The little things

April 24, 2009

April 24, 2009

I’m patting myself on the back for the little things I’ve survived.  Two-minute cold bucket baths in a 2 square feet bathing area with a chicken-wire door.  If it weren’t for the privacy of the curved brick wall (right beside the unlockable chicken-wire door), I would be arrested for indecency.   I’ve started to enjoy the cold baths.  If there is an ounce of tiredness left in my drowsy eyes, then the ice-cold H2O certainly zaps every atom of fatigue  out of my skull.

Even though I tried avoiding pit latrines while camping (I prefer my own creative hole on the ground to the pit latrines), I’ve no choice here in my African corner; those days on the modern western flush toilets, where I sit comfortably browsing a riveting novel, are gone.  Now my primary concern is whether I would fall over backwards while I squat, or whether the floor would somehow cave in into the pit bathing me in the maggot-infested poop.   I’m also grateful that I haven’t suffered from any ailment that requires me to visit the latrine more than once a day.

I fix myself an exciting breakfast of bread and G.nut paste, boil water for Fractal”s coffee, and make two hard-boiled eggs in a pressure cooker before I head for the rejuvenating bath.  9:00a.m.  Fractal & I are waiting for his counterpart to drive us to the police department, where we dutifully register as new PCV’s.  12 noon.  Abraham the counterpart comes by to inform us that he has to procure his schedule from the university, where he’s a student, and would be back in no time.  1:15p.m. Abraham picks us up and we head to the Police Dept.

The police department is bustling with activity.  There’re many people waiting in the lobby like they’re patiently awaiting to pay their utility bill.  We meet the Deputy Crime Investigating Officer and greet her.  She responds to my greeting with, “Are you a negro?” Surprised by the question and uncertain on how to respond, I resort to an automated response, “I’m an American.” I’ve spend much time in the last couple of months explaining to many Ugandans that Americans come from various ethnic backgrounds.  There’re some as white as Fractal and some as brown as I.  Not satisfied with my response, DCIO asked me the question again.  I firmly gave the same reply.  This time I didn’t give any explanations.  In the next hour, we answer inquiries about our ages, why we haven’t produced any children, why we joined Peace Corps, and what we plan to do in Uganda.   By the end of the conversation, Sandy promises to cook us matooke (green cooking plantain that’s steamed)and ensures our safety in Uganda.

“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 “The little things”

  1. hasse Halley said

    Hi: I am so glad you got through traing. We think about you all the time. My mom is very bad and that is the reason we left. I JUST CANNOT LEAVE HER NOW. Did the rest of the group make it? I would love to hear from you. hassehalley@gmail.com

  2. alex said

    i love bucket baths, cold water baths would put me in a relaxed state and are great for getting you ready for bed

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