So Kaitlin you live in Africa.... Is your house like.. a mud hut? No. I live in Kampala, the capital city, where there are some houses that are quite nice! My house is located near Heritage, an international school, so that I can be close to a community of teachers and staff that are around my age. The place that I am renting has a cute little backyard and a wall that encloses the compound.
Do you have electricity? Yes. However, occasionally I have power outages that last up to 6-8 hrs at a time. Luckily I have a gas stove, so I can still cook, and a solar charger for my phone.
What about air-conditioning? No. But the temperatures here range from upper 80s in the day, down the the mid 60s at night. So its usually cool at night when you are trying to sleep. Plus I have a fan by my bed in case I'm feeling hot.
Do you go to that bathroom... outside? Those outdoor toilets you are talking about, those are called latrines. And to answer your question, yes, I use them, BUT only when I am traveling to the village. At home I have the porcelain throne.
What do you eat? At my house I can make almost any recipe from back home. I may have to go to four different grocery stores to find what I am looking for, but I can usually find it-With the exception of a few things like nuts, relish, and chocolate chips.
Local Ugandan food consists of rice, beans, matoke (boiled or steamed mashed green bananas), chapati (the African version of a soft tortilla), one or two chucks of meat a little bit smaller than the size of a golf ball, posho (sometimes called ugali; fine white corn flour is mixed with water until it stiffens into a dough consistency), and mandazi (their version of a doughnut). I eat these items when I'm staying in the village.
What is something interesting or funny about the culture you live in? When I was on a trip to the village, I stayed at a local pastor's house. They made dinner and starting bringing dish after dish of food into the living room. Then they disappeared outside and I thought they went to get the rest of the food, but they were gone for over 15 minutes. Finally, one of then peeked back in and said, "What is the matter? Is there something wrong with the food?" "No!" I said. "I was just waiting for you guys to start." "Oh no," She replied. "We could never eat with our dear visitor. We must leave you alone to eat. That is what you do for your most honored guest."
Do you feel safe? Absolutely. I have a day guard and a night guard that stay at my house and I have a driver that travels with me everywhere I go. Uganda's government is very stable right now and has been for a long time. I can travel anywhere in the country and feel free of worry or concern. Ugandans love Americans and want to make you feel special and at home.
Do you like it there? YES! When you know you are doing what God has called you to do, it is quite possibly one of the best feelings in the world.