Monday, September 3, 2012

Life in the city.

Has it really been so long since I've posted? Sorry sorry!

The school year is well underway here as we enter our third week, and I have for four classes, a month's worth of unit plans prepared. I've joined two committees here at the school, so I expect there to be plenty of long days ahead. But they should be fun, and definitely enlightening. I've also be nudged about helping out with the Taekwondo club. We shall see. I nearly did pack a dobok, but I won't dare risk having my rank shipped to me. It is a too precious piece of a former life- my mentor, the late great Grandmaster Wilson who honored me with it, and the people I trained and trained alongside for a decade of my life. Like I said, we'll see what happens as it comes.

My 12th graders have handed in their first formal grade- a piece of personal travel writing. Though they've been through peer editing I haven't seen any of them yet, so I'm quite looking forward to seeing what my kids can think up. Also, one of my 11th graders asked me to read and give some feedback on his "scribblings"- a young man's work in poetry. I'm pleased that he asked me (the boy likes to be stubborn in class,) and I think the work has a lot of potential in it, too. I'll have to see what poets he has already read. I've been scouring the two major (and basically only) bookstores in town (each the size of a mall's  Waldenbooks, if you're old enough to remember those,) for local literature. I'm loving the books written by East African Authors, though there's are so few of them.  Those plus a few international books that were probably tucked away in the dustiest corners of US bookstores so we never saw them make me think that I need to compile a reading list for you all. More on that to come.

I've managed to add some liveliness to the walls of my classroom since this picture was taken...

Now that school is getting into a rhythm for me, I'll also be getting back in touch with my contacts for the Kanungu library project (aka Uganda CHEER). I'll be so excited when I can post more info for you all- and I hope it will be soon! I just need like- to get over the need for sleep. Those hours can be much better used.

Socially things have been busy too- if I'm not hanging out its my housemates I'm seeing friends from Kanungu, and still meeting all sorts of new people.  Kampala is a melting pot like I imagined New York City to have been at the turn of the 20th century. There are people everywhere, and almost everyone is in the process of entrepreneurial creation. From small shack shops to large development and commodities corporations- there's something happening in and under every footstep.

But I bet you want to know about the goat races. Yes, indeed. The Royal Ascot Goat Races. Basically people pay a lot of money to see and bet on these goats that are chased around a track by a wall of foam mattresses so that they don't stop to graze or turn around completely. But people made a lot of money. The smallest purse on any of the races was 2million Ugandan shillings- one thousand US dollars. On goats! No wonder they call it the most elite social event of the year. I feel really bad because a friend of mine had a goat in the second race that could've won- but just as it reached the corner I was watching from, it's tied on tarp racing colors came loose and tripped him completely. Poor fellow went all the way to his knees before getting up again.
But that's why I'm not a betting gal.

The VIP (much more important than me!) tents.

A practice round.

Yes, they are being chased by mattresses to make them move!

My friend's goat is in the lead here, but tragically his colors fell off and he tripped into a loss.

In other news, a care package from my mom came this past week, filled with goodies including enough Nutella for the Third Army and a brilliantly chosen box of Carnation instant breakfast powder. Healthy and sustaining chocolate milk in the morning. I win.

So that's me for the moment! I promise I'll get into more detail when I find out which rock my free time crawled under to hide. 

Much Love!


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