August 9, 2010

I am a blogging derelict

Between a severe shortage of internet, a busy schedule, and just honest lethargy I haven't put a post up in months. I just wrapped up my first term as a math teacher and I'll be spending my holiday attending seminars for language and technical training before starting up with school again in late August.

Morale is a few degrees over luke warm at the moment, the bad days are ceding territory to the good, though I am happy with my progress as a teacher. My frustrations are not uncommon to any teacher or parent where the 'good' isn't seen until deep into the future and the bad is a nagging daily reminder. I'm generally happy with my students as they are improving, however slowly, though there is still so much work for us to do.

In any case here's an email I sent to my Peace Corpsing colleagues that hopefully you'll find's the Peace Corps experience in a nutshell as you often find yourself in strange positions doing unexpected things. I'll get something better up soon, I promise!

Hey you people!

For the past two months I've been attending "wedding planning
meetings" for some lawyer in Gulu who is the OB of my head teacher.
This entails mostly sitting around and nominating each other to
various offices of power which is to say we do next to nothing for
about three hours every Sunday.

Now it has thus far been a breeze...I show up, throw down some cash,
sip my VIP Coca Cola, and carefully weigh the pros and cons of whether
Mr. Ojok or Mr. Odong would make a better Deputy Secretary of Litrugy
(Mr. Odong by a landslide by the way). Things have been humming along
nicely for the past month or so but my obsolescence has been disturbed.
I have been nominated as the Wedding Photographer.

You see I have photographed a couple of the events at the school and
church with my snap shooter and apparently the Head Teacher has taken
notice. He nominated me for the post (naturally neglecting to inform
me of his intentions prior to the meeting) telling the assembly of the
Gulu business set that "Mr. Jacob is a photographer at the MASTER
LEVEL. He will take wonderful pictures I am CERTAIN."

That's actually how he talks...he always puts tons of emphasis on the
last word of any sentence.

Anyways at first I was mildly (majorly) alarmed. I've never
photographed any event seriously and certainly nothing like a wedding! The guys throwing
down this wedding have the scrilla to hire a professional so I'm
assuming they're expecting professional quality. My nomination was
immediately called into question by the chairman of the planning
commission as he questioned my experience and ability. My Head
Teacher immediately launched into an impassioned defense of my
unparalleled abilities as a photographer.

And sweet baby Jesus can my Head Teacher talk, he once gave a rousing
hour long speech to the morning assembly that touched on brochial
pnuemonia, poverty in Bolivia (of all places) and the importance of
sweeping the dirt outside your compound. Now I'm no fan of hour long
speeches but this one was down right majestic. When he gets some
momentum he can just roll like a freight train.

Anyways he's going on and on about how I should be the photographer
and eventually my mild (major) alarm gives way to righteous
indignation. How dare they! Goddamnit, I am a photographer at the
MASTER LEVEL! Who are they to question my nomination!

Naturally he convinced them (and me) that I was the only one for the
job so that is how I now find myself as the wedding photographer for
an event planned for the 24th of August. Guys, all of this has been a
very long and indirect way to get to my direct point:

If I don't have a decent camera for this thing I'm boned.

So, please, please, please with extra matoke on top does anyone have a
dSLR that I can borrow for this wedding? I will guard it with my life
and guarantee payment if it is returned to you in a condition in any
way less than it was lent. Hopefully I can get it at IST or after we
go rafting and return it to you in a most expedited manner.

My life is in your hands dudes. Look at me I want to repeat that. My
life is in your hands dudes. Dudes....My. Life. Is. In. Your.



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