Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The New Nurse and Disc Golf

New Nurse

Compassion FINALLY hired a new nurse this week. Just in time too. It’s been 7 months since the last one resigned. We received a letter from the head office notifying us that the nurse had been hired and would begin on March 1. The letter arrived on March 4th and the nurse was nowhere to be found. A few days later she arrived, however, there is a hitch. She doesn’t speak the local language. She speaks Luganda which is the language of the central region, but she applied to work in this region… I’m not sure how this all works out but at least we have a nurse on staff again. The funny thing of it all is that I speak better Runyankore than she does…

Arson Update

Last week I reported (am I really a reporter?? Cool!) on an arson fire for one of our project children. After some investigation it is believed that the fire wasn’t started in the manner in which it was believed. For starters, the man who resides at the house didn’t report the incident to the school even though it was believed to be a worker for the school who started the fire. Secondly, the boy who allegedly started the fire was in prison that night after being arrested for allowing the school’s cattle to graze in the family’s garden. So now everything is up in the air and nobody knows who is telling the truth and whose story to believe. This is turning into a true African soap opera.

Bruno’s new specs

I broke Bruno’s glasses this week. I was trying to fix them, I promise. The were sitting all crooked on his face so I took out my micro Leatherman and tried tightening a screw when the entire side of his glasses just snapped off in my hands. Being the responsible person that I am I took Bruno the next day to Mbarara to get new glasses. Along the way Bruno began to tell me how he’s always had help with his glasses from people along the way. Tourists whom he’s met and interacted with have taken him to get eye exams and glasses and repairs. I can’t imagine how a guy who makes around $1 a day could afford 2 months of salary to pay for a new pair of glasses. So I figured I’d take him on my Uncle Sam salary to get him some new ones. If I paid 2 months of salary for glasses in the states, that means I would have a pair of specs worth 6 K. That’d be a sweet pair of shades! So Bruno has new glasses which he’s very proud of and I’m out about ¼ of my monthly salary… but it’s for a good cause.

Rain, Rain Go Away

When it rains at Compassion we have no where for the kids to go. What we need is a large, multipurpose hall where the kids can gather, eat and have classrooms. As it is now they have their classrooms outside, under the few shade trees we have, but if it rains they cram into the offices and our entire day is wasted, waiting for the rain to stop. The hall would serve another purpose also. We share the top of the hill with a large church. The church, like all churches, hosts weddings. After the weddings we could rent out the hall for receptions, thus turning it into an income generating project.

Disc Golf Course

Jacob gets these wild hairs once in a while. Last weekend he decided to lay out a Frisbee golf course around our houses. The last 9 holes climb One Tree Hill where the target is the tree at the top. I thought it was a corny idea, but I went along with it. We played the first 9 holes this week and only lost the discs 3 times. (once we lost the disc laying against the marked tree. That’s like losing the golf ball in the hole!) It was frustrating and relaxing all at the same time, just like golf.


I submitted an article to my hometown paper a month ago and it was published. If you wish to read, click here.

Lost in translation

“Somehow”. This has become one of my favorite and most versatile words here. They use it usually to mean no, but I use it to mean anything. For example – Is it going to rain? –Somehow. Are you feeling better? –I’m Somehow. Is the food good? –Somehow. Is the power back? –Somehow.


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