After spending last night in Kampala, Vanessa was back in Kasana Sunday afternoon, in plenty of time for her “birthday party”, such as it was. She’d invited Khoon and Celia, two of the volunteers we met on the safari, who work at a hospital in Kiwoko, as well as Ali and Dai, and another Jaica volunteer who lives in Luwero. (Jaica is the Japanese peace-corps type group that Dai’s placement in Uganda is organized through). In the end it was the seven of us, plus another Jaica member, Micki, who lives in a nearby town. We had a delicious potluck dinner, with homemade flatbread that Nancha, one of the Jaica volunteers made, and baba ganoush Vanessa whipped up on Friday. Ali and Dai brought pork from one of the stands near their house, I made potato wedges, Celia baked a vegetable and cheese bread, and Vanessa made coleslaw. Very delicious, and incredibly filling.
Vanessa was nice enough to cook her own birthday dessert, a recipe for bananas foster that she’s been looking forward to making for quite awhile. I was certainly all for a dish that involved fruit, sugar, rum and flames. A bunch of our group even trekked to the nearby supermarket so that we could have ice cream with our dessert. Despite most of the guests not knowing each other before this evening, we had a great time eating, talking and playing some of the Ugandan instruments people discovered in our living room.
There’ll be lots of work to keep us busy this week, and some nice things to look forward to. Vanessa (a registered massage therapist) has been giving massages to all the maternity centre staff over the course of her placement, and Ali and I are pencilled in to receive ours tomorrow. Next weekend we’ll all head to Entebbe for a couple of days before Vanessa and Ali start their travels through Uganda and Rwanda. It’s been great getting to know them over the past month and a half, and invaluable to have had them around while I was getting used to my new surroundings. They’ll certainly be missed!