Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

What is the hurray?

I love teaching the kids I honestly do. But I can't stand these African teachers they are terrible! They are really ever in class much less the school and when they are they knock the kids around. Fortunantly I havn't seen any of that because I have a big problem, I don't know ho to keep my mouth shut. My roomie, Kelly, was in class at a diffeent school than what I teach at and I guess becuase the kids were being a little rowdy they Caned each and everyone of them in front of her and she didn't know how to get out of there. Kelly has prolly had it the worst out of everyone her for her teaching experience. The teacher of her class always stays in there and won't let her teach how she wants. I mean this girl works hella hard she is always staying up late in our room coming up with Lesson plans. Poor thing. I guess she got in a fight with her teacher the other day because the teacher was like no you can't work on the alphabet with these kids they need to be working on Nouns, and Adverbs and everything. She just lost it she was like they are 5 year olds!!!!! They need to know the alphabet before they can know Nouns!!!! I mean honestly I know I didn't know what a noun was at 5 and English is my first language!At the school I teach at it isn't that the teachers won't let us do the lesson plan it is that there is no lessons, and no teachers ever! ON ednesday I ahve afternoon class which none of the other volunteers ever have and I showed up after lunch to find NO TEACHERS at the school. None of them had bothered to come back from lunch. I was suppose to just have p.4 for P.E. but I ended up letting everyone out to play sports. And the day before Inigo and I had gotten in trouble for letting out P.7 to play with P.6. There had been no teacher in P.7 so we just let them come out with us and then they got rounded up and we sent back to their room and we were yelled at for letting the kids out when they have Social Studies and they all went back to the room and you wanna know something? THEY STILL HAD NO TEACHER!!!!! Weird, weird weird. And yesterday when Bethany, Josh, and Grace took me to the hospital, Ida a new girl was the only volunteer left at Anna and Tony's. And I guess not long after we left all the teachers decided they were going to take the rest of the day off and go into town and just left Ida their ALL BY HERSELF!! Afirca is a very crazy and corrupt place. And Uganda is a very friendly country compared to alot of the others I couldn't even imagine. I just get so frustrated that every child isn't given a good education. Its a shame these teachers are so bad and corrupt and they have been trying to hinder what the volunteers do. I'm just going to keep plugging along and doing my thing and enjoy the kids and sports and everything. Grace and I took bethany to the Airport last night. Grace and I were like super sad when we got in the car. Cuz their has kinda been a slipt in the volunteers and like I guess like my group(ish) will all be gone by next Thursday except for Grace and I. All my boys will be gone by Monday, actually all boys will be gone except for this gutt Farhan and (coolest Ismaili Shiite Muslim Couple I know. Alright ya caught me, they are like the only ISM couple I know, hahahaha and they are Candian!)already left, We took Kanayo to the Airport on Tuesday, Bethany last night. David left by bus to go to Kenya to travel with his sisters, so I have no one to sing My Fair Lady songs. Dave from San Fransico, Not Gay. Sorry inside joke. James is leaving Saturday and so is Josh. So I have no one to apply honey to my wounds. I had to rag on James last night and tell him he wasn't going to make a vry good doctor since he had never learned how to put honey on an infected wound. HAHAHAHA Come on I mean at a "proper" Medical school that is like what ya learn in your first semester. Echo is leaving next Wednesday and Kelly is leaving on Thursday. Inigo is leaving Monday morning, but it sucks cuz we were going to go do some safari or someting cuz he has loads of money and is sponsoring me, but he got the last Gorrilla Permit for the Month of July so he is on the Congo Border(YIKES!) right now looking at Gorrillas. He has the same camera as me but no Zoom lense so I told him he had to go and lent him my lense. We have already agreed if he gets carried off by a gorrilla not to be sad but to rejoyce in the fact that he had a badass death. HAHAHA Crazy Mexicans! Good thing I'm here to volunteer and I actually like doing things on my own so It isn't tramatic that people are leaving. And I still got Crazy to be cynical with me. HEEHEE And of course I still got the kids. They are awesome even though they all are a bunch of cheaters. I mena do I need to teach them how Middle Schoolers in America cheat so they don't get caught? I mean cuz I can. :)

Friday, July 30, 2004

Did ya'll know honey is an antiseptic?

So ya, I wouldn't be Carol Bontekoe if I didn't recieve some kind of injury and If I didn't get sick. And I'm in Africa so of course I had my first hospital visit today. Right before I went in the Nile to go Rafting I got a cut on my foot. I didn't even notice till Farhan pointed out it was bleeding. I didn't worry about it at the time and have been cleaning it out ever since. But the past couple of days the infection spread or something, maybe just got a new infection on my on on the toe right next to it. So I haven't really been able to walk for the past couple of days. And last night Peace, one of the workers at the compound and James got in a fight over my foot. James is pretty much a very jitter medical student from the U.K. and Peace is like very, very, protective of me. So when James would poke at it and I would wince in Pain, Peace would just put her hand in frnt of him and not let him touch it. But it pretty much came down to that I had a really bad infection and needed to see a doctor. So today Josh, Grace, and bethany(on her last day in Africa) took me to THE SURGERY. YES!!! I KNOW!!!! THAT IS THE NAME OF THE HOSPITAL!!!!! I had to have people come with me just to make sure They don't get excited and try to amputate my toes, I wanna keep them. So they cleaned out my toes with like Hydro..... Oh wait I'm not Diane and I did terrible in Chemistry. I have no idea what the name is. And then for the antispetic they put honey on the wounds. hahahaha You know you are in Africa when honey is usd for an antispetic. And know I can be a pet for all the nursing majors and med studnts here and they can clean out and address my wounds. After we went to the Surgery the only way back into the city was on Boda Bodas which are like these crazy scooters that weave in and out of traffic. I swore I would never ride one but I didn't really hav a choice. I was panicked the whole time, but fortunantly Bethany was on the Boda Boda with me. I mean Crazy!!!! I was holding onto our driver so tight. And I got panicked when he suddenly for no reason just put on his helmut. All I could think was the end was near. Well I have like no money left. The doctors visit pretty much ook it all. Dang Mzungu doctor. I got a statement for my insurance but that won't help me for a while. Dang it!!!!! I always gotta have something weird going on with me. I miss my money... But hopefully I'll be able to walk in a little while. They said if it isn't better in a week we would go from there. NOT ME!!!!! I'm not going anywhere from there. I'm going home to good doctors!!! hahahaha Why wouldn't it happen I'm in Africa.Oh, yeah Coach Amy and Will have snuck away to Wisconsin. Got a nice little Email from Caoch Amy telling me. Don't know why they couldn't have told us ummmmm like a month and a half ago when we found out. Weirdos. Oh and know what I got to watch yesterday. A very old rerun of Oprah!!!! Oh so nice. It was like the Valentines day episode. Rev. Jim thinks Oprah is Echo's really close friend and one of the guards at the compound looks just like Taye Diggs and he thinks I know him. HAHAHAHAHA Right I'll tell Taye ya said hi right after we call Oprah!!Oh, these guys on the comp next to me asked if I was Aulstralian and I pretty much have taken up the philosophy of saying I'm Canadian, so I don't get cussed out for How bad Bush is with Foriegn Policy, and how Evil everyone thinks he is. Never had a problem cuz no one knows anything about Canada, not these guys. They are studying how Canada Exports and Imports Fruits at this very moment. They started quizzing me on where Fruits in Canada come from. HAHAHA I don't know where all of America's fruits come from, much less Canadas.... They are mostly from Belize and Costa Rica, in case you were curious.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

JEEEEEsus, we are HEEERA!!!!

Last night ALia and Farhan went back home, to Canada. They are so lucky they pretty much hung out with me all day yesterday after missing their own going away party. I ended up going to the Airport with them to drop them off. Classic Carol Bontekoe just make jokes and be stupid so it isn't a big deal to say goodbye. Farhan and I maqde friendship braclets on our way to the airpot out of this plastic string stuff. The one I made him is purple and black and going everywhere and not tight or anything and the knot I tied on it is huge.But of course i had to say what I know my mother would have said, IT HAS CHARACTER!!!! And the one he made me is orange and Purple, total Phoenix suns colors going on. But of course Farhan the Future Brain Surgeon that he is, made my braclet like perfectly. It looks so good. But I would hope a future Brain surgeon could have enough Dextarity(sp) to make a friendship braclet. But today when I went to play with the kids at the nuresry they were trying to steal my braclet. I had to shake kids off of me just to keep it. And then some of my older students, were telling me that if they wanted it they could steal it. I guess I'll be walking with my left hand in my pocket for a while. After I got back last night Laura asked if I wanted to go and hold orphan babies with her today. And of course I totally agreed to it. So I'll be holding some babies in a little while.... You know me so nurturing. heehee. Went and watched my schools choir practice today. It was out in the woods. Pretty neat to see. I really enjoyed it.

Monday, July 26, 2004

going away party

You gotta love when you have a going away party for two people and they don't even show up. It's alright because Inigo, Echo, Bethany, Grace, Kelly, David and I DID show up for Farhan And Alia's going away party. I mean how do you not show up to your own party? Well not so much party as going to a intersting dance club in Kampala. We had enough fun for the both of them.Lately at the compund we have a had a little girl Rionni. She is adorable we brought he from Kontabo to have some tests done and get some medicine. Her father has already died and her mother is dieing from AIDS and she is HIV postive. We also found out she had TB. But we got her some medicine and we even saw her smile yesterday. It ment alot to all of us. And the other day, one of like our favorites, cuz she is sassy, was telling me about her mother's death. I mean I am having a great time and trying to do the best I can with these kids but sometimes it will start to feel so normal here and then you have all that kind of stuff and you remember this isn't how it is at home. ALthough the other day I totally had to rip on my P. 6 English class. B/c I asked them to write me a book report about like these little books so I could see how much they comprehended, and they literally took plagerism to a new level. They copied word for word from the book. I was like, "Regina you swear.... SWEAR!!!!! You didn't just coppy the book!!!?!?!?!" And she was all, "No Madam no!!!" So I started reading her report to her out loud and then started reading the book. Word for word the same. Then the students turned on me and were like "Madam you told us to copy the book!" I kno what I said and the assignment I gave and never once did I say copy the book. hahahaha Frickin' kids. How can be people teachers for like 30 years?!?!?!?!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

oooooohhhh.... HOT SHOWER!!!!

My roomie Kelly is from this tiny little village in Nothern England, I think about 100 people live there. And she rarely ever drives more than five minutes from her home, and she din't go to University. So this is by far her first like big life experience. So she has been really missing home, and she has been ahving some problems with the politics the teachers at the school play. So last night 8 of us decided we need to spend the night way from the compound and take some HOT showers. It was really nice. The hostel was only about 3 US dollars, but we got to take a HOT shower. So completely worht the money!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Never thought I would appericiate a hot shower so much. Oh and just so everyone knows, they do not except American bills older than 1996 in Uganda. In case you are ever in the neighborhood. And Chemical Bank ATM cards don't really work...... :) Got it all fixed now though.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bleeding heart Liberal

Sometimes it gets hard here realizing that there are so many things you want to do, and sometimes there is just essentially nothing you can do about it. PLus if you give to one you have to give to all of them. Orphans are trained to basically attack Muzungus(white people) to guilt trip them to give them money. One kid yesterday was tapping on my window of the Taxi for a half hour. That was really rough to ignore. It gets hard sometimes, but it also reminds me why I'm here. I wanna help kids learn English(Here knowing English means Jobs) and know that they can take care of themselves. There are just so many Children everywhere here. And America's poor and Ugandas poor are no where near the same. Also what they consider middle class, No where near even our lower end middle class people. Right now the compound I'm staying in is in a "Middle Class" Neighborhood. Yet most of the people don't have electricity or can speak English, and children only have 2 outfits...maybe. Even the compound where I'm staying, is like the nicest place in the area and we pretty much never have running water or electricity. Yesterday it was raining pretty hard and we were in the dining area which is away from the house. So Grace wanted a Banana but didn't want to go in the rain so I dashed to the house grabbed a banana and slipped in the mud. So Rain, is more running water then we have had like this whole time. So I took a shower in the rain. Shaved my legs, washed my hair.... The works. It was quite enjoyable. Sometimes you just have to improvise if you ever wanna feel clean here. Other than the little kid knocking on my window forever yesterday I haven't had too many incedents with the homeless. I did have a homeless man push me in the arm(not to hard just enough to shock me) because I wouldn't give him money. I figure it is Karma coming back for me, for last year. Outside of the V&A musuem I thought there were a bunch of garbage bags so I ran up and Kicked them. Needless to say That was like someones home, And they were in. It has been weird we get politcal news in very choppy and from all the new volunteers comign in all the time and some of the Uganda newspapers. Oh, Did Bush Really say the Election should be moved back? That is messed up if he did. Absolutely none of the volunteers from other countries have one nice thing to say about Bush. They are always telling me that he is the worst thing for our country in foriegn relations aspect. Well.... come on. I could have told them that. None of the volunteers here are conservative. Which Suprised me cuz some are pretty big, Stirct Christains and even they think Bush has gone over board. We'll See how this Edwards thing affects Kerry. none of us could act to suprised. There really isn't any other high profile Democrat it could have been. If any other big news is going on in The States make sure to let me know, that way I can bring it up at the dinner table and get everyone going. Here alot of people yell Bush at me instead of AMerican. I mean... I'm more than fine being called Muzungu or Mama but, Bush?!?!?!?! No thank you! heehee ya know I love even the most conservative of ya'll... Even you Betsy!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

So this one time I was swimming in the Nile....

So Rafting the Nile was on Saturday. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!! No matter what I write about it it won't describe the expeience I had. I ended up going with Kanayo, Farhan, Echo, Alia, and David. We had to do a last minute replcement of Inigo cuz he went to some Island in Lake Victoria without telling us!!! But David wasn't as bad as we had for seen him being, although, he did push me out of the raft on a class five. But more about that in a bit. So on the bus ride to the Nile there was this CRAZY Kiwi guy named Shane giving us all of our insturctions about what will happen once we get to the Nile. I had a feeling he would end up our guide and you wanna know something.... He totally was! He was awesome though, very energetic and obviously loves what he is doing. I got hurt on the practice flip before we even got anywhere near a rapid. Farhan fell on me when we did a practice. like literally right on my head.... Good thing we all were wearing helmuts. We had 4 CLass five rapids. With a Bunch of 3s and 4s. We all ignored the wishes of Echo and decided we were going to be hardcore and try to hit all the hardest rapids and everything. On the very first Class five we were going to try to hit the "G Spot" on it. And we most defiantly hit it! But when we hit it David and I were in the very front and he punched me at the same ime I seemed to lose my balance and we hit the "G Spot". So needless to say... I fell out. But Still had my oar and was holding onto the boat like we were told to do. But I got kinda caught under the boat and it just kept pushing me further and further under. so I just let go and rode my oar like it was a witch's broom. It was pretty cool and I eventually got picked up by the safty boat. I guess Alia had been thrown out too but she held on I didn't even know I wasn't the only one till after the fact. The second class five we rode in sideways and I totally thought we were going to flip but we came out fine. After the first two class fives we were the only ones not to flip. And we kinda wanted to.In the very begining we had alot of rapids relly quick and then the second half we had some defiant down time, where we were just floating down the Nile looking at all the beautiful sights. I wish I coulda brought my camera on the boat. Some defiant NG type pics. Like we floated past fisherman and everything and women washing their clothes. We saw Crocodiles early on and then never saw any when we were just floating. It was cool though because we were able to jump out and go for a swim in the water. We all were looking at each other while we were swimming and were like, "Do you realize we are going for swim down the Nile? This is Awesome!!!" It was cool because there were three other rafts with us, and it was people from all over the world. I believe the few of us that were Americans in my boat wer the only AMericans. There was an Irish boat that was getting brighter and brighter red every time we saw them. I kept picking on them everytime we saw them, "Oh the wee boat, full of wee Lepruchans. I-diddly-dee-dee-dee" All in good fun. After all this floating and good fun we hit another class 5 rapid. This one we were ment to flip..... But we didn't. We hit it exactly in the right place literally our raft went veritcal straight up into the air I was falling back on Farhan and then....... We just came down and rafted through the rest of the rapids. I saw David next to me, felt Farhan behind me, then saw Echo out of the corner of my eye and was like, OMG we made it. We were about to do our oar high five when Farhan asked, "Where's Alia?" We all turn around the whole back half of our boat had been thrown out. There was no Kanayo, ALia, or Shane. Everyone else went t pull Alia and Kanayo back in the raft, and Shane came swimming up to me so I was like, "I got your vest!!!!! I'll pull ya in!!!!" And he just grinned at me and brushed me off and pulled himself into the boat. I really was trying to be helpful. So we had done no flipping. As David put it, "Dang us for just being to darn compitent" After that we went through some fours and had to get out and walk the rafts around this crazy CLass 6. And then you had the option of getting back in to do this CLass 5 that is barely missing being like a class 6. It is called the Bad Place. Alia and Echo opted not to go. Us other 4 were like we paid to do this and we are going to get our moneys worth. And we wanted to flip just once. It was crazy..... All I remember is this wall of white bubbles and then not knowing where I was up, down, whatever. Then I got kicked in the head by Frahan and assumed we were flipped, so I let go of the rope, did the witch's broom thing again and I fianlly settled down and came to the surfice, looked around and saw I head been sept the farthest, but I located Kanayo, Farhan and David, Then saw Shane riding on top of the flipped raft like he was a cowboy. After wards we went up to the bus got changed took a couple pics and enjoyed comparing stories with the other rafters. On the bus ride back there was this Dutch guy that I started chatting it up with and found out he lives on like Bontekoe lane or Street or whatevr they call them over there!!!! he was like, "yeah BOON-TI-KOO is a very cool name. There are two kinds of cows, Black Spotted cows and Brown Spotted Cows. BOON-TI-KOOS are the brown spotted cows. He told me Bontekoe isn't a Freis name at all though, That it is very Dutch so he couldn't figure out why people in Friesland would have a Dutch name. When he was writing don his info to give me he wrote me not about a children's book. Of course I forgot to bring it so I could get the spelling right but there is a story called something like Scheepjongens van Bontekoe. I guess there ws a famous boat or sailor named Bontekoe or both. Very cool though. I'll try to get the spelling right later.Played some more basketball with the girls yesterday, while I had Inigo and David play Football(Soccer) with the boys. The girls we're like tackling each other and totally cheating. I started yelling at them I was like, "You can't tackle each other and you need to stop cheating!!!!!!" Then they accussed me of cheating and of not knowing the rules. So I just took the ball told them that I had been playing Basketball for 15 years and they ahd been playing for a week. So I knew the rules. I need to go back and apologize to teachers I have had in the past and driven crazy. I now defiantly know why some of them were Crazy!!!!!!! I really don't like teaching English Comprehension!!!! I don't understand the stories they read. Worst written text books ever!!!! How can I teach it if I don't understand it myself. I'm going to turn into this other volunteer Grace soon and just be like, "WHY IS THERE TALKING?!?!??!?!?!?!?! THERE SHOULD ONLY BE WRITING!!!!!!!!!!" I'll have to find some other way to teach English...... Thinking.... Thinking..... Thinking......

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Come talk to me

Another game I'm taking internationally.... Spoons. Last night at the compound some of us volunteers played Spoons with some of the orphans; Love, Hope, and Freedom. I know they sound like Hippie's kids names but it seems to be the Chirstain names the give the corphans here. It was alot of fun but sometimes they would slam down their cards as they passed them so all of us volunteers would dive for the spoons and no one would even have a four of a kind. It was alot of fun and the kids seemed to like it. Defiantly easy enough card game for anyone to get the hang of. Love kept trying to put a knife in the spoon pile, she is only 6 but we know she knows not to do that. That is a little too extreme of a version of Spoons. Today Ann(ONe of the "Mom" volunteers) was taking Kanayo and I to have lunch in Jinja, about a hour and a half away, to have lunch at the source of the Nile. But, it didn't exactly turn out how we planned. We had told the bus driver to drop us off at this National Park. Well, he must not have known exactly where that was so he dropped us off about an hours walk past where we needed. Once we realized we weren't where we needed to be we head back up the road. We saw TONS of Monkeys just chillin in the trees next to the woods. It was very cool. THey were just hanging out and we had been reading how hard it was to see Monkeys but it was more than easy enough for us. We saw 3 different kinds... The only one's whose name I remember is the Red Tail Monkey. After that we got a guided tour of the park. Our guide knew so much. It was an awesome walk through the woods. My mom would have gone crazy.So many beautiful plants. birds, and butterflies. So amazing. We saw the biggest tree I have ever seen. It is a fig tree. We hope we got some pics that show just how big it really is. We had to be careful about getting to close cuz the guide told us there was a Cobra in the tree. And in the parks here it is all about survival of the fittest. They don't do any of that trying to help plants live stuff. He was like we are in the jungle, What is strong enough to surive......will.After sitting in this cool little hut in the jungle for a while to cool off from the long walk and the humidity we decided to go back out to the road to try to catch a bus to Jinja for Lunch. That wasn't going to happen, every bus that drove by was completel full because of course the day we decide to go to Jinja there has to be a big agriculture show. So, after trying to catch a bus for about an hour we heded back into Kampala. But the day wasn't lost we went to an African Art Gallary, which had some of the most amazing art work. I also did my first bartering(sp) ever. I did pretty well. I got my mom a hand made napkin ring and a hand made drum. On the drum I got the woman down from 40,000 to 28,000 Shillings. That is really good deal for being a mzungu(white person) They knock up the prices really bad. But I couldn't believe I got her to go down in price it was awesome. She just kept saying, "wait come and talk to me, we will work it out. I even bartered on the Napkin Ring that was only 3,000 Shillings to begin with." hahahaha but I was on a roll. The Drum is awesome. I'll have one of the best carry ons on the plane, ever. I'm finally starting to get used to African Cities... or well Ugandain cities. In Kampala there are NO STOP LIGHTS or STOP SIGNS. Absolutely no cossing areas. It is crazy. I mean even Marion has a stop light!!!!! And I'm finally realizing that yes it is alright for there to be a huge group of chicken in the down town area and that it is more than natural for a cow to be hanging out in the road. Also, the police are so corrupt here that the citizens take things into their own hands, for like Car accidents and stealing and stuff. Yesterday we heard gun shot and it didn't even phase us. I have been told it takes two weeks to get used to everything around you so I'm defiantly getting the hang. And I love the kids. But I have loved them since the begining. I have started sounding like Erica and every time something wierd happens I'm just like, know wh wouldn't that happen. Oh, my hotmail works again... so you can email me there. And Tom I LOVE the CDS..... I love the CDs that I got from Everyone. Okay Rafting the Nile tomorrow morning so I need to get back to the compund to get some sleep. Pray for me!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Oh, man..... Last night was the first night here I have had a fun really chill night. About 15 of the volunteers went out Karioking which was a total blast. A bunch of us sang. I was the firt one but it was because Inigo tricked me and I ended up on stage singing Bed of Roses... BY MYSELF!!!!! But I totally paid Inigo back I told him I would get him and I did right before we left I tricked him into getting on stage singing What's New Pussycat....With his Zorro accent....Priceless!!!!!!!! It was weird cuz I had only been with very poor people the whole time I have been here, even though I know there are rich people here and you can live very nice, I hadn't seen any of it yet. And the Karioke bar was in a mall, and pretty mcuh everyone there was really rich. We took some of the guys from the church, and our Matatu driver in with us and they were like we are so lucky to be here. No one comes to garden city from our village. So it was pretty rad to give those guys a nice night out. It as nice to just be out of the house and away from the village. It was weird though cuz it was kinda Bittersweet cuz we all realied it ment Lisa was going to be leaving. She is saaa funny. And one of the most generous people here. She is bringing one of the guys from the Church that works with ACF to America to go to University so then he can come back and help his community. Very cool. Defiantly a role model for all of us here. We just got in a Dutch girl today. Yet another accent for me to not be able to understand. hahahaha When we got back from Karioke, my roomie was asking what was one the roof. I was like...uhhhhh rain. I guess she had thought there was a stampede of Lizards. I don't think they are nearly as bad as the HUGE cockroaches. But she is terrified of the Lizards.One of the Guys here, Farhan, goes to MIT. And he told me that he got a call from YALE saying that they would give him as much as MIT did if he would go there. My jaw just dropped and I was like yeah.... MIT and YALE got into a bidding war over me too...hahahaha.... We got some crazy smart people here. He also said he only applied to Top 10 medical schools. OMG... whole other league from me. Well my big white water rafting adventure is this Sunday. Should be hella fun. I'll try to send ya'll some pics.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Fresh Diary Milk

Spelling here doesn't seem to matter too much as long as you get the jist. I'm far to afraid to buy Fresh Diary Milk.... Maybe it's just me but I sure prefer that Dairy kind. ON our way into Kampala today Grace, Alia and I watched as a herd of Cattle walked down the four lane divided highway. We were all looking at each other going, "Why wouldn't there be a heard of Long horn cattle walking down the highway? It makes perfecr sense." The animals here are all pretty tame because they are so used to being intertwined with humans in everyday life. As we all know I do terribly with accents. I mean I'm really bad. So I'm already having trouble with the African accents, I seem to be able to understand very, very little. But to top it off I can't understand a word the Brits say. And my roomate as such a thick, hard, accent that the other Brits are like yeah.... we don't understand what she is saying. And during the day, when I could have James who is from the same general area as her translate for me, she never seems to talk. Then wehen we are in our room reading, writing in our journals or whatever she seems to get quite chatty. And she will finish a sentence and I'll let a couple minutes go by trying to igure out what she said before I'm finally just like, "Yeah... I pretty much have no idea what you said." or "WHAT?!!!?, WHAT?!?!?!" Very Lil' Jon style. hahahaha.... But I'm surving. I understand pretty much everythign Inigo(The Mexican) says. It is really weird. But everyone says I do a really bad impression of him. They said I make him sound like he is Zorro. And to me.... HE SOUNDS like FREAKIN' ZORRO!!!! Oh, well.Everyone in our group kinda seemed sick today. I really felt bad so I got Echo to cover for my class and headed home took a Cipro went to sleep nad now I'm feeling some what better. I wanted to feel better because we are going to Karioke tonight, and why wouldn't you do Karioke when you are in Africa. Because Lisa, an Air Force Major who is kinda like everyone's really cool mom here, is leaving tomorrow. We got it all cleared to stay out paste 7:30....oh we are all such rebels. But it should be fun day in Kampala. But in the mitts of everything we know it is important to have fun, as well as help people. Keep us sane. Otherwise this all could be a little much....Oh we got a new boy in last ngiht who they are tryign to push off on me and be under Inigo's and I's wing. I'm defiantly not feeling him. he is this wannabe whiteboy from California, who goes to U. of Texas, and came in wearing a Detriot hat like a gangsta. I was like noooooooooooooooooo..... A boy who wants to pretend like he came back to the mother land even though he isn't black. Oh poor rich white boys who have no idea what they are getting themselves into. We'll see how he survives.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

It tastes like paint

I'm defiantly having a blast here and loving the work I'm doing with my kids. I got some of the girls playing full court basketball last night after school. *sniff* that was a HUGE step for them. And some of them even began to understand if you pick up your dribble you don't get to dribble again. But there was a majority of the girls who thought the second the ball got passed to them that they had to start driblling. Like, they dind't understand you could catch and then choose to dribble. I had to play in the game too because there is one girl Ester who is 13 and about 5'9" or so. And in Uganda period that is VERY tall much less for a 13 year old. But she was doing pretty well. Very aggressive and she started getting the idea of a box out. It is too bad they have no where to really play basketball. The kids were lining up to watch me do around the world from only about 20 feet out. It took me awhile to get the hang of where to shoot. I had alot of air balls in the begining, cause the hope has no backboard and can be like what ever height they want. It was alot of fun to watch them understand how basketball is played. Its too bad we are playing with a soccer ball. And I have very little money so I can't buy them one.For my performing arts class this new volunteer, Echo, and I are going to have the kids do Noah's Ark. It will be the first play this school has ever done so they might have the parents come. It is pretty exciting. Yesterday we had the kids doing the Catwalk but with different animals. Very exciting to watch them think for themselves. With another class we just did the regular kind of catwalk, with Dancing, that was classic. I also taught them the mary catherine Gallagher "Superstar" and when the other teachers had kids running up to them yelling super star they all would look at me and I was like, "I'll teach them what I want!!!!!" Two days ago Grace and I pretty much had a break down over how bad our hair is and missing chocolate. Everyone was cracking up like we were joking but we were dead serious. Our hair is taking it far and away the worst here.I have to wash myself out of a bucket, so you never really feel that clean. Also, Grace and I have both been here a little over a week and we are already getting Chocolate withdrawls. Because Choclate made in America or Europe is Hella expensive, And Grce and I are the poorest ones here. but the kind made in Kenya is super gross. So we are trapped here with none. And almost everyone who is here is going home before we do, like with in the next couple of weeks And we are both here till late Augsut so no one understands us. And here I am considered like miss optomist so when Grace and I were going on about our hair everyone was like this is so unCarol. I just smiled and was like you have no idea. OH it was classic the other night Rev. Jim gave us a lecture on how we need to keep the bathroom clean, even though only one girl who lived where the messy bathroom is at was at dinner. And then he went on to go, "And I know you American's are not big on showers. I went and stayed with an AMerican in America. And I asked him should we go take a shower. and he said no need for one and wiped himself off with a napkin. So I know you Americans are not clean people who wash themselves off. But you are in Uganda and people here keep themsleves clean." ..........Cricket Noise...... cricket noise.........All of us Americans were in complete shock. We are all considerably cleaner than alot of the people here and it is very hard to even sta clean here. And once he left were were all like Where the hell did he go in America? I mean even people in Texas and Appalacia don't just use napkins. All the Candians, Brits, the Aussie and the Japanese girl were like well he wasn't talking to us. So of course now whenever someone says they are going to go clean up we all have to throw napkins at each other. Its cool cuz the volunteers are from all over and we have hard core christains, and a muslim couple, catholics, and jews. It is funny cuz no one is PC and we are all totally different. We were like you couldn't have done better casting for the real world if you tried. I'm pretty much the least PC of everyone, but then the people I hang out with the most are Kanayo from Japan, but now lives in america, Farhan and Alia who are the Muslim boyfreind and Girlfriend. They each have alot of family here so they were killing Grace and I telling us about the mansions they get to stay in on weekends. But they are still dope. There is a new kid from Mexico who is really rich. I'm always quizzing Inigo about being rich and everything. He is cool with all my questions. I'm like I need to come to Mexico City and stay with ya and seee how the rich people down there live. We were all talkign about getting our moms and sisters and stuff tto send us cookies ;) and stuff. and he was like our cook doen't make cookies. HAHAHAHA I was like well my cook, and in my cook I mean my mom, makes cookies if I ask nicely. CLassic. He is really cool though. We went and got Orange Juice this morning and I asked him how it was and he replied, It is really artificial it tastes like Paint. Very cool cat. We are glad he joined us. Oh and he explained to me why he is tall, he is about 6'2". Because I was like oh you know when I heard we were getting a Mexican I didnd't expect you to be over 5'7" and he told me it is because he is European Mexican, so he got the European height. His Grandfathers are from Spain....SOOOOO RICH!!!!!!!! Most of my skirts have been ripping from my falling down hills and in hardcore games of duck, duck, goose. And also trying to catch the matutus(Buses). I think I'm the most banged up of all the volunteers. THis weekend I'll prolly get even more banged up. I'm going White Water rafting down the nile on Sunday. I'm going with Kanayo, Farhan, Alia, Inigo, and Echo....Haahahahahaha And my name is Carol so tell me out of that group which name doesn't belong. But it should be totally cool. The instructors are all a bunch of crazy Kiwis and stuff I guess and most are class 5 we were watching the video from people who went this weekend, it looks like it will be awesome. This is Echos first time away from home so we are making her suck it up and make herself get over her fears. And on Saturday I'm going to Uganda Vs. South Africa. should be alot of fun. I love watching soccer/football.Okay well if anyone wants to call me or you know mail me anything ;) that is completely cool. :) Oh and my hotmail I guess isn't wokring right now but you can email me at and leave comments!!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Lizards, roomies, and a prince

Well most of the volunteers are gone this weekend so it should be kinda quite I do have have church tomorrow though and I get to play with Kids today. Most of the volunteers are either white water rafting the Nile this weekend, or have gone to Rwanada to see the Memorials which I guess are amazing, and the rest have gone to Kenya for a Safari. Lots of exciting things to do. I think next weekend I think I am going White water rafting down the nile if we get enough of the volunteers to go. The Reverend we are staying with and is in charge of us I just found out is a Prince. All of us newbies thought it was amazing and the older volunteers were like, "yeah!!! How did you guys not know he was a prince?!?!?!" As if they knew before they came. Those of us who are planning on going rafting next weekend will be going around where his tribe lives and his family estate is, so he said he might be able to show us around some if we have time. Owwwwwwww.... I'm living with a prince, that makes me one step closer to living with Prince William or Harry either way is fine. hahahahahaha. He doesn't exactly live like Eddie Murphay did in Coming to America.I got my roommate ina few days ago she is from Chester England and talks very fast, and almost always seems nervous. Like someone is about to hit her or something. I mean Kelly is a totally sweet heart, she is 21 and a nursery school teacher back in the U.K. But a.) She has pretty much no common sense that is why she teaches nursery school and b.)As anyone who went on study abroad with me knows I ahve lot of truble with accents. And I'm finding most specifically the Manchester area, because James(another volunteer) is from Manchester and I never understand what he is saying either. I just smile and nod politely. And laugh when they laugh and make a serious face when they make a serious face. Really have only understood about 12 words Kelly has said. The animals here are kind of crazy. And yesterday I was in my room with Gypsy(real name Rosalee, if you get the nickname you get otherwise too bad) and Kelly, when one of the lizards that had been on my ceiling fell on me! I hadn't been freaked out by any of the animals until that happened and I freaked out. I mean it landed on me! And then was in my Bed!!! Granted it was a smaliish lizard, but we all still went running out of my room. I had forgotten my misquotio netting which I found out is actually more to keep the cockroaches and lizards off of you than the mosquitos. When we came running out og my room we found Maeghan out there showing everyone here toe. A Jigga Worm had crawled into it. Peace got it out of her toe before it could lay eggs. Yesterday was just a weird animal day. The moral of this story is..... yeah I don't really do morals. But if you got anythingout of it good for you. I'm still falling in love with Africa more each day. but we'll see in 6 weeks. Yesterday was my first day delivering food to people dieing from AIDS they were all very friendly and very nice. I do know some Luganda now so I can talk to them a little. "Oliotia" is "How are you?" and "Gynede" is "Fine" and Walaba is "Good bye" and "Wabali nyo" is"Thank you very much" Knowing those helps you get by.Today I went shopping with one of the new volunteers for some supplies I bought a East Africa Social studies Book for 9,800 shillings and a world map for about 18,000 shillings. Its about 29 U.S. dollars total. But I really wanted them for my class. And I'm willing to give up trying to go to Manchirion(sp) Falls to help these kids out. These kids WILL understand how far away michigan is from Uganda if it kills them. And that I can not be Kanayo's mother(she is from Japan). Fortuantly the map has lansing on it so I can mark it and show them that and then show them where they live and maybe teach them why apples grow in Michigan and not in Uganda. I'm excited we'll see what I can do.