Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A year in

Life on the equator is still trucking along. This should be some poignant seminal entry about how changed and amazing my life is, but the truth is that my "normal" now is more mundane than not, and it would be disingenuous to tout my life as more than what it is. Basically it’s hot as all get out and my feet are filthy. Most days I try not to make too many faux pas. Some students have shown up but there’s not teaching going on yet. I laugh a little to myself when the other tutors talk about needing to make a timetable for classes so the students know we’re serious. Hmm.

I spent last weekend shuttling back and forth around Northern Uganda. I had gone to Iceme to stay with Jacque a night before heading to Gulu, but got a call from my principal that our staff meeting was scheduled for the next morning (after having been put off for two weeks and no one knew anything about a new time for it) so I jetted back to Boroboro to attend the meeting and then zipped back up to Gulu to celebrate the close of our first year in Uganda. We layed by the pool, ate lots of Ethiopian food, got super dirty on transport to Stevie's house, and drank "non-alcoholic celebration drink". <3 magical.

There are screens on my bedroom windows now, as it is too stiflingly hot to close them at night, but I’m still freaked out about malaria and little hands reaching in to take my shit. Not that screens offer much protection against the latter but at least I’d wake up and be able to scream something (or lay there in a terrified silence…)

Not much else, I’m just trying to be better about writing consistently. Xoxo.

Monday, February 6, 2012

You have some pulp in your hair

School is supposed to start today, but somehow, like everything else I’ve experienced here, things aren’t going as planned. At the end of last year my students took tests set by the ministry; the first years took promotional exams to determine whether or not they can go on, and the second years took certification exams, to determine whether or not they can become teachers. The ministry is in charge of grading the exams and then giving the PTCs the results so we know who among the first year students is allowed to come back and continue, except that we are still waiting on the results.

It’s funny when people back in America swoon over things I’m doing here and the life I’m living… yes, it’s an adventure just buying vegetables sometimes, and yes I’m pretty stoked to be able to say I did this, but when it comes down to it, my days are very slow and I read a lot of books. I have acclimated to the laid back lifestyle, probably better than I care to admit, so when I walked up to the college last week and meandered around and chatted with people, I wasn’t too surprised or disappointed to hear that no one knew what was going on. This morning, the first day of school, I guessed that I could take it slowly getting to the college, so I went for a run and ate a papaya off my tree before worrying about going to work. However, when I finally walked up at 9 and found the college empty, I was a little confused. (Teacher friends in America, can you imagine?) Only Bensy and Jasper – the school secretary and assistant – were there so they alone reaped the benefits of my boredom last weekend (read: some effing delicious banana bread that I’d brought to share at tea time) It tickled them to be the sole recipients of something Liz cooked, Liz who can’t cook to save her life, look at her, there’s no way she can cook Skeris. Oh ye of little faith, just wait till you taste that bread.

Yesterday was spent sitting in the sunshine, reading a book, and trying to get my Florida on. I picked some limes from my tree, and figuring they’d make a decent substitute for lemons, squeezed them into my hair to try to speed up the blonde process that is already taking place. At about four, the flies were way too happy that I had fruit juice in my hair so I had to call it a day and go take a shower. I am super conservative with my water here and don’t usually shower except once every *grumble grumble* so I don’t really want to repeat the lemon-lime hair-do today and have to wash it again, two days in a row. Blasphemy!

On a closing note, my friend Ilse does a much, much better job of describing what it's like at the beginning of school here. Except that she apparently has some students and I still have zero.