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Ugandan Christmas


Me and Lucy at the Christmas dinner.

So Christmas was a couple days ago. Very different than in the states. We went to church at 9 am on Christmas Day and the service ended at 12:30 pm. By the time we got home it was 1 pm and the women started cooking. Christmas dinner, aka lunch, was served around 2:30 pm. It was a very large spread of all sorts of Ugandan food. Lucy and I gave some gifts to the family members at the house. Normally they don’t do gifts for Christmas.

Christmas Lunch with the family!

Around 3:30 I went to a party with Prossy, a math teacher that lives with the family I’m staying with. Lucy wanted to come but she unfortunately had a migraine. The party was thrown by three daughters, for their mother, to say “thanks for still being alive”. The woman was 60, though I would have guessed that she was much older. She was a very sweet woman and she LOVES muzungos (white people) and she hugged me over and over again.

Me and the woman who’s party it was. Constancia. And a little boy who I think is her grand kid.


Then they gave me this huge meal. About 2 hours after I just had my big Christmas lunch. Matoke is the cooked, unsweet smashed banana. The yams are whitish, with purple bits. In the banana leaves are chicken and beef which were steamed. So good!!!

I had a great time at the party. There was a boy who seemed to be in his early twenties who spoke English very well, and infact spoke 4 languages total. He apparently was visiting from Rwanda. There was also lots of VERY cute little kids that liked to take pictures with me. One little girl I thought looked so much like a black version my brother’s daughter Hattie. Another little girl, Brenda, was great at English. The kids around here do learn English in school and actually most of their classes are in English. Still, I think some of them might have better teachers than others and some of course are shy to talk, let alone talk in a language that isn’t their main one. Brenda called me “Gloria”, which actually a lot of people in the states think I say when I say my name, but I didn’t want to correct

These kids were great. Brenda, the girl 2nd from the right has GREAT English. The little girl in the yellow dress, I also found insanely cute.

her. I want to be Gloria for her! And I do like Gloria better than “Rory” or “Maury” which are some other names that people call me. Laurie is apparently hard to say around here. Since Brenda was the star of the kids (that’s how the kids seemed to see her, idolizing her for her excellent English), all the kids called me Gloria. I’m very ok with being Gloria.

Some of the ladies from the party, eating in the back yard. That’s a banana farm behind them!

We just ate before we got to the party but there was also a very large meal served at the party. It was so cool looking! Rice, matoke (cooked, mashed, unsweet bananas), yams (which are different than American ones, they are less sweet and more starchy), an irish potato with spices, chicken (they said, I wonder if it really was) and beef steamed in banana leaves. How cool! I ate some of everything. Then I had a Coke and 2 orange Fantas. The first sodas were for the novelty of it, the third was because it was just gifted to me so I drank it. read more

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Goodbye Liberia! Hello Uganda!

As I write this I am in my new bed, under a mosquito net canopy, in my new Uganda bed. I have been in Uganda for about 8 hours. I left Liberia yesterday at 6 PM Liberia time and arrived in Uganda this morning at 9 AM Uganda time (3 hours later than Liberia and 8 hours later than the East Coast of the US and 9 hours later than Central US.

I slept for about 3 hours on the plane so I was very exhausted on the 3.5 hour drive from the airport to my new home in Kalisizo, Uganda.

So, Liberia. I met some WONDERFUL people. I have great memories and friendships that I will hold close to my heart. I wish I could write so much more than I have time for. read more

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A Night on the Town in Monrovia

Last night was pretty fun. The first place was a bar and restaurant that was very Liberian, called Vicky’s Fingers where we sat outside and had fried fish with cassava farina salad with various vegetables in it and drank Club Beer, the native Liberian beer. I was encouraged to eat some of the head of the fish. The “wingman” says he eats the entire head, skull and all and that it makes him smarter. He seemed smart, so I at least dug out the eye and ate it. I wouldn’t say it was delicious but it wasn’t terrible. read more

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Yesterday we went swimming again! This time at one of the supposedly best resorts in West Africa, Kendeja Resort which is owned by the guy who owns BET. It was pretty nice for Liberian standards. Expensive prices though. And I got baptized in their cross shaped pool!

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Let’s Go Down to the Riptide

Yesterday we went swimming in the strong undertow of the West Coast of Africa, AKA the East Shore of the Atlantic. The water was warm and it was such a blast. A beautiful deserted beach, under a palm canopy. It was incredible. Such a peaceful setting. I would not recommend the rough tide to an insecure swimmer but to those confident in the water and/or ocean, it is very doable and encouraged by me. We all had a blast. Lots of sand in our suits. I’m sure glad at the last minute I switched my swimsuit bottoms when I was packing. My green bottoms would not have been compatible with these waves.