The end is near. According to a super fancy spreadsheet I made one day, I have 127.47 days remaining. That can also be expressed as 18.21 weeks, or 4.19 months. Take your pick. Time is dwindling. I find out my official date of departure at my Close of Service conference that takes place in 1 month. Stay tuned. I might blog about it…..if I feel like it, and if I actually remember to.
I went to my first wedding/introduction ceremony. It…was…so…boring! Hours and hours and hours of sitting. And then sitting some more. It was very interesting to be a part of, and I am very thankful that I went. I will not, however, be attending any others. I arrived 2 hours late, and that, apparently, was still 6 hours too soon. I'm partial to the 45 minute (max) ceremony common in America. You're in, you're out, you go to the reception for free food and dancing. Done.
Upon arrival, I was introduced to a few other people who accidentally showed up too early, and then was ushered to the VIP tent. “Jane, you follow me. You will sit with the important peoples.” So, I followed. The VIP tent was down the dirt road from where the rest of festivities were going on. I was following this stranger down a dirt road. I would walk a few steps, then look back to the colorful tents getting smaller in the distance. A few steps later, I would look back again realizing that I was losing sight of witnesses…I mean other guests. Finally, the tent for the “important peoples” was reached. It was empty. Yes, I was, apparently, the first of the important peoples to arrive. I was told to sit down and remain there while someone goes to get me some food. So, I wait….for an hour and a half. While in the tent of the elite, I was once joined by a small child for about 5 minutes. His mom picked him up before we could bond. After I ate the food brought to me, I was ushered to the main area once again, where I was escorted to a specific tent for visitors. There was some confusion as to whether I should sit under the "friends" tent, or the "visitors" tent. Since I was still confused as to who was getting married, I opted for the visitor tent. I sat here for 3 1/2 hours, waiting for stuff to start. More people kept showing up...yet nothing was happening. Then all of a sudden, an a man on a microphone started talking. Another hour passed. I leaned to my neighbor and asked, "When will this thing start?" The response, "It has started." Oh, well ok. Apparently the man telling jokes on the microphone was conducting the ceremony. I watched as women in dresses came out, danced in a circle, then knelt down. Then men in suits came out, danced in a circle, then knelt down. This went on for another hour. My knees started hurting from being crunched by the chair in front of me. I decided to make a break for it. I stood up, scooted my way out of the row, and made like I was just trying to get closer to take a picture. I snapped a picture to play along with my rouse, then headed to the back of the crowd. The picture I snapped was half of a wall, half of the ceremony, but I didn't care at this point. At the back, I met some nice ladies who were also secretly trying to leave. We all left together discussing how long this ceremony was taking. When I left, I'd been there for 8 hours. ...like a boss.
I went for a weekend to Kisoro to hang with some cool gals. We laid around, ate salami sandwiches, chocolate cake with strawberries and cream, fish fingers, awesome pasta, drank beer, laid around some more, hiked up a mountain one day, and hiked to a crater lake the next. A great weekend!
Public Transportation in Uganda is the same as it was when I first got here: Awesomely bad. You sit squished up against your closest friends/strangers, hold babies that people hand you, gawk at the woman breastfeeding basically on you, cringe at the toddler peeing in the aisle (true story), and you accept it...because that's just the way it is. The views along the way can absolutely take your breath away, but so can the BO. It's quite an adventure, especially traveling by bus. My last trip, I was graced with a seat in the very back...where it's like a roller coaster, feeling every speed bump, sharp turn, and unexpected breaking with a vengeance.
ATTN: I'M GOING TO A BEACH
I leave next week for my 1 week trip to beautiful Zanzibar, Tanzania. If you don't know what or where that is, look it up. I have big plans of relaxation, seafood, and scuba diving. I'll probably have some fun pictures when I return!
Random conversation on AIM with Dad last week...and yes, I know that AIM is old news, but still...here it is:
jennyscott15: enjoy your fancy food in your fancy house.
carlbussy: I will with NO guilt or remorse
jennyscott15: fine. just go
jennyscott15: but remember that your favorite daughter is suffering in poverty in dirt and grime with mice living in her mud brick house
jennyscott15: then see how your pancakes and coffee taste
It's the heartfelt love and support from the home front that really helps me through the rough times...