(Originally posted on Sept. 29, 2014)
On Saturday Sept. 23rd the ten USP students living on campus left for our Mukono home stays. We were placed with a family to gain a better understanding of what Ugandan daily life really looks like. Each of our families live relatively close to campus, anywhere from a 10 to 30 minute walk.
My host family consisted of my host mama Edith and her eldest daughter Edna. Mama Edith has three other children, who are in boarding schools in Kampala. Mama Edith works as a housekeeper and babysitter for an American doctor and her family. Dr. Reid is one of the physicians working at the UCU health clinic and her husband works as an architect for UCU. Edna is in her second year in the agricultural program at UCU. (pictured below)
The two week that I spent with mama Edith and Edna were great and I have many fond memories from my experience. I was welcomed very warmly into their home, lives and family. Hospitality is a trait of Ugandan culture that I have enjoyed the opportunity to experience it first hand.
Aspects of my experience:
- taking a bath/shower with a small jerry can (a bit interesting with the length of my hair)
- using a pit latrine
- trying new Ugandan foods/dishes-pumpkin, cassava (a root similar to potatoes), cassava flour pancakes, millet bread, sugarcane, gluten/milk free banana bread made with cassava flour
- roasting g-nut (similar to peanuts), making popcorn
- cooking on a charcoal stove
- taught Edna a few games: UNO, war and speed, played crazy eights and spot it with mama Edith
- walking to classes with Edna-about 15 min. walk to campus
- helping rinse dishes
- helped cook and/or prepare dinner (given the task of cutting up tomatoes, onions, carrots, and green peppers)
- electricity going out just about every night while Edna and I made dinner
- good conversations with Edna about various aspects of Ugandan life and culture (she even taught me a few basic phrases in Luganda, which was very fun for both of us)
- sitting outside while dinner was cooking-looking at the stars, identify shapes/objects in the clouds at night, sharing times of silence
- making french toast for dinner one night-it was a great hit!
- watching mama Edith and Edna open the gifts I brought from the US, they were very grateful
Mama Edith and Edna were a bit sad to see me return to campus on Friday Sept.27th. I was a bit torn between returning to campus (getting to know my roommate and Ugandan Honors college peers better) and leaving my Ugandan mama and sister. I am going to try to visit them as much as possible on Sundays. (I didn’t take any pictures while I was with mama Edith and Edna, but I planning to take some with them throughout the semester)