We woke early this morning to singing from the church just across the street and a few roosters announcing the day. After a nice breakfast of toast, jam, tea, and sweet bananas, (‘kamamua’ in Lugisu, as we learned this afternoon), we met Vincent and Father John in the yard, before heading down the road into Shilongo with Vincent. The weather was perfectly warm but not hot as the shadows behind us got shorter and the sun, higher. We made our way down to the borehole, meeting people along the way, practicing our shoddy Lugisu, which certainly improved throughout the morning as everyone we met was really friendly and helpful as we stumbled through conversation. Shouts of ‘Mulembe!’ or ‘hello’ in English was the dominant greeting and along with a wave and a smile was seemingly a sure way to receive a large grin and a returning welcome.
We ran into Juda at the borehole and set up a meeting with the ‘water board’ for tomorrow morning at the Punyende, a community meeting place under a large tree. After the meeting we’re planning to see more of the village and start talking with people about how we’ll move forward with the project. Misaki continually reconnected with people from the implementation trip in August, and scheduled some card games for later with Rogers. Vincent took us over to see Florence, but along the way, pointed out all sorts of fruits and vegetables, explaining what they were, what they were called in Lugiso, and perhaps best of all, picking some that were in season and letting us taste them. As we walked through various gardens, we found gigantic avocados, sweet bananas, plantains (‘matoke’), baby green eggplant, tomatoes (‘zinyanya’), mangoes (‘kumuyembe’), Irish potatoes (‘komapoli’) , sweet potatoes (‘kamamui’), kasava, a white root that’s a bit sweet and nut like to taste, coffee beans, passion fruit (‘bitunda’), oranges (‘kumuchungwa’), and a host of other interesting and tempting plants. The most common question of Vincent quickly became, “Can you eat that?”
As Misaki reunited with Florence amidst wide smiles, Professor Swan was checking out some of the clay stoves with Vincent. Not far from there, some of the same red dirt, mixed with water, was being put to use as the base of a two room addition to a nearby house. We met some of Vincent’s relatives before heading back to Nyondo for another delicious meal prepared by David and James, and after are planning to meet with Samuel and Richard from FDNC to go over our plan for this trip. We’re really hoping to lay out a solid plan with the community so our short time here can be spent most effectively.
We’ll likely be back in Mbale in the next few days, so hopefully we should be able to get a few more blog posts put up to keep everyone in the loop. Excited for the days to come!