These weeks since Zanzibar have been pretty wild. My organization ran out of money and couldn't afford to pay my rent anymore. The meeting in which I was informed of this was only the second time seeing my supervisor in person. It was short and professional and ended with no bad feelings. As I walked away from the Turkish restaurant (amazing somosa) I experienced a nice serotonin boost at the new freedom I had just acquired. It felt like getting out of a shitty relationship. That feeling was quickly followed by an OMF’ingGsh moment at the realization that I was going to be homeless in 8 days. Truth be told, I was absolutely ready to move onto something else. Relief was really what I felt more than anything else; my heart was really not into artivists 4 life.
First order of business was to call up Lando (aka Alana Sutter) and ask her if I could move into her place with all my furniture and everything I own to which she was very gracious in permitting. I had been fairly sure that I was going to be put in this position for a while now, so I was keeping an eye out for good site replacements and I had found one at the place I go to hike in Mabira National Forest. I wanted to have as much say in my new site as I could, so I went to check it out MAFICO (Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organization) to see if this place was a possibility. It turns out that they were planning to apply for a Peace Corps Volunteer to live and work at their new camp site. The campsite is 6 miles from their office through beautiful sugar cane fields near a small village called Wasswa. They use the proceeds from the camp site to fund conservation and environmental education projects. So they need a volunteer to help make the camp site more profitable and work on the other projects as well. The camp site has solar power and a rain catching water tank and a small room in the back of their reception building for a volunteer! It’s a 30 minute hike to Griffin Falls and has the trail heads of an extensive trail system deep into Mabira Forest. They do all kinds of guided hikes and can take people all over the country for gorilla tracking or birding or whatever and it’s pretty inexpensive. I think it could be marketed to young Muzungu travelers from all over. As you can imagine it is pretty much a Katumba paradise. Knowing that this site might be the outcome of this whole stressful situation really has made the whole process much more bearable. So, if this all pans out, I’m going to be getting a lot more use out of my bike (and getting my ass in shape) and living in the forest hanging out with European travelers. Peace Corps is visiting the site today to see if it can work.
If it does work out, I’ll still have a couple weeks to kill before I can move there which means I can travel around Uganda and see my Peace Corps friends.
My room would be on the back side of this buildingUpdate: Since I started writing this blog, I’ve gone to eat lunch with Alana where I randomly ran into my Project Manager, Jenny, who was on her way back from checking out my site and she informed me that it’s goin’ down! I’ve got 2 weeks of complete, unadulterated freedom and then I move into the jungle and start volunteering with MAFICO. THIS is what I wanted out of Peace Corps! I can’t wait to get out of the rat race in this city and get back to my roots in the forest. Goat and sugar can juice projects. OMF’ingGsh!