Saturday, April 17, 2010

From the Clan of Mamba

Another spring trek this week.  Well when you have over a hundred springs you got to go see a few.  Farrell always says  "You seldom get what you expect but you usually get what you inspect."  I think he learned that from Earl Holdiing of Sinclair Oil but he is sure it will work here also.

Not much different from our earlier trek except we did find some springs that the community was failing to care for and allowing water to backup and puddle at the spring site.  They should dig a ditch away from the site to channel the runoff back to the stream.
At another spring they had turned the water into the spring before the cement had dried and the cement was washed away. They will have to lay down more cement.  Our contractor will work with them to solve the problems.
At the first spring we met Francis Nsubuga Ntanda the clan leader of the Mamba clan.  This is also our contractor Eddi's clan.
Ntanda was very gracious,dignified and appreciative of having a spring for his people.  His wife was there also.  She was very bashful but was eager to shake our hands and when she shook my hand she knelt and bowed.  This was a little unsettleing but just a custom that is hard to get use to.
On their property were three buildings.  The brick house which was made from the mud (or dung) from the large ant hills that dot the area.
and two out buildings.  One had a fire in it and then this little thatched roof building.. 
We wondered why it had windows drawn on the sides with charcoal.  We were told that this is where the windows will be when he can afford to buy and install them.
Now Ntanda was so taken with Farrell and me he decided to make us members of the Mamba clan.
He can do that since he is the leader.  He named me NAMUTEBI and Farrell he named MUBIRY.  Not sure what my name means but Farrell's means problem solver or the guy you send in to confound the enemy, take yor pick.
Mama was trying so hard to stay in the back ground while papa was acting very chief like.
I gave mama 2 suckers I had in my purse.  She was so happy she nearly turned inside out.  She immediately unwrapped one and stuck it in her mouth.
We thanked him for making us clan members and said our goodbyes.  As we were pulling out mamma went into the house and came out with a huge pineapple.  She wanted to give me a gift since I had given her one.  I think I won on that deal.

Two of the spring workers were showing us around the springs on a motorcycle.  Guides are necessary as the forest or maybe it is more like a jungle is very dense and the roads are very narrow, more like a trail.Their tire went flat and we  had to put the cycle in the back of the truck and take it to one of the larger villages where it could get repaired. 
As we finished seeing spring number 4 the rain came.  We decided it was best to get off the mountain dirt roads and head home.  Ssembwa was drivng and he wandered around down the mountain and we ended up out on the shore of Lake Victoria.  I had said I had not seen a lake since we got to Kampala and that was rather strange since the map shows numerous lakes all around Kampala.  Ssembwa decided I needed to see a lake even if it was raining cats and dogs.
As long as we were at the lake Eddi and Ssembwa decided they needed to buy some fish (the real reason for going to the lake.  They stopped at a stand and asked prices on fish requiring the seller to walk up to the car in the rain and negotiate.  They weren't satisfied with the price or the fish we weren't sure which.  We finally stopped again
The man came out with two big black shopping bags that held 8 k of fish.  He placed them in the back of the truck.   They said they were little fish (with a funny name) about the size of your thumb.  They boiled them and fed them to the children because they were so nutritious.  We asked if the kids liked them and they said of course, they are good for them.
We had a long trek home and it rained all the way.  Traffic into Kampala was stop and go and we ended up taking a back route that brought us right to our apartment.  We went to get the fish out of the back and the bag had broken and their were little fish all over the back of the truck.  It is still raining hard and Ssembwa is up in the back of the truck trying to collect his little fishes.  He guaranteed us that he got them all but we noticed the next day that the man who washes the truck for us had pulled the cover off of the bed and was washing every inch of the truck bed.  It must have smelled bad.
Another day of life in Uganda.  Hey, we're Mamba clan. Ha! 


Nina Edgmand said...

Love it, Marilyn. You guys are doing great work down there.

Annette said...

I love your new names!!! It might take me awhile to remember them though. Such amazing things you are doing. Keep up the good work! Love you guys!!!

Angela said...

Interesting names- pretty cool you're a clan member now. Those little kids are amazing what they carry on their heads.