There’s no point in pretending: I’m really behind with work and I’m not going to get it all done in the next hour it takes for Mike (UCF’s Founder) to drive from the airport.
Kati, time for a bit of blogging …
Kati is the Luganda word for so ….well .. then … etc… one of this week’s new words. Luganda is bloody difficult I don’t mind telling you. All the words are long and most of them start with K! It’s a Bantu language and so totally different from any European languages I’ve tried. Where as we would use five words to say ‘what do they call you?’ Luganda bungs the whole lot together: bakuyika?
Having an hour of tuition a week and, tho it’s hard, I have never had such a fantastic reaction when I open my mouth to say a few words: “but you’re so fluent!” people exclaim. Fact is few mzungu bother even learning the greetings (everyone speaks at least some English) and my phrases are very short! Not sure how far I’ll continue with Luganda (till VSO funding runs out probably!) but it’s a great insight.
For example, we asked how you say ‘bon appetit’ – you don’t. There is no equivalent phrase. You may enjoy your food but you just eat as much as you can! When you offer someone a biscuit, you’ll be lucky if you see the packet again – and this goes for professional people (i.e. those with money) as much as kids or wildlife rangers in the bush. I made the mistake of offering a ranger the biscuits and noticed the big bulge in his jacket pocket as he jumped out of the car! (They’re on ridiculously low wages and are based in the middle of nowhere so you can’t blame them). Even in town tho, it’s every man for himself when the food’s served and god do they pile the food on the plate.
Was offered the cutest puppy last week and still thinking about whether to have it (I have a home for it when I leave Uganda) but yesterday acquired – with VSO grant – new furniture so perhaps not a good combination! Have to do the maths and see if I can afford to feed a dog though.
Ivory poaching on the increase!
Off to the field to visit the projects from sunday. Unfortunately elephant dung is being collected without me! Had really been looking fwd to the 3 day trip with the rangers across Murchison Park but we’ll be going to Queen Elizabeth – a small 1500 km2 park -instead.
Very timely news on BBC yesterday saying the number of African elephants killed illegally for their ivory is rising steeply.
Please take the time to read it
or listen to it
We are working with Dr Sam Wasser (interviewed) and it’s a superb project – to map ivory via dung analysis so poaching locations and smuggling routes can be tackled. Not only is this a great project in itself but it’s great for our profile to be associated with it.