The clock has struck twelve, and I wanted to take people through my typical evening.
I was to meet Patrick at 6pm, to talk about the chicken farm & see whats up. I was late (to my shame) 6:40. We walked to a not-so-nearby restaurant from a bustling, crowded, not so organized bus station.
We talked about food- the kids diets, after he re-produced the quotes he'd gotten for the chicken farm. We met a guy named Yasin, who ran the restaurant we went to when he conficated a card that asked for help- from a deaf guy. He would later contribute good ideas like alternative/collective schooling, and some other stuff.
Patrick & I are trying to find a sustainable, cost-effective diet that DOESN'T CONSIST OF CORN-FLOUR 3x a day. Maize is their cheapest 'grain'/grain substitute, and the flour mixed with water & heated is what they give kids for lunch at school, with beans (which are ten times better than Heinz back home, btw). EVERYDAY FOR LUNCH. Breakfast is porridge (which after 5 months of thinking it was oatmeal I discovered it was again...: CORN FLOUR!! mixed with a touch of sugar, and boiled water- just more than what they get for lunch).
Of course, when the kids come home to the orphanage, they get: POSHO & BEANS- the sustainence food.
Patrick was kind enough to remind me, after 2 hours of wracking my already blood sugar depleted mind (which I addressed with a plate of fries.. not supposed to eat- how can wrong taste so right, I wonder?) the set-up of the home-phanage:
1 group: 43 in #- goes away to school at 8am (gets breakie, lunch- mentioned above) and comes home later in the day
2 group: comes to home-phanage at 8am and stays till 4- they are actually 60 community children who can't afford school, whom they feed breakfast (though it's ideal b/c its seldom there) and lunch (POHSO & beans it is!)- it's what they can afford.
We looked at cost effective ways to make more of things.
We produced the following priorities:
1. all meals are had
2. main meals are varied (i.e. not POSHO & BEANS) whenever possible
3. that they get ANY vegetables
4. that they get some fruit
Right now they are struggling with the first priority.
But get this- someone from the Netherlands (friend of a volunteer there) just pitched $250 towards them, refusing to be named. So now the children have food. My guess is that it can take them about 2- 2.5 weeks, ish.
With this tying them over for a while, I want to build something sustainable: CHICKEN COUPE (COOP) (COUPE)?? (CUP?) (CUP-A-SOUP?)
ANyways, the list is posted on my comments, so you can see which components are needed/how much they cost.
A few people have come out of the woodwork, really seeming to have perspective & trust towards this endeavor. Thank you for joining the team. I intend to keep us all informed as things roll out- but I want the chicken farm for this next week to be up- before I scoot. (WHAT A CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!). True Christmas
The way home was through dark, wide, downtown streets to the bus station. They were litterally littered in a littersome way. We passed a lot of people, but Patty caught these two boys & had to talk, an addiction of his. Our convo ensues:
[to come! sorry, technical issues- basically Patrick talks about living on the street and how they had to eat scraps & scavenge, spoken as we walk through the dark dirty streets]
-He's really good about keeping legitimacy & cooperation (of parents & authorities) in the home. Looks like we'll have 45 (plus the 60 day-timers) to feed.
Then I took a bus- nope, can't find one- BODA home. Guy had glossy eyes and looked.. scary to a judgemental, overcautious Jamie, so I made sure I knew the way he was taking home. My pocket knife- how ridiculous is this- was open in my side pocket. On the ride, you think about things like: how best to not let your guy crash- talk or not talk, how-if ever- I would even actually use the knife, and how I' react if he took a de-tour (I've thrice hopped off the back of one for that cause, only once may have been legit).
I gave him some g-nuts (peanuts but littler) when we arrived down the homestrech on a used-to-be-garbage site on one of Kampala's many large hills. I jogged to a man at a bbq, out front of a shanty bar with men enoying their favorite corporate pasttime- watching English Premier league football, to get 1 dollars worth of goats meat- enough to satisfy- and brought him back my change to pay for the ride (3000 shillings or $1.50).
I got home to several sleeping people, there was Kennith, Jja Jja and Amos all in different spots in the big bedroom, where I entered out little comfy abode, and Bubeada had come to let me in before retiring to the small room, which is hers right now. Dora- the pastors wife- was at an all night prayer service- devout as she is, she needs a job and wants direction, and has been devoting herself in prayer.
Me- I sleep on the couch, which is good, because the most functional of our 3 power outlets is next to it, and I have my space here. The mosquitos find me, but the little super guys help clean them up. (I have geckos that run all over walls & ceilings- they're cool)
I swat a lot still though, and as I mentioned I sweat a lot too- like right now. "Canadians hate showers when they come to Africa" said my old roomate Elvis- but thats because the "shower" is a bucket and cold water.
Super-cold stuff comes out of the shower head we're blessed to have, but last time I got a cold, so I avoid.
Anyways, so my task list for tonight- which began 30 minutes ago with two bowls of cow peas/oil and this blog, is underway- including a letter to CGC about a ongoing problem that hasn't been addresses, putting up some info on the chicken farm, and taking my turn on conquerclub,com- aka RISK (strategy board game), amongst a few other things.
Ok, be blessed & have a hay day today- thanks for tuning in.
PS I hear someone out side.
Usually when this happens, I pick up a [I LEAVE, I RETURN] knife and poke my nose out back. Three murders in this little area in the past 2 months, although 2 of them were by mob justice- basically the general public hating theives so much to beat them to death in the streets. It's a wild place I live in, and people still don't get it that although I'm white umm.. I LIVE IN THE GHETTO!! There's manisons after mansions not far from here, although Im not in one I'm still try to be aware of little impressions I give people.
I know if my heart is genuine, something true in it will win them over, but not all. I accept what fate comes, as long as I'm doing my best. SO when I'm not- and people are given the right impression of a guy being wrong inside his envionment- slacking, being around all day, not working but eating like it's leisureland.. then I get worried.
And rightfully so. Life is short & judgement, I feel more & more- since I've been here- will be based on what we have been given.
To him who's been given a little, a little is expected.
Much, much is expected. EYE OF THE NEEDLE basically concludes my typically philosophical/existential/spiritul thoughts to close the night, though my night has just begun...