Anyways, I woke up just a few minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off at 8:15. I slept pretty well. Not as good as the night before, but that was sheer exhaustion. Got up, got dressed, and went for breakfast around 9. Exact same thing as yesterday: Weetabix, toast, hard boiled egg, watermelon juice.
Too hot for pants and a shirt. These are my new pants I bought at the equator. Oh and don't mind my awesome farmers tan/burn from yesterday. (And no boot again.)
I knew we were going to have some time to kill before someone actually showed up to pick us up. So I got to writing about yesterday (I was too tired to finish it last night), and waited. Zaiko showed up around 9:45, and Joshua shorty after. Joshua had his own boda this time, so I rode with him, and Sean and Zaiko walked down the road to get another.
Joshua said he just got his boda, and I could tell. He wasn't so comfortable with it, or a very good driver...but we made it. About five minutes after the other boda becuase he didn't know how to shift gears going up a hill.
First stop was Kitara Secondary School to see a well that was just constructed there last month.
We happened to also run in to a few of the ThinkHumanity girls that were in school there, and I actually recognized them! Didn't have their names right, but I knew they were ours. :)
Next stop - equally as slow and treterous ride on the boda - was to visit a well that my friend's family donated the money for. It was not far outside of Hoima, and unfortuntely the plaque that had their names on it was so worn out from all the use it has been getting that you couldn't really make out their name anymore. I really wanted a picture of it for them, but I guess it's a good thing that over the past two years its got enough use to wear down marble? It was certainly busy when we were thre, and in a beautiful area!
On our walk back up the hills from that well, I spotted something bright just off the path. I thought I was losing my mind when I looked closer. Hot pink chicks? In Ugana? Come on... Zaiko an Joshua had no idea how or why they were hot pink and said they had never seen it before. The only semi-logical explanation is that soeone dyed them. Right?
A little further up that path, we saw four kids playing in a pile of trash, and as soon as they spotted us, the "Muzungu" chant/song started. I started recording them, and they kid of kept singing, but as I got closer, they definitely ran away, haha. Funny little kids...
One more boda ride from there to the girls hostel, where Emma was waiting on us with his car. Finally, a car. It was getting too hot for any more boda rides. This African sun is serious.
When we all piled in Emma's nice car and he turned the music on, Joshua and Zeiko imediately started saying how we should have taken THIS car yesterday. Apparently they thought the driver was awful, too. They were all going on and on about it, haha. Emma said he really missed his music...and then cranked up, of all things, Celine Deion. It was one of those surreal moments. Driving through the Ugandan country side, a Congolese flag flapping in my face, hot African sun, and Celine Deion playing. :)
Its moments like that one that make me glad I write all this crap. Every little detail. It actually takes a long time, and I know it's mundane and overkill to 99% of the like 10 people who will ever read this (that 1% being my mom who I think actually enjoys it...) but I can't remember every thing I've done! And it's already been so fun to go back and read about some of my earlier trips. Even though i wish I would have been better about writing everything down! I still get a good laugh every now and then, "Oh yeah! I forgot about that!" And then the vivid memories come right back. Anyways, I know I'm not a good writer. Never claimed to be, haha. I just puke up whatever is on my mind. I don't use proper English or punctuation, I mispell words and have typos and don't go back to edit, it's just whatever comes out at the moment. Which sometimes is past tense and sometimes is present tense. Ooooh well. ;)
Moving on... Our next stop was at Emma's house to get some sugar cane for the guys. I've never tried it before, but it wasn't half bad! Something new every day here...
After that stop we parked and started walking in the jungle. I mean not technically a jungle, but it looked like one. I haven't worn my boot once since I've been in Uganda. I know I should, but seriously, the red dirt roads and the heat. It's just too much. I can't do it. May be paying the price when I get home, but for now, it really hasn't hurt that bad and I've gotten around much easier without it.
We were walking to the well in Kanenankumba. (Had to have Emma spell that one for me!) We passed through a village along the way, and there were these women sitting on the ground doing something to something that was moving. That was all I could gather. So I asked Emma what was going on. There are these bugs that are seasonal here -- kind of like a cross between an ant and a grasshopper. I can't describe them any other way. There bodies were small but they had these long wings. So the women had trapped them and they were pulling their wings off of them...to eat them. No joke. So I took a video of them...I mean this giant bowl of bugs fluttering around and a woman just digging in them was something else. Then Joshua asked me if I wanted to try one. Ummm, no. But they were like, come on, it's good. SO of course I did it. I mean it couldn't be worse than the mopani worm in Zimbabwe, right? Except this was a live bug, in the wild. Not cooked at a resaraunt. Anyways, I did it. It's on video, too. It was small and crunchy and kind of ... salty? The guys had a good laugh, and then they got a whole bowl of them from the women and crunched on them the rest of the way!
So as we came around one last bend in the path and could see the well, there were two small children there getting water. I think one was a boy and one was a girl...maybe 3 of 4 years old. And the tears started instantly. Not only tears, but deathly screaming like they had just been stabbed. The little boy took off...he went behind some bushes around the side to hide from us. So I kind of snuck up on him to get a video of his sreaming, and it's got to be one of my favorite videos ever. The kid FREAKED. OUT. Hahaha. Makes me laugh every time I watch it. I took another video as we got closer to the girl (posted it on Instagram), and I felt bad by that point. The poor kids were just terrified. Clearly never seen a white person before.
I was asking Emma about why the kids were so scared of us, and he said on top of not ever seeing anyone look like me, there are so many stories floating around about how the Dutch - who were white - would come and steal black kids and ... eat them, make them work for them, torture them. I don't know. I mean just all kinds of craziness, none of which is true, obviously, but that is what is told to them. So, yeah, they do NOT want to get close to me!
The well looked good and was functioning - the kids were getting water at it when we walked up, so we moved on.
On the walk back, Emma randomly said, "You are tall, Keeler. You can see tomorrow!" Ha! What?? I'm not really that tall, but I think I'm taller than all of these guys (with the exception of Sean).
We drove back to Hoima after that and got dropped off at our hotel. The power was out, so instead of sitting in our hot rooms, we sat in the hot courtyard for awhile.
and then the hot restaurant and ate lunch there. More of the same. I don't even need to list it anymore...
The sky was starting to cloud up and the rain clouds were moving in, so Sean and I sat in the courtyard under our little tent to wath it rain. Which about 10 minutes later, when it startted dowenpouring, turned out to be a terrible idea. Because it wasn't just a nice rain, it was heavy rain, with wind. And we were now stuck outside! Eventually, once we started to get wet from the wind and rain, a hotel worker felt bad for us and brought us out two umbrellas!
The power was still out, so I opened my door and windows and turned on some music on my phone...and attempted to do laundry in the bathtub. First time for everything, right? I always bring more than enough clothes with me on my trips so I don't have to bother washing anything, but I only have one THinkHumanity t-shirt and it desperately needed to be washed. Which was even ore obvious once I dumped the dirty water out of the bowl and in to the tub...
Joshua and Emma showed back up around 3, when it was still raining. I had called them and wanted to buy dinner for all the girls at the hostel like last time I was here, so they took me to an ATM to get cash. I needed money for the hotel and staying in the camp, and my driver back to Kamopala. So I took out 500,000 UGX. Let me tell you, that iis a hard number for a USD minder person to type in to an ATM! That's like $160ish USD. But just seeing that stack of huge bills made me nervous...
We went to local market and bought loads of food. They usually eat posho or rice. And not much else. I wanted them to have a little treat, so we bought a giant bag of potatoes, some rice, onions, motoke, watermelon, bananas...I don't remember what else. Too much stuff for us to carry, that's for sure! A whole trunk full!
And the kicker: I fed 30 girls a nice feast for roughly $30. Crazy.
Once we dropped the food off at the hostel for the cook to get to work on, Emma brought us back to hotel. I updated this thing (it took another 30 minutes to get yesterdays to post), showered...and found more glitter on the bottom of the tub. I knew I was going to be finding that stuff for days!
Sean and I sat around in the courtyard and enjoyed the FIRST time in Uganda we weren't sweating. It was actually a nice temperature. For once. The rain had stopped and the sun was going down. I had forgot what it feels like to not constantly be sweating! I went through the pics on my phone from yesterday and seriously deleted over 400. Joshua had my phone most of the day...and that was a bad idea. ;)
We googled places to eat in Hoima, and there litrally is nothing here. So we decided to just chill at our hotel and eat there. Breakfast and lunch have been okay, and the other two hotels we went to for dinner were the same thing, so we figured this would be, too. But when we walked in - the only two in there - they said dinner was just ordering off the menu. THey had one menu for us to look at. It had a ton of stuff on it. And I literally said out loud to Sean, "Do you think they actaully have all of this stuff?" So when our waitor came over, and barely spoke or understood any English, I pointed to a picture of the pizza and asked if they had that. No. So we both ordered cheeseburgers, and then realized neither of us had ever seen any cheese in Uganda. But a minute later, the waitor came back. No cheeseburgers either. Ha, okay, by that time, we figured out it probaby wasn't going to be good, so we just got up an left an walked bak to Hoima Resort down the road and ate the buffet again. Basically the same stuff as yesterday, but a better soup. And some weird seaweed and fish...
We assumed our positions in the courtyard - where we've spent so much time thre past couple of days, and got eaten alive before we turned in for the night around 10pm.
Stomach has been a little upset all day and have had a few trips to the bathroom, so crushed some pepto tablets and hoping for the best tonight...
Plan for tomorrow: Emma will pick us up at 8 sharp. Those were his words. We'll see. We have to go pick up a letter fot me to get in to the refugee camp, then we wil go to the girls hostel for Parent's Day! The girls are putting on a little show for their parents and I'm SO excited to get to be ther for that. Plus, I brought a little Polaroid camera (that I've never used - hope I can figure it out) and am going to take pictures of all the girls with their parents. I'm willing to bet NONE of them have ever had a printed picture of them together. :)
After that we will travel to the Kyangwali Refugee Camp and stay the night in a church compound there. It sounds safe enough - no entrace/exit after dark - but I know there won't be wifi there, so probably no more updates until I am...back home? Or back in Kampala for my flight on Monday? Who knows... But I'll eventually get everything up.