wrote me today. Then we caught each other on Google Chat and I asked if I could post this email to share with you and she said “click” which is Ugandan for “fuck if i care.”
Today is All Saint’s Day here in Uganda, so it seemed completely appropriate to write you a quick letter. You, after all, are quite a saint. Even if the Catholics here don’t know Saint Sonny Isla Vista, they should and they will. I know you said not to write to you, but I really wanted to.
It was SO wonderful talking with you the other day. Thanks for getting calling cards and enduring the madness that is involved with calling me here in Africa. It felt like I was in Santa Monica and you were in Hollywood like the olden days. Although, this time I was sad because I knew I wasn’t hoppin’ in my car to cruise to the Eastside for some fun with you or that you were headed to the Westside to stroll around Venice. I’m a bit homesick these last few days. It’s been a while since I’ve been homesick. Last night all I wanted was to order Chinese food, put on my sweats and watch movies: a whole mess of them. I’ve been getting restless here lately especially in my room at night. The evenings are starting to get really boring. There’s only so much African music, BBC News and reading I can do before complete boredom creeps in. By the way, there is a great song here that I think you would like. I don’t know the singer but the song is called, “African Queen”. A friend was able to download it when she was there last week, so you should try to find it. Such a sweet, simple song! The peeps there need to hear it!
I’m thrilled and completely thankful you are sending me electronics! My parents have been great about sending other things, but thanks for coming through with the electronics. They wouldn’t know about speakers and mp3 players and such. I can’t wait to take pictures (because everyone back home needs to see what’s going on here and I need to start documenting these moments) and I really can’t wait for new music. I think listening to music will help alleviate the homesickness when it hits. What a great idea! MP3s for a CD player! Throughout this letter I will include some requests if you don’t mind. I would be happy if you could include: Nelly (not Country Grammar but the other album with “Air Force Ones”…PLEASE!! I love that album…The other volunteers make fun of me because of my Nelly obsession but I couldn’t give a crap. I want to be able to dance around my apartment at night. Plus, I’m getting FAT here (which everyone is quick to point out) so I’m hoping with some good dance/hip hop, maybe I’ll be more inclined to dance around my room like a maniac.
When I was looking through The Onion you sent – I had no idea who many of the new artists were (both album releases and those performing LA shows). So I’d be game to hear whatever you want to send. Also, I can’t get the song, “I would for you” out of my head by Jane’s Addiction. If you could add that song, it would be awesome. I brought some Jane’s with me but not that song. I would also really like some Eminem (“Lose yourself”…), Lauren Hill, “Miseducation of Lauren Hill”; Old Michael Jackson, “Thriller”, and maybe some stuff from the Jackson 5 and whatever else might be good. I have lots of Janet, Madonna, Prince, Weezer, etc. but I missed a bunch of music when I was ransacking your cd collection. I also have a lot of jazz so I’m good there. You know me and my tastes in music so I know you’ll send some fun stuff. Also, not sure what you think about this, but Teresa (the volunteer who lives here in my village) just got a DVD player from her mom. So if you are sending music, maybe you can include some videos or movies or a bunch of Jon Stewart that we can watch on her DVD player. The other thing is that I can recharge batteries with my solar charger. If you get me one set of rechargeable batteries for the CD player I can recharge and reuse them. Is that cool?
I’m supposed to be continuing to build a client database today. I’m about ½ way but thought this would be a better use of time for the moment. I know I’m whining and don’t mean to but some days I really miss you and the rest of my friends. Of course I’m glad to be experiencing this experience but it doesn’t mean some days aren’t challenging. I miss talking with people who understand me without me having to explain, slow down, omit vocabulary etc. It can be trying at times.
Thanks for all the great goodies you’ve been sending. I took some of the magazines you and your Mom sent (Ebony, US weekly, Oprah) for some of the Sisters I work with to check out. One of them didn’t know there were Black Americans in the U.S. There is a new volunteer who just came 3 weeks ago from Florida. Her name is Courtney and she came to my site to see what I do and to get a taste of being a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer). Well, almost every Ugandan assumed she was Ugandan because she is Black. She is going to have a unique experience compared to those of us who are white. They couldn’t understand why she didn’t speak the language and how she could be Black and not be from Africa. Her parents and grandparents were also born in the U.S. and still, some of the Ugandans didn’t get it. We tried to explain history, slavery etc. but some still had a hard time understanding. Crazy. So Sister Josephine is enjoying the magazines. She asked where she could get Proactiv. Haha.
By the way, thought you might like to hear, my Mom is also a packrat and saves EVERYTHING. When I talked to them last weekend she told me she found a “Thank You” card you sent her after she came to San Francisco to take care of me when I broke my back. She was tickled to have rediscovered it. I didn’t know you did that or if I did I don’t remember. See? Saint Sonny.
Had fun today. Did some planning with my supervisor, played with some of the kids, so that helped a bit. Today is Teresa’s birthday (the volunteer I mentioned earlier) so I’m going to buy some beef in town (a first for me) and make her chili for dinner. She has been talking about chili a lot so I thought a musungu meal would be fitting. I also dropped off some flowers in a makeshift vase (a Bond 7 Whiskey bottle with the label removed) on her doorstep. By the way, Bond 7 whiskey is probably the most perfectly terrible whiskey on the planet. But in a pinch, and with no other alternatives, what’s a girl to do? Jeanine would be proud. Please give her a big hug for me and tell her I miss her and love her very much. I’m glad she got a new job and a new place. How fun!
I’m off to have an All Saint’s Day feast with the sisters. Should be good. I eat lunch with them every day but today they were talking about getting chicken liver to accompany our meal. Excited about that.
Love you my dearest Saint Sonny! I also miss you dearly.