Monday, June 23, 2014

"Here in Africa, we do not worry about the time so much."

Hello again from Uganda! Alex and I are at the beginning of week four in Ishaka, and have been in the office this past week collecting data and observing the day-to-day activities of the health plan staff. Last week, we were able to purchase an electric kettle for the office, so now we can enjoy some "mid-morning tea" (when the power is on, that is). Most nights when we go to sleep the power is on, and most mornings when we wake up the power is off. The power has also gone out on us in one supermarket and one restaurant so far, but all in all it is something we can live with. :) Our mentor, Susie Acuff, managed to introduce us to many of the locals before she left last weekend, and they have taken great care of us since she's been away (and fed us tons and tons and tons of food- sorry Susie, you're really missing out over here). One thing that the locals like to remind us is that "here in Africa, we eat a lot." Being "fat" is desirable, and they all say they want Alex and I to be fat when we leave. They may just accomplish that.

Another thing they like to remind us I have quoted above- Ugandans are notoriously bad timekeepers. It can be very frustrating when you are waiting for a ride that has come half an hour late, when you are kept waiting for food for over an our (but no worries- it's coming "now"), and when someone says they are going to step out of the office and they don't make it back until closing time. It has been a learning experience to adjust to this way of life and to be patient with them when their timing is way off, not to mention it's been hard not to fall prey to it- we have even been slipping on time lately, and it's not a great habit (even if they tend to do it more often than not). It can be relaxing to let the time slip away from you- in America, we let ourselves get so stressed about the limited time we have in the day, or if we're running late to this or that. It has been a very new experience to not be in a rush to get anywhere, with the exception of getting to our favorite hotel (restaurant) Charona for some quality Ugandan TV and goat with chips before dark. I feel much less stressed and much more relaxed here, and I can understand why we suffer from so many more stress-related, chronic illnesses in America. Not to say I won't be rushing around soon enough to do things when I am back, but I will certainly take my experiences here in Ishaka home when I need to remember to slow down and enjoy my day.

No comments:

Post a Comment