Uganda Days 73-75: The End of the Internship

It’s hard to believe that today was my last as an intern at FHRI. Where did the time go? But first—I’ve got a few days to catch up on.

Wednesday was quite a normal, uneventful work day, until the torrential downpour. Ironically, a day or two before this I was thinking about how lucky I am that it never once rained during my walk to or from work. For a city with frequent rainfall, that’s a feat. But it wasn’t meant to be, and with three days to go, I made up for three months’ worth of rain in one evening.

I had my earphones in all afternoon at work, and I was engrossed in whatever I was doing, so I didn’t notice the storm come in. Just before quitting time I ordered some food for dinner, at which point I still hadn’t looked out the window. As soon as I’d done that, I turned off my music and closed my computer, and only then did I notice that armageddon had arrived. It was so dark outside it looked almost like night, and now that my earphones were out, I could hear the rain. I think I need a stronger word than “pouring” to describe it.

I was not about to walk home in that. Taking a boda would have been equally wet and probably a serious risk to my well-being, so I decided to wait it out at work. I had to call and cancel the food I’d just ordered. Twenty minutes later the power went out. After another half-hour, it wasn’t chucking it down quite as severely, so I packed up and left. Still raining a lot, just less than before. I had a small umbrella, but really, when you’re walking down these red dirt roads it’s the bottom half of your body you’re more concerned about. I went ankle-deep a couple of times. Also take in the fact that my shoes are the ones I’ve been wearing to work every single day, which had worn out so much in the last ten weeks that they were literally coming apart at the seams. Not ideal for downpours and mudslides. It’s a good thing I’d long since decided to abandon them here, and it was the last time I had to wear them, so it could have been worse!

Anyway, I made it home and scrounged up a meal from whatever I had lying around. This was difficult, because the power was out, which meant I couldn’t use the stove or even boil water. But I made it through. And what better way to spend a power outage than watching a movie? I had enough charge left on my laptop, thankfully. I watched Macbeth, the new one, with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. It was pretty good—very visual. Watching it takes a lot of concentration, though, since I’d forgotten a lot of the finer plot points and spoken Shakespeare is much more difficult to follow when it’s delivered in a thick Scottish accent. But I enjoyed it! Although I thought it could have explored Lady Macbeth’s character a little more. Anyway, it actually had me missing Shakespeare, so I think the next thing I read will have to be one of his.

That was Wednesday. Having no electricity also means no hot water except for whatever was left in the tank, which wasn’t much. So on Thursday morning, I was admittedly a little dismayed that the power was still out and I had to take a cold shower. There were no more storms, though, so by the time I got home the power was on again. First thing I did was run the hot water tank for a solid hour, just in case. The electricity is volatile here, to say the least, so I was half-expecting it to quit on me again.

That brings me to Friday, my last day at FHRI. It’s it felt like it was crawling by, but now that I’m done I can’t figure out where the time went. It’s been a great experience. There are some other people I would have liked to interview and places I would have liked to visit, but I’m glad I at least got to go to three police stations and do the interviews I did.

After ten weeks, I figured I should probably show you where I've been sitting all this time!

Yup, that's a boardroom.

Anyway, that's about it for today. Just had dinner and now I think I am going to make some tea and put on another movie, although I have no idea which one—my supply of one-dollar DVDs is running low. I'll have to get some more tomorrow. Happy Friday!