I feel like my experience with my host family has been different from other interns, because of how young my family is. My parents (David and Mariah) celebrated their first child’s (Solomon’s) first birthday last month. So rather than relatives and family of all ages coming and going I feel like our home has the feel of a hostel. We welcomed in Hanifa, an intern from Kampala to stay for the summer. She shared a room with Betty, who does work around the house. Simon stays in the guest wing, and two young women moved into the garage as they look for a more permanent place to rent. All of us are under the age of thirty five. Some nieces and nephews who are in high school in Jinja also stop by. We come and go frequently at all hours, and it is an environment I thoroughly enjoy.
Although I feel as though I have the independence of living in a hostel, I am incredibly dependent on my family. Betty takes good care of me, from helping me find the right flask with tea, to chasing the dog off so I can get out the gate. After work it is often Betty and I at home, and we trade off playing with Solomon blowing bubbles, and dancing with him. I have wanted to learn from Betty how to make matoke and some of the sauces we have, but the timing has always been off, I am down to four days to master those recipes.
My family has hosted many interns in the past, many through FSD as well. I like to talk with them over tea and throughout the evening about work and the challenges I have faced. Last night I had a great discussion with David about Uganda’s future, specifically the crippling nature of corruption and foreign aid. Spending cuts in the US are taking their affect here as many organizations have started to look for new sources of income since US aid is cut.
Today I get to spend some quality time with my family and I am so excited! The daughter of the man whose house they are renting is getting married to a Kiwi, and we are going to the introduction today and wedding on Thursday! I’m so curious to how the cultural traditions will be combined. What a perfect addition to my last week in Uganda!