Today we headed to the markets for shopping and then Bazils house. I assumed the markets were similar to previous markets I have experienced in Asia and Africa, however, they were very different. They were super classy and clean. Most of our group went crazy shopping but in Uganda that mean you might have spent $40. Everything is so cheap. Pants around around $6, professional painting might be $20 for a 40"X40" and purses, kitchen stuff and Bazil lives in the village of Kimera. It's fairly close to Mukono but about an hour from downtown Entebbe where the shops are. Regardless, we had to take a taxi and a bota-bota (motorcycle taxis) from Entebbe to Bazil and Alice's house. The taxi took around 40 minutes and then dropped us at the end of a dirt road. From there, the seven of us had to take bota-botas up a dirt road that after a minute on it turned into a single track which we road on for 10 more minutes.
When we arrived at the end of the dirt road there were only two bota-botas there which took Britta/Brittney and Cara/Amy up the path. After Kristi, Andrew and I waited a
little longer we saw another motorcycle and he grabbed Andrew and Kristi and took them up the mountain. Luckily, soon after, another bota-bota came down the hill and I asked him if he could take me to the doctors house (Bazils place). He seemed like he knew what I was talking about however soon I caught up to Kristi and Andrew and we realized we were lost. We asked a couple of local kids for directions and finally they figured out how to get to Bazil's house.
Bazil has around 20 acres of land at the top of a hill. They garden on every last bit of space they have. They grow Papaya, coffee, carrots, many kinds of lettuce, watermelons, pumpkins, bananas, lemons, mint, corn, and so many other vegetables. They are extremely elf-sufficient. Their house resembles a Caribbean style house. Every room opens to the outdoors. No internal hallways, or wasted space. His house blew our minds. We assumed, seeing as he is a doctor and his wife is a psychologist that they would have a bigger house. Their house for Uganda standards is huge but we were thinking American standards. It might be 900 sq ft. Six
people live in this house. It consists of a kids bedroom with two bunk beds for the four children, a parents bedroom, one extra room as a kitchen area (not what we assume....it might be 4'X10') and a "dining room" which may have been 6'X8'. And the bathrooms were outhouses. No sinks. As soon as we saw these living quarters it made all of us as Americans feel guilty. We are so wasteful. In architecture, I saw this all the time... People building second, third, and fourth houses that they would use maybe once a year? And for what? A tax write off sometimes.... It's crazy. Bazil also told us that when he went to school that they said he should be a surgeon. He has super fine motor skill and very steady hands. It was something he wanted to do however in Uganda, they don't make very much money and so instead he decided to be a general practitioner. Again, the opposite of the US where surgeons are at the top of the food chain as far as medicine is concerned. As a general practitioner he said that the pay starts after school at around $800 USD a month
and increases with experience to $1500 USD a month. They max out at $18,000 USD/year. We also found out that MED school takes five years and is $500 USD/semester.
The Ugandan lifestyle is so cool and very modest. I would definitely recommend to people if they had the opportunity to travel to Uganda that they try to get to know a family and really see the way they live.
We arrived at the house before Alice and Bazil got home. While we were waiting may of the neighbor kids would come over to take a look at the Muzungas. Muzunga is what Ugandans call us. as we have been riding around or walking through town they will typically yell out, "Hello Muzunga" or "Muzunga Muzunga". It basically means White People or foreigner. Most of the kids were very shy except for one child. He couldn't speak English and would just smile at us and laugh. We asked another child what his name was and he told us Chris. Chris was really thin, small and very dirty. All he wore was an oversized sweater. No shoes. After Bazil and Alice came home, I asked Bazil about Chris. I had
suspected something about him but couldn't place my finger on it. Bazil's exact words were, "Christian, yes she is a sad case." All of us were amazed. We all thought she was a little boy. He went on to explain that Christian was 12. She is the eldest of five children. She is both physically and sexually abuse by her step-dad. Both her mom and her step-dad are alcoholics. They rarely pay attention to the needs of their children. They will leave Christian at home often to look after all of her younger brothers and sisters. Her mom will also make her stay home from school. Alice and Bazil and a couple of other neighbors have stepped in multiple times to succeeded at getting Christian to school, however, it typically only lasts a couple of months and then the mother will force her to stay home from school. Bazil also confirmed my suspicions about Christian having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This broke all of our hearts. Sorry for the graphic photo. Many of Bazil and Alice's neighbors came over after dinner. Everyone just hangs out outside and talks and relaxes. It was such an intimate setting.
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