Monday, March 29, 2004

More, just... social stuff...

Ok, so this past few weeks or so have been quite stressful for me at work... The thief is still thieving, and is giving me attitude about it, and it's all just making work quite not-so-fun for me right now. I think push has come to shove, and I'm going to have to fire her, which is not something I'm looking forward to. I end up leaving work at the end of the day clenching my jaw and just trying to maintain a semblance of order and control in an environment where somebody is getting away with breaking all the rules and knows she's doing it within a culture that is willing to overlook it for the sake of social cohesion. I'm struggling with the decision of whether i should just let it all slide (I am, after all, only working here for another month), or if i should be the clueless muzungu, and bring it all out in the open for what I see as a necessary step in the organisation's ability to develop. We'll see!

In other work related news, I was informed that in a few weeks I will be giving a speech at the wedding of the new U**** staff member, who I have known for a whopping 3 weeks. Apparently, the programs have already been printed, and she needs to have a speech from both the groom's and the bride's co-workers. Considering how prestigious it is just have a muzungu at your wedding, I can't even imagine the delirium that will occur with a muzungu giving a speech! What in the world I will say, let alone what I will wear, are beyond me! No matter what though, I'm sure it'll be quite the experience!

This weekend offered me a good opportunity to get rid of all that work related tension - it was the 30th birthday of the owner of the Blue Mango (the bar/restaurant/hotel i mentioned in my last post) and so he hosted a really big, really open-bar party there on saturday night, attended by pretty much every muzungu under the age of 35 in the city. It was a great party, and suffice it to say that it was the kind of event that saw me (and several others) getting picked up and thrown into the pool, fully dressed, at about 3 a.m. Good times, good times, but what a waste of hair gel and eye liner!! :-)

Considering that the rest of the weekend involved party recovery, I don't have much other news. On friday afternoon I went with my friends Zorin and Maria to book gorilla tracking permits, which we are going to do next weekend in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. With the world's only remaining mountain gorillas living in Uganda and Rwanda, and with a firm grasp on the theory of supply-and-demand, the Uganda Wildlife Authority gets away with charging us a whopping $275 USD fee to spend one day tracking the gorillas, with a maximum of one hour in the gorilla's presence. Despite the outrageous costs, i've been told it will be one of the more amazing experiences of my life (if not also the steepest & slipperiest hike ever) and that it'll be worth every penny. I hope to have some great photos and stories to share with all of you when I get back next week!