Last few days @ Home

April 22, 2009

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April 17, 2009

The marathon’s almost over. I presented my qualifying project on Wednesday. I worked on it till the very last moment; it probably wouldn’t be the last time I procrasinate. Fractal who helped me organize the logistics of the presentation looked more nervous than I. The presentation went better than I thought. Surprisingly, the Language Proficiency Interview went well too. I didn’t interject my Lusoga with English, and used the right tenses. I tried to appear confident asking questions back in Lusoga. One has to score intermediate low to pass the test, and if I fail, I’ll be glad to get a private tutor. I wouldn’t be too unhappy if I fail since the night before the LPI, I was involved in a rescue mission. At least, the three young chicks in the homestay have a Momma.

The building that shelters poultry was mostly empty except for the three very young lonely chicks who lost their mother. The two-day old chicks didn’t know how to fed for themselves, or to stay warm. One of the host brothers helped me pick them up. I had never held a chicken before and was thrilled to handle the little ones. Noticing that one chick went to sleep right when I started stoking the back of its neck, I decided that they needed a mom. I took them to the patio where my host-mom was seated weaving her mat. Jenny sighed seeing them and added that she wasn’t sure whether the chick would survive without a mom. I asked Jenny if one of the hens who lost their chicks would adopt these young. She said I could introduce them to those hens and observe whether they accept them. The first two attempts failed, as those hens didn’t show any interest in the little chicks (maybe, they don’t even remember they had young ones). The third time, I brought them close to a mother hen who lost three of her five chicks. The hen and her two chicks were also attracted to the food near the other chicks. Then hen didn’t peck at the 2-day old chicks and they went close to her. They weren’t really sure what to do, but after half an hour they figured out what to do. They went underneath her breast to get some warmth. I felt relieved knowing those little chicks would be cared for by a mother. I recommended to Jenny that if she leaves the mother and her chicks in the poultry house until they grow big enough to defend themselves from predators, then she would have 5 additional chickens. She followed my suggestion, and now the fowl safely reside in their new shelter.

April 18, 2009

I found out at the Homestay Thankyou festivities that I passed the LPI. I was thrilled, but I still plan to hire a tutor to improve my language skills. My day got better when most of my host family came to the talent show. I dedicated a dance to them for opening up their home to us and welcoming us to their lives. The day was filled with other fun performances; the Lusoga language group shared an important tradition that was a part of every presidential inauguration—the Hokey Pokey. We hokey pokied in English & Lusoga. We were pretty famished by lunch time. I had some beans, chappatis , avocado-salad, matooke (steamed plaintain that’s a staple of an Ugandan’s every meal), and Fanta. I probably had more sodas in the last two months than I’ve had in the last 5 years back home. I would probably stick to the healthy H2O option if it were safer. I rather be stuck with those lipids than be glued to the pit latrine. After lunch I met some people Fractal visited during his field trip to a women’s craft co-op, who supported at women who were HIV postive. They had an amazing collection of paper bead necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I wanted to buy a necklace of every color, but unfortunately a volunteer’s wallet doesn’t support such an ambition. I was happy with the pink necklace I finally settled for at the end. We finally left after four when we saw the dark heavy clouds roll into the sky. There was a downpour right before we got back home. I was grateful that the rain didn’t spoil our day.

April 19, 2009

Last day of homestay. Packing was a drag, but I managed to stuff most of our possessions in the four matching REI duffel bags, 3 buckets, and 2 sleeping-bag sacks. I can’t believe how many books we accrued over two months. I’m not looking forward to the move in two years. Fractal washed most of our laundry in couple of hours. After sending off our luggage in the Peace Corps pickup, we went to town to say good-bye to Faluna (aka chocolate lady), and Pina (my fav fruit vendor). I found Faluna seated near the stove frying small donuts that filled up a 5L can. She said she was making our farewell gift—a snack for us to share with the other trainees. Pina offered us an avocado and mango. Their generosity touched us. Fractal who wasn’t that emotional about leaving Wakiso felt a tear slip his eyes as we walked back home from the market.

Saying goodbye to our family is going to be difficult. They have shared so much with us in the last two months. I truly feel I’ve a family in this new country. We promise to visit and keep in touch. We’ll go to Kampala tomorrow and stay there till we swear in as Peace Corps Volunteers. Then we start our life as PCV’s in our African corner without electricity, running water, but very own pit latrine, solar panel, and a deep cycle battery! Peace Corps. The toughest job you’ll ever love.

“The contents of this Web site are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.”

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2 Responses to “Last few days @ Home”

  1. mrred said

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  2. myafricancorner said

    Thanks!

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