Muzungus in Uganda – Getting started at work!
Here is the team of six muzungus giving news once again. We have actually some news of this last month of January.
The Work-Camp we joined in January ended last week on January the 27th. Though we did not join for the whole working time we had the chance to share great nights within the last two weeks. We shared what we called “Cultural nights” with locals and other international volunteers. Since there were volunteers from six different countries we had six of them. What means, so to say, that we spent most of our week evenings going to UPA (the NGO we are working for). The Spanish cultural night happened to be the first one. Spanish omelets, calimocho (cocacola mixed with wine) and pan amb tomàquet was the menu for this first try. German cultural night followed and a delicious kind of “hot dog” was given to each of us. It was actually one the only meals with meat for the work-camp volunteers! On Friday, the French girls cooked the desert for the whole group: Charlotte (not ‘à la fraise’ but ‘à l’ananas given the fact that you cannot find strawberries in Uganda). Dutch and Koreans got together to cook. They started with a very tasty and exotic Korean dish, followed by the dutch one, though it was apparently just regular “French fries”.
All these international nights were accompanied by cultural dances, music and cultural quizzes to learn about each country. A special song was sung by the Dutch volunteer who showed us his work with a group of immigrants children in The Netherlands. This work consisted in a song, type RAP, that you can enjoy clicking or accessing this link (this singing skills were clearly better that the cooking ones, Sony was his name):
Last night was the Ugandan one. Though we all knew most of the local dishes we had the chance to try a couple of them that were new to us (potatoes, sweet potatos, beans, posho*, matoke*, chicken, beef, pumpkin, rice, G-Nut sauce* and pineapple&watermelon). We shared a sunny Sunday with other international volunteers, local volunteers, their host families, Pia from INVIA KÖLN, UPA Staff, UPA Cultural Troup, etc… We got to learn and dance BAGANDA which is the traditional dance of Central Uganda (Luganda speakers) and even got to wear their traditional outfit (see picture).
Apart from the end and closure of the Work-Camp that has also given us an overview of how projects are carried out from the inside, how challenges are faced, what moves volunteers to join a Work-Camp, who and how finances it etc… we got started with interviews.
On one hand we started our task scheduling interviews with other relevant organizations in Uganda such as NUDIPU (www.nudipu.org.ug), ONG Forum (www.ngoforum.or.ug/), Raising Voices (http://www.raisingvoices.org/about_us.php), ANPPCAN… Some are nationally well-known and have quite interesting projects and best practices to share with us that will be of a great help for the outcome of our duty. On the other hand we also arranged meetings and interviews with projects where UPA* sends international volunteers. Those are Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools, HIV counseling organizations, Schools for children with special needs or circumstances, Gender Focused programs …etc.
The interviews are carried out by the six of us in most of the cases following the guideline of a questionnaire that we all prepared together. One spokesperson is in charge of asking and the rest would take notes. We expect to get information enough out of this meetings and interviews and of the next meetings with UPA branches so we can decide the outcome of our work.
For now, that’s all folks! Thank you for checking on our performance and we will get soon abck with exciting histories!
Abi, Anna, Isabel, Julian, Nabila & Sarah
*Matoke: banana pure
*Posho: Maïs pure
G-Nut sauce: Peanut sauce (made aout of crunched peanuts)
*UPA: Ugandan Pioneers Association
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