At about 5:00am a rooster wakes and sounds his cockadoodledoo, setting off a chain reaction of dogs barking, roosters crooning, cars starting, and children crying. Thus, Gulu town comes to life every morning. The GROW team grumbles and rolls about sleeplessly for another hour and a half before finally accepting that the day has begun. One by one, we stumble from our beds to the shower, where the cold water puts an end to any lingering drowsiness, and we emerge to find our daily breakfast of bread, jam, g-nut butter, bananas, and eggs awaiting us. Doreen and Sharon, Pamela’s live-in help, without whom we would be totally lost, wake up about an hour before the rest of the household, and get breakfast ready. After we eat breakfast, the four year-old Prince (whose first day of kindergarten is on Tuesday!) wakes and together we brush our teeth. As we scramble to get all of our gear together for our trek to the GWED-G office and the day of field work that lies ahead, Pamela emerges from her chambers, always ready for the day, and sends us off after a bit of morning chit-chat.
When we get to the GWED-G office, we spend an hour discussing our plans for the day with whichever project officer we’ll be accompanying, deciding on which questions we’ll ask in interviews, and mingling with the GWED-G staff. Afterwards, we hop in the car and head out to the field! For more on what a day in the field looks like, check out our last post!
Usually we make it back to Pamela’s house by 6:00pm, where we crash for a couple hours on the couch and discuss our days with Pamela before dinner is served. Meanwhile, a bubbly Prince flitters about, enthusiastically waxing on his favorite shows, insisting that we play, and finding endless ways to get into trouble. A usual meal consists of rice, beef or pork, cabbage, chipathi, beans, some greens, and juice, with a dessert of either pineapple or mango.
Bellies full, we gather in the girls’ room as night falls over Gulu town to read a chapter or two of Amanda Quick’s enthralling novel, Mystery Woman, the story of psychic investigatrix, Beatrice Lockwood’s sleuthing over the murder of her former mentor. During the course of the reading, one or two of us falls asleep, and the rest go back into the living room for some after-dinner tea, a review of the day’s work, and the daily installments of our favorite Spanish language soap operas. Over the next couple hours, our numbers dwindle even further as we head to bed one-by-one to get some rest and do it all again.