Not only did I get connected to the network today, we had watermelon with lunch! I’ve learned that if students wish to supplement their diet with fruits and veggies, they must purchase them in town.
It’s so good to be able to type to you again! I’ve been keeping a log of things, but it is too long, so I will sum up. I’ve got my meal card, registration card, and library card. Those took eight photos to acquire. I had more photos made today to get my ID card, and presumably, I will be able to use them for the additional months’ meal cards (your photo
goes on every official document as an identity theft deterrent). I’ve been warmly welcomed by people and mosquitoes alike. It shouldn’t surprise me that people know who I am, but it does. Faculty and second year students approach me and say, “I heard you were here…”
Our class is really a cohort of about 16, and my cell directory reads like a biblical name list: Amos, Darius, David, Emmanuel, Enoch, Isaac, Paul, Zipporah, with Jackson and Paulson for variation. For the All Saints’ crowd, Paulson was just on mission with Edwina last weekend, and he is determined to introduce me to everyone she knows in Kampala. And while everyone here has been so friendly, helpful, and accommodating… lest you think this is utopia, one of the M.Div. students has seen fit to ensure that I get my fair share of ribbings.
I’m in the Honours College dorms. The room is small but good, and I do not have a roommate! I’ve met several of the girls who will be living on the hall, and they are very nice. It looks like there will be either 5 or 6 of us (though I am not yet certain), with one bathroom for all. Upon entering the hall, you are in a common room, and my room is the first door on the right past that. That is great because I get a cross-breeze from the door (which is always open). This is also a challenge, because people visit in the common hall – as in the Manchester football match late last night – which I heard the cheering, even though it came from the dining hall, a five minute walk away. 🙂 Oh, and the Telemundo
soap “Second Chance” is rather popular as well.
Rainy season means that it can rain at any time – I’m amazed at how quickly the weather changes here. It also means that the dirt slope down from the dorm is becoming fairly smooth, which to me means treacherous. Last week, Juliet, Zipporah, and I walked into Mukonotown. It’s a 20 minute downhill walk into town (well, to the supermarket they wanted
to go to), and a 35 minute uphill walk back. In the midday, very intense heat. I think they wanted to take a boda (moped – apparently the mopeds were originally used near the border (which sounds like “boda” when the drivers would yell, announcing their services), and the term stuck) back, though. Women ride bodas sidesaddle, and between that and their being generally not safe on bumpy roads and traffic that passes with milimeters to spare, I declined. So we walked.
I began eating in the dining hall last Friday. Previously, I’d been quite spoiled, and had been taking meals at the smaller (and better) dining hall next door. When we went through the breakfast line, I handed my meal card to the head waiter for him to mark that I had taken that day’s meal. The look on his face when he compared the photo with my face was precious. I think he was especially surprised because there are no Uganda Studies Program (American exchange program) students this term.