Sunday, 21 December 2014

Head pööripäeva!

Ilusat pööripäeva ja aastavahetust! Jõulud Ugandas - kirjud kaubanduskeskused, kõik ostavad pere jaoks süüa ja reisivad küladesse, liiklusummikud ja kuumenev päike.






Saturday, 20 December 2014

Juuksed. / Hair.

Juuste teemal tahtsin tegelikult kirjutada juba septembris, kuid muud asjad tulid vahele. Sõnu polegi siia juurde palju vaja, pildid räägivad kogu loo. Septembris võtsin käsile eksperimendi kohaliku juuksuriga, kelle tagasihoidlik kamber asub minu kodule väga lähedal (teise köögiviljaleti ja chapatti mehe vahel). Selgus, et tema nimi on Usher, lõikus maksab vaid 5000 ning muzungu juustega saab ta vabalt hakkama. Olgu, otsustasin katsetada. Seinal rippus plakat erinevate piltidega juukselõikustest (ok, pigem kohalikud naised parukatega vist) ning põhimõtteliselt sai sobivale pildile osutades oma soovist märku anda. Põhimõtteliselt, sest juuksur noogutas kõikide piltide puhul, et jah, saan hakkama küll ja pole üldse probleemi. Protsess nägi väja umbes selline, et juuksur pritsis mingist topsikust mu juustele pisut vett ning asus siis köögikääridega suvalisi salke lühemaks lõikama. Mingil hetkel avastasin, et tukk hakkab juba liiga lühikeseks muutuma ja küsisin tagasihoidlikult pildile osutades, et kuidas mu juuksed nüüd selliseks peaksid saama. Selle peale vastas Usher, et pole vaja muretseda, ta esmalt lõikab lühemaks ja siis trimmib täpse lõikusjoone paika. Proovisin mõista anda, et juuste maha lõikamise järel pole võimalik mõnda soengut enam teha, sest noh, juukseid on lihtsalt liiga vähe järel. See teda eriti ei heidutanud kuni lõpuks ütlesin, et nüüd aitab ja mina lähen siit minema. Maksin esialgu kolm tuhat, kuid selle peale vaadati mind väga kurva pilguga ja lisasin 900. Seega kokku maksis uus „soeng” 3900 UGX ehk 1.10 EUR. Koju jõudes aitas Rike õnneks soengut korrastada ja ühtlasemaks lõigata. Õhtu lõpuks nägi see enam-vähem normaalne välja.

Kohalike juuksurite äri tegeleb enamasti naiste juustesse patside-punutiste-parukate paigaldamise ja meestele masinlõikuse tegemisega. Uskumatu kui palju on võimalik erinevaid patse ja nendest omakorda huvitavaid moodustisi vormida. Mõned agarad vabatahtlikud lasevad endale ka patsid pähe punuda ning see kestab vähemalt terve päeva, võtab peanaha valusaks ja püsib ilusana umbes 2-3 nädalat. Juukseid sel ajal pesta ei tohiks. Üldiselt usun, et võltsjuustesse investeerivad kohalikud naised päris palju. Parukatega on vist lihtsam, sest neid saab vahepeal ära võtta ja uuesti tagasi kinnitada.

Vahepeal mu juuksed muudkui kasvasid, muutusid tihedaks ja tundsin, et sellise trollina enam ringi jalutada ei sobi. Otsustasin uue eksperimendi kasuks, kuid seekord Acacia Malli ilusalongis Sparkles. Tegu on ühe ilusaima kaubanduskeskusega Kampalas ning nii uhkes juuksurisalongis pole ma vist varem käinudki. Pidin umbes 10 minutit ootama kuni sõbralik meesjuuksur minu juustega tegelema hakkas. Pesi ja masseeris pead ning uuris, kui palju lõigata tuleks jne. Selgus, et ta on käinud spetsiaalselt Nairobis muzungu juuste lõikamist õppimas ning töötas seejärel Kampala Sheraton Hotellis. Hiljem vahetas töökohta, sest Sheratonis oli liiga palju keeruliste juustega muzungusid ja töö väsitas väga. Lõikus võttis aega umbes 30 minutit ja maksin 23 000 UGX ehk 6.57 EUR. Natuke imelik, et kõik teised tuttavad, kes samas kohas käinud, on maksnud kakskümmend tuhat šillingit, kuid mis teha, äkki on hinnatõusus süüdi jõuluaeg.

Nüüd on mu juuksed igatahes kuivaperioodiks ja uueks aastaks valmis!
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I wanted to write about hair already in September but other things interfered and now I found time for that again. In this case the pictures pretty much tell the story and not too many words need to be added. In September I decided to experiment with the local hairdresser who has his small business just a few minutes from my home (between the second vegetable stand and the chapatti guy). His name is Usher, haircut costs 5000 and he has no difficulties with cutting muzungu hair or so he claimed. He also had some posters with different haircuts or I would rather say with different wigs and fake hair. Basically one could choose a haircut from those pictures but actually the hairdresser seemed to nod every time and say that yes-yes, no problem, he can make this cut. The process of cutting itself looked something like this - he splashed some water onto my hair from a plastic cup and then started to cut randomly with kitchen scissors. At some point I discovered that the fringe is getting way too short and uneven and pointed to the picture I asked how are my hair supposed to look like this. Usher replied that no need to worry, he shall first cut the hair shorter and then trim it into the correct shape. I tried to explain that after cutting the hair some haircuts are not possible anymore because, well, the hair might be just too short for that. This did not discourage him at all until at some point I just told that this is enough now and I am leaving. At first I paid three thousand but then he looked at me with very sad eyes and said that he had worked so much and I added another 900. In total my new „haircut” cost 3900 UGX = 1.10 EUR. At home Rike fortunately helped to correct and even out my new hair.

The local hairdressers usually concentrate on making braids, adding wigs and all kinds of fake hair and shaving off men's hair. It is really astonishing how many possibilities there are for making braids and then organising them into different styles, shapes, and sizes. Some eager volunteers also try out the feeling of wearing braids and the process for that takes at least one whole day. It makes the skin on your head itch and hurt and the braids stay nice for 2-3 weeks (or less if they are not made very well). In general, I believe that local women invest quite a lot of time and money into fake plastic hair. It seems a bit easier with wigs as you can take them off and then attach them again later.

In the meanwhile my interesting haircut kept growing thicker and I thought that soon I need to do something about this. I decided to try another experiment but this time in the beauty salon Sparkles in Acacia Mall that is one of the most beautiful shopping centers in Kampala. I think that I have not been in that fancy beauty salon before. I had to wait about 10 minutes until a friendly hairdresser started to work wash my hair, gave a bit of a head massage, and asked very precisely how much he should cut off. He told me that he had done a special training in Nairobi for cutting muzungu hair and worked in Kampala Sheraton Hotel after that. Later he decided to change the salon because there were to many muzungus with complicated hair in Sheraton and the work was very tiring. The haircut took about half an hour and I paid 23 000 UGX = 6.57 EUR. Slightly strange that all other friends who have been there have only paid twenty thousand but well, maybe it is because of Christmas time approaching and all the prices rising.

Now my hair is truly ready for the dry season and new year!



Väike valik võltsjuukseid. / Some plastic hair available.

Poepidaja paneb Anna peanahale kreemi. / Shopkeeper applying soothing cream to Anna's skin and hair.

Enne. / Before. 17.09.2014

Pärast. / After.

Rike aitab asja parandada. / Rike trying to correct the cut somehow.

Enne. / Before. 19.12.2014

Pärast. / After.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Saagala kaveera!

Mulle ei meeldi kilekotid kohe üldsegi mitte ning ka Eestis olles vaatan kilekotte ostvaid sõpru mõnikord pisut ärritunud pilguga. Teadsin varasemast Peruu reisist, et kilekottide vältimine saab ilmselt päris raske olema ja nii ta läkski. Ugandas pakitakse poodides kõik asjad kilekottidesse ning suuremates supermarketites on kassas lisaks müüjale veel eraldi pakendaja, kes kärmelt ostetud asju kottidesse topib. Ka kõige pisemat asja ostes pakitakse see koti sisse (üksik veepudel või pakendatud suhkur vms). Püüdsin võimalikult kiiresti õppida luganda keeles ütlema, et ma ei soovi kilekotti. Saagala kaveera! Selgus, et selline tõrkumine ajab paljud müüjad segadusse. Kord ehmatas müüjanna vist päris ära, sest neljast ostetud toiduainest jõudis ta kassast läbi lüüa ainult kaks.

Põhjus, miks see kilekotimajandus mulle veel eriti vastukarva on – prügi ja sealhulgas plastikut põletatakse tänavatel ja hoovides ning teeääred on kilekottidest tulvil. Olen aru saanud, et mõned ugandalased isegi nõuavad igas poes kilekotti, sest neil on selleks justkui õigus. Suurte ostukeskuste ostlemisejärgne kontroll tähendab seda, et pead turvamehele tšekki näitama ja siis ta justkui arvestaks omaette, et kas sul ikkagi on kotis ainult need asjad, mis tšeki peal kirjas. Turvaväravatest ilma selle konkreetse poe kilekotita läbi minnes küsitakse mõnikord, et kas müüja tegi midagi valesti, et ta kilekotti ei andnud?!

Naaberriigis Ruandas on kilekottid näiteks keelatud – nende müük ja ka riiki sisse toomine. Siia lennates oli vahepeatus Kigalis ning lennukisalongis anti teada, et väljuvad reisijad peaksid oma kilekotid lennukisse jätma. See oli kui muusika mu kõrvadele. Minu arvates väga hea otsus riigi poolt mõttetut kilekotiäri piirata ning keskkonda ja inimesi säästa. Sellise lähenemise osas pole Ruanda maailmas sugugi üksi.

Mis saab kasutatud kilekottidest? Tõenäoliselt need kas visatakse maha või põletatakse kuskil koos muu prügiga ära. Seejuures eralduvad gaasid pole sugugi mõnusad. Plastpudelite osas tundub seis parem olevat, sest neid korjatakse kokku ja taaskasutatakse. Siin olles muutub minu jaoks aina kurvemaks ja mõistmatumaks prügi sorteerimisest ja taaskasutamisest loobumine riikides, kus selle jaoks on loodud vajalikud tingimused ja infrastruktuur.
Mõnikord tehakse plastikust ka kunsti, näiteks nii nagu alloleval pildil...
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I do not like plastic bags at all and even in Estonia I sometimes cast a concerned look towards friends of mine who buy plastic bags. From a previous trip to Peru I already anticipated that avoiding plastic bags might become difficult and this fear was confirmed. In Uganda all purchases are packaged into plastic bags and next to a cashier in every bigger supermarket there is a person hired to package all your products into plastic bags. Usually it seems that their task is to maximize the number of plastic bags used. Even if you just buy one bottle of water or some snacks, they would still like to pack it into a separate bag. One of the first things I learned in Luganda was Saagala kaveera! Meaning that I do not want a bag. It came out that this kind of negation confuses quite many sellers. One time a cashier was so overwhelmed by my request that she even forgot to register 2 out of 4 items at the cash register.
The main reason why I am strongly against this plastic bag industry – garbage, including all sorts of plastic, is being burnt on the roadsides and the streets are full of plastic bags. I have understood now that some Ugandans even demand a plastic bag in every shop because they feel that they have a right to do so. In big supermarkets the receipts are being checked at the exit and then the security guard kind of estimates whether you have the same items in your bags as are registered on the receipt. When exiting through the security gates without a plastic bag from the same shop, the guard sometimes asks whether the cashier made a mistake by not giving me a plastic bag?!
On the other hand, the neighbouring country Rwanda has banned the usage and import of plastic bags. My flight to Uganda had a short stop in Kigali and the flight attendants announced that the exiting passengers should leave their plastic bags in the airplane. Now that was music to my ears. I think that it is a rather good decision for a country to limit the pointless plastic business and spare the environment from all that polyethylene and plastic-burning-fumes. In doing so, Rwanda is not the only country at all.
What happens with the used plastic bags around here? Probably they get thrown on the streets or burnt somewhere with the rest of the garbage. The fumes from such small piles of burning garbage are not pleasant at all. The situation seems to be a bit better when it comes to plastic bottles because they are collected and apparently recycled and then sold to Europe and China: 
The time here makes me even more sad and bewildered towards persons who choose not to sort garbage or recycle their waste despite the facilities and infrastructure available in their countries.
Sometimes waste can also be turned into art, like on the picture below...


At KLA Art 14 in Kampala, The Boda Boda Project.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Õmblemise ärist. / Tailoring business.

Õmblejatega koos ringi liikumine on toonud mitmeid põnevaid tegevusi ja avastusi siinse tekstiilitööstuse ja sellega seonduva kohta. Esiteks on selgeks saanud paljud uued kohad, kus kangaid müüakse ning parimaid neist on üles kirjutatud ja meelde jäetud. Huvitav, et siin on peamiselt ikkagi nii, et samat tüüpi kaupa müüvad poed koonduvad kokku ja moodustavad teatud keskused, nt on kesklinnas kõikvõimalikke elektritarvikuid tulvil Energy Center, Majestic Plaza on õige koht pärlite ja käsitöötarvikute ostmiseks ning mitmed tekstiilikeskused on tihedalt pakitud kahe tänava ümber. Väljastpoolt tundub, et tegu on vaid paari poega, kuid iga maja on tegelikult omaette labürint, kus kõik müüjad sind tooteid vaatama kutsuvad (hello sister, come and have a look, welcome, do you want some kitenge etc). Kui paar korda oled ostlemas käinud, siis tekivad mingid kindlad poed, kus on hea valik ja toredad müüjad, kes pakuvad kaupa mõistliku hinnaga. Eriti rahulik ja mõnus oli materjale osta koos õmblejate projekti Winniega, kes karkudel ees kõndis ja mina ning Liina aitasime asju kanda ja materjale valida. Teda saates oli meie suunas palju vähem hõikeid ja mõttetut tähelepanu. Üksi ostma minnes juhtub ikka, et tavahinnast 25 000 - 35 000 saab järsku 60 000 ning sel juhul olen nii mõnigi kord lihtsalt head aega öelnud, sest kes ikka pikalt kauplema ja seletama hakata viitsib. Mingis mõttes on topelthinna küsimine ka kuidagi lugupidamatu. Eriti kui ma luganda keelt kasutades kauplen ning teatan, et ma õiget hinda nagunii tean. Kangamüüjad on omakorda spetsialiseerunud – on eraldi poed kitenge, gomezi-materjalide, ülikonnariide ja tööriietuse jaoks. Kõikide kangapoodide läheduses on pidevalt kuulda õmblusmasinate surinat ja õmblejatega on kohati täidetud ka kõige pisemad nurgatagused.

Lisaks õmblusmaterjalidele pidin end kurssi viima õmblusmasinate äri ja hindadega. Selgus, et peamiselt ostetakse siin Aasiast teisele ringile saabunud õmblusmasinaid, hind vahemikus 350-500 tuhat šillingit (1 euro = 3400 kohalikku raha). Hinda mõjutab peamiselt see, kas masin teeb ka siksakki ja veelgi keerulisemaid õmblusi ning kas õmblusmasinaga on kaasas laud ja mootor. Uuena müüakse Singeri inimjõul töötavaid masinaid, mis on ilmselt toodetud Hiinas. Õmblejate jaoks masinaid otsides leidsime lõpuks odava ja hea lahenduse Bluesky koolis oleva nelja õmblusmasina töökorda seadmise näol. Kuna Bluesky saab elektrit vaid paari päikesepaneeli kaudu, siis polnud koolil naguni võimalik elektrilisi masinaid kasutada. Parandamine läks kokku maksma vist umbes 300 000 ja nüüd on meil poes neli töötavat õmblusmasinat.

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Moving around together with the tailors has brought along many interesting activities and discoveries regarding the textile and tailoring industry in Uganda. Firstly, I have learned about many new places for finding good fabrics and the important shops have been written down and memorized. Interestingly the shops are mostly organized so that similar businesses are all located in one place, e g there is the Energy Center for all kinds of eletrical materials, Majestic Plaza is the place for buying beads and pearls and other handicraft things (+ men who do your nails located on the ground floor) and many textile centers are packed tightly around two streets in downtown. From the outside it looks as if there were only a few shops but after entering the building one discoveries that every house is a labyrinth where all salespersons try to convince you to buy their products (hello sister, come and have a look, welcome, do you want some kitenge etc). After shopping there a few times you locate some shops that have good variety, reasonable prices, and friendly salespersons. One of the best experiences was to go fabric shopping together with teacher Winnie from the women's project. She walked in front on crutches and me and Liina followed her along the lines of shops helping to choose materials and carry the shopping bags. While accompanying her we felt a lot less shouting and unnecessary attention around us. While moving around on your own, it still happens that the usual price of 25 000 – 35 000 for 6 yards of fabric turns suddenly into 60 000 and in that case I have often just left the shop because the bargaining and explaining would take too long. In some ways this kind of asking for a double price is also a bit disrespectful. Especially when I am bargaining in Luganda and state clearly that I know the real price anyway. The fabric shops have also specialized further – there are separate places for buying kitenge, materials for gomezis, for suits and so on. The surroundings of fabric shops are always filled with humming of the sewing machines and tailors with sewing machines have been squeezed into tiniest corners possible.

Besides textiles I also had to learn a lot about the sales and prices of sewing machines. Apparently the sewing machines sold in downtown Kampala are all brought in second hand from Asia. The prices vary between 350 000 and 500 000. The main factors affecting the price being the different stitches (they call it 'designs' here) the machine can make and whether it has a table and/or motor included. Only new machines I saw were manual Singer machines that are most probably also manufactured in China. While still searching for sewing machines for the tailors, we came across an easier and cheaper solution – getting four sewing machines from Bluesky. Due to having only solar energy, Bluesky was not using these machines anyway and we could repair four instead of buying one.


Ruth (left) and Night with some of their handicraft.

Käsitsi värvitud kangad. / Handmade tie-dye fabric.


Kangaid ostmas. / Shopping for fabrics.

Teise ringi masinad Aasiast. / Second hand sewing machines from Asia.
Olivia and the great artwork done by me : p
Kutsuv tuli. / A welcoming light in our shop.

Minu kodukontor. / My home-office

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Häid uudiseid. / Good news.

Pikema vaikuse põhjuseks on olnud tihedad ettevalmistused, mille tulemusel saab nüüd välja hõisata, et sel laupäeval, 13.12.2014 kell 13:00 avame käsitööpoe-tootmiskeskuse Namungoonas, Kampalas.
Uudistage meie tegemisi Facebookis: https://www.facebook.com/DisabledInitiatives
Tulge ja elage kaasa poe avamisele: https://www.facebook.com/events/1549535658625695/

Muud jutud ilmuvad blogisse üsna pea, nt kangapoodidest, kauplemispüüdlustest ja võitlusest kilekottidega.

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 The main reason for staying quiet for so long time have been the preparations for opening of the tailoring and crafts sho. I am glad to announce that the shop will be opened this Saturday at 13:00 in Namungoona, Kampala.
Take a look at our products and like us on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/DisabledInitiatives
Come and join us for the opening of the shop:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1549535658625695/

Other news shall be published on the blog as soon as possible, e g about fabric shops, hopeless attempts to bargain, and ongoing battles against plastic bags.

First products have arrived in the shop.

A small variety of kitenge materials that are used for making the products.

Happy tailors with a happy client.

Freshly handmade tie-dye fabrics.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Lõputud ehitustööd. / Infinite construction work.


Pikka aega pole siin ühtki kirjutist ilmunud ja õnneks on põhjuseks tegevuste küllus. Püüan mõne sõnaga kirjeldada viimase kolme nädala edasiminekuid seoses poe ehituse ja ettevalmistustega. WC ehitus algas 23. oktoobril ning esialgne plaan nägi valmimise ajana ette 10 päeva, kuid peagi hakkas see tähtaeg vaikselt nihkuma. Peamiseks põhjuseks vihm, mis ei lasknud töömeestel tegutseda või lõhkus ära settekaevu jaoks kaevatud augu vms. Arusaadav, et vihmaperioodil tõepoolest vihma rohkem sajab, kuid natuke kahju, et sellega esialgses kavas ei arvestatud. Töömehed olid igatahes peaaegu alati kohal kui poe asukohas asja uurimas käisin ja kokkuvõttes läks WC kasutuskõlbulikuks muutmiseks aega umbes 19 päeva.
Kõikide töölistega suheldes tuleb meeles pidada, et siinses kultuuris on ei-ütlemine haruharv nähtus ehk et inimene võib näiteks pika küsitlemise peale vastata, et saame küll reedeks valmis, kuid hiljem selgub, et tegelikkus on midagi muud. Seepärast on oluline infot alati mitu korda üle küsida, eriti tähtaegade ja kokkulepete osas ning samas mitte liiga palju jah-vastuse osas survet avaldada.
Esialgu ei saanud poeks muunduvas garaažis eriti midagi ette võtta, sest ruumi tagaosas oli igasugust kola, nt üks väga suur ja raske mootor, mille liigutamiseks oli organisatsiooni tegevjuhi Franki sõnul vaja vähemalt viit tugevat meest (jah, tema arvates kindlasti meest), keda kuskilt võtta polnud. Kahjuks ei näidanud Frank üles ka erilist initsiatiivi nende abiliste leidmisel ja töölistele sellise pisikese liigutuse eest raha anda tal ponud. Asi lahenes kui asusin muude vajalike tööde jaoks hinnapakkumisi küsima ning selgus, et kohaliku pisikese töökoja omanik pakub väikese summa eest lahkelt oma abi. Lõplikus nendevahelises kokkuleppes ma kindel pole, kuid 5. novembri hommikuks oli kola lõpuks kadunud ja töökoja omanik sai mõned metallijupid kolahunnikust endale.
Ugandas tundub tavaline, et iga töö jaoks on inimestel keegi tuttav või sugulane, kelle käest seda teenust vajadusel osta. Lisaks on kõikidel töömeestel alati ka kõikide muude tööde jaoks piisaval hulgal tuttavaid ja sugulasi võimalik appi rakendada. Võimalik, et nii läheb ehitamine mõnikord kallimaks kui piisavalt palju sõltumatuid hinnapakkumisi ei küsi, kuid samas on väga mugav ja kiire saada nö kõik teenused ühe inimese kaudu. Meil läks nii, et töökoja omanik, kes ise on torulukksepp, tegi/lasi teha meile teeviida, ruumi eraldava seina ja garaažiuksele augu väljastpoolt lukustamiseks. Kõikide tööde osas tuli hind eraldi parajaks kaubelda ja tööde edenemine oli samuti väga erinev. Teeviida kokku keevitamine käis kiirelt, kuid eelnev valgeks võõpamine võttis mitu päeva aega. Samas vineerist vaheseina tegid puusepp ja lukksepp kahekesi paari tunniga valmis. Ei oska öelda, kas motiveerivaks teguriks oli kõrge tasu või suur vajadus mingisugusegi teenistuse järele või lihtsalt soodus võimalus vaba aja täitmiseks.
Muus osas olen ostnud värvi ja erinevaid elektrijuhtmeid ning ostlemise käigus selgitasin lõputult Eesti asukohta ja et meil on väga külm ja pole üldse mangosid jne. Vahel on see tore, kuid teinekord väsitab ikka päris ära kui sa soovid lihtsalt elektripirni osta ja mitte Eesti kohta monoloogi pidada. Samas ma olen sellega Saksamaa õpingute ajast juba harjunud ja nö eesti-esitlus käivitub automaatselt.

Vähem kui nädalaga said poes seinad värvitud, lukk ukse ette ja uksed värvitud, vahesein ehitatud ja sel pühapäeval kolis Olivia lõpuks oma uutesse eluruumidesse sisse! Mõingaid osasid wc-süsteemist veel ehitatakse ja linna veevärgiga pole meid siiani suudetud ühendada, kuid elada ja tegutseda võimaldab küll.

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There has not been a post here for some time and luckily the reason is certainly not lack of activities. I shall try to describe briefly the progress regarding construction work and setting up the shop. WC construction began on the 23rd of October and the first plan was to have it ready for use after 10 days but soon this deadline started to shift. The main reason was according to the workers was the rain but well, one can expect a bit more rain during the rainy season, so why not consider that before setting any deadlines. At least the construction work was going on most of the times when I visited the premises and all in all the toilet project was almost finished after 19 days.

In general, I had to keep in mind all the time that saying No is not so common in Uganda, e g after asking several times a person can agree that the work is finished by Friday but later the reality appears to be somewhat different. That is why it is Always important to check the information many times, especially when it comes to deadlines and agreements.

At first it was pretty much impossible to do anything in the garage-becoming-shop because the back of the room was full of all kinds of rubbish and random metal pieces, including one big and heavy motor that according to Frank could only be lifted by at least 5 men (yes, he was sure that only men). Unfortunately Frank was also not particularly enthusiastic or effortful in finding these helpers and he did not have the money to pay extra to some of the workers for moving it. The solution came as I started looking for welders, carpenters etc and it appeared that the owner of the local hardware workshop is willing to help for "only some small money". I do not know how it all worked out between Frank and the businessman-plumber but when I arrived there in the morning of 5th of November, then the motor and pieces of furniture were gone and the workshop owner had taken some metal parts with him.

It seems common in Uganda that everyone knows or is related to someone for every possible task or job ("personal" tailor, plumber, carpenter etc). Additionally every worker has enough relatives and acquaitances that can join in for every task. It is possible that the work planned gets more expensive when not asking for independent quotations but then again it is very convenient and easy to get all the services through one person. It came out that the owner of the hardware workshop (himself a plumber) made or let others make for us a signpost, a separating wall, and a hole in the garage door for locking from outside. For everything we had to bargain over the price separately and the progress of different tasks was also very varying. Welding the signpost went really fast but for example painting it white before that took somehow several days. The separating wall for the garage was made out of plywood in just a few hours. Difficult to say whether the motivating factor was the high salary offered or the need to earn at least a bit of money or just a nice way to fill the free time.

Otherwise I have been shopping for paint and different letrical wires and during all of that explained over and over again about Estonia and that it is very cold there and no mangos grow in the north etc. Sometimes it is nice to introduce Estonia but it is also really tiring when I just want to buy a lightbulb and not deliver a monologue about Estonia. In general, I have already gotten used to it since my studies in Germany and the Estonia-presentation starts automatically. Yes, the questions might be different but the presentation is more or less the same.

In less than a week we had the walls painted, lock installed, garage doors painted, dividing wall built, and on this Sunday Olivia could finally move into her new home! Some parts of the toilet system are still being finished and we are not yet connected to the water supply but living and starting a business is possible indeed.



Torud on tee all juba paigas. / After installing the pipes.

Shopping time.


Kui kola viimaks ära viidi. / After the random metal got removed from the room.

Puust sein valmis ja juhtmed laes. / After building the separating wall and installing some wires.

Teeviida lõpetamine. / Finishing the signpost.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Liikuvad pildid. / Moving pictures.

Varsti tuleb pikem postitus ka, kuid esialgu kutsun kõiki vaatama, milline näeb välja minu teekond Bluesky juurest Mpeggwe külast Kakiri suunas. Selle video üleslaadimine õnnestus umbes neljandas kohvikus-internetiputkas. Pilt on üsna hüplik, kuid loodus siiski väga roheline ja kutsuv. Head sõitu!

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Soon I'll write a longer post again but first I want to invite everyone to join me on my boda-ride from Bluesky in Mpeggwe village towards Kakiri. Uploading this video succeeded only after trying it out in about four different cafés and internet cafés.
The video is quite unsteady but the surrounding nature is still very charming, green, and inviting. Have a good ride!


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Asume tegutsema. / Let's start the action.

Alates augustikuust olen mitu korda maininud, et otsime Kampala naiste projekti jaoks ruume, kus avada väike käsitööpood-õmblusateljee ning viimaks on selles osas kindlaid edasiminekuid, millest kirjutada.
Selle nädala alguses allkirjastasid National Adult Education Association of Uganda (NAEU) ning naistegrupp koondnimega Disabled Initiatives üürilepingu poe jaoks sobiva ruumi kohta. NAEU kujul on leitud organisatsioon, mis samuti toetab puuetega inimeste toimetulekut ja on valmis projekti igakülgselt abistama. Disabled Initiatives koosneb hetkel viiest naisest: Night, Olivia, Winnie, Remy ja Olivia. Poeruumide otsingul olid sageli takistuseks ratastooliga ligipääsmatud tualetid ja liiga väikesed ruumid. Praeguse koha puhul investeerib Disabled Initiatives suure summa raha eraldi tualeti ehitamisesse, kuid muus osas on lepingutingimused ja ruumid väga sobivad. Nii otsustasidki naised, et risk on seda väärt ja alates neljapäevast tegelevad ehitajad väikese WC paika seadmisega.
Nüüd pole muud kui asuda üheskoos poeruume korrastama, sisustust hankima ja ehituse lõppedes saab Olivia sisse kolida. Senini valmistavad naised tooteid, mille müügist saadav tulu läheb otseselt poe sisustamise toetuseks.
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Since August I have mentioned several times that we are looking for suitable rooms for a tailoring and crafts shop for the physically handicapped women`s project in Kampala. Finally there is some significant progress to report.
In the beginning of this week the National Adult Education Association of Uganda (NAEU) and the women`s group named Disabled Initiatives signed an agreement for partnership and renting the space in NAEUs premises. NAEU is an organization that also supports the people with special needs and is willing to contribute towards the project. Disabled Initiatives currently consists of five women:  Night, Olivia, Winnie, Remy, and Olivia. The main obstacle while searching for the suitable space for the shop was often the inaccessible toilets or too small rental space. In case of NAEU rental space the Disabled Initiatives is investing a significant amount of money into building a separate toilet but in otherwise the rooms and rental conditions are very favourable. Thus, the women decided that this risk is worth it and since Thursday the builders are working on the construction of the toilet facilities.
Now it is time to start planning for the shop, decide upon the interior, and when the construction work is over then Olivia can move in. Until then the women are producing and selling products to gain more finances needed for the extra investment.

Selliseid tooteid valmistamegi. / Example of a product: skirt from kitenge material.

Frank from NAEAU and the construction worker.

Paremalt teine uks peidab avatavat poodi. / The 2nd door from the right is the one for the shop.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Lisajõud ja eesti leib. / Supporting volunteer forces and Estonian bread.

Saabudes laupäevaselt kajaki-seikluselt Jinjast, asusin oma asju kokku pakkima ja sättisin äratuskella hommikul viie peale, et tervitada uut eestlast UPA külalistemajas. Varahommikul tõigi autojuht lennujaamast kohale vabatahtlik-disaineri Liina, kes maandus Ugandas koos musta leiva, pastelde ja hunniku värskete ideedega. Selle nädala jooksul olen Liinale erinevaid olulisi kohti ja asju tutvustanud - minibussiga liiklemine, õiglane hind ananassi ja rolexit ostes, Kampala hullumeelne liiklus, Bluesky ja selle õpilased, suveniiripoed ja kohvikud. Peamiseks eesmärgiks Liina 2-kuulise Uganda perioodi jooksul on Bluesky kooli ja Kampala puuetega naiste projektis tehtavate käsitöötoodete arenduse toetamine nii kohaliku kui Eesti turu jaoks, Eesti ekspertide saatmist Aafrikasse ja Aasiasse finantseerib Eesti Välisministeerium.
Viimase nädala jooksul on toimunud mitmeid arenguid ka mõlema Mondo poolt toetatava projekti arengus ning luban neist kirjutada kohe kui mu arvuti on eilsest põrandale kukkumisest tervenenud.

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After arriving back home from the kayaking adventure last Saturday I concentrated on packing my things together and set the alarm for 5am in order to welcome a new volunteer in the UPA guesthouse. In the first morning hours a driver picked up volunteer-designer Liina from the Entebbe airport and brought her to the guesthouse together with some Estonian black bread and loads of fresh ideas. This week I have been introducing all of the most important places and things around here - transport with taxis and bodas, fair prices for pineapple and rolex, crazy traffic in Kampala, Bluesky and the students, craftshops and cafeterias. The main aim of her 2-month stay in Uganda is to support the product development for Bluesky cottage industry and the physically handicapped women`s project in Kampala. The project of sending Estonian experts to Africa and Asia is supported by Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The last week has also brought significant developments regarding the projects I am working on and I promise to report about them as soon as my computer has recovered from the shock it got from falling on the floor yesterday.

Teel Blueskysse kohtasime tulnukat. / On our way to Bluesky we met a friendly alien.

Taaskord õnnelikult Bluesky juurde jõudes./After arriving at Bluesky together with Liina.


Friday, 17 October 2014

Vabatahtliku tavalised tööpäevad./ The workdays of a volunteer.


Eelmisel nädalal võtsin end kokku ja panin kirja kahe päeva jagu oma tegemisi, et natuke edasi anda siinset elurütmi, tööülesandeid ja meeleolu. 
 
Üks tavaline esmaspäev:
Ärkasin kell 7:15 ja sõin hommikusöögiks kausitäie tükkideks tehtud küpsiseid jogurtiga ja jõin kohvi, mis on valminud minu elukohast vaid paari tunni kaugusel. Seejärel saatsin Aliinele Bluesky'd tutvustava teksti MTÜ Mondo Food for Thought projekti jaoks http://foodforthoughtmondo.wordpress.com/).

Sõit Blueskysse läks seekord üllatavalt kiirelt ning jõudsin kohale umbes kella kümne paiku. Parajasti oli koolis vahetund ning selle lõppedes läksime Bluesky Cottage Industry õpilaste ning saksa vabatahtlike Sina ja Jakobiga maja lähedal asuvale väikesele aiamaale. Istutasime varem seemnest kasvama pandud baklažaane. Selleks kõplasime peenrad-vaod valmis, istutasime taimed üsna hõredalt laiali ja viimasena viskasime väetiseks kitsepabulaid peale. Sain enda suureks imestuseks teada, et baklažaanitaim kasvab kõrgemaks kui meeter. Teiseks tegid õpilased peenrad dodo jaoks, mis on Euroopas rohkem tuntud kui amaranth. Mäletan Saksamaal õppimise ajast amaranthiga müslit, kuid siin süüakse hoopiski taime värskeid rohelisi lehti. Töötegemise ajal rääkisin õpilastega sellest, kus miski taim kasvab ja milliseks toiduks seda kasutada saab.

Lõunaks oli nagu ikka posho ja oakaste, milles oli seekord lisandiks ka pisut kapsalehti. Süüakse suures ruumis, kus enamus õpilastest põrandal istuvad ja vabatahtlike jaoks tavaliselt toolid vabaks jäetakse. Pärast lõunasööki lasin Bluesky õpilastel oma märkmikusse enda nimed ja vanused üles kirjutada ning sain palju targemaks. Koolimaja kõrval mängisid kaks poissi mängu, kus tuleb münt või mingi muu tükk vastu seina visata ja kelle münt seinast kaugemale maandub, peab uuesti viskama, või siis midagi sarnast.

Pärastlõunal toimus punumistund Cottage Industry majakeses ning selle käigus võeti lahti minu poolt reedesel turul ostetud kott. Ikka selleks, et teada saada, kuidas see tehtud on (nädala lõpuks oli täpne koopia valmis). Vahepeal sadas sahmaka vihma ja mitme küsimise järel sain teada Mama Jova päris nime ja vanuse. Nimelt kutsutakse külades vanemaid nende esimese lapse järgi, nt Mama Tony või Tata Jova. Edasi puhastasin koos Jakobiga kaelakette, et neid külalistemajas müügiks pakkuda. Ootasin Godwini naasmist kooli, et paari olulist asja arutada ning pisut enne pimeda saabumist ehk 18:40 sõitsin Pauliga (tuttav boda-juht) Kakirisse.

Koduteel ostsin ühe avokaado ja kaks banaani, hind kokku umbes 30 eurosenti. Õhtul müüsin külalistemajas kokku 7 kaelakeed ja sõin eelmisest päevast alles jäänud külma pitsat. Kuulsin lugu toanaabri Jetske pingeterohkest päevast – haiglaskäik koos tänavalapsega, kes oli boda-õnnetuses tugevaid haavu saanud, lapse haavad tõmmati lahti ja puhastati alkoholiga ning Jetske oli kogu aja hirmunud poisi kõrval ja hoidas ta käest kinni.

Tavaline teisipäev:
Äratuskell helises 7:00 ja pärast kiiret hommikusööki sõitsin Bluesky kooli. Tahtsin Kakiris jõulukaartide jaoks erinevaid kirjatüüpe välja printida, kuid kahjuks oli kogu asulas elektrikatkestus. Ostsin vett ja natuke küpsiseid ning võtsin boda Mpeggwe suunas. Kõik noored olid maisipõllul, välja arvatud Mercy, kes oli millegipärast kooli jäänud ja vist natuke solvunud, et teised olid unustanud teda kaasa kutsuda. Läksime koos koolist eemal asuvale põllule, kust teised juba usinalt maisipõldu rohisid. Asusime samuti maisitaimi umbrohu käest päästma ja õnneks tegin kohe alguses paar pilti, sest hiljem olid käed-riided-jalad niivõrd mullased, et kaamerat enam kätte võtta ei saanud. Lahkusime põllult varem kui plaanitud, sest taevasse kerkisid müstiliselt tumedad vihmapilved.
Kuna lõunani oli veel aega, siis rääkisin Bluesky õpilastega maisijahust körti juues toidust ja panin kirja mõned toiduainete ja toidu lugandakeelsed nimetused. Paljudele valmistavad minu luganda keele püüdlused nalja, kuid kõik kiidavad iga kord kui mõne uue sõna selgeks saan. Pärast lõunasööki (ikka posho ja oad) sõitsin Kampalasse kohtumaks Brianiga, kes lubas mulle anda nahast sandaalide ja banaanikiust kottide valmistajate kontakte. Esialgu liikusime lihtsalt mööda linna ringi ja ta näitas mulle kohta, kus ta teisipäeviti tänavalastele tantsu ja jalgpalli õpetab ning kesklinnas tutvustas mind paarile sandaalide müüjale.

Kella viieks liikusin Goethe Instituudi suunas, kus toimus järjekordne luganda tund - teemaks numbrid ja kauplemine. Väga lõbus oli kauplemismomente harjutada. Keelekursuselt kõndisin Acacia kaubamaja lähedal asuvasse Café Javasesse, kus jõin mõnusat mangomahla hinnaga 9000 šillingit (ehk 2,5 eurot ehk vähemalt 2 lõunat külarestoranis) ja vestlesin Martiniga, kes on 24-aastane juuksur-laulukirjutaja-laulja. Kuna õhtuti on liikluses päris palju ummikuid, siis võtsin boda teisele poole linna, et saada kiiremini Nansanasse mineva minibussi peale. Sain tuttavaks boda-juhi Daniga, kes sõitis väga hästi ja turvaliselt ning kelle peamine peatus on üsna Goethe Instituudi lähedal. Seega võtsin tema telefoninumbri. Heade ja usaldusväärsete juhtide numbreid on väga kasulik omada.
Kella poole kümne ajal jõudsin lõpuks koju ja kohtasin tee peal UPA lähedal elavat Deod, kes tutvustas mulle lahkelt kohta, kus Bluesky kool veel mõni aeg tagasi asus. Nimelt pole Bluesky oma praeguses auskohas veel kaht aastatki olnud.
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Last week I decided to write about my activities over two days in order to let you know a bit about my work, the life and rhythm around here.

An ordinary Monday:
I woke up around 7:15 and had breakfast: cookies pieces with a lot of yoghurt and coffee that has been grown and roasted only a few hours away from where I live. Then I sent Aliine a short introduction to Bluesky for project Food for Thought by NGO Mondo ( http://foodforthoughtmondo.wordpress.com/).

The journey to Bluesky went surprisingly fast this time and I arrived at about 10am. It was break time in the school, so we had porridge and after that me, Bluesky Cottage Industry apprentices/students, and the two German volunteers Sina and Jakob went to our small garden close to the school. We planted eggplants, grown from seeds by the students. For that we prepared the vegetable beds with hoes, planted the eggplants quite sparsely, and then threw goat manure on them. To my great surprise I found out that an eggplant grows taller then one meter. Secondly we prepared vegetable beds for dodo, which is in Europe commonly known as amaranth. From my studies in Germany I remembered amaranth muesli but here the green leaves of the plant are eaten. During garden work I talked with the students about where which plants grow and how can they be prepared for eating.

Lunch consisted as usually of posho and beans sauce, which this time also contained some cabbage leaves. We always eat in the large living room where most off the students sit on the floor and usually the chairs are kept free for the volunteers. After lunch I asked all the Bluesky students to write down their names, age, and academic level and I learned a lot through this. Next to the school building two boys were playing a game – one has to throw a coin or some other piece against the wall and whoever lands further away from the wall has to throw again or that's how it looked like.

Afternoon was dedicated to weaving class in the Cottage Industry building. During the class a bag I bought the previous Friday was taken apart and examined thoroughly and this all for finding out ore about the design and creating a similar one by the end of the week. It rained a bit during the class and after asking several times I found out Mama Jovas real name. In the rural areas the parents are called after their first-born children, e g Mama Tony, Tata Jova. Afterwards I cleaned some necklaces from dust together with Jakob, preparing them for selling activity at the guesthouse where I live. I waited for Godwin to get back to school, discussed some important issues, and just a bit before the arrival of darkness meaning around 18:40 drove to Kakiri together with Paul (a boda-guy I know and can call to pick me up drom Bluesky).

On my way home I bought one avocado and two bananas, together for about 30 euro cents. In the evening I sold 7 necklaces at the guesthouse and ate the cold pizza from the evening before. My roommate Jetske told me about her stressful day – visiting the hospital with a streetboy who had gotten bad injuries in a boda-accident, the wounds were basically scratched open and cleaned with alcohol and she as there the whole time holding his hand.

One regular Tuesday
My alarm rang at 7:00 and after fast breakfast I drove to Bluesky. My goal was to print some different fonts out as examples for the Christmas cards but unfortunately there was a power-cut in Kakiri. I bought some water and cookies and took a boda towards Mpeggwe village. All of the youth was on the corn field, except Mercy who was for some reason forgotten behind at Bluesky. We went together to the cornfield that is situated a bit further away from the school and found other already working hard on weeding the corn. We joined in and luckily I took some photos and a short video in the very beginning because afterwards my hands and feet were so muddy that I could not take out my camera anymore. We had to leave the field earlier than planned because very dark clouds appeared in the sky and yes, it rained soon after we had left.

As there was still some time until lunch and it was raining, then I talked to Bluesky students about the local food and wrote down some luganda words for food. Many students find my luganda really funny but they encourage and are glad when I have mastered another word. After lunch (still posho and beans sauce) I took off towards Kampala to meet Brian who had promised me to give some contacts of people producing leather sandals and banana fiber bags. At first we were just moving around town, he showed me the place where he teaches street-children football and dancing and then in downtown he introduced me to some resellers of sandals.

I reached Goethe Institute around 5pm for my luganda lesson, this time on the topic of numbers and bargaining. It was a lot of fun to practice different bargaining situations. From the language course I walked over to Café Javas next to Acacia Mall where I had a nice big glass of fresh mango juice (9000 UGX = 2,5 EUR = at least two meals in a local restaurant) and chatted with Martin who is a 24-year old hairdresser-songwriter-singer. Because of the traffic jams in the evening I decided to take a boda to the other side of town where the minibusses to Nansana leave. I got to know a firendly and interesting boda-driver Dan who drove very safely and well and whos main stage (that is how they call the stops-taxistands around here) is close to the Goethe Institute. So I asked for his phone number – always good to have some contacts to good and trustworthy boda-guys.

I reached home around half past 9 and on my way I met Deo who lives close to the guesthouse. He showed me the place where Bluesky used to be just 1,5 years ago (there is a kindergarten opening in the same house now). Then I had some dinner and soon enough went to bed.

Külalistemajja müügiks viidud kaelakeed. / Sam and the necklaces I brought to the guesthouse.


Jalad pärast maisipõllul töötamist. / My feet after working on the corn field.

Sam valmistab peenraid ette. / Sam preparing the garden.

Dodo ehk amaranth.

Jon istutab baklažaani. / Jon planting some eggplants.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Jõulukaardid. / Christmas cards.

Üks viimase aja olulisi tegevusi Bluesky's on olnud jõulukaartide valmistamine ja selle jaoks erinevate kujundusideede katsetamine. Oskused vajavad veel harjutamist ja lihvimist, kuid siin on mõned esimesed näited meisterdatud kaartidest. Materjalidena kasutamine näiteks banaanikiudu otse kooliaiast, puutüvest valmistatud riiet, palmilehti ja riidetükke erinevate lihtsate piltidega.
Kommentaarid ja ideed on oodatud ning soovi korral võib ka tellimusi esitada.
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One of the recent activities at Bluesky cottage industry has been preparation of different designs for Christmas cards that could also be sold on the open market. We still need to polish the skills and production process but here are some of the first examples. The materials used include banana fiber straight from the banana trees in our own garden, local barkcloth, palm leaves, and textile with some simple pictures.
Feel free to comment, give further ideas and advice or order some cards from Bluesky.


The funny hut on the right is cut out of barkcloth.


Allan and rest of the Bluesky students.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Siiras rõõm. / Genuine happiness.

Inimeste igapäevaste rõõmude ja murede jälgimine on pannud mind mitmel korral pikemalt järele mõtlema. Viimane kord eelmisel kolmapäeval olin kohe nii sügavalt mõttesse vajunud, et taksopeatusest koju kõndides unustasin tuttava kraavi ületamiseks pikemat sammu võtta ning kukkusin tragikoomiliselt pikali, koos seljakoti, kiivri ja kandekotiga. Olin just teel koju pesu pesema ja tegin nõnda endale veel hulga tööd juurde.

Sageli märkan siin olles, kuidas erinevad inimesed väikestest asjadest suurt rõõmu tunnevad. Nii laste kui täiskasvanute jaoks on rõõmustamine siinses ühiskonnas kuidagi lihtsam ja siiram. Külalapsed võivad kümneid minuteid täispuhutus kilekotiga mängida ning nende näol peegeldub puhas nauding ja mängulust. Seda nähes meenuvad võrdluseks lapsed, kelle jaoks on ainult uusim nutitelefon väärt mänguasi ning kui pole parimaid mänge installitud, siis on ikkagi midagi puudu ja halvasti.

Minibussides külade ja pealinna vahet sõitvad reisijad vestlevad omavahel: teevad nalja vihma käest pääsenud kaassõitjate kohta, kurjustavad koos hooletu bussijuhi suunas, vaidlevad kirglikult õige hinna üle, elavad kaasa raadiost jälgitavale jalgpallimatšile jne. Kaasliiklejad on abivalmid, kaastundlikud ja lahked. Kaks nädalat tagasi unustasin oma telefoni Blueskysse sõites minibussi, kuid märkasin seda alles siis kui minu enda telefonilt keegi Siisile helistas. Selgus, et leidja soovib mulle telefoni tagasi anda ja järgmisel hommikul saime selleks Nansanas kokku. Helistasin veel eelmisel õhtul igaks juhuks üle ja kinnitasin kohtumise ning hommikul ootasin pisut närviliselt kohtumispaigas. Esimese asjana ütles abivalmis noormees, et talle tundus, et ma olen üsna stressis telefoni kaotamise pärast. Ilmselt oli seda märgata minu mitmekordsest helistamisest ja kannatamatusest kui ta kohtumispaika mõnikümmend minutit hiljem kohale jõudis. Ta oli lihtsalt rõõmus, et sai mulle abiks olla. Erinevalt eelarvamustest ei küsinud ta minu käest raha ega tahtnud minuga abielluda vms. Tänutäheks ulatasin pisikese leiutasu, ütlesin korduvalt aitäh ja peaaegu oleksin kallistanud ka, kuid see poleks siinmail avalikus kohas päris sobilik.

Emotsioonide väljendamine tundub siin võrreldes Eestiga oluliselt vahetum ja seda märkab väga paljudes erinevates hetkedes. Kampalas tantsuetendust jälgides plaksutatakse, hõigatakse ja naerdakse rohkem ning minu luganda keele katsetuste peale itsitavad kohalikud sageli. Samas ma tean, et nad imestavad ja rõõmustavad kui olen mõne uue sõna ära õppinud ning need naerupahvakud ei ole kuidagi solvavalt mõeldud. Kõik pigem kiidavad püüdlusi ja aitavad õppimisele kaasa. 

Mingil moel on rõõmustamine nakatanud ka vabatahtlikke ja me oskame vaikselt nautida asju, mis muidu on niivõrd tavalised. Elektrita päeva järel küünlavalgel õhtusööki süües tervitatakse laelambi süttimist rõõmuhüüetega. Olles mõne öö Bluesky kooli juures ööbinud tunnen UPA-sse tagasi tulles mõnu voolavast veest, olgugi, et dušš on siiski jahe ja vägagi värskendav. Samas pole tegu ainult mugavuste igatsusega, sest tunnen, et ka igapäevaselt märkan ümbritsevat rohkem ning naeran ja naeratan väikeste sündmuste peale. 

Mulle meeldib, kuidas Bluesky õpilased ja õpetajad koos töötades oma rõõmu jagavad, käsitööd tehes omavahel vestlevad ja muusikat kuulavad. Selles on midagi rohkemat kui lihtsalt sõnad, seal sees on äratuntav koosolemise ja koostegutsemise rõõm. Kuid muidugi tahan ma ka jutu sisust rohkem aru saada ja jätkan selleks usinalt luganda õpinguid. Njagala okuyiiga oluganda!
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Observing the little joys and worries in the everyday lives of people has made me think several times. On last Wednesday I was already preparing this blogpost in my head and was so deep in my thoughts that on my way home late in the evening I forgot to take a longer step over a ditch I come across every day and fell in a very funny way straight to the ground, with my backpack, helmet, and another bag. I was just on my way home to do my laundry and thus, I created a lot of extra work for me.
While living here I often notice how different people feel great happiness and joy from small things. For both children and adults the happiness is somehow easier and more genuine in this society. The children in the village can enjoy themselves for a long time playing with a plastic bag filled with air and their faces reflect pure joy and fun. In comparison I then think about children who only appreciate the newest smartphone as their favourite toy and if it does not have the newest games installed then still something is missing and wrong and worth complaining about.

Passengers traveling between smaller villages and the capital talk lively to each other: they joke about fellow travelers who have escaped the rain, complain together about the reckless driver, argue passionately about the correct price, comment on the football match on the radio etc. People sharing a ride are helpful, compassionate and kind. Two weeks ago I forgot my phone into a minibus while going to Bluesky and I discovered it just when someone was calling Siisi from my phone. It came out that the guy who found my phone wanted to return it and we managed to arrange a meeting for the next morning in Nansana. In the evening I called him once again to confirm the meeting and was waiting and a bit nervous next morning. The first thing that the helpful man told me was that I seemed to have been very stressed about loosing my phone. Apparently one could notice that from my several phone calls and impatience when he arrived at the meeting point some twenty minutes later. He was just glad that he could help me. Contradicting all prejudice, he did not ask for money nor did he want to marry me. As a sign of gratitude I gave him a small amount of shillings, thanked him several times, and almost gave him a hug but this would not be very appropriate in a public place around here.

In general, displaying emotions seems to be more natural and genuine in Uganda compared to other countries I have lived in and this is seen at various occasions. At a dance show in Kampala you see people clapping, shouting and laughing a lot more and my clumsy experiments of speaking luganda are usually met with giggling from the locals. At the same time I know that they are surprised that I want to learn their language and they are glad when I have mastered another word or new phrase. These giggles are not meant to be insulting in any way and I would say that I rather feel supported and helped in learning the language.

Somehow the volunteers have been infected by the happiness as well and slowly we have learned to appreciate and enjoy things that otherwise are just seen as normal. After a day without electricity (no-power-day) we shout with joy when the living room lamp shines bright again. After spending some nights at Bluesky school I enjoy the running water in the UPA guesthouse, although it is still rather cold and refreshing. At the same time, it is not only modern conveniences that we miss or enjoy because I feel that also in my everyday journeys I observe and see the surroundings more and laugh and smile at small things happening around me.
I really like how students and teachers at Bluesky share their happiness while working together, talking to each other during weaving or painting and listening to music. There is something in it besides the words that are heard, it is a feeling of enjoying working and being together. But of course I also want to understand the content of the talk and thus, I shall continue eagerly with learning luganda. Njagala okuyiiga oluganda!
Children at Bluesky kindergarten.



UPA Silver Jubilee

13. septembril pidas Uganda Pioneers Association oma 25ndat sünnipäeva. UPA on minu vastuvõttev organisatsioon Ugandas ning tegeleb üldiselt vabatahtlike koordineerimisega erinevatesse projektidesse. Lisaks siinsele nö peastaabile on UPA-l kokku kaheksa osakonda erinevates Uganda osades ja vabatahtliku töö projektidesse kaasatakse nii kohalikke kui välismaa vabatahtlikke.
Teadsin üritusest nii palju, et alustatakse kell 8 rongkäiguga peopaika, kus erinevad organisatsioonid end tutvustada saavad, pakutakse tasuta HIV-testimist ja nõustamist, vähiuuringuid ja lisaks peetakse palju kõnesid. Pea kõik UPA vabatahtlikud olid hommikul külalistemaja ette end kella kaheksaks valmis sättinud, mis ilmselgelt näitas, et me pole veel täielikult siinse eluga kohanenud, sest esimesi liikumise märke hakkas tekkima poole üheksa paiku. Maja ette sõitis minibuss, kust ronis välja terve puhkpilliorkester koos pillidega ning keegi ei saanud aru, kuidas nad sinna kõik ära mahtusid. Vaikselt hakkas punastes UPA logoga särkides rongkäik liikuma ja järgmised tund aega veetsime kõrvetava päikese käes edasi sammudes. Kõige toredam oli seejuures tekkinud võimalus ümbrust vabalt pildistada, sest rongkäigu keskel ei märka keegi üht fotoaparaati, kuid tänaval üksi liikudes on endal ka imelik tunne kui järsku seisma jääd ja kellegi majast pilti teed.
Peamise osa juubeliürituse programmist võtsid enda alla kõned erinevate projektiparnerite, vabatahtlike ja UPA liikmete poolt. Lisaks esitati tradistioonilisi tantse ja muusikat, söödi sünnipäevatorti ja näidati UPA tegemistest valminud dokumentaalfilmi.
Minu klõpse saab vaadata siin
Rongkäigust õnnestus isegi paar lühikest klippi teha

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On the 13th of September we celebrated the silver jubilee of Uganda Pioneers Association. UPA is my hosting organisation in Uganda and it generally coordinates volunteers into different projects and NGOs within the local communities. Besides the central administration and guesthouse, UPA has eight branches in different districts in Uganda and they involve both local and international volunteers in their projects and workcamps.
I had the information that the event will start at 8 am from the guesthouse with marching (with a brass band!) to the event location where different partner organisations have the chance to introduce themselves, free HIV-testing and counceling and cancer screenings will be offered and of course a significant number of speeches will be held. Almost all of the UPA volunteers had gathered in front of the guesthouse by 8 am and this was certainly a clear sign that we are not very well adapted to the life around here because there were first signs of movement only at about half past eight. A minibus arrived and suddenly the yard was filled with members of a brass band and their instruments – nobody really understood how they all managed to fit into the small bus but let's call it a small everyday miracle. Slowly the group of people all dressed in red UPA t-shirts started moving and the next hour was spent walking towards the event location under bright and burning sunshine. The best hing about he procession was the option to freely take a lot of pictures of the surroundings because in the middle of all the music and marching, nobody notices one extra camera. When walking alone on the streets, it still feels weird to take pictures of random houses and people while they are going on with their daily business.
The largest part of the jubilee program was taken up by speeches from different project partners, volunteers and UPA members. There was also some traditional dancing and music, a big birthday cake for everyone and the presentation of a documentary about the work of UPA.
Here are the pictures I took
  
And I even managed to record a bit of the procession:
Video 2



Sunday, 21 September 2014

Kohalikud meditsiiniteenused. / Local medical services.

Mul oli plaanis kirjutada siinse kliiniku külastamisest pärast tervise taastumist ja paranemist, kuid tundub, et nii kiiresti see siiski ei käi. Kõik algas sellest kui eelmise nädala esmaspäeval proovisin kohviku snimega Prunes väga head mango jäätisekokteili. Kuna jook oli niivõrd maitsev, siis jõin seda vist pisut liiga kiiresti ning järgmisel hommikul tundsin, et kurk on natuke valus. Teised vabatahtlikud arvasid, et ma võin nii jäätise kui jääkuubikutega joogi tarbimisest toidumürgituse saada, kuid õhtul pärast jäätisekokteili tundsin end väga hästi ja muigasin nende ettevaatlikkuse üle. Teisipäeva õhtul tundsin, kuidas mandlid ja kael järjest valusamaks muutusid, jõin teed ja lootsin, et läheb üle. Kolmapäeval otsustasin koju jääda, sest keset ööd olin kurguvalu peale üles ärganud ning neelates oli tunne, nagu keegi üritaks okastraati kurku toppida. Õhtuks avastasin, et mul on 38,2 palavik ning hakkasin mõtlema, et ehk peaks ikka arsti juurde minema. Kuna valu oli ainult kurgus, haigus oli arenenud aeglaselt ja polnud muid tõsiseid sümptomeid, siis otsustasin hommikuni oodata ja siis haiglasse sõita.
Neljapäeva hommikul sõitsin International Hospital Kampalasse ning ju ma polnud veel väga haige, sest kauplesin pikalt kesklinnas ootavate boda-meestega: kolmele ütlesin ära, sest nad pakkusid liiga kõrget hinda ja vaidlesid ning viimane oli rahul 3000 šillingiga. Haiglasse jõudes oli mu esimene mulje, et inimesed panevad arsti juurde minekuks selga enda kõige ilusamad riided, kuid samas on raske midagi kindlat öelda, sest ugandalased panustavad üldiselt väga palju aega ja energiat enda välimuse eest hoolitsemisele. Panin end registratuuris kirja, ootasin umbes 10 minutit ning kohtusin siis kahe sõbraliku naisarstiga (enne seda kaalus-mõõtis õde mind üle). Minu kaela ja kurku uurides vabandasid nad mitu korda iga kord kui ütlesin AI! ning saatsid mind seejärel vereanalüüsi andma. Pidin analüüsitulemusi umbes tund aega ootama ja otsustasin selle aja veeta kliiniku kohvikus puhates ja kohvi juues – üllatusena oli võimalik kasutada tasuta wifit ja see isegi töötas! Tulemused ütlesid, et punaste verelibledega on kõik korras ja tegu on absoluutse monotsütoosi või millegi sarnasega. Sõbralik arst otsustas, et mind kiusab üks viirus ning "pole vaja mu keha antibiootikume täis pumbata". Olin väga tänulik ning läksin ja ostsin mõned külmetuseravimid (kurguvalu leevendavad närimistbletid jne). Kokkuvõttes oli teekond haiglasse ja tagasi siiski üsna väsitav ning ülejäänud päeva veetsin sidruni-ingveri teed juues ja õhtul lisaks natuke valuvaigisteid kui kurguvalu eriti vastikuks muutus. Sidrun ja igveritükk on kohaliku juurviljamüüja juures mõlemad hinnaga umbes 6 eurosenti tükk. Järgnevatel päevadel oli õhtul vaike palavik, kuid üldiselt paranesin kiiresti ja laupäeval otsustasin ühineda minu vastuvõtva organisatsiooni UPA (Uganda Pioneers Association) hõbejuubeli üritusega. Selle nädala alguses oli kurgust valu kadunud ning tundsin end hästi... kuni reedeni.

Reede hommik algas pisut valutava kaelaga vasakul poolel, kuid see ei häirinud eriti ning sõitsin minibussi ja bodaga Blueskysse. Koolis olles tundsin kuidas lümfisõlmed kaelal vasakul järjest rohkem paiste lähevad ja üldine nõrkus andis ka märku, et midagi pole korras. Otsustasin uuesti arsti juurde sõita, kuid esmalt pidin külalistemajast esimese vereanalüüsi ja läbivaatuse tulemused kaasa võtma. Õnneks oli Tara nõus minuga haiglasse kaasa tulema ja nii sõitsime me minibussiga kesklinna, ma vaidlesin-kauplesin meile kaks boda-meest kumbki hinnaga 5000 ning kella kahe paiku jõudsime teise kliinikusse nimega the Surgery. Arstiga kohtumise ajal oli mul 39 C palavik ja ma tundsin end väga väsinu ja kuumana. Pärast vereanalüüsi, malaariatesti ja uriinianalüüsi teatas arst, et mul on bakteriaalne infektsioon mandlites ja järgnevad viis päeva pean antibiootikume võtma. Seega söön nüüd päevas 3 x 3 kollakas-punast tabletti ja loodan, et haigus kaob peagi. Üldiselt tunnen end hästi ja mul on piisavalt energiat toiduvalmistamiseks, ringi liikumiseks ja lugemiseks, kuid ma tean, et pean mõned päevad rahulikult võtma, puhkama ja laskma rohtudel oma tööd teha.

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I wanted to write about the medical services after feeling healthy and recovered again but apparently the healing takes longer then expected. It all started with drinking an ice cream milkshake on last Monday in Café Prunes. The drink was really tasty, so I assume that I drank it a bit too fast and the next morning I felt a little bit of pain in my throat. Everyone at the guesthouse thought that I might get some kind of food poisoning from having both ice cream and ice in my drink but in the evening I was still feeling fine and happy that I could prove them wrong. Tuesday evening the left side of my throat and tonsils felt really painful, I drank some tea and hoped for the best. Wednesday morning I decided to stay at home because I had woken up in the night with strong pain in the throat, swallowing was really painful: like putting barbed wire through the neck or similar. By the evening I had developed a fever of 38,2 C and gave some thought to visiting a doctor. As the pain was local and I did not have any other severe symptoms + it had not gotten worse very fast, I decided to wait until next morning and go to the hospital then.
Thursday morning I traveled to the International Hospital Kampala and apparently I was still not that ill as I bargained hard to get a boda-boda from the city center to the hospital: said no to 3 drivers and the last one was satisfied with 3000 shillings. After getting there my first impression was that everyone puts on their very best clothes when going to the hospital but then again people here invest a lot of time and effort into looking good all of the time. I registered at the reception, waited for about 10 minutes, and was seen then by two very friendly young female doctors. While examining my throat they apologized several times when I said AI! and then sent me to take the blood test. I had to wait one hour for the results of my full blood count and thus decided to relax in the hospital café - there was free wireless that was even functioning for some time, amazing! The results said something about red cell indexes being normal and absolute monocytosis. The friendly doctor decided that it is a virus that's bothering me and "there is no need to pump you full of antibiotics". I felt grateful and went off to buy some random common cold medicine. All in all the journey was still quite tiring and the rest of the day I spent drinking tea with lemon and ginger from the local vegetable lady (200 per piece) and taking some painkillers in the evening when it got worse. The fever occurred a bit in the evenings for the following few days but not as badly and on Saturday I was brave enough to join the Silver Jubilee celebrations of UPA (Uganda Pioneers Association). This week the pain was gone from my throat and I felt normal.... until Friday.
Friday morning there was slight pain on the left side of my neck but it did not disturb me, so I took the minibus and boda to Bluesky. While in the school I felt that the glands on my neck are distinctly swollen and I also felt really tired. This was an alarming sign and I decided to go to the doctor again but first had to pick up the test results of a week ago from the guesthouse. Luckily Tara was willing to accompany me and so we took the minibus to town centre, went through the stress of bargaining a boda ride for 5000 each, and arrived at The Surgery around 2pm (Yes, I also find it weird to say "Can you take me to The Surgery?"). By the time I was explaining my symptoms to the doctor I had a 39C fever and felt really tired. After blood test, urine test, quick malaria test, the doctor told that I have acute tonsillitis with bacterial infection and need to take antibiotics for the next five days. So here I am, eating 3 x 3 yellow-red pills per day and hoping it will all go away soon. Generally I feel good and have enough energy for cooking, moving around, and reading but I know that I do need to take it easy and have a rest and let the medicine fight the disease.


Veri läks analüüsimisele, on koogi aeg. / Blood taken for analysis - it is brownie and coffee time.

Kodule lähim apteek. / Closest pharmacy to my home.
Mina ja The Surgery ooteruum. / Me in the foyer of The Surgery.