Tuesday, June 29, 2010

site. finally.


I know the entries are coming fewer and further between as of late, but since I have finally moved to my site out in the village power and internet have been much harder to come by. Like I said though, I am here now, and after nearly two months of idle doldrums I am ready to get to work.

My house is pretty small and very simple. It’s essentially two rooms that measure about 6’X15’ with two 4’x4’ outcroppings for a bathing area and a kitchen. There’s no power and no running water and my furnishings are minimalist at best, but to be honest, out of all the adjustments I’ve had to make since coming to country, acclimating to the lack of amenities has been the easiest.

I said I was ready to work, and I meant it, yet my move to site has not meant a move from the continent, and things here still move slower than I’d thought possible. After a little more than a week my only real contribution has been to write a letter to the Ugandan Ministry of Tourism announcing the launch of our campsite (the organization officially started 4 years ago, but my arrival marks the “real launch” according to the other members) and asking them for technical advice and resources. The letter took me about 30 minutes to write, however it took me about three days to go around with my supervisor Enoch and listen to him read it to people. I am not sure if there was a point to it other than for them to tell me it was the greatest letter any of them had ever heard.

So what have I done with my days since arriving at site? Well each morning I wake up, exercise, make breakfast, and read for about an hour. By 10-11 everyone else is just about ready, and we have our daily meeting. The meetings revolve around what we are going to do for that day, although to date, 60% of these meetings have been to tell me why the other members are too busy to do work for the day. From there, I either find ways to keep myself busy (reading, cleaning, cooking) or do whatever work I can for the day. 2:00 marks lunch time, and what seems to mean the definite end of all work to be done by every man in the village for the day. I’m hoping that this is only because of the ongoing World Cup, however I can’t say at all for sure. And so after lunch each day I have gone into the nearby trading center (small town) with the two closest people to friends I have so far (Allen and Eddison) to watch a match or two. Despite having run out of money to finish my house on time, the chairman of my organization has just opened a new bar with a 15 foot HD projection screen with a satellite dish. I won’t jump to any conclusions, but you are free to speculate on that… Regardless, at least I have a good place to watch soccer from. Anyway, I try to get home by dark, eat my dinner, watch a show on my laptop if I have power, and call it a day.

So that’s it. That’s my life for the time being. The situation is by no means perfect, but I have been really happy so far. If things were perfect there would be no need for me to be here. I have to look at each problem as an opportunity, whether it be an opportunity to help someone else or an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone.

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