Uganda Day 5: On the Greatness of Burgers; or, Stress
Today at work we opted to go out for lunch instead of having it there. My supervisor drove herself, Aliana, and I to a place called "Great Burger." They sell burgers. Were they great burgers? I mean, at the time it was. I'm always starving by the time lunch rolls around. I'm sure I'll be going back to Great Burger often, since it's right around the corner from work and from my house.
Putting aside the alleged greatness of burgers for now—today at work was definitely more interesting than yesterday. We got a better idea of what we'll be working on, which is to say we know what it is and suddenly have a long list of deadlines. Our main focus will be researching and writing a report on pre-trial detention in Uganda. I spent most of the day gathering sources online (read: waiting for the slow wifi to load). We already have hundreds or thousands of pages of material and there will only be more as the days go on. This report seems like an impossible task at the moment, but I'm sure we'll figure it out.
The most distressing revelation today was that I will be accompanying some other interns/staff on a week-long trip to northern or eastern Uganda at some point to monitor prisons and police stations, and to conduct interviews. I've always known there was a chance I'd have to go one some kind of excursion far outside of Kampala, but I did not anticipate that excursion to be an overnight ordeal, let alone an entire week. I won't even be with Aliana—we'll be going on separate trips. Also, let's just say I'm not a fan of interviewing in general.
Currently very stressed. Common theme for this trip so far. I think I might come back with grey hair.
I know that Uganda is already moving into its cooler season, but I was not made to like heat. I hate being hot or even too warm, but it's been constant since I arrived. Outside is always far too hot for my liking; people point out to me that the temperature is only in the low 20s or so, but when you have 99% humidity and you're literally on the equator and the sun is shining, it feels like 35 or more to me. Especially walking uphill.
My apartment doesn't have any A/C or even a fan, but so far that hasn't been too problematic. The temperature tends to stay just on this side of bearable, as long as I don't move too much and don't wear too many clothes. Sometimes it starts to feel very hot though, such as right now...as I drink my peppermint tea (bad idea) and rest my palms on a laptop that is almost definitely overheating on a daily basis. I know I'm not helping at the moment, but sometimes it's inescapable.
It was extremely hot at work today. Thankfully, my supervisor closed the windows and turned on the A/C. For the last two hours of work I was actually comfortably cool. I realized it was the first time I'd felt anything less than "quite warm" since I left home (with the exception of my cold showers, but that's different).
Speaking of which, did I mention that my brand new water pump stopped working this morning? My shower this morning was an even slower trickle than it was before the pump was installed. It was close just to falling off the shower head and dripping down the wall. Apparently, it's getting fixed tomorrow. Fingers crossed. I get very nervous these days with the plumbing (and everything else).
I'm not sure exactly what we've got planned for the weekend, but Aliana and I decided today that we should get as much exploring in as we can. We'll probably hit up a bunch of the spots that were recommended to us by the previous intern, and possibly go on a boda tour of the city (which apparently is very good). I would love to take my camera out (it's still locked away in a suitcase), but I think I'm still too nervous. I'm already constantly worrying about losing my wallet or my phone, or my laptop when I go to work. I'll have to work myself up to it, I think. See, I already stand out here about as much as any one person possibly could. Now add to that a giant camera...I am not keen to draw that much attention to myself at the moment.
That's it for me tonight. I'm going to finish my tea and procrastinate on taking my lukewarm trickle-shower. Good night!