Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stories from the Field: Slaughtering Chickens & Meeting "Mr. Mayor"

By Sara Jenks

The past week has proven to be the most low key thus far.  Naomi and I continued to conduct baseline surveys while the others were in town on Monday.  Unfortunately only about half of the residents were home and another portion ran at the sight of us. One woman hid in her shower but her talkative grandson gave her away.  On Tuesday, just after Felix and Derek had set out to conduct surveys, the neighbor alerted us that someone from Kazigo A had passed away.  At that point, we were to stop working until the burial.  For that reason, I don't have any further work-related updates.  We canceled Wednesday's village-wide sanitation sensitization to attend the burial -- also no villagers would have shown up!  On Wednesday afternoon we attended the funeral with our UVP neighbors from Kazigo B.  Titus, a UVP staff member, gave a condolence speech on behalf of UVP.  He was also able to inform everyone of our upcoming HIV testing day next week.

I, of course, have to relay the Kazigo A chicken update.  Two weeks ago I slaughtered our dinner.  Naomi told me I performed it the quickest of the three internationals, but Lindsey said it seemed like I was the most affected by the act.  It's true, I felt uncomfortable ending a being's life with my own hands, feeling its last breath.  But we all agreed that it was the tastiest chicken we had eaten by that point.  This past Wednesday, we had two chickens for dinner, as we hosted the folks from Kazigo B for an American Independence Day feast.  We ended up grossly underestimating their cooking times and didn't eat until 10:45 pm!  Surprisingly, Naomi, a native from a village in the Busoga region, had never slaughtered a chicken!  She took care of both chickens, but announced that she doesn't intend to do it ever again.

Of all of the children who visit us everyday, we have grown closest with a fourteen year old boy named Waiswa.  His father is no longer living, so he is wise beyond his years.  He seems to know everyone and acts in a most diplomatic manner, so we have nicknamed him "Mr. Mayor".  For example, he made Derek an extensive Lusoga-to-English guide, including such phrases as "I am going to the borehole" and "Big is beautiful."  He without a doubt speaks English the best of anyone his age and is clearly sharp in other realms.  One morning he sat with us at breakfast, after school had started.  When we asked him why he wasn't at school, he looked away, ashamed.  Every day he goes to school and every day is turned away for not wearing acceptable shoes.  We have decided that since Waiswa does so much for us, and since we know his future is bright, we will do what we can to find him a pair of black shoes so he can go back to school.

The team is now heading back to Kazigo A after our midsummer break in Sipi Falls.  There is a lot to be done in the second half of the internship, and we are feeling the pressure.  Luckily we all feel rejuvenated after being inundated by negative ions at Sipi's many sites of crashing water (thanks Theresa Gauvert of Namunkasu for that interesting tidbit)!

Sara Jenks is interning with UVP this summer in Kazigo A village. 

No comments: