Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Food Chain

Oh the places this phone has been. Sweden, France, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Russia...and yet never has it brought me as much shame and ridicule as it has here in Africa. Peter, who picked me up from the airport, took one look at it and exclaimed in utter disgust, "THAT'S your phone!?"
Tom, my roommate (and President of AIESEC Kyambogo) reminds me often that here in Uganda, your phone is a direct refection of how cool/smart/suave you are, which pretty much puts me at the bottom of the food chain. For the sake of using a safari metaphor, I am the impala. And the lion has a Blackberry.

Note: This is the phone I used while on exchange in Europe. The logical thing would be to just get my Canadian phone unlocked over here since I've discovered it can be done just as easily as it is to have a fake birth certificate or uni diploma forged. However, on my plane ride over, it mysteriously started ringing inside my bag and I was petrified of being thrown out of the aircraft for breaking the cardinal rule of turning it off upon boarding. SO, I scrambled inside my bag, pulled out the battery, and threw it somewhere. Somewhere not in my bag. Now my battery is traveling the world upon the floor of a Boeing 747.

Monday, 26 September 2011

A humble abode.

This is Collins standing in front of our house. He requested that I add (for all you single ladies out there) that he is not as dwarf-like as this picture may make him appear. 
Our house is fairly new (construction finished only a couple months ago) and is located in Banda, a slum just outside of Kyambogo University. We're on the top of a big hill so when it rains, the little paths that trickle down to the main road become somewhat of a muddy slip-n-slide.

In Canada, you only have a driveway this long if you're a 'big deal'. To the right of me is a mango tree, which according to one of my housemates, grew simply from someone tossing a mango pit on the ground. The country is blessed with a rich red airborne dust that makes the ground and soil incredibly fertile.
This is my bunk, please excuse the mess. Since there are no other interns in need of a bed at the moment, I've greedily claimed both top and bottom bunks for myself. When hung properly, the mosquito nets look quite pretty. I however, had to be creative due to the bunk situation, and now it looks like some kind of quarantine unit. Cozy nonetheless. 
I live with one girl and five guys, which means that no matter how diligent we are, the kitchen always looks like a sty. We cook on the little gas stove in the corner and typical to Ugandan culture, whatever you're cooking should be enough to feed everyone in the house. This works out quite well because since we have no fridge, leftovers aren't a possibility.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The White House

I knew I'd be bad at blog posts, so at the very least I promised everyone a photo blog. Now three days into my trip, this is the only picture I've taken, and alas it tells you very little about Uganda and just showcases my horrible sense of humour. This is my new friend Barbara, standing in front of this little treasure we found on the walk home. I thought it was hilarious that she was now the second Barb in the White House.
Note: I thought I was so witty coming up with the name of this blog, but turns out the idea was not an original one. A google search advised me that "Af-ru-ca" is actually the name of a pretty cool charity (Afruca: Africans Unite Against Child Abuse) that advocates  for the welfare of African Children. Who knew.