Sunday, March 6, 2011

February 13, 2011 8:20 PM

Today (being that it is Sunday) was a day off (for the most part).  After breakfast, we learned to do laundry Ugandan style.  Let’s just say my clothes are clean, but my knuckles are raw.  It took me about an hour to wash all my laundry to date, but more than half of my clothes are still outside drying.  After laundry, we had a brief tour of the training center grounds and a brief tutorial of where we are allowed to go in Luweza. 

After lunch, I learned to play Bridge (yes, that game old ladies play).  I keep learning new games.  Everyone brought cards and different games.  After we were done playing bridge, a few of us went down through Luweza to see the five star hotel.  It was gorgeous down there.  It was right on Lake Victoria.  It was quite a hike though.  It took us about 2 and half hours to go there and back.  It was an experience walking through the town and seeing all the people (or them seeing us).  They call white people Mzungu and they are fascinated with us especially the children.  They run up to the side of the rode waving and yelling Mzungu.  It makes you feel kinda like you’re in a parade because you are waving and saying hello to everyone.  They are often surprised when we greet them with the little Luganda we know.

Yesterday I started taking my Malaria prophylaxis.  Everyone got different kinds of malaria pills.  I don’t know why.  I got the one that only needs to be taken once a week and has among its side effects “vivid dreams.”  So far, no crazy dreams…or actually, no dreams at all for that matter (I slept like a rock last night).

The training center where we are staying is really nice.  The people are nice and the grounds are pretty.  We can play volleyball or football (soccer).  Our dorm rooms are somewhat small, but they also gave us a place to store stuff we don’t need right now.  We can keep our stuff there straight through our home stays.  They also have a lot of security here.  They told us to be aware of and be nice to the guys with the AK47s (they are only here for our protection).  They even have dogs that they release at night.  We are not allowed outside after midnight because that’s when then dogs are released.

I’ve been getting a lot of exercise.  I think I’m also going to start running again.  We aren’t allowed to run by ourselves, but there are a lot of runners in this group.  Some who are really hard core, some who are kinda like me and even a few who just want to get into it.  I feel like I might start losing weight fast.  I’ve been eating every meal, but I haven’t been eating as much portion wise.  We have been eating a lot of local staple foods.  Last night I tried mutoke.  It is unripened, mushed up, cooked bananas.  It has the consistency of mashed potatoes and it taste almost like nothing.  They say you are supposed to add sauce to it.

Tomorrow, we are supposed to have a day like yesterday.  We are having a few sessions and finishing up our medical and placement interviews.  I really just want to start our really training, but I guess once we start I might want to be back here where I am now, because I will be so busy.

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