Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011 12:00 PM--Stars

I don't always like when the power goes out for obvious reasons.  At night it makes it quite dark, I can't use my computer for too long after it goes out, and I can't charge my phone.  Sometimes I can't even cook without power.  But there are moments when I really enjoy the power outages.  Last night power went out for about an hour.  During that time I finished watching a movie I had already started and I washed my dishes.  When I went outside to dump the dish water, I had a moment when I looked up and I could see every star in the sky.  It kind of makes you wish power doesn't come back right away because it is the one moment and place when you can see the stars better than anywhere else in the world.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 7:30 AM--Sandwiches

Most restaurants here don’t make international/American food, but the ones that do don’t always put so much care into it.  Ugandans don’t understand the idea of having good food.  As long as it’s edible, they’re okay with it.  However, there is one guy in Mbarara who just opened a small cafĂ© and movie theater.  He is Ugandan but he has lived in America before, so he can kind of understands how Americans like there food.  He makes the best sandwiches!  And he actually cares how we like our food.  He always makes sure everything is fresh.  This weekend alone I had three sandwiches.  When we went in there on Saturday, it took a long time because he had to go out and buy all the ingredients to make our sandwiches, but they were so good that we didn’t mind.  This pace makes me want to buy a sandwich every week when I’m in town.  There are other places to get good food in town, but I don’t necessarily feel the need to go there every time I’m in town.  I kind of just want to support this guy because I love that he cares so much what we actually want. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 11:30 AM

So I finished with my classes today.  This means that other than giving my exams, grading my exams and attending my end of term staff meeting, my second term is officially over.  My school year is also finished.  So after the term officially ends on November 30th, I’ll have off for almost 2 months.  I hope to take advantage of this time.  I want to get started on my computer lab project and I also want to do some travelling.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011 6:15 PM--Computer Practicals

Today I finally finished with the computer practicals.  To me it was very long and kind of boring, but I think overall it was worth it.  You could tell there were a few of the girls who had used a computer before, but for the most part I don’t think that most them had ever used one before.  This made it all the more interesting.  This must have been what it was like when the first personal computer was created and they gave it to the first test subjects.  Most of the girls were totally fascinated by things.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of people so computer illiterate.  It’s kind of nice because there is a lot to show them and there is a lot of gratification in it.  Some of the girls constantly wanted to stray away from my lesson, but others were so thrilled when they did something I told them to do correctly.  I had at least one group who was totally terrified.  At the beginning of one of my lessons, after I told the girls to click on something, they just continued to stare at me and the computer without touching it.  I had to explain to them that they didn’t have to be scared of the computers and that they were allowed to touch them. 

I also somehow managed to give all of my lessons at the time I originally allotted.  This may seem obvious, but almost every lesson, at one point or another, got rescheduled.  Sometimes there were other people using the lab.  Sometimes I couldn’t locate the keys to the lab.  And one time I even had power go out for a minute or two.  But despite all of these little blips, I managed to give all of my lessons as planned.

I really want to try to get more computers in there, now more than ever.  Most of the girls kept asking me why we don’t do this more often.  And when I explained to them that we don’t have enough computers and we have too many girls, they all agreed, but you could tell most of them are just dying to get into the lab.  The headteacher wants to work it out starting next term so I can give practical lessons to some of the students that don’t take computers, like some of the higher level classes.  So I would stop teaching Math and focus solely on computers, which is what I originally wanted anyway.  But this could be very difficult without getting more computers.  Hopefully over the holiday I can work on fixing up the lab.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5, 2011 5:00 PM

This week the senior 1s invited me to come to their party which was taking place today.  It was a party not only for the senior 1s but also a party for the members of Harvard House, which is one of the dormitories.  It was to initiate the Senior 1s and to congratulate the Harvard House for having the cleanest dorm.  I would say it was one of the easiest functions I’ve ever been to here.  It did however start about an hour late.  Although this didn’t bother me so much because I anticipated it starting late and I didn’t show up on time (but I was still there well before it started).  It was however only 2 hours long, including lunch, so I was pretty pleased with that. 

Sometimes, being here, I look at people or I look at my students and I can’t help but think how different they are from American students.  However, today I looked at them and I couldn’t help but think how similar they are.  There was supposed to be music at this party.  And for the beginning of the party there was, but about halfway through power went out.  But while power was on, all most of these girls were interested in was singing, dancing, and how “smart” everyone was dressed.  I can’t say that this is all that different from how American teenagers think.  I felt bad for them, because their little dance afterwards was postponed/cancelled because the power was out.  But overall, it was a good event.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011 12:30 PM--"But You Haven't Had Any Food"

Ugandans typically don’t think you have eaten unless you’ve had “food”.  This may sound like it makes sense, but you don’t know what Ugandans consider to be “food”.  “Food” to Ugandans is something like matooke, posho or rice.  They typically eat meals consisting of “food and sauce”.  “Sauce” can be something like beans, meat or peanut sauce.  But if you try to tell them that sauce is food, they will never agree with you.  So if I just eat meat, according to most Ugandans, I haven’t eaten.  You can even give them a dictionary definition of food and they still won't agree.