I have ridden many bodas around the outskirts of Kampala and in Mbale - but never through the downtown streets of Kampala! Only crazy people do that.

My driver was a speed demon. Wilber's could hardly keep up. We passed every boda on the roads! When there were two lanes of traffic almost touching, we were whizzing between cars/vans with me holding my knees in tight so I wouln't hit the vehicles on each side. If he couldn't buzz down the middle, he would almost scrape against the curb on the right - or left - and shove the cycle back in the middle of the traffic asap - but never stopping, always at break-neck speed. One bus, I was sure we had. I took my hand and shoved against the bus trying to lean us away from it! Unbelievable! Remind me to buy a helmet next time! Since I am still alive - I must say, I'm glad we did it! Wow!

Jane and I made a timetable for the next few days, so that I can return to our six Kampala libraries, plus those that are possibilities for next year (five). I will be on the move! Lots of works to do! Madame Marshall has been tossed out the window, and the teacher is now in place. :)

Hope all is well with you! A special hello to my teams! I can't wait to have more time to talk to you when I get back to share our adventures/memories once more!


I think perhaps you'd better keep praying. :)

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