Tagged: culture

10 DAYS – 10 PICTURES

For knap en uge siden kom jeg hjem fra Uganda. Det var nogle intense 10 dage. Alt for kort tid. Og samtidig lige præcis nok. Jeg fik både arbejdet, set venner, ventet (!), filosoferet over stort og småt, grint, grædt, smilt og bare været lige der, hvor jeg var nu var.

It’s almost a week since I returned from Uganda. It was 10 intense days. Too little time. Yet just enough time. I worked, spent time with friends, waited (!), thought about a million things, laughed, cried and smiled. And well, tried to be present where I was.

Et af de vigtigste møder, var med James Kimbowa, som hjælper os på vej med diverse registreringer, og med at navigere i den jungle af regler og korruption, der desværre stadig er en realitet i Uganda. I øvrigt et typisk billede af Joel og jeg. Vi kan skændes så ingen tør være i nærheden, og være fjollede som to små skolebørn – heraf billedet..

One of the most important meetings during my stay was with James Kimbowa. He is helping us with various organizational things, and helps us navigate in the jungle of rules and corruption – the last unfortunately still being a thing in Uganda. It’s btw a typical picture of Joel and me. We can argue and fight so that no one dare to be around, and we can laugh and be silly like children – hence the picture..

Ventetid. Og eftertænksomhed. Følte mig noget mere tidspresset og stresset denne gang. Ikke særlig godt i kombination med “afrikansk tid” og TIA. Jeg blev nemt frustreret, vred og ked af det. Og samtidig enormt skamfuld. Det er svært at forklare. Alle dem jeg kender, og arbejder sammen med, lever nogle hårde liv, hvor fattigdom, sygdom, enormt meget ansvar, uforudsigelighed og utryghed er en fast del af hverdagen. Og så kommer jeg og kræver dit og dat fordi jeg nu kun er der i ti dage. Men verden drejer ikke rundt om mig. Heldigvis. Så selvom tiden var knap måtte jeg af og til bide frustrationerne i mig, og huske på det noget anderledes liv, som de fleste lever. Det fordrer ydmyghed, tålmodighed og stor gensidig forståelse at arbejde under sådanne vilkår. 

Waiting time. And thoughtfulness. Felt more stressed and a big time-pressure this time around. Doesn’t go well with “African time” and TIA. I was easily frustrated, angry and sad. And at the same time full of shame for feeling that way. It’s hard to explain. All the people I know and work with in Uganda live hard lives, where poverty, sickness, tremendous responsibility, unpredictability and insecurity are part of everyday life. And then I come, “demanding” time and meetings, and no delays and “please, I’m just here for 10 days!”. But thank God the world doesn’t spin around me. So even though time was scarce, I had to try and keep my frustrations to myself now and then, and bear in mind how different everything is there. It requires humility, patience and great mutual understanding to work under such conditions.

Nåede at besøge Kitiibwa og Sarah, hvis bryllup jeg var med til i December. Sarah er gravid og skal føde til oktober. Hun har desværre en hård graviditet og skal forholde sig i ro. Det er deres første barn. Drengen på billedet er Joels.

Got the time to visit Kitiibwa and Sarah. I attended their wedding in December. Sarah is pregnant and is giving birth in October. Her pregnancy is hard on her, and she has stopped working and must stay home and take it easy. It’s their first child. The boy in the picture is Joel’s.

Skolen var lukket da jeg var i Uganda, men jeg fik alligevel set Frank. Hentede ham hjemme og vi tilbragte en dejlig eftermiddag sammen. / The school was closed while I was in Uganda, but I still managed to see Frank. I picked him up at his home and we got to spend a great afternoon together.

Trampolin er et hit! / Frank loved the trampoline!

Arbejde, arbejde og arbejde. Altid. Men denne gang holdt Joel og jeg en eftermiddag fri sammen med hans børn og “min” Frank. Sjovt, rart og afslappet. / Work, work, work! Always. But this time Joel and I took off an afternoon together with his kids and “my” Frank. Fun times, indeed.

Semuto. Selvfølgelig. Et af mine yndlingssteder i Uganda. Der sker så helt vildt meget deroppe i øjeblikket. Samtidig er det et af de allerbedste steder at finde stilhed og “indre ro”. / Semuto. Of course. One of my favourite places in Uganda. So much is happening there at the moment. At the same time it’s one of the best places to find silence and “inner peace”.

Et glimt af vores nye skole. Der kommer en video fra byggeriet en af de kommende dage. / A glimpse of our new school. I’ll post a video from the building soon.

De smukkeste solnedgange findes uden tvivl i Uganda. Denne gang regnede det en hel del og der var derfor også ret skyet. Men en aften i Semuto var jeg alligevel heldig at få et glimt af paradis.. / The most beautiful sunsets are without a doubt in Uganda. This time it was raining a lot and hence it was mostly cloudy. But one night in Semuto I was lucky and got a glimpse of paradise..

SLAUGHTERING OF A PIG

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I forbindelse med julen var jeg så heldig at vidne slagtning af en gris. Ja, jeg er nok på mange måder en “city girl” og jeg ved ærligt talt ikke meget om slagtning af dyr. I Danmark køber man oftest kød, der er udskåret og færdigpakket uden at tænke meget over, hvordan dyret egentlig ser ud. Eller, det er måske bare mig. Nå, men jeg er fascineret af arbejdet. Som jeg skrev i mit forrige indlæg om jul, så vil nogen måske væmmes en smule. Beklager på forhånd. Men sådan er virkeligheden – og jeg elsker den. Mange er desuden ofte bange for at spise mad i fremmede lande, fordi det måske bliver håndteret på en anden måde, end man er vant til. Men jeg er 7-9-13 aldrig blevet syg af mad her. Det blev jeg i øvrigt heller ikke af at spise grisen dér.

// 

For Christmas I was lucky to wittness the slaughtering of a pig. In many ways I might be “a city girl” and honestly I don’t know much about the slaughtering of animals. When you buy meat in Denmark the meat it’s mostly sliced and packed, and people may rarely think of what the animal really looks like. Or perhaps that’s just how it is for me. Anyways, I’m very fascinated by the work. As I wrote in my previous post about Christmas, then some people might feel slightly disgusted by the way it’s done here. Sorry, but this is the reality – and I love it. Besides, many people fear to eat food in foreign countries, because food might be handled in a different way than they are used to. But let me tell you that I’ve never been sick from food here in Uganda. Neither did I become sick from eating this pig. 

p1270625editblogNår grisen er slagtet, skal den ‘afpelses’ // When the pig has been slaughtered all the hair is removed

p1270644editblogKogende vand hjælper til at få hårene af // Boiled water helps the removal of hair

p1270669editblogNår hårerne er fjernet bliver hovedet skåret af // When the hair is removed the head is cut off

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Klar til næste skridt // Ready for the next step

p1270677editblogGrisen vaskes med vand og bananblade // The pig is cleaned with water and banana leaves 

p1270684editblogMere vaskning // More rinsing

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Slagtningen foregik afsides på marken // The slaughtering took place in the remoteness of the field

p1270708editblogBenene skæres af og herefter starter parteringen // The legs are cut off and then the parting begins

p1270728editblogLungerne og hjertet // The lungs and the heart

p1270736editblogGodfrey er dagens slagter // Godfrey is the butcher of the day

p1270743editblogFærdigt arbejde // The work is done

UGANDAN STYLE CHRISTMAS

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Har fejret jul i Uganda, og det har været fantastisk. // I’ve celebrated Christmas in Uganda – it’s been amazing.

p1270862editblogFun times!

Der er ferie på skolen, men jeg fik arrangeret at 12 børn, der bor i området, kunne komme og fejre jul. Joel var så venlig at lægge hus til, da mit sted er for småt. I Uganda fejrer man jul den 25. december, og det var egentlig meningen, at vi bare skulle være samlet den dag. Men det endte med at blive udvidet til tre dage! Lad mig bare sige, at det er pænt hårdt at være alenemor til 12 børn. Ha! Men det var det hele værd.

It’s school holiday, but I arranged that 12 children living in the nearby area could come and celebrate Christmas. Joel kindly lent us his house, since my place is too small for so many people. In Uganda Christmas is celebrated December 25th (in Denmark we celebrate the 24th), and we were supposed to meet only that day. Yet suddenly it was extended to last for 3 days! Let me just say that single parenting 12 kids is hard. Lol. But it was worth it.

p1270818editblogFrank 

Den 24. december mødtes Joel og jeg tidligt om morgen. Vi kørte til Semuto for at slagte en gris. Vejen op gennem landsbyerne var fantastisk. Der var juleforberedelser alle vegne. Mange små byer var pyntet med flag og der blev slagtet dyr her, der og alle vegne. Aldrig har jeg set så meget ophængt kød – og så mange mennesker stimle sammen om de små slagter boder. Julen er vigtig og noget mange sparrer op til i lang tid. Man spiser kylling, gris eller ko. Muslimer spiser får. Ged er der ikke så mange om – det er mere hverdagsspise.

Slagtningen af grisen i Semuto foregik på et leje af bananblade. (Billeder kommer snarest.) Det var fantastisk at se arbejdet blive udført med sikker hånd. De fleste vesterlændinge ville nok rynke på næsen og fødevarestyrelsen komme råbende med løftede pegefingre. Men der er styr på det.

December 24th Joel and I met early in the morning. We went to Semuto to slaughter a pig. The drive up through the villages was amazing. There were Christmas preparations everywhere. Many villages were decorated with flags and animals were slaughtered literally everywhere. I’ve never seen this much meat – and so many people gathered around the small butcher booths. Christmas is important here and something people save for in a long time. You eat chicken, pig or cow. Muslims eat sheap. Goat is mostly eaten outside the season.

The slaughtering of the pig in Semuto was done on a bed of banana leaves. (Pictures will come soon.) It was amazing to see the way it was done. Most westerners would probably lift an eyebrow and feel somehow lose their appetite, and the officials working with hygiene (don’t know what you call them in English) would most likely come running with all their rules and regulations. But people know what they are doing here.

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Slagtning af gris // slaughtering of a pig

Efter slagtningen kørte vi omkring nogle bittesmå landsbyer i området og hentede fire børn. Jeg elsker at møde familierne og se hjemmene til børnene. Det giver en større og dybere forståelse for børnenes livsvilkår. Der var smil over hele linjen. Så kørte vi mod Joels hus og gjorde stop her og der for at købe mad til julen. Herefter tog jeg en boda boda hjem for at hente mine ting, hentede Frank og så tilbage til Kawanda, hvor Joel bor.

After the slaughtering we drove to some tiny villages to pick up four kids from school. I love to meet the families and see where the kids come from. Such visits give a greater and deeper understanding of the kids’ living conditions. There were smiles everywhere. Then we drove back to Joel’s house and stopped at some small booths to buy food for the Christmas meal. Afterwards I took a boda boda home to get my things, picked Frank from his home and then we went back to Kawanda, where Joel stays.

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Så er flokken samlet // All of us together

Senere på aftenen fik vi besøg af de sødeste mennesker. En lille gruppe på fire personer iklædt nissehuer og bilen spækket med julepynt og gaver. De kom fra en ugandisk Whatsapp-gruppe, der hedder ”Buy & Sell”. Den ene er veninde med en af mine ugandiske veninder. Hun havde fortalt om BDI, og de ville gerne hjælpe med at sprede noget juleglæde. Så de kom med juletræ, balloner, pynt, kage, gaver og meget mere. Det er faktisk første gang, at vi har haft lokale til at hjælpe. Det var fedt! Det er selvsagt ikke kun ”hvide mennesker” der kan hjælpe og gøre en forskel. Det synes jeg er vigtigt, at børnene ser.

Later that night we had a visit by the kindest group of people dressed with Christmas hats and their car full of Christmas decorations and gifts. They come from a Ugandan Whatsapp-group named “Buy & Sell”. One of the people is a friend to one of my Ugandan friends. She had told about BDI and the people wanted to help spread some Christmas joy. They came with a Christmas tree, balloons, decorations, cake, gifts and a lot more. It was actually the first time we had local help. It was fantastic! Needless to say it’s not only “white people” who can help and make a difference. I think it’s very important that the kids see, that Ugandan people can help and care too.

p1270827editblogJulekort fra “Buy & Sell” // Christmas card from “Buy and Sell”

Næste dag kom endnu flere børn til, og vi endte med at være præcis 12 børn plus mig og Joels to søstre og en bror, der var så søde at lave mad til os alle sammen.

Next day even more kids came, and we ended up being 12 kids plus me and Joel’s two sisters and one brother who were so kind to cook for all of us.

p1270813editblogFlavia and Cate

Dagen gik med at lægge puslespil, tegne, spille fodbold, hænge ud, se tegnefilm og grine.

We spent the day doing puzzles, drawing, played soccer, hung out, and watched cartoon and laughed.

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Julemåltidet blev indtaget til frokost og det var vidunderligt. Kartofler, matoke (madbananer), ris, spaghetti, jordnøddesovs, gris, ko og noget stegt hvidskåls-halløj. Mmmm!

The Christmas meal was eaten at lunch and it was delicious. Potatoes, matoke (green bananas), rice, spaghetti, groundnut sauce (here just knows as gnuts), pig, cow and some cooked cabbage. Yum!

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Festmåltid! // Christmas meal!

Senere på aftenen var der kage, som var blevet givet af ”Buy & Sell” gruppen. Her skærer alle kagen for, så alle har en hånd på kniven. Så tæller man til tre og kniven føres ned. Haps!

Later in the evening we had cake given by the “Buy & Sell” group. Here everyone cuts the cake, so all kids held the knife. Then we counted for three, and the knife cut through the cake.

p1270965editblogSådan skærer man kage // How to cut a cake

Omkring kl.23 var det sengetid. Vi blev alle stuvet sammen på fem madrasser. Det var pænt varmt, skal jeg hilse at sige. Lidt i halv syv næste morgen blev jeg vækket af den første lille nisse, og snart var alle vågne. I løbet af formiddagen kørte vi alle hjem til deres respektive familier.

Around 11pm it was time to go to sleep. We were 13 people sharing 5 mattresses. It had its charm despite being seriously hot. Some little time before 6:30 am next morning the first little elf came to say good morning to me. Soon everyone was awake. Joel came around 10am and then we took the grand tour driving everyone home.

p1280004editblogGodnat // Goodnight

En meget dejlig jul. Og forhåbentlig ikke sidste gang, at det lader sig gøre på denne måde. Tak til de søde mennesker, der har sendt penge til at give børnene (og mig) en uforglemmelig jul.

It’s been a lovely Christmas. And hopefully not the last time I get to celebrate Christmas this way. Thanks to the people who sent money to give the kids (and me) an unforgettable Christmas.

p1270752editblogSolnedgang fra huset // Sunset from the house

Se flere billeder nedenfor. // More pictures in the gallery below.