Monday, October 31, 2011

Sarah: Kitty Cat


Halloween is a big deal to people around here. Streets get 
shut down for the [adult] partying.

To celebrate the holiday, Frank and I are going 
out for pizza tonight!

What are your plans for the day? Did you dress up?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kelsey: How to friday. How to go shopping in Africa.

Shopping in Uganda is a treasure hunt. Every store has the same basic items except for once in a while when something crazy like Doritos shows up. Oh that was such a good day.

This is the largest supermarket in Jinja. We don't do those big fancy Kampala supermarkets. What we have is more like the food mart you find at a gas stations. Except with much less food.

This is taken from the corner to show how long the store is. Note the Chips Ahoy and Oreos they sell! These showed up a couple months ago and we bought tons of them thinking they would go away but they seem to keep getting them in!

This is the same corner the other direction. I think it is about half as big a a Seven Eleven. It is half food and half home goods. These guys sit in the corners I assume to stop shoplifters because they certainly aren't there to help you find things.

Mister Potato crisps are the second best thing about this supermarket.

These are number one. They are individual Indian food meals. Vegetarian and ready to eat just have to heat. I love them.

The much cheaper and more fun shopping happens at Jinja central market!

Fresh fruits and veggies stacked in fun little piles. GIant bars of soap artfully arranged. I love the market.

So some of these are beans and rice, some are flour, and the rest I will never know.

We bought that one. I would rather eat pineapple than any other food. I don't even know why they sell pineapple in America. It is like dirt compared to this stuff.

Uganda garlic. It is in tiny pieces and takes forever to peel.

This garlic in imported from China. Its gigantic and easy to use. But it really freaks me out that it is from China. Why is China sending garlic to Uganda. China is everywhere!

These are bags of peanut butter, cooked and uncooked. 

This is the mother load. It took me a really long time to find these stalls. They have hot peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and sometimes even lettuce!

Coke bottles filled with cooking oil. If you drink a whole one you get it for free.

Popcorn! This is the best place in the market.

Smoked old stupid fish. This is the worst. 

Mmmm hanging meat.

This look means "If you don't stop taking pictures I am going to walk far away and pretend we have never met."

And then it happened.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sarah: Today

Today is my day off!

So, today I'm going to start organizing our house--because the exterminators came yesterday. woot woot! I'm excited to clean, decorate, and organize this place into feeling like a home. Perhaps there will be a home tour (through pictures) coming to the blog soon?

Today I'm getting my California drivers license...if I pass the test.

On my way home from the DMV, I'm going to  stop by that thrift store I was talking about the other day. 

I may or may not enjoy a nice glass of wine while watching 30 Rock later. 

What are you up to today?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kelsey: Restaurant Reviews Kampala

The tourist information about Uganda available on the web is sort of lacking. Uganda is a huge place for European tourists. Tons of people come here for safaris, sight seeing, and adventure tourism (bungee jumping, white water rafting and such). There is one guide book written about Uganda, its fine. I think it is bland. I like reading people's blog posts about places they have visited. They are much more exciting and usually more helpful.

So this is my incredibly selfless gesture for all the many Uganda tourists reading this blog. Some restaurant reviews.

I <3 New York Pizza Kitchen

That is literally the name of this wonderful hidden gem. This is the perfect restaurant for the long time traveller in Uganda. The person who has been on an adventure in the village and who has eaten more matoke than any one person should. This traveler wants a taste of home! And in my opinion this is the closest you can get.

This place is inside the parking garage of the Garden City shopping mall.

It is like semi classy New York City diner. And the fact that it is in the parking garage kind of adds to the New Yorkness of it. Obviously the most amazing thing about this place is that they have cupcakes. Cupcakes.

They are kind of mediocre. But they are 100 times better than a stale crumbly Ugandan cake. Which is basically your only other option. They are mostly just very pretty to look at. That is good enough for me!

These are the bagel chips and dip that they bring for free while you wait for your food. This automatically makes this my perfect place in Kampala. They make bagels! I know how not exciting a bagel sounds to everyone in America. But it is a big deal here.

I ordered a bagel BLT which came with delicious coleslaw.

Sandwich stealer.

Sar and Frank like it too.

The funniest thing about eating in any restaurant in Uganda is the 100% lack of customer service. The waiter will act like you are a huge burden to them and they are very annoyed that you chose to come to their restaurant today. Shop owners do that too. They will move extremely slow and sort of roll their eyes like, why are you here? It cracks me up.

This place had a really creepy waiter who would linger at the table. He asked a few questions and then started pointing to his ring finger and he was like, eh? eh?

But other than him it is a great place. I recommend the pizza, the red velvet pancakes, and the bagels! If this place weren't 3 hours away I am sure we would eat there often.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sarah: Papi

In Elgin, Frank and I took our cars to the same mechanic every time we needed something fixed, checked, filled up, or had any questions/comments that were car related.

And you should know...our mechanic was freaking awesome. He is a man from Mexican decent (and I suspect he was born in the motherland) and his name is Papi. Well, I doubt that's his real name, but that's what we call him. Maybe that sounds mean or stereotypical, but he calls all men (and I mean all men) Papi and all women Mommy. Seriously. When we would arrive at his shop and he realized that he knows us, he would yell out enthusiastically (and I mean he yells out), "PAPI!!! MOMMY!!!", as though we're long lost friends and he's so happy to see us.

Sometimes it was hard to communicate with Papi. When we talked, we would all try to stick with few word sentences because it was just easier that way. There was one time, when I went to Papi's for an oil change (I know, I know, I should be able to change my own oil. But I don't. So don't judge me.). And I explained rather plainly that I needed my oil changed, and he proceeded to get down on the ground to empty the old oil out. Then he came over to me, mumbled something unintelligible, and left. He just left his shop. I stood there. All I heard was "Ok? Be back." So I knew he was coming back, but I had no idea why he left, how long his errand would take, or when he was coming back. I texted Francis, "Papi just left. Don't know why..." It turned out his shop didn't the kind of oil my car needed, so he left to go to Auto Zone to get some for me. But for about 15 minutes, I was real confused as to what happened...

Papi is almost always covered in some kind of black car juice and he always has a smile on his face. I wish I had a picture of him to share with you, because he's such an adorable man, but alas, I do not. So if you're looking for a good, honest, hard-working mechanic in Elgin, check him out--'cause he's ballin'.

We miss Papi.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kelsey: The Lord's Resistance Army

I hate to post negative things about Uganda. I mean I love to complain about the mosquitos and the oily food. But I don't like to share sad things. I feel like a lot of what we in America see about Africa is sad news. In the media it is portrayed as though Africa is a desperate. sad, war torn, cruel, poverty stricken continent. And it does have all of these things. But more than those things there is life and joy, hard work and community, strong bonds and pride in their nation. There is perfect weather and gorgeous land and very happy welcoming people. I hope that comes through when I write about Africa.

But today I feel like I have to share about some of the sad things.

I was on CNN's website today and I saw a story about a woman from Northern Uganda who had a message for Rush Limbaugh. Recently Obama decided to send 100 troops to Central African Republic to help put an end to the terrorist group the Lord's Resistance Army. The LRA has been terrorizing the Acholi tribe in Northern Uganda for 26 years. Denis' family is Acholi and they moved to the South to Jinja basically to flee the LRA. Families who had more money were bigger targets. Denis has crazy stories about visiting the village and having to run from the LRA when he was a kid.

Apparently Rush Limbaugh is under the impression that the LRA is a Christian group who is fighting against oppressive Muslims. I have no idea where he got that. The LRA are not Christian and Uganda actually is Christian, not Muslim. Anyway Limbaugh criticized Obama for sending troops and said we should be on the side of the LRA. We should be on the side of the terrorist group who captures children and forces them to kill their families and friends, who rapes young girls and kidnaps them into sex slavery, who cut off people ears and nose and mouth. Yes. We should definitely be on their side. They forced an entire tribe of people, hundreds of thousands, to flee their homes and live in IDP camps. The Acholi were refugees in their own country. But we should support the army because they have the word "Lord" in their title.


I dont know if this is really getting press in America. I found this article about the story. Definitely worth reading. People in the media should be held accountable for the crap that spews out of their mouths in the 24/7 news cycle. America ignored the war in Northern Uganda for over 20 years. Now we support the terrorists?

Pray for the people of the Acholi tribe today.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


"Bloglovin' helps you keep track of the blogs you read by letting you know when they update."

If you follow multiple blogs and find yourself constantly checking their websites to see if there's a new post, then this website is for you. It helps you organize your blog perusing by allowing you to follow your favorite blogs, then update the new posts to your own page. Brilliant.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sarah: Observations

I can't breathe through my left nostril. Which tells me I'm getting sick.

We're waiting to unpack our stuff until the cockroach thing is taken care of--which is one week from today! I'm counting down the days.

Pumpkin spice coffee creamer is not as good you would think.

There's a thrift store called "Frock You" that I really want to visit. 

Daytime television is depressing.

It's beginning to cool down here. Yesterday it was 65 degrees. Today it's going to be around 72.

Frank and I are going to go to Mexico sometime soon--just because we can.

I'd like to re-experience my wedding day.

I can't wait to read Mindy Kaling's book.
Image taken from here

Why do women try to fight aging? Fighting it makes them look desperate, insecure and older than they really are (I'm talking to you, Kathy Lee).

I'm obsessed with black tea.

I'm excited to start a certain sewing project, but I can't find the scissors. I could go out and buy a new pair, but I'll just wait until I find the old ones.

I've been sleeping like a rock lately.

I have the entire weekend off! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kelsey: 25

I am trying to make my 30 by 30 list but I keep thinking of the fun things I did before I turned 25. So I had to make a list.

25 things I'm glad I did before I was 25

- Got a tattoo, in Haiti

- Volunteered in Mexico

- Sang all over China

- Licked the Great Wall

- Went snorkeling all over the Caribbean

- Studied abroad, everyone should do it.

- Got baptized

- Watched every episode of LOST at least twice, time well spent

- Memorized The Lion King

- Saw Les Mis in London

- Learned sign language and worked with my favorite deaf person, Stef!

- Conquered fear of spiders and lived with a tarantula

- Met Denis (this is number one)

- Made the perfect vanilla cupcake

- Lived alone

- Lived in Africa

- Spent 7 years as a vegetarian

- Milked a cow! Then drank the milk.

- Dyed my hair crazy colors, glad I did it, glad its over.

- Ate a lot of lobster and a lot of Jello

- Learned to drive a stick shift

- Learned midwifery!

- Visited Europe

- Grew my first garden

- Learned all the words to the song "American Pie"

I totally milked at least half of that jug! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sarah: No Longer

I have been feeling so inspired lately. Inspired to create, write, go outdoors, sew, the list goes on. But I mostly feel inspired to be a better me. I think it's because of the move to San Diego.

I'm no longer forced to live within the limitations and boundaries I put on myself or that I thought others put on me. I know that I could have realized this at any point back Elgin, but it took for me to move across the country to change my thought process and realize the potential here.

I used to allow my own fears and insecurities stop me from doing things I love. Fears like, what if I fail at it? What if, after I fail, I can't stand to even think about the thing I tried to do? What if I disappoint myself and the people I love? What if I don't ever get to be as good as I want to be? All of these what-ifs have piled on top of me and they've caused me to stall on life. They've caused me to stall on my dreams.

No longer. I'm not going to live within the imaginary, crippling limitations I've set for myself. I'm going to aim higher. I'm going to want things, really want them. And then work my butt off to get them. For the first time in my life, I am allowing myself to believe in me. It feels freeing.

This photographer, Tara Whitney, really inspires me. Her style of photography is precisely what I hope to achieve one day. And she doesn't sugar coat her life. I respect and admire her as a fellow human being. I came across this image from her blog, and it spoke to me. Maybe it'll help you in some way.

Image taken from here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kelsey: Little Racists

When Denis was a kid his favorite movie was Rambo. Apparently he was obsessed and he would watch it over and over. The other day he told me that until he was like 6 years old he thought that every white man he saw was Sylvester Stallone.

This kind of makes me wonder what kind of white guys were hanging out in Jinja in the late 80's? I mean I know all white people look the same but come on, this guy?

But funny story, until I was 5 I lived in New Jersey and there was a really sweet black man who lived across the street from us. I am sure I must have interacted with other black people but for some reason I really thought this man was Gordon from Sesame Street. I mean I referred to him as Gordon. I assumed he went to Sesame Street everyday and then came home and slept in his home on my street. The man looked nothing like Gordon, nor were they even close to the same age. But they were both black...

So in conclusion Denis and Kelsey both super racist as little kids. 

Elmo should have taught us better.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sarah: Shoes for Your Eyes Part II

Heya, folks. So in early June I ordered some Warby Parker glasses. I didn't find anything I really liked, so I never ordered a pair.

But I made another order with different frames and they arrived today! I like these frames much more than I like the other ones. And since my camera was stolen, I had to take these with the iphone. People, I need your help figuring out which ones look best.

1). Zagg

2). Sinclair

3). Finn

4). Thatcher

5). Tenley

Go here if you want to see the other Warby Parker frames I tried on last time. Please leave a comment with your opinion on which ones you like best!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kelsey: A week in phone pics

Its been stormy in Uganda. Storms means no one leaves the house. Patients don't go to the hospital (hence I don't go to the hospital). Kids don't go to school. People wait until the rain stops to go into work. Markets close and basically Uganda closes. Its a little bit extreme. I also find that most people fall asleep. Its a nice excuse to stay home and play 'cards' the one Ugandan game played with cards.

This woman is leaning on her gun and texting. I think we could be good friends.

Denis and I tested ourselves for malaria.

Malaria free since 93. If only. (anyone get that HIMYM reference? eh?)

But seriously jabbing yourself with a needle turns out to be way more painful than stabbing someone else with a needle. I had gotten so used to sticking people that I sort of forgot it hurt...

The market is moving. The entire Jinja market has packed up and moved. Jinja being the second largest cit in Uganda. Its whole market moved. Its so strange.

Denis is annoyed. Either because the market has moved or because I stabbed him with a needle.

Gladys and I frequently chill in town when everyone else leaves us home alone. Gladys eats her fries with a fork, she is fancy.

I really like this painting but I think its maybe too bright. But also I want it. Is it too bright? Do I have too many bright things?

One of the sinks at the hospital. Out of water like 50% of the time. The other day we put off work for two hours because there was no water for cleaning the infant's legs before we immunize them.

This little girl was freaking out while her mother was getting an IUD implanted. I was trying to calm her down and simultaneously learn how to do an IUD. I thought taking her picture and showing it to her would help but she just screamed more. I guess white lady with small electronic device that steals her image is not calming. Strange.

Curry powders. I love market pictures. I also love curry.

Small fish. These are evil. They are dried minnows, I think. People eat them with ground up peanuts. Basically the perfect way to ruin peanut butter. They smell like death and depression.

As opposed to cow stomach which smells delightful. The flies are included.

Looks like coral but is actually cow intestine. I think. I might have that switched maybe the one above is of cow intestine and this one is cow stomach. The guy tried to explain it to me but then he touched it. He touched the insides of a cow. And then I screamed and ran away.

Chapatti balls just waiting to be rolled and fried and turned into Rolex. The most delicious street food delicacy of Uganda is the rolex. Fried eggs with fried veggies wrapped in fried bread.

Chapatti man, provider of delicious foods. I love him.