Monday, November 24, 2008

Travelling - Ugandan style

Last night, Irene and I physically crashed around 9pm but were unable to get into bed till midnight. We are being hosted by a family here. After taking tea at 9pm yesterday we went back to the clinic and chatted with some of the staff and patients while waiting to find our accomodations. Upon arrival we waited as they wished to also bring us tea and food. By the time we'd finished eating I was so exhausted that I only washed my face and feet before crawling into bed - even though I felt so filthy from travelling all day.

On the bus we'd had the seats directly behind the door. They of course packed the bus so full with seats that my feet extended over the edge and spent most of the 8 hour trip either tucked under my seat or dangling over the ledge. The door also didn't fully close so I would wipe my pants every 30 minutes or so to get rid of the film of dirt which had accumulated from the incoming wind. After we stopped by the roadside for a pee break, I felt much less comfortable dangling my feet.

The toilet consisted of a cement block with a hole in the middle surrounded by corrugated tin. All the women would wait outside while one went inside and squatted. When it was my turn I went inside and the two women after me peeked around the corner to watch. I tried to wait for them to get bored of watching me, but apparently they wanted to see a white woman pee. Eventually I just asked them to please turn around. They nearly waited till I finished, and I guess that is the best I could hope for...

Of course, no one on the bus washed their hands afterwards and everyone held onto the ledge as they entered, then one of the guys on the bus took a sip of water and spat onto the stairs. By the end of the bus ride I alternated between sticking my feet into the air ahead of me and tucking under my seat since I could feel my knees starting to go numb.

Washing this morning, my whole body, was one of the happiest things I've ever done :)

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