Tagged: villagelife

SLAUGHTERING OF A PIG

p1270670editblog

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

p1270633editblog
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

p1270657editblog
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

p1270917editblogKooga and Davis

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.

p1270625editblog
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.

p1270853editblog
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.

p1270812editblog

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!

p1270891editblog
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.

A TRIP TO NAKASONGOLA

SHARONSmukke Sharon // Beautiful Sharon

*English version below*

I fredags tog Teacher Aggie og jeg en tur nordpå til Nakasongola for at besøge familien til en pige, Sharon, fra vores skole. Af forskellige årsager har Sharon været væk fra skolen i over et halvt år. Det er svært at få fat på og kommunikere med familien, så nu besluttede vi at tage derop selv. Vi skulle med taxa (som mere er en varevogn, der bliver brugt som mini-bus) og chaufføren havde fortalt at turen ville tage 7-8 timer. Vi forberedte os derfor på, at skulle overnatte en enkelt nat, da jeg ærligt talt ikke bryder mig om at rejse om natten her. Af en eller grund virkede Aggie dog ikke særlig begejstret for at skulle overnatte deroppe, men hun accepterede.

Vi mødtes kl.6 fredag morgen. Trods det tidlige tidspunkt var der et mylder af liv alle vegne. Turen til Nakasongola foregik et pænt langt stykke ad asfalterede veje, men efter et par timer skiftede vi til bumpende jordveje. Turen gik dog langt hurtigere end chaufføren havde forudsagt. Efter to en halv time blev vi sat af ude midt i ingenting, og derfra skulle vi med boda boda resten af vejen. Der var én boda, og vi var tre personer der skulle videre. Normalt kører man en eller to personer. Men der er som bekendt en første gang for alting, og således fik jeg også min debut med at køre fire fuldvoksne mennesker på én boda. Og uden at fornærme nogen, så lad mig bare sige, at jeg ikke var den med den største popo.. Køreturen var 15-20 minutter i et meget tørt og øde landskab. Smukt på sin helt egen måde. Rødt jord er sædvanligvis et af de mest karakteristiske træk ved Uganda, men her var alting snarere gråt og hvidt med lidt sporadisk grønt hist og her. Undervejs prikkede Aggie mig på skulderen for at fortælle mig, at boda-manden i øvrigt gerne ville giftes med mig. Han fangede mit blik i sidespejlet, smilede stort og lavede ”thumbs up”. Tanken om at slå mig ned med en smuk ugandisk mand (og hans sikkert endnu smukkere børn – han havde fire i øvrigt døve børn!) i en lerhytte i dette smukke landskab blandt kaktusser, mangotræer og bomuldsplanter strejfede mig et kort øjeblik. Men helt så simpelt er det vist alligevel ikke..

Vi kom til Sharon’s landsby og den tredje passager hoppede af. Aggie og jeg fortsatte på boda gennem krat og støv og nåede frem til Sharons hjem. Helt øde lå et hus og et par  lerhytter hist og her i det fjerne. Vi blev mødt med smil og åbne arme af Sharon, hendes mor og hendes tante og vi blev hurtigt henvist en siddeplads i skyggen under et stort træ. Sharon var glad for at se os, og hun kunne stadig huske lidt tegnsprog. Hurtigt myldrede det med familiemedlemmer, og jeg må ærligt indrømme at jeg ikke aner hvor de kom fra eller hvordan de vidste, at vi var der. Som sagt virkede stedet meget øde. Det gør altid stort indtryk på mig at møde familier her. Denne gang ingen undtagelse. Og sikke en familie – fyldt med skønne kvinder!

En gammel og karismatisk oldemor til Sharon var en de første der stødte til. Hun var dårligt gående, blind på det ene øje og kunne knapt nok holde det andet øje åbent. Hun var klædt i en smuk og falmet grøn gomesi (ugandisk kjole med spidse skuldre, der mest af alt minder om en balkjole – se billede her), en lysende grøn perlekæde om halsen og et mørkegrønt tørklæde foldet fint omkring hovedet. Hendes hud var rynket og tør og næsten hvid af alt det støv, der konstant hvirlede i luften. Sharons bedstemor var der også, og hendes mand ligeså – altså Sharon’s bedstefar. Dertil var et par andre kvinder, og jeg undrede mig lidt over hvem de alle sammen var. De fleste var tanter hvoraf de to var koner til Sharons bedstefar. Jeps – det viste sig nemlig at manden har tre koner! Sharons mor var der også. En smuk og tilsyneladende ung kvinde. Så jeg blev noget overrasket da hun fortalte at hun har 6 børn! Sharons far er væk, og har været forsvundet siden oktober. De ved ikke hvor han er og om han overhovedet er i live.

Familien er meget fattig, og det viser sig at være årsagen til, at Sharon ikke er kommet tilbage til skolen. De vil gerne have at hun skal gå i skole, men de har ikke penge til transport. Og nu hvor faren er væk er situationen blevet endnu mere vanskelig. Vi snakkede frem og tilbage om hvad vi kan gøre. Livet deroppe er ikke nemt. Og at se hvordan Sharon kommunikerer med sin familie knuste altså mit hjerte en lille smule. Ingen tegnsprog overhovedet og en meget lille forståelse mellem Sharon og hendes familiemedlemmer. Sharon er 12 år og der er masser af fremtid i hende. Men hun er nødt til at komme i skole. Vi endte med at blive enige om, at Sharon kommer tilbage til BDI og at hun så bliver hos os i alle ferier med undtagelse af den lange juleferie på to måneder. Ja, det betyder altså at Sharon i løbet af et år skal være hos os i ti måneder og hos sin familie i to måneder. Det lyder voldsomt for os i Vesten, men det synes som den bedste løsning her – medmindre Sharon skal leve et liv i isolation i hendes landsby.

Efter et par timer blev vi hentet af en ny boda. Igen måtte vi være fire mennesker, om end den ene denne gang var et barn. Til gengæld havde vi denne gang også en høne! Vi måtte køre til en større hovedvej for at fange en taxa. Det betød cirka 25 kilometer ad støvede jordveje. Varmen var ekstrem. Normalt er det en lettelse at køre på boda fordi man så i det mindste får vind i håret. Men her; det var som at have en meget varm hårtørrer blæsende lige ind i ansigtet hele tiden.

Endelig fremme og efter en halv times ventetid kom en taxa. Vi blev mast ind på bagsæderne; mig med hønen på skødet og Aggie med Sharon på skødet. Folk steg hele tiden ind og ud, og på et tidspunkt hvor vi var flest, talte jeg i alt 20 mennesker. (Det skal måske lige tilføjes at der på alle taxaer står skrevet, at de må have 14 passagerer med..) Plus vi have en seng og andet habengut på taget. Aggie og jeg forsøgte at tale sammen trods vi sad på hver vores række og at det er svært at bruge tegnsprog når den ene sidder med ryggen til. Men, hvor der er vilje er der som bekendt vej. Aggie virkede som sagt lidt beklemt ved at vi skulle overnatte i Sharons landsby. Efter at have set landsbyen forstod jeg hvorfor; der var vitterligt ikke meget andet end lerhytter og nogle simpelt byggede huse – om end det også ville have haft sin charme at overnatte dér! Men det var slet ikke dét, der var årsagen til Aggies tøven. Næ, hun afslørede nu på hjemturen, at hun havde hørt historier om kannibalisme deroppe! Så ok, jeg var måske også meget glad for ikke at skulle sove i en mere eller mindre frit tilgængelig lerhytte omgivet af potentielle kannibaler..

To timer senere nåede vi sikkert frem til Kawempe, og herefter gik det videre på boda til skolen. Ungerne var glade for se Sharon igen og vice versa. Jeg tog hjem da solen var ved at gå ned. Jeg var træt og trængte mere end nogensinde til et koldt bad. Sikke en dag. Varm om hjertet og med et smil på læben gik jeg tidligt i seng, faldt i søvn og sov som en sten til næste morgen.

Føler mig umådelig taknemlig, heldig og glimtvis virkelig lykkelig over at være her.

******

Friday Teacher Aggie and I travelled North to Nakasongola to visit the family of a girl, Sharon, from our school. For various reasons Sharon has been away from school for more than six months. It’s hard to get in touch and communicate with her family, so now we decided to go up there ourselves. We went by taxi (which is more like a van used as a mini-bus) and the driver told us the travel would take 7-8 hours. We therefore prepared having to stay for one night, as I am honestly not fond of travelling at night here. For some reason Aggie though seemed kind of uncomfortable having to stay over night, but she though accepted.

We met Friday morning at 6 am. Despite the early hour, there are a myriad of life everywhere. The first hours of driving was along paved roads, but then we switched for bumpy dirty roads. The travel to Nakasongola though went much faster than the driver had predicted. After two and a half hours the van stopped in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. We got out and the taxi left. Now, we needed a boda boda the rest of the way. There was only one boda but three people needed a ride. Usually you go one or two people on a boda. But well, there is a first time for everything – and this was my first ride being three grownups plus the driver. And without offending anyone, let me just say that I wasn’t the one with the biggest butt.. The ride was 15-20 minutes in a very dry and kind of desolate landscape; beautiful in its own way. Usually Uganda is characterized by its red soil but here everything was gray and white with a little green here and there. While driving Aggie suddenly tapped my shoulder telling me that the driver wanted to marry me. The driver met my eyes in the side mirror and smiled big while giving me “thumbs up”. The thought of settling down with a beautiful Ugandan man (and his probably even more beautiful children – he had four deaf children!) in a mud hut in this unique landscape of cactuses, mango trees and cotton plants caught me for a moment. But well, it’s not that simple after all..

We came to Sharon’s village and the third passenger got off. Aggie and I continued on the boda through brushwoods and dust till we reached Sharon’s home. Completely deserted were a house and a few mud huts here and there in a distance. We were welcomed with smiles and open arms by Sharon, her mother and her aunt, and we were quickly invited to sit in the shade under a large tree. Sharon was happy to see us, and she could still remember a little sign language. Quickly other family members came to join us. I must admit that I wondered where all these people came from and how they knew we were there. As I said, it seemed like a very deserted place. Anyways, it always makes a big impression on me to meet families here. This time was no exception. And what a family – so many wonderful women!

An old and very charismatic great-grandmother of Sharon was one of the first to arrive. She had a hard time to walk, and she was blind in one eye and could hardly keep the other eye open. She was dressed in a beautiful and faded green gomesi (Ugandan dress with pointed shoulders, that most of all resembles some kind of a prom dress – see photo here), a bright green pearl necklace and a dark green scarf beautifully folded around her head. Her skin was wrinkled and dry and almost white because of all the dust that constantly whirls in the air. Sharon’s grandmother was there too, and so was her husband – Sharon’s grandfather, that is. Add to this a lot of other women. I wondered who they all were. Some were aunts and then I learned that some of them were the wives of Sharon’s grandfather. Yep – it turns out that he has three wives! Sharon’s mother was also there – a beautiful and seemingly young woman. So I was very surprised to learn that she has six children! Sharon’s father is gone and has been missing since October. They do not know where he is and whether he is alive.

The family is very poor, and it turns out to be the reason that Sharon has not come back to school. They want her to go to school, but there is no money for transport. And now that father is gone the situation is even harder. We talked back and forth about what we can do. Life up there is hard, and it broke my heart a little to see how Sharon communicates with her family. No sign language at all and a very poor understanding between them. Sharon is 12 years old and there is plenty of potential in her. But she must go to school. We ended up agreeing that Sharon comes back and that she stays with BDI in all holidays with the exception of the long Christmas break of two months. Or put in other words; during a year Sharon will stay at BDI for ten months and with her family for two months. It sounds kind of harsh for us in the West, but it seems like the best solution here – unless we want Sharon to live an isolated life in her village.

After a few hours another boda driver came to pick us up. Again we had to be four people on a boda, though this time one of them was a child. But this time we also had to carry a chicken! We had to go to the highway to catch a taxi. That meant around 25 kilometers on dusty dirt roads. The heat was extreme. Usually it is a relief to drive on a boda because at least you then get wind in your hair. But here it was like having a very hot blow dryer blowing hot air straight into your face all the time.

Finally we arrived and after 30 minutes of waiting a taxi came. We were squeezed into the van; me with the chicken on my lap, and Aggie with Sharon on her lap. People got on and off all the time, and at a time when we were most I counted us being 20 people. (I might add that all taxis have a note written on their doors saying they are allowed to carry 14 passengers..) Plus we have a bed and other stuff on the roof! Aggie and I tried to talk together. It wasn’t really easy as we sat in different rows and because it’s difficult to use sign language when one person is seated with their back to the other’s front. As I wrote in the beginning Aggie seemed a little uncomfortable staying over night in Sharon’s village. After seeing the village I understand why; the village was just like a bunch of huts and some very simple build houses – although it would have had its charm to stay there! But that wasn’t really the reason for Aggies hesitation. No, the real reason, she revealed to me, was that she heard stories about cannibalism up there! She wouldn’t tell me before we were going home. After that information I admittedly did feel kind of happy we didn’t spend the night in these rather easy accessing huts surrounded by potential cannibals..

Two hours later we reached Kawempe, and we continued on a boda to school. The kids were happy to see Sharon again and vice versa. I went home just when the sun was setting. I was tired and needed a cold shower more than anything. What a day. Warm at heart and with a smile on my face I went to sleep and slept like a rock till next morning.

Feeling indescribable grateful and blessed to be here, really.