Today we made up for all the fun we had on Saturday. We woke up at 5:45am and caught a costa (mini-bus) from Bugembe to Lugazi. After seeing two taxis run off the road in the forest of the Jinja highway, we’ve decided Costas are the way to go in terms of public transportation, besides the fact that they’re about the same price and we’ve actually seen people give change on them… twice! We met with Wilson first thing in the morning and begin crossing off our huge to-do checklist: secure housing, set up our projects, send our weekly country report, check our volunteer flight schedule, find a cook, find a guard, visit Kawalo hospital and Sister Josephine the public health nurse, and meet Mayor Ozuma and some others of the town council. We got it done. All of it. The meeting with the mayor was quite a little treat. He was very adamant about how grateful he was to have HELP back in Lugazi. I am surprised at the incredibly good reputation that HELP has in this town. We have been so well received by everyone, especially people in prominent positions that are very influential in the community like the Mayor and Chairman Livingston. We’ve been able to share with each of our partners our plans for the summer and the incredible projects that we would like to accomplish as well as hear their ideas of what they would like to accomplish and how we can help them achieve their goals. Needless to say it is going to be a great summer full of hard work!
To thank Wilson for all of the assistance that he has rendered to us, we decided to treat him to dinner. He recommended the Patron Hotel, which is owned by the previous mayor and friend to HELP-International, Deo. There I had one of my first experiences with a Ugandan bathroom, I will spare you all of the details, other than you have to have REALLY good aim! Our friend Wilson recommended that we have Fish and Chips… I’ve travelled before so I can’t believe that I was so naïve to think that it would actually be fish sticks and fries. I was surprised when they literally brought out an entire fried fish, head, tail and all! We were shown how to eat it and my second surprise came when I realized how delicious it was! I ate the fish down to the bone and thought I was finished, when Wilson told me not to leave the most delicious parts… the head, eyes and tail. My stomach churned as I began picking apart the head and tried to find some pieces that resembled meat. I mostly just picked apart the head and occasionally raising a piece to my mouth, but for the most part, I just couldn’t do it. Wilson was right. It definitely had a different taste to it! The most delicious part according to our African friend was the eyes. I pulled out the cornea of one of the eyes, apparently that’s one of the only parts of a fish you can’t eat, and popped the jelly ball into my mouth trying to keep mind over matter. I chewed… it wasn’t good. It tasted like old stagnant lake or river water that had absorbed the taste of moldy algae. Blach!