I’ve spent the past week internet free. Yes, it is possible to do it. Yes, I felt current-events withdrawal. Yes, the first thing I did when I got back online was search for recipes for Thai green curry and cilantro pesto. Then I took a hit of Pink is the New Blog. I’m still waiting for some super-good news about Britney.
Today is the beginning of the second week of holidays from school. Teachers report back on the 23rd of August, so I’m finding myself with a lot of free time on my hands, something I’m not really used to. I know I should have planned and prepared better for the time off, but I didn’t. I have no idea what I’m going to be up to for the next month and a half.
I have a friend who decided not to renew her contract with the school and is looking for a career change. It was a big decision for her to make, and I spent much of last week supporting her in her decision: convincing her that it was a good move because she’s been talking about doing it for months; helping her to improve her CV; making contacts.
Another friend quit his job last week, and many evening hours were spent in the pub with him, listening to the grievances he has with his former place of employment. He’s a very intelligent and talented person and has already found a better job, so there is no doubt that he made the right decision. He just needed to get some of the venom out of his system so he can move on to the new job refreshed.
Seeing close friends jump ship and move on to bigger and better things has a contagious quality, but I’m staying put. For the time being, I’m content with my employment. I still find it challenging and I have no major complaints with my employer. Honestly, I don’t see myself in the classroom for much longer, maybe another year or two. When I decided on shifting to education, I wanted at least five years of teaching experience before going back to school for a graduate degree, and this year completed the fifth.
Saturday, 7th July, was the Kampala-Jinja relay organized by the Kampala Hash House Harriers. Teams of nine ran the 88 kilometers from the edge of Kampala to the Source of the Nile in Jinja. The run was divided into 17 sections, and runners ran one, two or three sections. I ran three sections for my team, the No Hopers, completing 21km in all. We began the run at 7:30am and finished about 12 hours later. It got dark on the last leg of the run and began to rain. It had been a long day, and I was not looking forward to the next 5.4 km I was assigned to run. I did my best to psyche myself up for the final section of the run and was half-way successful, but I was wearing glasses and they fogged up so I couldn’t see anything; the path also became muddy and slippery. My frustration overrode the happiness produced by the endorphins. Exhaustion+slippery, pothole-laden paths+lack of vision=powder keg. Luckily, I have a long fuse and was able to keep my frustration within. I was soooooooooo happy to cross the finish line, grab a bottle of water and eat my piece of pineapple. There was a big party for us at one of the hotels in Jinja. I tried to attend and was there for a little over an hour, but I surrendered to my exhaustion and went to bed. I hear the party got a little crazy and went on until morning. I slept and felt great when I woke up the next morning.
Just another manic Monday? Not really. It’s actually been a great day. A couple of nice SMSs from friends to say hello and thank you are simple things that can make one’s day. I also got an email this morning from a friend who had been in the States for the last year and a half. He’s back in Uganda for a little while. What a pleasant surprise! We ended up meeting and spending a great afternoon together.