Aw, were back in Kampala and I am so excited! I am able to see the two other MHIRT students and I am reuniting with the benefits of a big city: hot water, coffee shops, movies, and numerous restaurants with yummy food! Brittnie and I have finished collecting our data just in time for the SDSU and Makerere University Writing Workshop. However, we have a lot of data to analyze-we collected over 219 I nterviews, each with 172 individual variables. The collaborative workshop is a great opportunity to learn about manuscript writing and get started on our data analysis. It also allows time for enjoying the leisure of the city. I am so happy to have found the Endiro Café—a quaint little coffee shop brewing the finest Ugandan coffee beans. Endiro Coffee is committed to “brewing a better world” and they farm all of their coffee themselves in Bududa, a small town found on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. It is my go to spot for working on my research and grabbing a bite to eat. I will be bringing some beans back home.
Working in Uganda has been an experience, it has been both challenging and rewarding, and I have learned a lot. I have learned about myself, my culture, and about Ugandans and their culture. Working in an English-speaking country made all of this so much easier, however, the nuances of the English language became apparent and demonstrate the role culture has on language. For example, Ugandans often reply to “how are you?” with “I am fine.” I explained to one of my Ugandan colleagues that in the USA, “I am fine” really means “things are rough, but I am managing” and that I have realized that here, it means that things are good. These language nuances also challenged by communication skills: when I first arrived to Uganda I was searching for and extension cord and found it to be a considerable challenge simply because it was referring to it as an extension cord rather than an extension cable. Overall, my time in Uganda has been a mixture of both American “fine” and Ugandan “fine”.