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Uganda Days 45 & 46: Let the Interviews Begin

Yesterday was a public holiday here. Having a Wednesday off is great because it breaks up the week, yet unfortunate because your brain gets tricked into thinking it's the weekend and then Thursday arrives to sucker-punch you with reality. Still, it's always nice to have a day off. I spent my Wednesday much like I tend to spend my Saturdays and Sundays. I had to do a bit of work in the morning, but it took hardly any time at all and the rest of the day I was free. So naturally I sat in coffee shops and spent my free time on reading and relaxing. Even managed to finish my book! On to the next one. I may be bringing home a small library when I leave here in August.

Then it was back to work today. That said, I spent very little time in the office. We had an interview at 9 this morning all the way across town, so I met Aliana over there. Had a bit of trouble finding the place—in typical Ugandan fashion, the only address was a plot number and it wasn't even on the right street—but eventually we made it. Behold, a thrilling picture of the reception area:

Feat. my helmet.

Our interviewee was a lawyer and law lecturer. The interview was interesting and I think it went well, but this one's going to be a nightmare to transcribe. I can handle the accent, but he was speaking SO fast. Seriously, fast enough that entire syllables were being sacrificed for expediency. Later in the day, for the little time I was actually in the office, I started transcribing and it's going to be as difficult as I feared. Even slowing down his voice didn't help! I'll be able to figure out most of it, but there will be a lot more blank spaces than usual.

Our next interview wasn't until 3. Since we were already on the other side of the city, it didn't make sense to go back to the office—besides which, we mapped the location of the next interview and found that it was just down the street from Acacia Mall. So we decided to go there and sit at Patisserie, have a coffee (and in my case, a crêpe as well), and get to work brainstorming our questions for the afternoon. We also walked over to Café Javas for lunch.

I ordered Mexican, as one does at a café next to a gas station in Uganda.

We still had an hour or two left after lunch, so we went back to Patisserie, ostensibly because there were no power outlets at Café Javas, but really because we wanted ice cream.

I've got to say, doing work is a lot more fun at coffee shops with ice cream and good food. Wish I could skip the office every day and work here instead.

The next interview was at the African Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, which was a ten- or fifteen-minute walk away. That one also went well, I think. After we wrapped up, I took a boda back to the office, arriving at 4:30 with only an hour left in the day. As I said, I spent that hour listening to about five minutes of the first interview, over and over and over again. I have a lot more of that to look forward to...not to mention the fact that by the end of tomorrow we'll have four un-transcribed interviews, with many more on the way. Should be a great time!

Alright, that's all for today. Good night!