Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cwero IDP Camp

On Friday I was invited to an official camp closure at Cwero ("cherwo") IDP camp. Supposedly starting at 10am, we arrived at 11. The driver laughed, "This isn't going to start until 1:00, just watch." So we chatted, talked about food, about language, about the war in Uganda, about military and corruption. My favorite part was while we were talking about vegetarians:

"Oh, do you like facatos? We had another American vegetarian work for ACF who loved facatos."

"Hmm...I don't think I have ever had those before, what are they like?"

"Well, they outside is a tough, smooth skin. It's a little bigger than a mango, and inside is a big black pit that you can't eat, round."

"OH! Avacados! Yes, yes, I LOVE those!"

It happens more often than not, when a conversation is confused, somewhere between the accent, the wrong words, and general LIT (LIT: to become lost-in-translation, particularly when in a country where their language is not your first, and especially when working on some engineering/technical program...).

The official entertainment finally began (see photo above!) at 1:00, just as my driver suspected. The ceremony that followed was entirely in Acoli, a language I am not yet familiar with. And being one of only two muzungus (white people), they didn't bother translating. I did manage to get a couple notes from the gentleman in front of me, urging all the organizations to continue working to help the people of Uganda, particularly in the areas of Water and Sanitation. That made me smile, knowing that my field is in fact one of the most needed. I know it's easy to forget why I am here and what I am doing, but I try to remind myself, especially when I see first hand what most people have (or have not) and how I am a part of some little amount of change.

No comments:

Post a Comment