About Me

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I teach abroad and continue to pursue the life I was given as if it was my last. Many people think it is. In my spare time, I enjoy lapping up ice cream, reading spy novels, and euthanizing manta rays.

Monday, September 6, 2010


RALPH just moved in this morning. he's the forgetful, naive roommate who doesn't use boiled or bottled water to wash dishes and brush his teeth. he instead rinses off his coffee cup with tap water, dries it with a napkin, pours himself some instant coffee with sugar, then starts feeling sick about seventeen seconds later. then it passes, he takes another drink, the sides of lips start to water, he spits twice into the toilet, walks back to his computer, stops, senses a gurgling, nausea, moistness on the lips, then sprints 180 degrees in the opposite direction for the toilet just as his mouth erupts like Mount Vesuvius. Then he repeats action three more times until the life comes back to his face, his eyes stop watering, his mouth returns to its normal pigment, and he scans for the nearest bottle of water. All has passed for Ralph but a lesson learned. He hopes to be moving out today, never to be seen or heard from again.

I bumped into my student coordinator (kind of the teacher's pet who is assigned the tasks of distributing copies, taking attendance and being the liason between the teacher and the rest of the students). Both of my coordinators are named Julius. Julius Daytime looks exactly like the Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson. In fact, I can't stop thinking about their resemblance when I talk to Julius Daytime. Nevertheless, another issue was at hand for the two of us this morning: Julius Daytime had indicated the 12-2 block of time each Monday would not work for the group because of another class they all had at 12. Fine. When can I teach them? I went and saw Dr. Okaka, the head of the Literature Department, who told me go ahead and teach them at 1-2. I agreed, took off for an hour, then returned at 12:58 to check on the room. Only it was full, with another group of students paying close attention to a lecturer closely resembling Eddie Murphy's barber in "Coming to America". One o'clock came and went without a single student showing, nor the barber's lecture ending. Finally, at 1:15 I had had enough and packed up to go check on the timetable in my office. Apparently, word hadn't got out to the students about the change in the schedule, prompting us to be pushed  back until Wednesday. While all of this is terribly boring for everyone but me (I'm just frustrated) it gives you some indication of the organization going on around campus as we enter into week three of the semester. I did manage to get an eraser, a box of chalk, lined paper, and some red pens today, which is a minor victory. Now, I'm hanging out at my house, as yet another violent thunderstorm rips through the university heading for the Nile river and Kenya.

The latest anecdote repeated itself five hours later. This time Julius Nighttime didn't answer his phone and - again - no students showed up. So I went to the mess hall to people watch, eat sausage and pop the zit my forearm from not showering in hot water in eleven days.


  1. Hang in there. Do they have some kind of English bookstore in Kampala? Sounds like you are going to have a bit of free time on your hands. Maybe you can treat yourself to a nice hotel and get a decent hot shower.
    There's a bit of Ralph in all of us. Smell you later!
    Can't wait to hear your blog when you actually start teaching!

  2. hey.. are you too busy w/ Jean's visit to write???

  3. yes, our chedule is manic. more coming.