Week 1: Chicken Wars 

May 8, 2017

We have been in Uganda for just over a week, although it feels like a lot longer! There’s lots I could write about, and for an insight into our first week in Uganda, check out what I wrote for the All Nations blog here. For now, I’ve just picked two encounters from this week that made me laugh…

I got up one morning and was drowsily walking into our hall, when i suddenly came across a frenzy of squashed tomatoes. I stood, puzzled, looking at the array of tomatoes strewn across the hall. Tomato juice everywhere and splashes of red and dirt mixed up all over the floor. In my half-asleep state I tried to think which of my team members might have lost the plot and taken it out on our tomatoes. I pictured Sandra grabbing a tomato and hurling it around… a funny image but I wasn’t quite sure it fit the bill! Tired as I was, I gingerly stepped over the tomatoes for now and carried about my morning routine. My house mates evidently felt the same way, as the tomatoes remained as they were for the large part of the day and I kept forgetting to ask anyone an explanation for the massacre…

It wasn’t until later that I spotted a chicken calmly strutting through our yard with something red hanging out of his mouth. Aha – culprit found. Having grown up and lived in a city all my life, this was a new realisation for me. Of course, the chicken walks into your house and chomps his way through your tomatoes…

The next morning, I was slowly getting ready for the day, when what I can only describe as a very angry man suddenly materialised in our back garden, shouting in a language we didn’t understand and pointing at our wall and generally appearing in a bit of a tizz. We rushed around to find our translators, and then disappeared inside to watch the heated conversation through the safety of the window. Sandy our translator then poked her head around the door and said “He says someone threw a pineapple in his garden”.

Now, ‘garden’ is a loose term. There is a wall dividing our dirt path with a rubbish heap from his dirt path. And there is lots of rubbish pretty much everywhere, not to mention roaming chickens, goats, rabbits, ducks… so the accusation seemed pretty funny to us.

We stopped, and looked at each other,  trying to keep a straight face. I looked at Morgan, who had been cutting up our pineapple for breakfast. She looked back at me, team leader and clearly responsible for keeping pineapples under control… .’er… ‘ she said ‘I was throwing it into our rubbish heap.. I might have thrown a bit too far but I didn’t notice throwing it over!’

I paused for thought.  I remembered the tomato and the chickens, and the large hole in the wall dividing our areas, and had an enlightened idea.  “Maybe the chicken took it through! ” I suggested to Sandy, pleased with my solution.

Cue another 10 minutes of angry tirade from our neighbour.

Sandy appeared again. “He says that the pineapple piece was as big as the chicken and it fell from the sky!”

Us, a bit bashfully, “Ok we are sorry. We must have missed the rubbish heap”

It was another 10 minutes before the man was eventually pacified.

Lessons learnt. Chickens want your food, neighbours don’t….

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