A few weeks ago, I reached out to see if there were any specific questions that you wanted answered about my time/travels in Uganda. Here are your answers, thanks for participating!
You never talk about food. What do you eat? Great question! And one that I was, myself, nervous about before getting here. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies. Nothing here is pre-made, so you are constantly going to the market for food. When we get home, we immediately bathe our fruits and veggies in vinegar (or bleach) to kill off any disease or improper handling of them. There is a french bakery in town, that has really good bread, and will slice it for us! So I get in a few sandwiches in during the week: avocado, egg salad, pb and banana. We’ve found spinach pasta in the store – so we’ll make pesto, or just throw veggies in. But don’t think it’s all health foods for this girl! A housekeeper in one of the towns nearby makes the most delicious cinnamon rolls, and tortillas. So we usually have those on hand. There is usually some sort of baked good in the house as my roommate and I find that baking brings comfort.
If I head out into town – I’ll usually order chapatis (which is like a tortilla) or a veggie samosa (fried goodness). My friend Christine has promised that she’ll teach me how to make both so I can share that with you when I return! There is a Chinese place in town where I like the veggie spring rolls (seeing a them with fried veggies), and a very western restaurant called Mish Mash that has hamburgers, sandwiches, nachos, etc. Those are both treats to go to when we have the time. And there is an Indian place in town that came highly recommended, so I hope to try that out in the next few weeks.
All that to say – I am eating well here. Maybe even gaining a few pounds while I’m at it. 😀
Is the water safe? Well, the water I drink is. In our home, we have a large filter that we get water from. I usually fill up a canister before leaving the house so that I always have water on me. But for our coffee, we use tap water as it’ll be boiled and kill off any germs. So you just have to use your wits about when to use tap/filtered water. Most restaurants serve bottled water. And you can ask if the ice is filtered, although most places don’t even have ice. So just ask for a cold water. And some days are just so tough that you need to kick back and enjoy a nice cold coke. Or two if it’s been that kind of day! I can’t tel you how good those cold coca-colas are out here. Such a treat!
Have there been any delightful surprises? Delightful surprises. Hmm…other than every day being its own adventure, I’d say the most delightful one has been that I can actually survive without living minutes from my friends and family. It’s tough, and there are extremely lonely days, but it’s only a year. The time will go by so fast and I will wish for these days back. The emails I receive each day, or the care packages and letters, each one is so special to me. Those are what make the tough days not so tough. And since I know this question came from Allison, I must say that I have enjoyed being exposed to African artist and music. It’s quite beautiful and empowering!
Do you feel safe? Aside from the first couple of boda rides, yes, I feel safe here. My home is surrounded by a fence with a gate and a night guard. Although they carry no weapons so I’m unsure of what they could do to stop someone. And other than the “mzungu, mzungu!” that is shouted sometimes, for the most part, I am left alone. I think that I am more aware of my surroundings here. And with all the nonsense going on in the states these days, it would seem that I should be asking you if you feel safe!?
Do you ever question your sanity? Everyday. I had a great life in Atlanta, and I wonder sometimes why I left. The restaurants. The people. My family. The experiences. Jim. My church. I have a bit of a wandering soul at times, but I think that I needed to leave to know exactly why I needed to leave. Does that make sense? And I have a hunch it’s to tell my heart that it’s time to commit. To plant roots. To nurture. To grow them.
I hope that gives you a little better insight into what life looks like here!