There is a special place in heaven (or whatever you believe in) for mothers that raise bunches of boys. Several times I have been left alone to take care of my new host family’s sons (I actually don’t know how they are all related) and it has been no less than a harrowing experience. They have so far put a passion fruit in the toaster, tortured the cat, moved all furniture in the living room, spilled pitchers of water more or less on purpose, burst into my room and run away laughing as if it is a game, and broken multiple glasses, leaving the bathroom floor dangerous for those who dare enter.
My homestay in Rwanda was perfect. I loved my family and I would not have minded one bit if I had to watch the kids for an hour or two. In Uganda it is a different story as I have only seen my host mother for one or two hours and she won’t be back until Saturday.
Complaining aside, Uganda is an entirely different experience. It is governed differently than Rwanda, leaving the environment and political space more room to be open. It’s the rainy season here as we are now north of the equator and the streets are lined with mud and trash. I would say Gulu is more of the “stereotypical Africa”, still developing and fairly rural. It is much smaller than Kigali and much less crowded. The food is also extremely different. Instead of plain beans, rice, and bananas there is more variety – but at a cost. So far I’ve been served whole fish, liver, and chicken on the bone (not an American style chicken but one that’s been roaming the streets of Gulu for its whole life). Definitely different.
The conflict I am studying is also much more different. I will post again soon about it more in depth but due to a lack of time it will not be in this post. In the meantime, if you remember the viral video that Invisible Children produced in early 2012, that is the conflict. I don’t know much about it but I will update as I learn.