Alicia Johnson

Joined March 2017
  • Day10

    Settling in

    June 18, 2017 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    It has been almost a month in Ruhija now, and I have had a lot of time to reflect. Nearly every weekend we have done a trip (lake Bunyonyi, Buhoma) and I think this has enabled me to see different sides of Uganda from different perspectives. There are times I feel like a tourist, but mostly I feel like a traveller or even more of a local in the community, although I will always stand out because of how I look.
    For the most part I do not really feel like a tourist because I am with the Ugandan students working in the clinic and our accommodations with ITFC are awesome, but feel more like camping than anything else. On the weekends though I am a tourist even if I feel like I am different from the other tourists I meet. At resorts there are tons of other white people. Many complain about the slow wifi or cold showers and I am just thrilled to have these things. I get really excited about flushing toilets and sinks with running water because I am used to latrines and hand sanitizer. I don't really know where I fit anymore, but I am just trying to enjoy whatever comes my way.
    It took a long time (about one month), but I feel that I am finally embracing being in Africa and am looking forward to the next couple months here. I love having fresh avocado, bananas, pineapple, and jackfruit all the time. Beans and rice is a good staple. Posho (maize flour cooked to the consistently of mashed potatoes) and matoke (plantain) and g nuts (ground nut sauce) are pretty good too.
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  • Day1

    Ruhija

    June 9, 2017 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    I have been away from home for one month now. Although by the time I post this it will be closer to six weeks because that is likely the soonest I will have internet access. Ruhija is a community within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It's inhabitants are mainly gorilla treckers and farmers and many many children. I am working in the health clinic here three days a week. There are five Canadians and five Ugandans in my team of health care students and we are staying on a conservation site owned by MUST (Mbarara University of Science and Technology). The lights are solar powered and there is no running water. We hike up a steep hill to charge items and collect water in jerry cans. Monkeys seem to be nearly as common as squirrels here. The ITFC (Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation) people let the monkeys eat our garbage, but this has not stopped them from breaking into our house and stealing our bread.
    This is probably the most beautiful landscape I have ever been in and the pictures simply do not do it justice. I will try to post more often.
    Alicia
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