It’s become apparent that not only do I have more readers on this blog than I ever expected to have, it seems that my blog’s popularity spans oceans and continents. WordPress tells me that I’ve got friends reading from Israel, the U.K., and even Korea! That pretty much blew my mind. To you, world travelers, or residents abroad (I don’t know who some of you are!), I say “Thank you.” You guys are the best! And if you wouldn’t mind identifying yourselves if you hadn’t already (like Hannah, Mike, and Jon have!), I’d love to be able to thank you in person. Also, because I’m really damn curious as to who I know that’s currently in Korea. And if you’re a random person who I’ve never met, thank you so much for taking an interest in my travels! I’d still love to talk to you and find out how you located this blog. And, of course, thank you again to all of my readers from the U.S., as well! You all make me feel so special and popular. Kind of like what I’m saying is actually interesting! Seriously, it means a lot to me.
So, like the title of this entry states—nothing very exciting or eventful has been going on, here lately. It’s pretty much been business as usual. This past weekend, I hung out in Jinja, did some shopping (haggling is a big part of the culture, by the way, and I’ve been pretty good at it so far! Let’s hope I can keep it up!), and of course, took full advantage of the wifi and hot showers at Backpackers. Almost everyone went rafting, but I opted not to (I didn’t have proper attire anyway). Apparently they had a lot of fun, despite the fact that some nearly drowned, got sunburned, and in one case, even sustained a sprained thumb! I was proud of myself for being able to navigate Jinja and get home to Kakira all by myself…but some of that pride went away when I realized I’d accidentally locked myself out of my room. I had to wait about 3 hours for Emma to get back with the key! Oops!
There was a bit of drama at work, with the goat project. Apparently, Monica, the villager who had built the larger structure and was supposed to receive the male goat decided that she no longer wanted it, because she had expected the goat to be bigger (they’re still very young, as you saw, and of course it will grow bigger over time). The villagers were pretty annoyed at her, Joseph didn’t even want to tell us, initially, because he knew we would be, too, and he set up a meeting with the villagers, to sort things out (one of them asked if we were attending the meeting, which is how we learned about it,). Joseph was great! He really does come through for us, despite his lateness every day! There was another villager who was really excited about the project, had worked very hard to build the structures, and was capable of housing the goats, so if Monica didn’t come around, we were going to build a new structure on his property, recycling the materials from Monica’s structure. However, in the end, Monica did come around, so things will go as planned. That’s basically the most eventful thing that’s happened so far. Otherwise, things have been going smoothly. We’re going to check on the villagers and goats again tomorrow (today we went to Jinja, where I’ve been doing more shopping, and hanging out in internet cafes). Other than that, we’ve been working on our project report, which we have to hand in to FSD by the end of the week. We’re almost done with it, too, and probably will be by tomorrow afternoon.
I’ve been reading some good books, too—The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and I just started the first in a fantasy trilogy called The Magician’s Guild. I’m pretty sure I’m almost done with the second season of “The West Wing,” but after that, I’ve still got some dvds that I can watch—I can always re-watch them, as well! I tried to buy ones that I wouldn’t get tired of. Plus, I can still swap with the other interns, too. Greg, in particular has been building quite a collection, and I’ve got my eye on his copy of “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.”
Fun fact: Did you know that Ugandans are afraid of rain? They really don’t like getting wet. Yesterday, there was a huge thunderstorm (we lost electricity for most of the late afternoon and night, which sucks, but not as much as that 4 day power outage did!). We started hearing rumbles of thunder and seeing flashes of lightning while we were still at work, so we started to head home. As soon as the first clap of thunder sounded, people literally were running for cover and freaking out! Poor Erica lives pretty far away from St. Eliza, and couldn’t get a boda driver to take her home, because it was about to rain and they didn’t want to be in it when it started (if they had taken her, they would have arrived before the rain started, by the way). Instead, she got stuck standing under the awning of a store in the market with 40 other people for half an hour, before she decided to walk home (the rain had turned into a drizzle by that point). I didn’t envy her. For the record, Emma and I had offered to take her to our house, but she refused. But yeah, it’s funny. I could understand if they panicked about the potential for flooding, the lightning, or even the thunder (which was of biblical proportions, yesterday, by the way. I thought there was going to be some smiting, for sure!). But the rain itself? That just seems silly. Especially because there’s so much dangerous stuff here that Ugandans don’t fear in the slightest!
The only other eventful thing I’ve got to report is that I’ve been given an African name. It was initially suggested by some random guy who I guess is a friend of the family, and was visiting Mama Fina on Sunday, but the family really liked it, and has somewhat adopted it (thought mostly I’m still Rachel). Anyway, the name is Nangobi, which means princess. It’s a name that is typically given to people from a royal lineage. But don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head—much. Don’t be surprised if I start walking around with a tiara from now on and expect you all to bow and curtsy when you see me.
I’ve also had the pleasure of talking to a lot of friends and family online! Please, continue (or start) to send me e-mails, facebook messages, and comments on my blog! I really do treasure them, and it’s always nice to be able to spend my free time reading and answering them! In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve got a lot of it, so really, keep them coming! I’ll be as prompt as I can!
Stay tuned for my latest blog entry…maybe something crazy will happen to break up the monotony! You never know! But if not, I’m going to make some very entertaining lists.