Wednesday, 26 January 2011
The only Umuzungu (whitey) in the village
Today was a crazy day. I have finally arrived in Bicumbi, which is to be my home for the next 2 years. When I arrived at my house I must admit I did have a bit of a culture shock, especially as the furniture arrived after I did! By all accounts though, I have what is considered to be a very nice house. The staff from the college who helped me move in said that they wished that they could live here which made me feel very humble and grateful. It is fantastically secure with a humongous amount of locks. It is huge too. It has 5 rooms, an outdoor toilet and washroom and a very pretty and well kept garden. It is a squat toilet, but it is my own which I don’t have to share with anyone else. The wash room doesn’t have a shower of any kind, but I have a hang up solar shower which I can use once I’ve figured out how. The electricity appears to be very good here.
Everyone I have met in the village so far has been wonderfully warm and friendly. I have met the main police official who was lovely and made me put his number in my phone. I have met the owner of the local bar/guesthouse who is like the lady from the no. 1 ladies detective agency and all bar one of the training college management team. I have received a huge amount of support today from the college staff who helped to move me in and helped me to hire my house help. He is going to fetch my water, do my washing, tend to my garden and keep everywhere clean. He speaks a bit of French but no English so negotiating his wage and duties was fun! Its amazing how you can pull out some French when you have to.
Tomorrow I have got to be at the training college for 7.30am to be introduced to all the staff and students. And then afterwards my principal (who is extremely nice and very forward thinking) will introduce me to lots of local officials. I’m really looking forward to seeing where I will work. I think I’m expected to do some kind of introductory speech which I’d better think about soon! Its quite an international college with 4 tutors from Uganda, 1 from the Congo and 1 from Burundi. And 2 of the management team are women which I was pleased to see. Right, I’d better think about what I’m going to say and have an early night as I’m totally shattered.