Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Settling In & What's the food like? - January 24th

Things here in uganda are going well, althogh after a month and a half i am getting a little bit, well not 'homesick', but more 'tired of being here'. Don't get me wrong, its interesting and i'm enjoying myself, but the constant harrassment of white women, the extreme poverty surrounding you, the language barrier, not having any close friends/family around you - its just gets a little fatiguing, you know? Also, i find myself thinking that i'd give my right arm for a Jacob or Old Navy or Urban Outfitters even Bay in this country. I've diagnosed this feeling as just being low-grade culture shock though, so i suppose I'll get over it. There's lots of well-dressed/western-dressed people here, and when i've tried to find out where they shop, they answer is: johannessburg or london. Yup, you've got to get on a plane to get a decent t-shirt. argh! But again: this complaining has got to be just part of some 'cultural adjustment cycle' and i'll get over it though!

All that being said, i'm finally making some friends and enjoying myself more, which is nice. There's quite an expat 'scene' here, but since i came here alone it took me a little while to meet people. Last week a peace mission launched from Jinja, the source of the Nile (about an hour and a half from kampala) that is going to raft up the Nile to Cairo, and i went to this big party to celebrate the launch. It was bizarre - i felt like i was in florida for spring break, not in the middle of africa! Very surreal!

Oh yeah, and the food: african food is pretty carb/salt/grease heavy. Their staple food is matoke, which is steamed and mashed green bananas, and is actually not too bad. They'll often sit down to a meal of rice, potatoes, matoke, and yam, and consider that a complete meal though. Vegetables are hardly eaten at all, although sometimes you'll get a little portion of this spinach-like green. I also eat a lot of beans - we don't realise how good beans are in canada because they are always dried or canned, the woman i'm living with grows them in her garden, fresh beans are excellent! There's also the occasion fish meal, which is tilapia aka Nile Perch, also pretty good. So that's the food - pretty repetitive, but not too bad. Although occasionally i'll rebel, give the maid a night off from cooking, and make myself a stir-fry or pizza or something!


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