Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I found the source of the mysterious ticking noise

If anyone has seen the ridiculously funny/ stupid YouTube video with the Harry Potter finger puppets and the “mysterious ticking noise” you’ll probably think that the blog title is funny. If not, hopefully you’ll think this story is funny 

Long story short, I did indeed find the source of the mysterious ticking noise. Actually, the noise was more like a… beep… beep…beep… but it was still very mysterious. We’ve had over three weeks of school now, and the whole time many of us have been wondering what the noise is. You hear it everywhere—in the classrooms, in the IMME room, in the dining hall, walking across campus. It seemed so strange to be in the heart of Africa and constantly hearing this electronic-type noise. Finally at one point last week I decided to ask Phil, one of the interns, if he knew what it was. After laughing at me for a little bit (its ok, I probably deserved it) he revealed the mystery. What is the mysterious beeping noise? A bird. Humorously enough, Phil even called it the “catchphrase” bird, which absolutely describes the sound that it makes.

As far as other exciting on-campus news…
Its been raining for a long time, and not just raining—pouring. I’m sitting in the IMME room watching the lightning flash at the same time as I hear the thunder pound because it is so close. We also have a rushing red river outside of the door, the remains of the red dirt road washed away. The rainy season is not supposed to be for another month or more, but I think it’s come early. The walk home should be fun.

This past weekend was a pretty eventful three days. Because of some classes that got rearranged earlier in the week, we didn’t have any classes on Friday which was incredible. Laura and I decided that because we had the entire day free it would be a great time to plan to make dinner for our family. Two other guys in the program live in the house right across the street, so we planned for a joint meal. Cooking for 16 with nothing but charcoal and firewood proved to be more difficult than we had bargained for, but definitely still just as fun (if not more!) By the end of the night we ate a delicious meal of spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and banana splits for desert (Everything turned out great except that we had a few too many meatballs and not enough sauce so it ended up being more like sloppy joe sauce on top of spaghetti… but they didn’t know that) Our brother William like it so much that he not only ate two huge plates of spaghetti, but he wrote on a copy of the 2006 calendar on the wall: “best supper in the world” with the date and his signature next to it. I bet that calendar will hang for at least another two years.

Saturday, three of us decided to visit CMU, an orphanage in Mukono. It was a great day—we visited with Ruth, a German woman who with her husband founded CMU, helped some of the girls wash their clothes, ate lunch, and had the opportunity to sing with the kids and talk to them after lunch. At first the girls were really hesitant to let us help them wash (who would have known bazungu could wash clothes by hand), but after a while they began to open up a little more. We are looking forward to going back in the near future.

The rest of the weekend was also pretty eventful—while the rest of you enjoyed the Superbowl on Sunday, I went Saturday night with my brother William to watch a football (soccer) game. Laura and I walked in the room, immediately realizing that we were not just the only white people, but also the only girls. It was an experience, all of us in the same room watching the game on a single television, but it was also a lot of fun. Sunday four of us went into Kampala to meet a friend-of-a-friend of one of the girls here. It ended up being a great weekend, visiting the church that he attends and grabbing some pizza and ice cream before catching the matatu home.

This weekend the 16 of us on the IMME track are traveling to Rakai, a rural area of Uganda about five-or-so hours away. Our last trip to Jinja was great, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll try to post some more pictures soon!

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