First Full Day in Uganda

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Africa » Uganda
January 10th 2022
Published: January 10th 2022
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Today was my first full day in Uganda. As I write this the power just went off. It is common for the power and water to go off. It is always a guess as to when it will come back on.

It is Sunday so a quiet first day here. In the morning Hope made me ginger tea and sweet bread for breakfast. Then I ventured out to explore her village. But, I quickly learned that I will rarely walk alone. There is almost always a small group of people who want to talk with me while I walk to my destination. I have found their English to be great and they are very interesting to speak with. As expected the streets are full of cars, trucks and motorcycles. There seems to be very few rules to the road other than to look out when you are the pedestrian. Hope’s village is right next to Lake Victoria.

I had a small lesson today in what is to live in a cash economy. All of the grocery stores, small shops and restaurants only take cash. But the village does not have an ATM so while I had a pocket full of credit cards I couldn’t even purchase a bottle of water. Credit cards are not used or accepted here. Tomorrow I will be able to go to the bank to get some cash. The exchange rate is $10,000 Shilling to $2.85 USD. So a lot of cash to carry around.

I found a soccer stadium along the way so stopped to sit in the shade and watch the game. The temperature is in the 80s during the day. While my phone tells me it is not very humid I might beg to differ. But, fortunately by evening I was getting a bit chilled making sleeping doable.

Hope called me home in the mid afternoon for a meal she had made for us. It was good timing to get out of the sun especially since I couldn’t buy any water. She made a minced pork stew with peas, onions and tomatoes. This went over a bed of rice and cooked Matooke (their version of a plantain). I understand that the Matooke is a main staple in their meals. It was quite good.

I had to resist going to sleep for the day so I took a quick 30 min nap and then Hope and I sorted through the donation bags I brought with me. We will have someone with a car come to pick them up and take them to the office. The clothing will be sorted by size. When they have women coming to the shelter or have other clothing needs they will be able to put a package together for her. The hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons will be taken to the training center. Their guys know how to rework the hair dryers so they can be used on their power source.

We finished the evening off with a few Ugandan beers at a local café. It was a quiet night because children are finally going back to school on Monday. On January 1st the President released the curfews and reopened the schools. Playing pool is popular here and I received lessons from a professional. I’m pretty sure I did not actually win the three games I played.

Hope shared that Uganda has the youngest population in the world. With 77%!o(MISSING)f its 47 million population under the age of 30 they are growing at a rate of 1M people per year. With this young population they expect to see high rates of growth for the decades to come. But their unemployment rates is close to 60%.

Many young girls goal is to marry a man that will take care of them. But, with the prevalence of men having multiple relationships symotamiously this is not a reliable plan. When RWO encourages their young women to look for opportunities to support themselves they know the women will need to be creative with what their work will be. More on this later

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10th January 2022

The First Day Exploring
Thank you for taking us vicariously along with you on Sunday! Of course so many questions. Lol. Since you discovered it's a cash economy where you are. Is there a maximum or minimum withdrawal at the ATM? And do we refer to Namulanda as a village? I'm sure your next post will detail how you will be volunteering. But it seems a main focus is the RWO Shelter for the girls. Is that located in Kitala? Have a good week! Sorry I posted a link with my last comment - that's a blog no-no. Blogging is a learning curve for me too.
26th January 2022
Welcome Beers with Hope

Great Blog!
We were last in Uganda in 1990. Keep up the good fight!

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