Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Here is a quote from Agatha, the girl who works with me in the shop.
Her 23rd birthday was yesterday.

I received her permission to post this of course!

She has quite enjoyed our music collection and has been learning to use the i-pod
to repeat a song she likes. Today she asked me:

"What is it called again? Is it EAR-pod or EYE-pod?"


BEAUTIFUL, isn't it? :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sketches of Jinja--3

4. ANTS.

Well, here in Jinja they are part of life. They LIVE here, whether we do or not. We moved into their house, but this is no problem for them--for them, the more of us the merrier! You see, WE bring the FOOD! We've had the tiny ones since we got here, but a few weeks ago, their cousins showed up... Big huge black ants. I screamed the first few times I lifted the honey jar and experienced these guys crawling onto my hand, but now I know to expect them. I've had them crawl up my legs while I'm standing in the kitchen and they don't bite, so really we just kind of ignore them and flick them off if they come climbing.

Then there's the whole colony of ants living in the wall of our shower. Imagine various shapes of flat rock with gray cement between them as the walls... now imagine many years of showers and the deterioration that might bring... There, in the crevices, the ants abide. Who knows how deep into the walls they've developed their city. There is a vertical line of them, a freeway of sorts, running north to south, maybe 2 1/2 or 3 feet in length, ants marching from one opening to the other, on our shower wall.

They mind their own business for the most part. I did go on an ant rampage a few weeks ago though--some ants in the kitchen made me mad so I got out the... Baby Powder of all things (When we first moved here, someone told me baby powder keeps ants away). I squeezed large clouds of powder onto the ant colony's freeway. It stuck to the wall like snow, ants scurrying in panic mode, falling with the powder to the ground below. It was exactly like a mini-avalanche. They'd step on the "snow" and slide off the cliffs. A mixture of satisfaction and regret were mine. The ants had cleared the freeway.

The following day, the evidence of white powder remained on the wall and the ants had resumed their traveling up and down that freeway. I've decided to let them be... they don't really harm us. Besides, what's wrong with a colony of ants living in your shower wall anyway?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sketches of Jinja--2

I've had this blog ready since the last one but haven't had a good amount of time for blogging... so I've included a "bonus sketch" for you!

2. Ok. On to MOVIES!

At the supermarket, we are able to purchase a few random DVDs for our entertainment. But these aren't the DVDs you find at an American supermarket! Here, you buy one DVD with anywhere from 5 to maybe 20 movies on it--all ripped off in one way or another. There are no "legal" movies for sale. So if you want to get a movie, well, there's no other option. Many of these are terrible quality--especially the ones like what we watched a few weekends ago--recorded IN a movie theatre! Talk about terrible audio..... "What? What did they just say?" (pause, rewind, play again... and again) and "Oh, bless you! Wait... did the movie just sneeze?" Not to mention the people who keep getting up and walking across the bottom of the screen throughout the whole film... "Could you please sit down already!?!" Now try following a complex film like George Clooney's Syriana with all that distraction. I was a wreck!

(the next subject is a BONUS sketch, inspired by my own experience today... I hope this makes up for the time it's been since the last sketch...enjoy!)


In Jinja, it is common to see women walking down the street carrying huge loads on their heads. One particular kind of lady you will see on any given day in Jinja-Towm is "the G-nut lady". She carries a large basket, maybe 2 1/2 or 3 feet in diameter, full of nuts, on her head. The most common nut here is the Ground Nut or "G-nut". In America, we know this very common nut as none other than the... peanut! She also has a number of other nuts: soya nuts, corn nuts, "sim-sims", etc... If you want to buy, you can choose between two sizes, and whether you want only one kind of nut or a mixture. (I chose corn nuts today--yum! My friend Agatha calls them "hard corns"). The woman then fills a cone made from a rolled sheet of newspaper and you pay her 100 shillings for the small or 200 for the bigger size. This comes out to about 6 cents or 12 cents! And it is probably the woman's only source of income... day in, day out, walking the streets of Jinja, selling G-nuts. AMAZING, yes?

(Sketches--3 coming soon--subject: ANTS)