Monday, September 17, 2007

my third blog post since we left the u.s. one month and two days ago (i.e. this is Megan, not Eric).

Nothing too new here. Just living our regular life in rural Uganda...that it really is becoming "regular" is so odd (& amazing) to me!!

We stayed in Ruhiira again this weekend...I feel like we are catching up on a lot of the green & relaxation that NYC isn't the biggest producer of! It's nice! :)

A couple of highlights from the weekend...
*We got to have dinner with Esther, a neighbor who has befriended us, & her family on Sat. night. Man, she went ALL OUT! Chicken (we've left our vegetarianism in the U.S., by choice & necessity), Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, baked bananas, matooke (cooked & mashed bananas), pasta, and greens (similar to collard)! And of course they bought us bottled water! We also ate with our hands (which everyone here does) for the first time. It was very humbling & very real to be able to spend time with her & her children & brothers. We're working on remembering all of their names, which is quite a task! :) The best part was when they started taking pictures of us (someone from the village brought a camera for them to use) & us of them...we were all laughing SO hard at the kids goofing off & being little characters! I have a feeling that a certain E. Holthaus will be posting proof of said giggles very soon. Esther, her (maybe) 16-year old sister-in-law Monica, and Monica's one month old baby all came over afterward & watched TV (a very bad Nigerian soap opera), while about 10 kids gathered around the window outside to's really sad, but we don't feel like it's our place to invite too many people in to David's house. I wondered if it was Monica's first time watching TV.

*I'm apparently a Rummi pro! Who knew?!? It's been fun playing cards, and winning the games! :) ha!

*Aljazeera has become our regular news source here. Crazy!!!

*I was excited to go to church again yesterday, but mostly because I wanted to see Loucky again...which I did! :) And not only did we hold hands again walking home, but her sister Brigitte also joined in and I got to find out where they live...maybe we'll make a surprise visit this week! (Stalker much?) Church goes a really long time here (about 2 hours) & we don't understand any of's really hard to stay patient!

*We were told about the past 22 years (post-Idi Amin...everyone see Last King of Scotland!) of Uganda's political corruption by one of the drivers for the Project, Martin. He said that the reason it is so hard for Uganda to rise out of poverty is because the president, Museveni, is corrupt & will be in office until 2011! Yuck.

*We got to hang out with David's (for any slackers, David is the person who started the project here in March '06, the person we met in NYC & thus decided to come to UG, & the person whose house we're staying in in Ruhirra) two little girls, Deborah & Hope, this weekend. So cute, so Uganda-accented, so entertaining...they're 6 & 4, enough said. :) Fun sidenote, one of our newly-discovered favorite phrases that Ugandans use is "the what?" (i.e., "People here are so proud of the what?..Their country uganda." or "I was stirring my tea for a long time because I wanted to dissolve the what?...the sugar." Very fun...feel free to try it out! We certainly are!)

*I'll be doing a presentation for the UNDP staff (the people who run the Ruhiira project) within the next couple days about our findings from the men's & women's groups this past week. One of the UN Millennium Development Goals (which this project is based on) is gender equality; however, the project has not focused too much on gender issues in the past year & a half, so they are really hoping to come with a framework to address some of the issues (which may take up to a month to handle! :) month, meaning 72 years...the inequalities are SO engrained!!).

So that's about what we've been up to. As I continue to remind myself, it's not about us, but about the people here who we are hoping to empower in some way. Please keep them in your prayers as they struggle to survive, to have hope, & to receive the justice they deserve.

Be well...and keep us posted!
Much love,

**Oh yeah, it sounds like my last blog post left a lot of people concerned...don't worry, I'm fine...just being honest about some of the struggles here. But those were expected, and like you said Jenn, the good stuff definitely outweighs the frustrating stuff!


Les said...

Hey Gunner,

Sounds like you have things figured out. I am so proud of you guys! Keep your open heart and an open mind. The pictures help us understand in our minds eye a little more what the two of you are up to. Thanks for sharing you life with us all! Be safe, enjoy your experiences, and take care of Eric!

Love ya

(dad) Les

Jennifer said...

Hi Meg :)
I'm glad things are looking up for you! And wow, my name was even mentioned in the blog...I feel honored! haha. Miss you guys!

Andrew said...

Eating with your hands is the best! I promise that when you get back you'll miss it!

I love mashing up a big ball of posho in my hands and dipping it in the sauce. You get to a point where your fingers are like a scout for your tongue or something!

Always great to read how you guys are doing.

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