Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in Uganda

My friend Lisa and I spent Christmas in her village (about 15 minutes away from my village). We had a great time cooking great food and “enjoying life” as the Ugandans say. Our menu included French toast, pancakes, creamy potato soap, grilled cheese, sesame noodles, paneer curry, and homemade chapatti. For dessert we (tried) to make no-bake oatmeal peanut butter cookies (from the Peace Corps cook book) and rum balls (a traditional family favorite of my mine). While neither of them turned out quite as expected and therefore had to be renamed as crumble 1 and crumble 2, they were delicious and a big hit with the Ugandan neighbors.

Lisa with our homemade paneer

Making Chapatti

We also enjoyed Christmas lunch with my supervisor, Maria, and her children at her home. As soon as we arrived, my supervisor asked us if we could make a cake. She had tried the day before to bake her first cake and it didn’t turn out great….or even good. So Lisa and I made a delicious cake using her fabulous gas oven/stove combo (oh how I wish I had one of those) to enjoy after our Christmas lunch.

Maria, me and Lisa making cake

Christmas Lunch

Maria cutting the cake

All the kids!

Christmas afternoon we went back to the village and enjoyed some traditional Busoga music and dance, where, of course, the two mzungus had to demonstrate our (not-so-good) Busoga dancing skills! Lisa has decided to take lessons J

Enjoying Christmas and the mzungus

Our Ugandan Christmas card picture - this backdrop was set up at the trading center

Enjoying local brew

Ugandan dance party!

Some other things I’ve discovered about Uganda in the past month or so:

It’s important to keep my door closed at all times. ALL TIMES. I found a chicken lounging on my neighbor’s bed on more than one occasion, and when I asked her about she simply said “he likes to lay his eggs there.”

I love the stars. With no electricity around and no buildings taller than one story, the stars create a blanket around my house every night: my very own planetarium.

I seem to discover new types of ants every day. Lisa and I discovered 2 new types over the Christmas weekend alone. That’s when I discovered that Peace Corps tried to prepare us for this via an entry in my Lusoga phrasebook:  

Stink ant?! I haven't seen that one yet...

You can get any piece of furniture you want made in my small town. You just give the carpenter the dimensions of what you want, pay a boda boda driver to deliver the finished product to your house, and in a few days you can enjoy your custom furnished house! I'll post the house pictures once it's fully outfitted. 

ttfn – ta ta for now!