Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am sad to report that in about 10 hours, I will be driving to the airport. I cannot believe the speed of time. It seems that I landed a week ago.

This weekend was a great deal of fun. On Friday, we went to the first showing of Harry Potter in Uganda. The theater was full. I am going to have to see the movie again when I get home because the quality wasn't the best. The top of people's heads were cut off at times and it was sort of blurry at times. At first, i thought that I was watching the 3d version of the movie without the glasses! Nevertheless, I am glad we went and that I was able to read all the books this summer.
On Saturday, I went to Owino Market - the largest in Kampala. Charles - a student at Makere University that lives with Jeremy and Jamie - took me. He is interested in starting a tour company. He was a great guide. One of my favorite things he did was tell me what I should say in Luganda. For instance, when we took taxis, which are more like buses, he told me how to ask the price. The market is massive. They sell everything from fabric to tires to fish to vegetables. I enjoyed walking around. The clothing and shoes sold in the market are all used. They come from many places including Japan and the US. It was great to see where many Ugandans do their shopping.

In the afternoon, I met Alex - EAC's assistant program coordinator - for the Uganda-Kenya rugby match. i do not really understand rugby, but I enjoyed being at the game. The fans get really into the game. to fans, painted in yellow, ran around the field. in the US, they would have been paraded off, but here they were cheered on by their fans. There was a contingent of Kenyan fans. They had so much enthusiasm. Even though they lost, they stormed the field and started dancing when the game ended.

On Sunday morning, Will and I went to the EAC house because the children were performing for US visitors. Once again the infectious dancing filled me with joy. Even more, I loved getting to speak with students afterword. When I speak with them, I realize why I love EAC so much. They are confident, ask questions, and talk about their interest in a way that few people that age do. Yesterday, Will said to me, "It's great how EAC is deep instead of wide." This is so true. They invest in the lives of youth. The staff cares about building individuals to be the best that they can. I am honored that I have been able to volunteer with them for the last two years.

Sunday night, after an enlightening dinner with the man Will is working with, I went with Charles to watch the US women's soccer match. Despite the disappointing ending, we had a terrific time. In addition to having the game on a giant screen, the place we went to (humorously called Tickles and Giggles) had live entertainment. It was hysterical and caused me to giggle. People would get on stage and lip sync to songs while dancing. One guy, danced on stilts, which was really cool.

Yesterday, on my last full day in Kampala, I came to the office in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, Will joined me to go to Taibah Schools where I said goodbye to the students. This was sad for me because while my hope is to return soon, you just never know. I did leave this goodbye session with a new skill. Sharon and Maria - two of the students - taught me this stone throwing game.

Last night, we went to dinner at the Ethiopian Village. Alex, Nicholas, Charles, Jeremy, Jamie, Agie, Betty and two of our friends from the house we are living in Ewan (who went to University of Glasgow where I will be studying in the fall!) and "German" Michael joined us. This dinner made me realize one of my favorite parts about Kampala - the variety of people you meet. I have friends all over the place. When I am abroad this semester, I have someone to call in Ireland, London, Liverpool, and Vienna. I am so grateful for these friendships.

I want to end my last post with some humor. Throughout this blog, I have written about my boda boda driver. On Saturday morning, I woke up to the funniest text messages I have ever received. Let me give you some background . On Thursday, when he was taking me to the office, I had him stop at my favorite rolex (chapati - tortilla like thing- with an omelet inside) stand. When I told him, I thought they were the best in Kampala, he said, "Michael, there is a Ugandan saying - "YOu think your mom's food is the best because you haven't been around to other places." Then, he made me promise that i would go with him to his favorite rolex stand in Kampala the next morning; however, things changed and I had a ride with JEremy in the morning. I called to tell him, but I don't think he heard me. His text said,

Micheal mourning you fine but am upsetted with you which friend are you, who promises what you can't fulfill about ROLEX
I am glad to report that we have since made up. This morning, I had the the rolex that he wanted me to try so badly. It wasn't as good as the Jesus is Alpha and Omega Chapati stand near my house, but it was still delicious. I am going to miss my boda guy. He is a ball of energy.

Thanks to everyone who read the blog. Sorry for this long rambling final post. This has been an amazing 8 weeks. I have loved getting to know Will better, witnessing the amazing work of EAC, seeing beautiful landscapes (including the blue waters of Zanzibar), and forming new friendships. I leave filled with hope.

It is going to be tough to leave, but I have a feeling I will be back in Kampala pretty soon . . .

- Feldman

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