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May 17, 2010


Ten weeks of being trapped in training gave all of us a bit of cage rage.
Especially Devon.

Surreal landscapes often accompany the storm clouds. This was at RACO, our training site.

Creeper 'stache #1 (Jake, on the bus to swear-ing in).

Creeper 'stache #2 (Tony, at the ambassador's house).

The ladies of Peace Corps/Uganda April 2010-2012. The picture of the guys is on
someone else's camera.

The Runyoro-Rutooro crew, right after swearing-in.

My house, seen from the street. Normally, these kinds of spaces are used as shop stalls,
so when I moved in, people were always entering unannounced, perhaps to find out
what I was selling. I had to post a sign that reads, "Enu teri dukka. Eri enju yange.
Caali otataahamu otaikirizibwe." ("This is not a store. It is my house. Please
don't enter without permission.")

The view out my front door.
Taking a few steps backwards, this is the first room in my house, which I use as
a kitchen and living room. I have since put a reed mat on the concrete floor and
am currently getting a small wicker sofa made to lounge in. I'm also going to
find a carpenter to make me a high table to use as a countertop so I don't
have to keep cooking on the dirty floor.

The same room, but seen from through the front door. On the desk you can see the
most important thing I purchased after I found out that my house has electricity:
a speaker set with a subwoofer. Sometimes you just have to drown out the incessant,
aurally abrasive Ugandan "island" music,

Walking through the doorway in the previous photo, you enter my bedroom. On the
left is my Mickey Mouse wardrobe, graciously supplied to me by Kiziranfumbi
Secondary School. Not exactly what I would have picked, but it gets the job done.
In any case, it's better than storing my clothing under the bed (center), among the
sawdust piles created by my bedmates, the termites. On the right is the drying rack
I use for my underwear. In Uganda, it's rude to dry your undies outside.

My back door leads to a small courtyard. The two black cylinders in the back
are rain collection tanks. They supply the water I use to brush my teeth, bathe,
and wash my dishes and laundry.

If you cross the courtyard, you get to the shop complex's bathing area and pit
latrines. I get my own personal, locked bathing area and pit latrine as per
Peace Corps/Uganda's requirements. This is my bathing area. Right now I take
bucket baths using that red basin and water from the orange bucket. However,
I've stuck a faucet in the green 20-liter jerrycan and once I figure out a good way
to suspend it, I'll be able to fill the jerrycan with hot water (from my stove) and
take an actual hot shower!

Ahh, my pit latrine. If only that little hole were just a wee bit bigger. I mean, three
months of living here has made me into a solid waste sharpshooter, but when it comes
to the yellow stuff, that's a hard target to hit from a standing position. Presumably they
make the holes small to prevent infants from inadvertently taking Slumdog Millionaire-
style poo dives.

The main building of Kiziranfumbi Secondary School, my workplace.

A feeble attempt to fight the student body's biological programming. These kinds of
signs are a common feature of Ugandan school compounds.

Try as we might, Peter, Theresa, and I could not get this gut in Hoima to leave us
alone. Oh well, at least he bought us beer.

With a cackle, Peter lovingly smothers Theresa. Peter is another PCV and Theresa
is a German volunteer.

The road to Butimba market, which I bike to every week, is filled with scenes like this... this...

...and baboons!

Sunset street scene by the market. If you climb those hills in the background, you
can see across Lake Albert to the Montagnes Bleues in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, forbidden fruit for PCVs.

"Yo, man, it's spelled 'm-a-r-k-e-t.'"
"Nawwww, it's definitely 'm-a-r-k-e-r-t.'"
"Let's compromise. You do yours with an extra 'R' and I'll do mine without it."
"Find, if you want everyone to know your dumb ass can't spell!"

Silly Ugandans. Arrrs are for pirates.

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