Monday, November 05, 2007

Movin’ on up, to the East Side

My wash lady is moving soon. My sister is now paying for her daughter’s secondary school fees which has freed Justine up enough financially to escape the poverty trap. She now owns an acre and a half of fertile farm land which already has a small banana plantation along with a decent house. She had told me that she needed land to grow crops which she didn’t have at her previous home. She also said she needed land where she could be buried when she died. They don’t have cemeteries here; people are buried on their own land. If they don’t have land then they’re buried buy relatives or friends. As I walked the property with her she was telling me all of her new plans for the place. She’s already adding a sitting room and has plans for a new kitchen. It’s like anyone is when the buy a new place. They see the possibilities. They are filled with new hope. And hope springs eternal… or is it ‘hope floats’… something like that. At any rate, I’m extremely excited to see her with her own place where she can eek out a decent living.

Attack of the white ants!

In Moses time, they dealt with plagues of locusts. Here we have grasshoppers and white ants. It’s not exactly a plague, but it can seem like it at times. Every morning I go outside and I see their discarded, white wings on the ground under the outside light. I rarely find the bugs themselves on the ground so I don’t know what happens to them. Power has been funny here last week. It’s been on and off. One night it was off and I had my lantern cranked up so that I could read. These white ants, which aren’t ants nor are they white, were swarming my room. They are attracted to light and they were finding cracks in my door and windows. There were dozens of them in my place. They have 1” wings and they look like a long, skinny cockroach. Fortunately I have 5 exterminators at my house. My cat, Akamogo, and her 4 kittens. They chased and ate every single one of the ants/cockroaches. It was actually fun. I walked around with my headlamp and knocked the bugs down and the cats would pounce on them and crunch them up. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. I recently found one of our Compassion kids who had caught a number of them crawling wingless across the ground on the way to the center and she had stashed them in her mathematics set (something like a tin pencil box). The locals cook them and eat them as a snack!

12 Days of Christmas. How to save money for Christmas by living like a Ugandan.

#8. Walk almost everywhere you go and carry things (up to 80 lbs) on your head as you do so. You not only save money but you gain strength through exercising as well as reduce overall pollution. For an extra workout, tie your infant child to your back. Unlike adults, kids like to be swaddled. When they’re all snug and cozy they sleep like a… baby.


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