Tuesday, 2 July 2019

One day in Buikwe

It 5 o’clock in the morning when I hear my alarm clock. It is too early I think. Even the roosters haven’t wakened me up yet. After almost automatically pressing „snooze“ on my phone, I remember that today is the day when waking up that early is necessary because I have a 6am matatu to catch from Old Kampala. Matatu is a local taxi, that is in a mini-van form that can fit 15 people inside but usually is exceeding it by 10. It is an adventure itself.

We are on the way to Buikwe village which is 60km from the center of Kampala to give a women’s health workshop to local girls in collaboration with KIFAD. That distance doesn’t seem like a long one, right? Well in Uganda it is totally okay to spend most of your time in traffic. Especially when you find out that there are some protests going on because of the opposition leader Bobi Wine has been put into jail, and the main road is closed due to that. So, instead of 2hour drive to the destination, we arrive there 6 hours later.

Despite the long journey, we arrive and manage to deliver a very memorable workshop. Me and another volunteer Emeline from France, are openly talking about hygiene, menstruation, sexual reproduction, and sexually transmitted infections. During the workshop, girls asked us questions that got us really worried. Like, “Is that true that I am not allowed to cook during my period because it will put a curse on the eaters?” or “Is that true that if a dog sniffs my underwear, I am not a virgin anymore?” We could really tell that the information we gave was much needed because talking about these important topics is a taboo in many communities in Uganda. I was happy to see that it really helped these girls and we had so much fun while doing it.

After the workshop, I grab a Rolex. A local street food combining of omelette wrapped in chapati aka pancake. Not as fancy as its name but damn delicious. It’s a quick bite and then we are back on our way to Kampala. Matatu is crowded and the drive is even longer than in the morning. After many discussions and laughs with my fellow passengers, I arrive back home at 10pm. Only thing that I want to do is have a shower and fall under my mosquito net and sleep. But oh no, that is not so easy because surprise-surprise, electricity and water were not there. So, I take my flashlight, take a bucket and bring water from the tank outside, and have a regular ice-cold bucket shower. I jump onto my bed and think, “What a day!”