Thursday, September 10, 2009

Uganda Update 3

Hello! I’ve almost made it through the first week of school! My classes still seem interesting and manageable, which is a good sign I think. All the IMME (Intercultural Missions and Ministry Emphasis, those of us who have homestays this semester) students have two small rooms that we can store our things in and study during the day, and they get pretty crowded with the 21 of us who spend all day on campus. Some of the USE (Uganda Studies Emphasis, who live on campus) also will come to hang out or use our internet (because theirs hasn’t been working). So far, it has not made for the most conducive environment for studying. But I am keeping up with my school work, and I have some time when I go home to study, read, or do other schoolwork.
The other night my host dad asked me what food is my favorite in America, and I responded corn, mashed potatoes, and pasta. Then he asked me if I could get those things at the supermarket, so hopefully I’ll get to cook sometime! The staple here is matoke, which is steamed banana plantains, which tastes kind of like a potato. I have gotten used to the taste, and it is really good depending on what kind of sauce is with the meal. There is also chipati, which is delicious. It’s like flat bread…only it’s really greasy, but really good. A popular thing to get on campus is a Rolex, which is a chipati filled with egg, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Kind of like a breakfast burrito. It is very tasty.
Last night was really intense. The Kabaka (king) of Buganda, which is the tribe and kingdom we live in, was going to travel to another part of his territory on Saturday, but the Uganda government told him he was not allowed because it was unsafe, and so there were riots in Kampala and Mukono (and other areas in Buganda) because the people thought the Kabaka should be able to travel as he wants since it is his land. Most of the rioters were unemployed youth. The university drove half of the IMME students home, and those of us that were in safer villages and close to campus walked home. I was one who walked home, because my house is on the opposite side of campus than Mukono town. There are two IMME guys whose house I pass on the way to school, so I made them walk me home just in case.
My host dad works in Kampala, and taxis stopped going from Kampala to Mukono, so he had to walk three hours to get home. My sister had to get home from school, and she said taxis and boda-bodas (motorcycles that transport people) had doubled their prices that evening. We watched the riots on the news, but our village was safe, and the only difference we noticed was that our road was used more by taxis because they could not get through Mukono. Some students this morning said that they had people hiding out in their houses and heard gunshots and things. Some students stayed with the USP staff on campus because their houses and villages were not safe at all. But all the students are safe this morning, which is great.
Next weekend we are going to Jinja to meet with some missionaries. We will also see the mouth of the Nile.
Thanks for reading!! Have a happy day!


abbi stern said...


Anna said...

Thinking of you often Jill! :)
Hope you are having a blast!!

Anna P